Australia has always been a country I have dreamed of visiting, and half way through my final year at University, I decided to make my dream reality. After graduating in July 2012, I worked as a graduate teaching assistant in a Primary school in Bradford for a year, in order to save up enough money to get here. I knew that I was eligible for the one year working holiday visa, so after some research and organising, I arranged an au pair position for a family in Brisbane. For me, au pairing suited my needs well, allowing me to continue working with children, ensuring some financial stability as well as giving me sufficient time to explore the beautiful sights of Australia!
There are many things that I love about Brisbane (and Australia in general), but one thing that particularly stands out is how much time you can spend outside. Having arrived in the fierce heat of Queensland’s summer, in true British style, I relished every moment possible to be outside; opting to walk places instead of driving purely because it was such a novelty to go for a walk without a coat or umbrella! As a young ‘traveller’ here to see as much of the country as possible, I found that Brisbane was perfectly located to access many beautiful locations: Fraser, Morton & Stradbroke Island, Airlie Beach, the Sunshine Coast, to name just a few. It is incredible the amount of places I have been able to visit!
Even though I knew the maximum time I would be in Australia was one year, it did not make the goodbyes any easier or less emotional! I settled in remarkably well and adapted quickly to the Aussie ways, but I soon realised just how much I missed my friends and family. Having taken a ‘step back’ from my busy and sometimes stressful life in the UK, it really made me appreciate all of the caring and loving people that I had in my life. If only I could transport all the wonderful people from home to Australia so I could be closer to them! Also, I absolutely LOVE the climate here in Brisbane, but I do miss an English summer evening, where it is still light at 9pm. Another small thing that I miss about the UK: cling film (glad/cling wrap) that works!!!
If I had to give advice to other people in a similar situation, with similar ideas and aspirations, I would tell them to be brave, take some scary steps, and embrace everything that this amazing country offers you. Don’t be afraid to turn your dreams into reality and with determination, you will get there! Keep on going through the difficult times – sometimes you have to ride out the stressful weeks before everything falls into place J