Today’s guest writer is Daniel Kovacs, a travel-addict from Germany. He has been traveling around the world since 2015, mostly on “working holiday visas.” He spent two years in Canada, one year in New Zealand, and nearly two years in Australia. He worked on farms, in cafés and restaurants, and even in the movie industry. He is a content creator, filmmaker, and minimalist who lived three years of his life in a camper van. He founded Working Holiday Blog to help other travelers plan their trip and bring awareness to all of the countries that offer a “working holiday” experience.
Do you want to explore the beauty of one of the most stunning countries in the world for a longer time? Why not spend up to a year living and working in Australia with a working holiday visa?
Participating in a working holiday is a fantastic way to travel to Australia and not easily forgotten! Today, I will give you my top 10 reasons why you should consider applying for a working holiday Down Under.
What is a working holiday visa?
A working holiday visa (WHV) allows you to be employed during your visit in Australia. This means you can supplement your travel funds without leaving the country. You will be able to experience day-to-day life Down Under beyond just visiting as a tourist. You’ll have the chance to befriend locals and gain a deeper insight into Australian culture.
Note regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic: Expect application delays
due to the coronavirus pandemic. Entry to Australia is currently not possible, even with an already approved working holiday visa. Nevertheless, you can still apply for the WHV in Australia. However, applications are currently not being processed any further, and WHV confirmations will only be distributed again if the Australian authorities see a change in the current situation. So be sure to research WHVs in Austalia to learn about the status before you get your hopes up. This COVID-19 information is subject to change at any time.
1. You’ll get to leave for Australia sooner and travel there longer
Australia is the world’s smallest continent and largest island. It is almost the same size as the United States but with a population only the size of New York State. Down Under, you will find some of the quirkiest wildlife on the planet and landscapes full of staggering contrasts and spectacular beauty. This is why a two-week vacation is not enough to explore everything Australia has to offer!
Without needing to save up a lot of money in advance, you can leave for Australia sooner with a working holiday visa. If there is anything more of a downer when it comes to travel, it just might be the idea that you can’t do it because of money problems. The WHV alleviates this issue.
The WHV grants you access to Australia for a longer period of time than a standard tourist visa does. For example, the typical tourist visa is for three months, while a working holiday visa grants you Australia-roaming rights for 12 months.
2. You’ll get to do something unique
If you are looking for a rewarding experience, why not apply to volunteer in Australia? There is incredible biodiversity and wildlife all over the continent. With websites like WWOOF, HelpX, and WorkAway, you can find volunteer work and organic farms where you can be of help. These sites make it easy to find a place to make a difference while contributing to a worthy project.
3. You’ll get lots of freedom
Nothing beats the feeling of absolute freedom! This is your year to do whatever you want — your rules and your experience. If you don’t feel like staying in one place, then you can just leave. You are not bound to anything. Personally, I felt the freest driving in my own camper van “Betty” through the red sand of the Outback!
Use this year to do everything you ever wanted to and as a learning experience.
4. You’ll get to make many new friends
Don’t let the fear of traveling solo keep you from applying for a WHV. While you’re roaming around, you’ll meet people from Australia, as well as from the rest of the world. Did you know that each year there are thousands of travelers spending their gap year in Australia? So why not start your first adventures with like-minded backpackers who are staying in the same hostel as you?
This is why I love hostels so much. Not only are they affordable, they always have common spaces to meet other travelers — and Australia has some really nice ones. Every backpacker who spends time in the common area is like you and wants to connect.
5. You can practice your English skills
This sounds ridiculous for native English speakers, but for every non-English-speaking person (like me), a gap year in Australia is one of the best ways to improve your English skills.
Fun fact: There are currently 61 countries in the world that offer a working holiday visa. So why not learn German in Germany, Spanish in Spain, or French in France while on a gap year?
6. You’ll get to experience the great outdoors
This is the continent of kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and picturesque nature. Along the coast, you can explore vibrant multicultural cities, vast sand islands, ancient rainforests, and one of the planet’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders: the Great Barrier Reef. I highly recommend booking a scuba diving course there!
But there is so much to explore, including the Outback, rugged national parks, and red-earthed deserts. I did a road trip on the lesser-visited west coast, which still is one of my best memories of all time!
Don’t want to drive around on your own? That’s okay. You can book a spot on a party bus trip with 25 other backpackers for 3–4 weeks of exploring the country’s national parks while camping, bonding around bonfires, and nonstop partying with your newfound friends! Find out more in this article.
7. You can take a good long break from “normal life”
The break between high school and college or the break after college and before entering the “real working world” is one of the best times to do a working holiday in Australia.
Some people wonder if WHVs in Australia are only for people who are about to turn 31. Not true! I’m started my own working holiday at age 28. But the truth is, it’s a lot harder to leave everything behind when you are already established in your life. A lot of my friends would love to do a working holiday but are too tied down and scared to lose the career they’ve built.
So if you feel like life is holding you back from going to Australia for a year, listen to your heart and just go!
8. You’ll get “international work experience”
This is sometimes the most overlooked reason but, in my opinion, the one that will shape and change the course of the rest of your life! With a WHV, you are basically given the opportunity to test out any type of job you want to. This has quite a few advantages.
- With every new job you take on during your stay in Australia, you will work on your interview and presentation skills. Over time, you will naturally become calmer and more professional when it comes to applying for jobs. Personally, after all of the interviewing I’ve done, I’m free from fear when I apply for jobs these days. It was such great practice!
- You have the opportunity to try positions that you wouldn’t normally take on at home. After all, you never know what you might discover about what you do and don’t like about certain positions that you take on. Perhaps your perfect job might be one where you’re working on a cattle ranch in the Outback or serving up drinks at a pub in Melbourne. Then you can see how that translates to the career you decide to build, eventually, when you’re back home.
- Even simple jobs can add to your résumé and tell future employers that you are willing to do hard work! International work experience is impressive and can lead to getting better jobs with higher salaries when you return home.
9. You’ll learn how to handle your own money responsibly
Especially if this is your first time abroad or on a long journey, you will learn how to make do with what you have. You’ll learn the value of a dollar. You’ll learn how to keep to a budget. It’s just like getting pushed into the water to learn how to swim. I believe a structure of the working holiday year will bring you face to face with so many challenges that you’ll be able to grow from!
10. You’ll develop yourself personally in so many ways
Travel helps you to become a more open-minded person. You’ll learn how to deal with problems and get to know new perspectives because of all the different people and cultures you come into contact with. You will discover that the world can function in a different way. You’ll find that the way you learned through your upbringing is not the only way to live.
I don’t want to lie: not everything on a working holiday will be fun. You will face your own challenges and problems…which is actually a good thing! Each obstacle will make you stronger. Every problem you face will ultimately define who you become!
Ever since I started traveling, I’ve learned and developed myself much faster than I had in my life previously! You’ll learn to live outside of your comfort zone and you will reach new physical and mental heights. You will be surprised what you’re capable of. You can gain all sorts of transformative experiences on a WHV.
So what are you waiting for?
If you are interested in a working holiday in Australia, I created three free checklists for you to download:
- The Ultimate Packing List for Australia (so you don’t forget anything important)
- The Working Holiday Checklist (everything you need to prepare to enter Australia)
- The Best Travel Apps for your Working Holiday in Australia
Daniel Kovacs is a German travel-blogger and filmmaker. He created the YouTube Channel “Working Holiday” and the website “Working Holiday Blog” to bring more awareness to all of the countries that offer a working holiday experience. He believes that travel is the best kind of personal development. You can connect with Daniel on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
Note: We love featuring our travel-loving members. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, send us an email at info @ thenomadicnetwork . com with the subject line “TNN Blog Guest Post.”