So having been here just over 2 months I feel like there’s a lot of things I wish I’d done and knew before we came. For the few weeks prior to leaving home I felt like there was something I should be doing and everyone around me felt like there wasn’t anything I was supposed to be doing. I was spending my time with the people I wanted to spend my time with and who wanted to spend some time with me before I left!! Having come though I now know of some things I wish I’d known before I left.
I did leave with an air of ‘I have a plan to have no plans!!’ And while that is well and good for a little bit, I reckon I still should have had some info and details mapped out for the time when I needed to know stuff. Although really, I couldn’t have anticipated what I might have needed to know because I was coming to AUSTRALIA where I knew nothing about the place!! So my aim here is to help and inform anyone who might be planning the trip or contemplating it or actually doing it and just feeling like there’s something you should be doing!! So here are my own top tips for those of you that want them;
1. Make sure it’s what you want!! I had a couple of chances to go before I actually decided to finally do it but I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that I picked the right time!! You’re going to be so far away so you need to make sure you’re not making the decision on a whim – you’re giving yourself the opportunity to experience a new way of life so don’t decide on a whim to go and then end up home after the first month! Make sure the people you go with are the right ones!! Are you going for the right reasons? Do you all want to go for the same things? No point going with someone who wants a totally different experience to you!!
2. Do your research – we didn’t research where we were going too much. For some reason Perth jut appealed to me, maybe it’s because most of the people I knew went closer to the Gold Coast and I wanted to be different. I did a little research but really that only stands if you count going through ‘SEEK.com’ to see what jobs are on offer… We had no idea geographically what we were in for as well so a little bit of that would be good too.
My advice would be to jot down some info – research jobs/places to live and when you get here download the free TRANSPERTH app – it’s a godsend for helping us get around! So so easy!!!
3. Figure out a general skeleton!! Basically have a flexible plan – just the bones. If you’re planning on staying at a hostel then make sure to check what area you’re in so you can get around easily. Figure out what you’re going to do first? Travel? Jobs? Farm work?
4. Get your phone unlocked!!! If you’re like me and you love your iPhone (or whatever your phone is!) then be sure to get it unlocked before you come! (We didn’t and I hate my htc!!ha)
5. SAVE SAVE SAVE!!!! People told me to save every cent I could and it wasn’t for the craic either! It’s always good to have back up if things don’t go as you planned!
6. Sort your visa and flight!! We went through USIT BUT being honest if I was to do it again, I would do it separately and save some money!! At the time I had some security in booking through them and don’t get me wrong, they were great but I reckon I could have booked myself and saved. It’s easy to set up your bank account when you get here and get a SIM card!! We were signed up to their jobs board too and honestly I found it desperate so FYI do it yourself!!
7. Travel Insurance!! One thing I would make sure to get is travel insurance! You just never know when you might need it. I think ours was about €159 and I’m sure if I’d looked on a comparison website that I could have gotten it for less. Make sure you’re covered for basic things though – no point paying it if you’re not really covered for anything!!
8. Plan what you’re going to pack. For me, I had planned what to pack but still probably overpacked in some ways and not enough in others. So my advice is – check the weather for the first 3-6 months and go by that! Pack enough clothes to survive 2 weeks to a month max – they have washing machines and realistically what will you need the extra clothes for? I’m sure most of us wear less than 50% of what’s in our closets??
9. Distribute your time wisely!! Thankfully I feel if I aced anything this was it!! I spent the second last week visiting all the people I wanted to get to and left the last week for my family and close friends and it was the best decision I made!! It left life so much easier and carefree in that last week and I think when you do everything to keep the stress levels down where you can control it then do it!!!
10. Finally, prepare yourself for the flight because even though you know it’s a long flight – you have no clue how long it is until you do it!! I SWEAR!!!! It is waaaaayyyyy longer than you think so prepare for it! We just did one stopover because I felt that more than one would make it feel longer so in that respect I am soooo glad we make that decision too. Have plenty to rehydrate your skin too – I had my own little kit for my skin to keep me hydrated thanks to the people who care about me!!:) It’s long but my God it’s worth it!!😝