“I am moving abroad! What do I need! What have I done! Where do I go! AAAAHHHHH!” Sound familiar? Oh the joy of when the penny drops. Happy, nervous, scared and excited all in one emotional scream. Fortunately for me and my stubborn nature I didnt experience this until I boarded my first plane journey, alone. Realising I had no concrete plans only carrying hand luggage and a bank card with cash, I had set off on my travels. Scary? Yes! Bad? No! Although my experience only occured when I found myself truely committed, not everyone is blessed with this ignorance as most can endure weeks of mind changing thoughts. My direct advice to anyone who wishes to travel is to make a list of why they have decided to undertake the lifestyle of travel. Once written, stick to that list, reasons do not require to be major life changing events, just simple thoughts that cross your mind, both good and bad. My list to travel began as follows;
My list to travel;
- Different people.
- See different things.
- Experience hospitality away from Ireland.
- Wine and food.
- Different routine.
- Feel alive again.
- Leaving my job.
- Leaving my home.
- Leaving my friends and family.
- Fear of failing.
- Fear of the unexpected.
When begining to experience “cold feet ” or ” second thoughts ” refer back to your list and stay positive. Remember why a life of travel crossed your mind and instead of seeing the world as a negitive, try to view the world as an opportunity for adventure and personal growth.
The most common enemy when deciding to travel is your own mind and our natural response to ask the question “What if?”, directly considering all possible negative outcomes and possibilities from our decisions. A natural response when stepping outside a comfort zone but also a good response. Although seeming destructive to progress with moving out of your comfort zone, the question of “what if” is an immediate safety thought that whirls your mind enabling you to view all possible negative outcomes and planning ahead in a positive manner to resolve the situation before it happens. Dont fear the outcomes, plan against them thinking forward in a positive mind.
- I dont like it?
- I get lost?
- My phone dies?
- I lose my passport?
- I dont have enough money?
- I can’t find a job?
- I cant find an apartment?
- No one likes me?
- I love it!
- I meet new cultures!
- I make a new long life friend!
- I get a great job!
- I find a lovely apartment!
- I try and like new food!
- I meet amazing people!
- I see amazing new things!
- I learn to ski,swim,snorkel or even roller blade!
Endulge yourself in the endless possibilities the world has to offer and plan your travels around your comfort zone. When I first began my life of travel I was offered a position in New York, employment, income and accommodation provided. Softening the thoughts of being so far away from home, my friend Lewi was also offered a position in the very same resort! Delighted with the news, I surprised myself as I found I was not as excited as I thought I would be, this only looked like career building in my eyes, I did not want to build my career any further, I wanted to travel. Respectfully refusing the position I redirected my travels to Mallorca, upon seeing an employment agency on Facebook for the area, I decided to carry out further research. I contacted the agency and discovered a €300 cost for their service to aid me to employment and accommodation. Arrogant with my experience in Hospitality and my capability to handle life problems, I decided to carry out my travels without the expense of travel agency support, that evening I booked my flight to Palma and became uncontrollably excited with my decision. Knowledgeable on the 2 and a half hour flight from Dublin to Palma, I felt safe with the distance between me and home while also feeling I have truely travelled abroad, a short journey to England did not feel enough for me.
Planning my move was a failure as all attempts of planning my location of residence resulted in 2 bottles of wine and bad headache the next day. Time flew passed and next I knew I was on a plane with my hand luggage, handbag and a hotel booked in Palma for one night. To anyone planning their move, I would highly advise great detail be looked upon to save the sinking fear of when you land abroad. Although my travel move worked in my favour, my life could have been a bit easier, now seeming silly, these vital questions never crossed my mind.
Research questions that makes life easier to know;
- What language does the area speak?
- Is there a resort with my native language/ language I know?
- What accommodation can I find available?
- What area is advertising the most employment?
- What transport is available to the area?
- What is the climate?
- Is the area seasonal work or all year?
Upon landing in Palma I was met by 3 surprises, my taxi did not speak English, the deteriorating feeling of dry heat and my booked hotel for the night was boarded up, nice yeah? Alone, unable to breathe in the unexpected climate but determined I asked the taxi driver to circle the block for another hotel, understanding my hand gestures we found a hotel just around the corner where I then spent the night. Awakening amused at my welcoming to travel, I set out early to find employment, one problem however, I dont speak Spanish. Advised to resorts further south of the island by reception, I checked out of my hotel slightly embarrassed by my ignorance of the island I came to seek employment in, I boarded a bus and set off, stopping at a location I was drawn to, very pretty and relaxing, Palmanova. It was only from then I began to build my security as I obtained a job and was provided accommodation through my employment. I will admit, I was lucky.
Save yourself the surprise and the need to motivate yourself, travel smart and know your location. If the country you plan to travel to speaks a different language, try learn a little bit, locals love this and its always nice to try get involved in the culture before you even land. I advise duolingo when undertaking a new language, a great application that obtains multiple language courses for free! Although I was lucky, I have witnessed workers forced to leave the Island due to lack of accommodation. Do your research, set your standards and find what suits you best. Time is an element when travelling, although cruel, June is possibly too late in a summer season resort to find appropriate accommodation, the power of social media can be of great help as people love to advise others on their knowledge of the area.
Accommodation questions to ask yourself;
- Are you comfortable living with strangers?
- Are you comfortable sharing a bedroom?
- Are you comfortable sleeping on q couch?
- How much can you afford?
- What sites provide the information you need?
- Are you willing to pay an agency fee?
- Does your employment offer accommodation?
- When is the best time to travel to the area of interest.
Not all employments offer accommodation and even when they do some can be very, well, cramped, such as a 2 bedroom apartment shared with 6 strangers. Difficult to decide the end decision depends on your type of personel. I like my space and comfort, for these reasons I invested in a 6 month contract through the saftey of Julia Winters agency for my second season in Mallorca. Dont let your first initial experience scare you when you’re abroad, try expel the need of relying on others and think logically, the same issues you encounter abroad applies when moving out of your mothers home to your own, its just making it work.
With accommodation to decide on, work is a main priority when you travel abroad to seek employment, although accommodation is equally important, ask yourself what type of employment and factors of employment you require. Keep calm and confidant, there is always a job available for those who are willing to look.
- What position can I do? (Bar,cleaning,labour)
- How much will I be paid?
- Is the establishment nice?
- Do they provide accommodation?
- How often do they pay? (Many places pay by the month)
- When does the establishment close? (Regarding summer/winter resorts)
- What hours am I required to work?
- Is a contract of employment issued?
Although a hotel for 4 days can result in a high cost, its a cost worth paying until employment is established to then move forward on the decision of agency apartments or accommodation provided by your employer or private rentals for workers.
Main points to remember when travelling abroad;
- Educate yourself on your surroundings.
- Know where you would like to begin to build your experience.
- Be aware of your options available.
- Keep living costs cheap until you begin to settle.
- Goal set daily.
- Talk to and meet people.
- Explore your location of choice.
- Keep an open mind.
- Dont worry when you meet bumps in the road.
- Stay positive.
- Have fun!!!
We all have good days and bad days, such as my welcome to travel, I had the opportunity to run home to my mommy screaming but what good would that do? As I overcome them bumps in the road when I began my adventure I felt unstoppable in the world of adventure, self reliant and hungry for more I stood with great pride looking at the life I built around me and never looked back on my decision to get up and go! Life has its ups and downs dispite your location or comfort zone, as long as you stay positive and keep having fun nothing can ever stand in your way! With that I finish with my ending advice, work to live, don’t live to work.