My First Month in Australia on the Working Holiday Visa (And Why I Left)

My First Month in Australia on the Working Holiday Visa (And Why I Left)

Hi my friends! So I have put my blog severely on hold, and I swear I haven’t forgotten about you all! My life has just flipped on its ass the past few months, and I finally feel caught up to a point where I can actually sit down and start blogging again.

What I want to focus your attention on today is the wonderful country of Australia, the working holiday visa, and also the reason why I ultimately left.

Allllll the way back in November, I had applied for the Working Holiday Visa for Australia (which you can apply for here for Europeans/Canadians and here for Americans) This visa allows you to live and work in Australia for up to one year with a possibility of extension to two years if you are approved and complete 88 days of regional work (basically 88 days of picking/packing fruit with like-minded travelers on a farm, something that when I told my family I would be doing they made fun of me incessantly for, but I was determined).

My plan was to finish my 5 months in Thailand and go straight to Aus to work for however long I loved being there, because I knew I was going to love it.

Fast forward to March, I arrived in the country and had a sinking feeling because my thoughts were “I think I found the place where I can live forever.” I was already thinking of ways I was going to have to break the news to my family and friends back home.

I started the month as a two-week solo trip up the east coast. I flew into Melbourne, working my way up to Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. During this time I met new friends, reconnected with old friends, went on my first helicopter ride anddd was even asked on a date in front of the Sydney Opera House.

It wasn’t until I got to my friend’s house in Toowoomba where I felt like the cloud I was on disappeared and was replaced by reality. It was here where I was sitting at my friend’s kitchen table, my vision went black, and next thing I know I’m lying on my friends couch with 5 sets of eyes staring at me, and the family yelling at each other that they had killed the American. I came to and realized that I had fainted, and couldn’t figure out how or why.

I spent the rest of my weekend wondering what my plan was going to be now. I was first and foremost freaked out about my health, because the last time I had fainted was two years prior and I couldn’t figure out why I had fainted now. My friend’s mom was amazing and took me to their doctor, but I still wasn’t getting the answers I needed. Anxiety started to creep in and I was wondering if I had made a horrible choice in coming, and also wondered why I thought it was a good idea to move to a country without health insurance.

I then thought about my job and another overwhelming wave of anxiety swept in. My original plan was to do the 88 days of regional farm work that everyone on the working holiday visa has to do in order to get a second year visa. I immediately ruled that out, knowing there was not a chance in hell I was going to be fainting picking fruit in the fields of Australia.

I then racked my brain for things I am good at/love and immediately thought of au-pairing. I love kids and have a background in education, so it seemed like a perfect fit. It seemed doubly perfect when I found a family and hit it off with the mom right away. The only thing was I could not start until the first week of May and it was only just mid-March, more anxiety ensued.

I knew I didn’t feel healthy enough mentally or physically to keep traveling (which was hard for me to admit because I like to convince myself that I’m always strong in both these aspects). I then put my pride down and thought of something that I never thought of once in all of my months of planning: I was going to go home.

It shocked me that in the six months I was gone that in not one of those months I considered going home a possibility, but once the idea was planted into my head there was no going back. I was so excited to see my family and friends, and on top of that I was going to surprise them.

A week later, I somehow successfully traveled literally halfway across the world with only one person knowing I was doing so. When I got home I think my parents thought they saw a hologram, but it was real and I felt so happy/lucky to be able to be there.

God only knows why I fainted and I can laugh about it now, but something tells me I was meant to. When traveling and living abroad, it was always in the back of my mind whether or not I’d ever be ready to go home. Now that I am here, I feel the happiest I have felt in a while. That doesn’t mean it has been easy, I have been struggling with anxiety/health issues that I have never dealt with before, had to turn down an amazing family to aupair for, and gave up on a dream that I was counting on as my source of happiness for so long.

But with all that being said, I have once again reaffirmed my appreciation for my family and friends who have always been the most amazing support system. I was able to go to New York for the first time and see one of my best friends, I have found a job that has turned out to be my favorite I’ve ever had, and I am comfortable with where I am at this moment.

So #1 moral of this story if you have made it this far: learn from my mistakes and always have health insurance

And #2 moral of the story: life never goes as planned and it’s okay if what we had planned for ourselves wasn’t what was best for us. No matter how much we want to control what happens to us, it always works out the way it’s supposed to.

So for now, I really have no idea what direction I am going in, if I will ever live abroad again, or what I’m supposed to be doing career-wise. I am going to take my own advice here and hope that everything works out the way it is supposed to, and I know for a fact I will absolutely be back in Australia someday.

Ending disclaimer: If you’re reading this and want to go to Australia on the working holiday please do! The country is absolutely amazing and I do not have one bad thing to say about it. Personally, I feel like now I know it wasn’t in the cards for me (although I change my mind every 5 minutes so I could be going back next month for all I know). What I do know is that every person’s journey/preferences are different so if Aus has been on your radar go for it and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “My First Month in Australia on the Working Holiday Visa (And Why I Left)”

  • 1
    Bridgette on June 17, 2017 Reply

    Omg Bridget. I hope you’ll be okay.
    It’s funny how life does that to you. Get better soon and enjoy the that one with your family. Xoxo

    • 2
      Finding Bridget on June 17, 2017 Reply

      Thank you Bridge!! Life is crazy but I’m absolutely loving being home, never thought I’d be say that this soon haha!

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