Born Adventurer

With a lot of people, their professions as an adult can be hinted at with little things in their childhood. The lawyer who always made a good argument, the veterinarian who was always obsessed with helping animals… the scientist that always did little experiments to feed their curiosity. Thinking about it, I don’t think growing up to be a traveler is really that much different. I have so many memories that, looking back, make me wonder if I was just meant to someday travel the world. Here are just a few examples…

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1. Getting lost has always been ranked pretty high on the list of things I love to do. I read a quote a while ago, “Put down that map and get wonderfully lost.” I feel like that quote just describes my nature so much. I think I get some kind of high off of the feeling of not knowing where I am and it’s just one of the best feelings in the world that I just don’t know how to describe. That’s weirdly when I tend to be the most fearless.

2. When I wander, I sometimes tend to let my curiosity get the best of me. Growing up, I spent a lot of time going to the Mojave Desert because my family has property down there. I have so many memories from all of those trips that I could probably write a book on those adventures alone. It’s actually given be a huge soft spot for deserts and resulted in me wanting to visit like all the deserts of the world. Anyways… one of the many adventures I had involved my little sister and I wandering from the cabin. I don’t think we went very far, we never actually lost sight of the cabin. We came across something suspicious and of course, my sister immediately wanted to go back, but I insisted on satisfying my curiosity and going closer. Upon closer inspection, it looked like a snake, but it wasn’t moving. At that point, my sister ran away screaming but I inched closer, curious as to why the snake wasn’t moving. Turns out it was not a snake but just snake skin. Looking back, it was not really the wisest choice I’ve ever made, as I could have probably died if it WAS in fact a snake… but as you can see, I am here to tell the tale.

3. I might have touched on this in the past, but I feel most alive and completely myself when I am somewhere that’s not my hometown. Being here sometimes just feels like I am in a cage and constantly being teased by the outside world and all the unexplored places. It’s how I’ve honestly felt as long as I can remember. When I am not home is oddly when I feel most at home… where I can just be myself.

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Working Holiday Visa Options for Americans

Working Holiday Visas are an amazing thing, and for a lot of people in other cultures… it’s almost like a rite of passage, so to say. Depending on where you’re from and where you want to go, you can spend 1-2 full years in that other country, working and getting paid for it while you take time to explore the country in your down time. For someone who wants to get into long term travel but isn’t really sure how or where to start, this is a good option and an amazing opportunity. This post will go over all of the options one would have as an American looking into getting a WHV.

  1.  New Zealand.

Learning about the Working Holiday Visa NZ offers, it actually inspired me to look into doing this. (Before, I was simply researching for blogging purposes, not really for myself). If I do in fact go for a WHV in the next 2-3 years as I plan to, there’s like a 97.825% chance it will be in New Zealand.

For the basic requirements, you must be between 18 and 30, be able to prove you have sufficient funds to live there (about $4200 NZD or $2772 USD), and be able to pay the $165 (USD) application fee and have not been approved for the visa before.

You are allowed to stay for 12 months, but you can only work for each employer for up to 6 months. However, if one of the jobs you hold happens to be on a farm, you can extend the say by 3 months to work another farm job. Also, the job market there is booming, so it generally doesn’t take long at all to actually find work once you get there, assuming you are in a big city and you’re looking in the right industries.

  1. Australia.

Despite the fact that it rains spiders in Australia, possibly on a weekly basis, it is my immediate second country of choice to get the WHV in.

It’s basically the same as NZ’s, except I don’t think they have the option to extend it, they ask for you to have $5000 AUD ($3691 USD) in funds to live there while looking for a job and the application fee is $420 AUD or $310 USD.

Both New Zealand and Australia are very easy places to get Working Holiday Visas for, and apparently the process is very quick. You do the application and they usually approve you within days or, in some cases, hours. Once you’re approved, you have a year to actually depart and the visa activates as soon as you land in the country you’re going to work in.

  1. Ireland.

It’s not as easy to get as Australia or NZ, but it’s still relatively easy to get, from my understanding of it. This one is best for students. There is no age requirement, but you have to be enrolled in higher education or have graduated within a year. You must apply in person or by mail at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington or one of the Consulates General of Ireland offices located throughout the country. You will be asked to prove your academic status and that you have EU1500 ($1641 USD), the application fee is EU250 plus $13 USD mailing fee if applicable.

  1. Singapore.

This one is very similar to Ireland’s, in the respect that it’s for students. You must be between age 18 and 25, be enrolled in university or have graduated in the last 12 months. The pass costs $150 USD and it allows one to live and work in Singapore for 6 months.

  1. South Korea.

This one is way more complicated and restrictive than the rest on this list and takes a lot of time to finish. You must be aged 18-30, and you must be a student in university or have graduated within a year… you need to prove you have enough funds to support yourself for about three months (which amounts to be about $10,000 USD) and the application fee is only $45 USD. Most of the jobs available to Americans there are English teaching jobs, but you’re not allowed to accept a job as an English teacher with this visa. If you don’t speak Korean, you won’t really have that many options. Additionally, you cannot come in to seek jobs such as media or journalism. I think most of the jobs you will find here are high level tech jobs.

Of course, these are only for people within the United States. If you’re in another country, you might have many more options to choose from if you search them out!

Live In The Now. Don’t wait.

I know I’ve said it before, but my mind is truly the most unpredictable thing. I am in the process of planning my future –  places I want to go, jobs I’d be able to get while on the go… you name it, it’s probably on by search history. The only problem about planning for the future though, the plan can be put way off course by one thing or another. Your plans might seem good, but the future is not set in stone. It is developed over time, the things we do and the choices we make. It’s how we learn and how we grow. There is a certain beauty to knowing and understanding that all we have is the here and now, knowing the future will take care of itself as long as the choices you make in the present are the helpful kind.

Today, I was doing extensive research on working holiday visas for Americans. I will definitely be writing a post with more indepth information on those at a later time, so y’all have that to look forward to! As I was doing the research, I found myself really wanting to get one of those visas, specifically to go to either New Zealand or Australia, find work there where the job market is booming (unlike it is here…) and save up what I can, and considering their minimum wages are around double the minimum wages here in America… I feel I have a lot more to gain than I have to lose.

However, there is one downside to all of this. For both of the working holiday visa destinations that I’m interested in and eligible for, there is an age cap of 30. I will be 29 when I graduate, at this rate. If I do choose to do this, I don’t want to wait until the last possible minute and feel rushed with starting the process immediately after graduation. I feel my best bet would be to take a gap year sometime in between semesters. Part of me is conflicted on that, because it throws everything off. But then again, what’s the worst that will happen? I actually have the time of my life while working abroad, and I have to put off getting my degree about a year. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and my classes will still be there when I return. I know it’s a lot to think about, but I feel like it’s something I have to experience, something I have my heart set on. Something I know I’ll regret later on if I don’t try.

Of course, school is still a top priority and I still need to save up money for this, so as much as I want to… starting the process now or even within the next year just doesn’t really make sense. I do hope to be able to do it by 2017-18.