Work in Australia then Travel the World

Work in Australia then Travel the World

You’re graduating college soon, you’d like to travel the world but you’re not sure where to start. Teaching English is a popular option with unlimited employment opportunities if you’re a native English speaker. Just head over to Dave’s ESL Job List and you’ll get a feel for all of the jobs available. However, being a teacher isn’t for everyone. As the new guy you’ll be teaching kids, you’ll spend a dozen hours learning grammar and standing in front of a large group of people isn’t for everyone.

That being said, I’ve met plenty of people who love it and do it for years! I suppose it all depends on your temperament. If you’re outgoing and gregarious, it’s a natural fit. If your talents lay in other areas, worry not. There’s another awesome opportunity waiting for you. Do farm work in Australia!

Getting Your Hands Dirty

Working in Australia is a great way to start travelling the world. As soon as you get off the plane you’ll be immersed in a new culture. A culture that’s not terribly different America, but still exciting. While you’re there you’ll meet lots of other international travelers and I’m sure your weekends will be anything but dull. Most importantly, you’ll make good money!

I was surprised to learn that the minimum wage in Australia is $16.88 an hour. In the United States, in New York State at least, minimum wage is currently $9.70 an hour. That’s enough to survive but not quite enough for a down payment on a 7 Series.

With the high wage there is a catch though. In order to get an Australian visa you will be compelled to do farm work. Picking fruit, tending to the orchard, sorting vegetables, that kind of thing. It’s tough, hot work but the upside is big. A French guy I met in Malaysia said that once in a while he would make as much as several hundred dollars in a single shift. In time he was able to save enough money to travel for six months.

However, his journey included some time in Europe. If you took that same money and stayed in Asia, you could easily leave for an entire year. Beaches, seafood restaurants and so many dollar beers that you’d be ready to join Alcoholics Anonymous.

So the short and sweet of it is this. If you want to travel the world, you don’t have much money and you don’t want to teach English, working in Australia is the way to go. The work is difficult but from first hand experience I can promise you, teaching disobedient 9 year olds is no walk in the park either. If you’d like to learn more about doing farm work in Australia a simple Google search will tell you everything you need to know. Jobaroo also has a great guide on the subject. I’m looking forward to seeing you out there!

3 Reasons that Travelling Alone is Awesome

3 Reasons that Travelling alone is awesome

Travelling alone gives you the best chance to learn about yourself and grow as a person. Not only that, but it’s fun as hell! When you travel alone you have a bunch of unique experiences that you wouldn’t necessarily have if your buddy was tagging along. Of course travelling with friends is great too, there are some real advantages. However, if you’ve never gone solo, it’s something that you definitely need to cross off of your bucket list. Here’s why..

1. You’re Forced to Meet New People

When you’re solo, if you want to get a beer at the pub, do a two person adventure or sleep with a cute girl, you have to be social. I think that’s great! Studies have shown that our friends are often not the people who we’re most suited for. The average person builds friendships out of convenience. We meet people in class, at work, or through our social circle. We don’t select friendships so much as fall into them.

When you travel the situation is different. You know that anyone you run into on your journey is going to have similar interests and they’re going to have the tenacity to turn their aspirations into reality. Many dream of drinking beer on the beach or hiking across Europe, few actually make it happen.

2. You’re not Worried About the Other Person

If the trip is your idea and you bring someone along, there may be some anxiety. If something goes wrong it’s going to feel like your fault. When you’re alone none of that matters. So long as you choose a place you’re passionate about, you’ll have the motivation to get through the inevitable obstacles.

3. You Have 100% Control of the Trip

On an inspired journey part of the joy comes from not knowing what’s next. When you travel alone you have the flexibility to embrace sudden change. If you want stay longer in one place or leave somewhere else earlier than planned, you’re free to do so. You don’t have to think about what your buddy wants to do.

Picture this, you’re staying at a hostel when you meet some awesome German guys. They invite you to backpack through the mountains with them for a week. Unfortunately your friend thinks this sounds like the worst idea ever so you have to pass it up. If you were travelling alone this would have not been an issue, you could have gone on that awesome trip.

While travelling with friends can be an incredibly rewarding experience, I think that solo travel is something that everyone should do at least once. It will test your character and show you that you’re capable of more than you imagined.

Travel for Pennies on the Dollar with Workaway

Workaway is the website that let me live in Ukraine for two and a half months, learn Russian, and spend about $400 in all. The concept is similar to Couchsurfing, except that you stay with your host longer, food may be included, and you’re expected to volunteer a certain number of hours every week. The best feature of Workaway is that you can find a host in most countries. For example, a quick search shows the number of hosts in some of the countries I’d like to visit,

  • Sweden – 304
  • Norway – 324
  • France – 3,088
  • Japan – 148
  • India – 418

Of course you might not get your first choice due to scheduling or a bad fit, but if you send out enough messages there’s a high chance you’ll find somewhere to stay. When I was looking for a host in Kiev there were only 8 choices and I was able to find a great place.

How Much Money Can you Save?

A lot.. Especially if you’re traveling in an expensive country like Britain, Switzerland or Norway. In these countries a hostel can cost upwards of $50 a night, especially if you book it last minute. By staying with a Workaway host you can save all that money as accommodations are free. In some cases, not always, food is also included.

Is it Safe?

Most of the time you’ll be staying in a group setting like a family or some kind of community, rarely will a host be living by themselves. Also, plenty of hosts will have multiple Workaway volunteers at the same time, giving you an even greater assurance of safety. Finally, you can read reviews left by past volunteers and even contact these past volunteers if you have specific questions. So I believe that it’s a very safe way to travel. In some situations it may even be the safest option because you’ll be living with a host who can tell you about local scams or unsavory areas.

How Hard is the Work?

Every situation is unique. I talked to someone building a hostel in the jungle of Thailand. That would have been hot, hard work. On the other hand, in Ukraine all I had to do was teach an hour long English lesson every day. Ideally you volunteer with a host where the work is to your liking and so it’s no big deal.

Is it Tough to Get My First Volunteering Job?

When you sign up it can be harder to get your first volunteering position because you have no feedback. Any host who has been on Workaway long enough has had a problem with a volunteer at some point and all of them are eager to avoid that again. Some tips that can help you if you’re new.

  • Bring in feedback from other websites like Couchsurfing or Airbnb. In your profile mention that you’re new but you’ve had positive experiences in other places and then copy and past that feedback.
  • Write a longer description. Hosts read these and they’re interested to learn more about you. Take an hour to write up a nice profile complete with good grammar and spelling. It shows attention to detail and that matters.
  • Personalize your message when you write a host. Tell them why you would be a good fit, what experience you have that will be helpful and why you’d like to stay with them. This takes more time than spam messaging half a dozen hosts but the rewards are worth it. You’re probably going to spend several weeks or a month with this host, it’s worth doing it right.

I really encourage you to check out Workaway. You can browse all of the available experiences for free and if you want to take the next step and write a host, a yearly membership costs $29. Have you had a positive Workaway experience in the past? Leave a comment below and share it with everyone else!

How to Get Your First Job Teaching English

How to get a job teaching English

Teaching English is the easiest way to live abroad. As long as you’re a native speaker and you’ve got a university degree (any subject), many places want you. Popular options include,

  • Japan
  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Thailand
  • South Korea
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Poland
  • Turkey
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • Etc.

Most countries pay a salary which is low by America’s standards, however, the salary will typically be good for that country. For example, I taught English in Moscow. My apartment was paid for and I made about $900 on top of that. I lived well and was still able to save $450 a month. Many jobs also offer additional benefits,

  • Local health insurance
  • Reimbursement for airfare to and from the country
  • Accommodation
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid training

Qualifications

In class teaching experience is a must for a TEFL course

Most English schools require you to be a college graduate (any degree, it doesn’t have to be teaching). However, you will need to take a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. These typically run between $1,500 and $3,00. It’s important to find a course that offers classroom teaching experience. Online only courses are inexpensive but some schools do not accept them. Also, you want to teach your first lessons in a program. Stepping in front of real students with zero experience is inadvisable.

The most prestigious (and expensive) course is called CELTA. It’s rigorous but once you pass you’re all but guaranteed a job.

Finding a Job

The quickest way to find a job is Dave’s ESL Job Board, multiple listings are added every day. Before you start applying to jobs, make sure you have an updated CV that includes the name of the TEFL course you’ve completed or plan to complete. Some jobs may ask for a photo head shot. This is normal for positions outside of America.

If you send out 5 applications you’ll almost certainly here back from 2 or 3 schools. After a few emails they’ll typically ask you for a Skype interview. If that goes well they’ll offer you a position. Choose the best job and you’ll be on your way to a new adventure. Most jobs will arrange to pick you up directly from the airport, making the transition even smoother. Good luck!

*If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message. Also, if you’re interested in teaching in Russia I wrote a free eBook about finding a good job there. 

How Much Money do you Need to Travel Abroad?

How much money to travel abroad

Less than you think. Most men who haven’t traveled abroad have a skewed perception of the cost. I think there are several reasons why.

  1. Travel websites exaggerate the expense. They base their estimates on living in a hotel, taking taxis, eating at restaurants and doing expensive tourist activities. If you cut out all that crap you can live much cheaper.
  2. Americans don’t understand how cheap other countries are. For example, I lived well on $800 a month in Thailand. In America that kind of money gets you the questionable distinction of “extreme poverty”.
  3. There are lots of ways to stretch your dollar. You can volunteer at a hostel, volunteer through Workaway, get a temporary job teaching English, or Couch Surf.

Assuming you’ll be travelling on savings (no online income), $5,000 to $10,000 is the sweet spot. This provides a large enough buffer to feel safe without forcing you to save for years. Of course it also depends where you’re headed. $5,000 in Thailand is good for 4 to 6 months. $10,000 in Switzerland might only get you 3 to 5 months.

Don’t Sweat over Money, You’ll Figure it Out

If you’re abroad and you start running low on $$$ you’ll learn that there’s always a solution. On my epic trip around the world I never had more than $5,000 in savings. I stretched my budget by volunteering at a hostel, volunteering with multiple Workaway hosts and doing freelance SEO work. Towards the end I was briefly penniless in Bangkok. I couldn’t eat for 36 hours. It sucked but I survived. You will too. Between your savings and an emergency credit card there’s no situation you won’t conquer.

When I was learning Russian I spent two weeks living on a commune in rural Ukraine. Total $$$ spent for half a month… About $50