Ever since I posted that I was moving to Australia with my friend Korie next month, I've had quite a few questions come my way from people just curious as to why I'm going there, what I'll be doing, how long I'll be away, etc. So I figured I might as well type up a blog post to address everyone's questions in one place!
So the main question...
Q: Why are you moving to Australia?
A: I actually looked into doing this shortly after graduating college when I was living in Dallas. I was interested in the idea but never really followed through. I was working an entry level job and wasn't making enough money for the idea to really happen as I would have liked it to. So I put it in the back of my mind for a few years and right around the first of this year, my friend Korie and I started discussing it. We figured now is the best time to go... not married, no kids, not working a dream job, etc. I would probably always regret it if I didn't do it while I could. Not studying abroad in college is one (small) regret I have, so now is the time to make up for that!
Q: Why Australia?
A: First off, why NOT Australia? :) Hello, it's beautiful! But in all seriousness, we wanted to go somewhere that was safe, where English was the main language, and the customs/visa application was easy. It doesn't hurt that our dollar is fairly strong there right now too.
Q: Where in Australia will you be living?
A: After doing some extensive research, Korie and I decided on Melbourne. For the past few years, Melbourne has actually been rated the #1 city in the World to live in. Sydney was another top contender, as we've both heard great things, but the cost of living in Sydney is a bit higher than in Melbourne. We also considered Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.
Q: What was the Visa application like?
A: Surprisingly quick and painless! After both saying we were 110% in for this journey, we filled out our visa applications online, paid $300, and within SIX hours, I received an email stating I was approved. Korie received hers a few days later. We applied for the Subclass 462 Work & Holiday Visa, which is good for 12 months from the time you arrive and only applicable for people under the age of 30 (another reason to go now...I'm not getting any younger)! I think Australia really wants young, educated Americans to come over for a period of time and contribute to their culture and economy.
Q: When are you leaving?
A: Our flight leaves Oct. 19th. We are going to spend one night in LA and then tackle the 16 hour flight from LA to Melbourne on the 20th. With the crazy 15 hour time difference, we won't be arriving there until the 22nd.
Q: How long will you be there?
A: The Visa is good for up to 12 months (so I have to return by Oct. 22nd, 2016). Since Korie is a tour guide and only works 6 months out of the year (she has October - May off), she plans to return to the US in May so she doesn't have to give up her job. As for me, 6 months is my minimum. I want to get as much out of the experience as possible and since I am giving up my job here, I want to make it worth the trip and money.
Q: What kind of job will you have?
A: This one is a big TBD. A better answer would be, I know what kind of job I do not want to have. Ever since graduating college in 2010, I've worked a typical 9-5 desk job. I want to try and steer clear from that as much as possible. Thankfully, my parents have been gracious enough to let me live at home the past few months (rent free). This has allowed me to save a bit of money so I won't need to get a job right away and can maybe swing a part-time job during my time there. Ideally, I would love to work at a gym, surf shop, or possibly one of their professional sports teams. Something active!
Q: Any travels plans around the area?
A: Yes! We decided to spend the first month or so traveling around the area before settling down and getting a job. We will be in Melbourne for about 10 days and then take off to Christchurch, NZ, Auckland, NZ, and Fiji. We will be back towards the end of November, when we can move into our apartment we found on AirBnb and will begin the job search at that time.
Q: Will you be running & blogging while you're there?
A: I really want to! I know with the time change, it'll be a bit harder to communicate with my friends and family back home. I know the blog would be a great way to document my time over there and share our experiences with loved ones. I do plan to keep up with running while there and can't wait to explore all of the new sights on my routes. I plan to post lots of pictures and keep everyone updated via social media and the blog!
I am going to miss everyone so much (especially around the holidays...no Thanksgiving?!). But everyone has been so supportive and reassuring in telling me that this will be an amazing adventure and worth giving up so much back home.
In summary: #YOLO