While working on this past job, the production was using my credit card to book flights and other things. They spent tens of thousands of dollars on my card. By the end of the show in November, my husband and I had enough flight points to book two one-way tickets to Australia. We transferred the points to where we needed them and now our flights are officially booked! We fly out of Toronto on June 1. We had to push it back a bit further than we had wanted because we will be working in Winnipeg, Manitoba again starting in February. That show won't end until mid-May and we wanted a couple weeks to get everything ready. We decided on a city to live as well. We originally thought we would live in Sydney, but from what I read, Sydney is really expensive. I looked up which cities were cheapest and Brisbane popped up on the list. We decided this would be a perfect place for us to start. We land in Brisbane the morning of June 3, 2015! I know I said it before, but now it's REALLY actually happening!!
Once our first Winnipeg job ended, we flew back to Toronto and spent just under two weeks packing up all of our stuff. We drove truckloads of stuff to Goodwill (and to my little sister). We had 1-800-Got-Junk come and take away almost everything else in our apartment, and then we drove to the in-laws with the small amount of stuff we were keeping and loaded it into their basement and their barn. We kept our bed, one desk, our kitchen stuff (pots, pans, and dishes) and our linens (towels, sheets, blankets). We also had a couple boxes of important papers and DVDs we didn't want to get rid of and photo albums. This stuff will stay in storage until we get back from Australia (if we come back hahahaha). It felt good to have all of this dealt with. Our apartment is cleaned out and we let our landlord know we were out and wouldn't be renewing our lease once it was up. Now we are homeless, haha. But it feels awesome to have another piece of the puzzle in place. No turning back!
The minimum amount you need in your bank account to be let into Australia on a Working Holiday Visa is 5000$ AUD. I now have enough in my savings to cover that for both my husband and myself! You also need to prove you have a way out of the country, either a return flight booked, or enough additional money to purchase a flight home. We have decided on a slightly different route. Recently we put down a deposit for a 24-day cruise from Sydney to Vancouver, Canada! With our next job, my husband will save up enough to pay this cruise off before we leave for Australia, and I will continue to build on our savings so we have as much money as possible and less chance of failure. Sometimes I am actually more excited for the cruise home than for the actual Australia holiday itself!! I've been on a couple cruises and I think it will be such an awesome way to end our trip. We stop in Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Samoa, and Hawaii! It is going to be the best ever.
I feel like we have accomplished a lot so far for this trip! We both have unlocked phones ready to go so all we will need to do is buy a new SIM card in Australia. We have looked into a couple ways of transferring our money to our Australian bank account when we get one. We have checked out furnished apartments online and airbnb rentals. I have my Lonely Planet Australia guide book, and I just finished reading "In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson. I watched a movie called Tracks about a girl who walks across the Western Australia desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean and then got the book when I found out it was based on that. Everything is just making me sad though. I know one year isn't going to be enough time. There is so much to see and so much to do. I planned out a month-long, cross-country train trip thinking it might be a good idea to see the whole country before we picked a place to settle down and find jobs. It would cost us almost all of our money though so we know we have to get jobs and save up money before we do anything like that. I have been looking for blogs about people who did Working Holidays in Australia but haven't found very much. I just need to know everything there is to know, is that so much to ask??
I started thinking we would work for the first 6 months, save up like crazy, and then spend the rest of our time travelling across the country. BUT then I remembered that there is no way I am going to be that close to New Zealand and not go there... and Indonesia will be so close too...and I really want to go to Asia... DO YOU SEE?!? This is my brain right now. It is excited and happy and sad and nervous all at once. I am so sad to leave Australia and I haven't even arrived yet. It is comforting to know that if I really wanted to stay an extra year, I could work really hard and find a job on a farm for 3 months (or multiple farms) and apply for an extension. I know we would be able to push our cruise back to the next year as well.
My ideal trip would probably go like this:
-Work and live in one or two cities in Australia for a year (3 months of that being on a farm eligible for the extension)
-Get the extension
-Spend our second year in Australia mostly travelling everywhere with maybe an occasional job thrown in here and there
-Somehow magically have enough money to then get a working holiday in New Zealand and spend a year there as well.
-Take a side trip to Indonesia
-Take another side trip to Japan and China
-Take our cruise home 2-3 years later than originally planned (how long is the working holiday in New Zealand?) OMG I'LL BE 30 AND EVERYTHING WILL BE RUINED!!! No I won't ...I will be 29. Phew.
This is my new plan. What could possibly go wrong?!