One of our ex-students updates us on his Gap Year experience!
Ok so I chose a gap year because I knew I’d like a break before throwing myself right into uni. Also I came to the conclusion that you’re only young once and I want to do as many crazy things as I can while I’m at this age.
So with this in mind and with the laid back/big party reputation Australia has, I booked my one way ticket to Sydney. To be honest that’s really where my planning stopped…I mean I got my working holiday visa organised and I set up an Australian bank account but that’s it really. Anyway I think I arrived on the 29th of July. Obviously my first priority was to find somewhere to sleep so I caught a train to central station (seemed like the most sensible place to head to) and then spent the next 2 hours dragging my suitcase around Sydney. Also the wheels broke so I was left carrying the huge thing down George Street (the Princes Street of Sydney). Eventually after asking for a few directions I found a hostel to check in to. (Staying in a hostel is a must. The people you meet/the nights out you have are insane).
Anyway I got kind of carried away and ran out of money in week two. Got a bit paranoid when all I had was $20 in my wallet and I had no return flight. So in a desperate attempt to make money I ended up getting a job as a door to door sales person (A low point in my life). I went through a couple of other jobs during this time but they were all part time and badly paid. So I was left scrapping until one day when I went to a house to attempt to sell them something. I got on really well with the guy and after a while of talking to him it turned out he owned a removals company and he offered me a job! And this is the job I still have today. It’s hard work but ridiculously well paid. Also with the diet I now have away from home it really helps me stay fit.
And from then on this awesome life has just snowballed. I’ve managed to save a huge amount, I’ve met tons of new friends, I bought my very own surf board last month and life’s just perfect really. Also with four friends I met through work, sport etc we’ve all moved into an amazing flat just 10mins walk from the city centre. So I now have my own place/double bed! Some of my mates are all heading out in January to join me. So our future plans are to party it up in Sydney till around March when we’re then going to buy a campervan and drive up the west coast for 2/3 months before coming home! I’m sure we’ll get up to a lot more shenanigans before then though
And I’m afraid I don’t really have much advice for anyone else planning to get away for their gap year. I mean I suppose you could organise a hostel, save more money before coming out and perhaps even have a job waiting for you when you get here. But looking back at it now, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I mean it was hard when I first arrived but in that time I learnt a lot about life and a lot about myself (I even impressed myself at some points). And now I think I’m better for the experience. Also I have so many crazy memories from it! It’s still insane to think I managed to start a whole new life on the other side of the world. You really just have to make the trip yours, be prepared to meet new people and to be ready for something completely new. It’s a crazy life I’m living right now and trust me, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Anyway I’m gutted to hear its cold back home. Its 30 degrees here and I’m just off to Bondi for a surf.