Updated: May 1, 2020
So before I get into location, work and event specific posts I figure I should start with the most recent and biggest adventure while its on the forefront of my mind.
Now don't get me wrong, I loved organising awards shows and it was a particular rush planning one totally from scratch but with a work/life ratio of about 90/10 I could feel myself burning out. A few dreamy ideas in the back of my mind I kept telling myself I would wait until after I returned from my (already booked) overseas vacation.
Coincidence or fate it was just over a month before I left for the UK when my boss called me into his office and made my position redundant. Now full disclosure in a particularly stressed out and impulsive moment I had already applied for a working holiday visa in Canada not expecting much to come from it (it was my first attempt) but boy was I wrong it took a few days for my name to be pulled from the lottery to apply and a few short weeks for the Visa to come through with an email stating I could come anytime over the next year.
I can be indecisive (my sun and moon Gemini not helping this) but once I make a decision my determination to follow through sets in. Getting made redundant and the fact that I hadn't booked flights home from the UK were signs enough for me and I made the decision to extend my month and a half holiday to a 2 and a bit year working holiday.
Things may have changed but the process to apply to work and live within our commonwealth sibling nation as an Australian is relatively easy...
1. The visa I went for is called the International Experience visa and it all starts here 2. After a few questions to prove your eligibility, you enter the 'pool' and wait for your name to be drawn and an invitation to apply to be emailed to you
3. Pulling together all the documentation comes next and as this requires things like official police checks (and if you plan to work in certain fields) a medical check this part can take some time
4. Once all documents are submitted it's another wait before you are sent the approval and a certificate to bring with you when you cross the border.
It is worth noting that the process isn't cheap and despite it only taking a few short weeks for me it can vary dramatically.
Now making this decision within a month of leaving the country didn't make things easy, not only did I have to fit what I thought I might need for the next 2 years into 2 suitcases and a carry on but I had to say goodbye to my friends and family not just for a month but for over 2 years.
Packing for a country that experiences seasonal extremes, without a job and any really solid plans is something I will cover later but for now please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the application process, my decision to tick "living abroad" in Canada or just motivation to take the plunge.
Final note... I had a moment of panic in London checking in for my flight to Toronto Canada thanks to an airline check in desk agent questioning the fact I didn't appear to have an ESTA and that I may not be able to fly. Thankfully her manager had encountered this before and the ESTA attached to the International Experience Visa for Canada was provided upon entry interview and approval at customs at the Canadian airport entering the country.