“One year ago, I took a big leap. A 10,000 mile leap. With an enormous appetite for trying new things, exploring new places and meeting new people, I decided that moving to Sydney, Australia was the next step for me on my ‘to be determined’ life path. While weighing options, continuing forward with my career or continuing to grow through travel and experimental experiences, one soon became the obvious choice. Star aligned with contacts I had professionally and personally, leading me to both submit a life decision and an application for an Australian Working-Holiday Visa.
With the visa in hand, all that needed to be done was, well, everything. Everything from the flights, to the jobs, to the apartment, to the friends, to the bank account, to the taxes...I could certainly keep going. With the world at my fingertips (google), the research began. Countless forums, blogs, how-to guides, facebook networking for any and all insight on my future home or how to best orchestrate the multiple strings needed throughout the ‘migration’ process were just some of the ways in which I tried to manage this (to some) crazy move. It truly is incredible how many resources we do have in today’s generation, someone’s information can easily, and without even knowing it, can become incredibly insightful for a stranger halfway across the world. Pretty cool.
The date was picked, the flight was made and the massive google doc of everything I had researched had been completed. Before I knew it, my one-way flight of mystery was boarding. I walked down the airbridge, stepping closer and closer to the absolute unknown with a job, friends, a home.
Within one week of securely planting my feet in Sydney, I wasted no time getting settled and started in this new Australian life. Since I had traveled through Australia before as a backpacker, my need to take the time to travel more was placed on the backburner and away I went, learning how to prepare my CV the ’Australian way', understanding their job hiring process, physically dropping off resumes, looking up housing through local search engines and apps, trying to be social and enjoy the amazingness of a new place. Essentially, trying my best to sell myself as an American ex-pat professionally and socially to the Australian market. Thankfully, things fell into place.
Shortly after my arrival, I landed two jobs that fit the bill and my background and in just two weeks I was working in Sydney, about to sign a lease for an apartment, reuniting with old contacts and making new friends. There is, of course, the joy of figuring out non-resident taxes, attempting sponsorship, switching jobs after six months just when you get comfortable...so whether you take it as it comes, pre-plan or maybe just wing it, it will come together. Admittedly, there were times when I felt incredibly uninformed, but you ask questions, talk to the right people and next thing you know, you’re the one telling someone else in a similar position all about the immigration policies. Now, with my one year working-holiday visa under wraps, it looks like I am not ready to leave…
Cheers to Australia Year Two.
- Sara Everest Becker