Well I managed to organise, at this stage, 5 months aboard in about 8 weeks, including receiving my passport back from the Indian embassy today – well it is in Brisbane with my brother, Tim.
I decided during Christmas 2013 that I needed to fulfil my life long dream to travel the world and live aboard. As soon I knew my leave was approved (thank you Meryl) I set about applying for my UK work visa as the research I had done showed it could take up to six weeks to organise. I successfully obtained a “Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa”. Basically this means that I can work in the UK for 2 years. The paperwork side of things and the the UK embassy website don’t make things easy to understand so I decided to contact an agency to help me with the process.
BritBound were fantastic and well worth the extra cost – I completed their simplified but numerous forms and they processed the application on my behalf. To apply for the Tier 5 visa I had to be under 31 years of age, prove I had $3000 AUS in the bank, submit a recent passport photo, send my passport to the Philippines (where they process the visas), travel to Brisbane and visit the British Consulate to have a biometric test done (it took all of 15 minutes)…then cross my fingers for weeks and hope I was one of the 10,000 Aussies and Kiwis to be “let in to the Mother Country” for the year! The whole process cost approximately $600 and it was great feeling to receive that email to say YES!
When I do arrive in the UK, BritBound have organised an appointment for me to visit a bank and open an account, they have put me in touch with a recruitment agency and I get invited to a welcome lunch and get to meet with other “BritBounders”.
Knowing where I wanted to go and planning my first leg of the trip was very easy – it definitely had to be Asia to begin with and I knew wanted to see the Taj Mahal. I’ve had a picture of the Taj pinned on the desk for the last 12 months or so.
I mainly did my research via my Lonely Planet books, hours and hours of googling and honestly everything had been planned in my head for years. I booked my flights and accommodation over the net for Bali and Singapore; but used a travel agent to book the tours of Laos and China to India and to organise my visas for Vietnam, China and India. I booked online the volunteer placement with the elephants in Cambodia and I’m winging it through Vietnam.
You also may be interested to know it has cost me about $1600 to get up to date with my vaccinations – thats including the surgery fees. It wasn’t cheap to be immunised against Hep A & B, Typhoid, Boostrix, Polio, Meningicoccal, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies. I also have my Malaira tablets ready to go when need be.
I started my first course of needles in late January and finished them last Thursday. I think the worst of it was five needles in a row…yes it did hurt. The Yellow Fever shot – which was another trip to Brisbane – was less painful then a mozzie bite. I now have to carry with me a little yellow book which proves all of my immunisations. It will be extremely important for when I travel to Africa as I need proof of a Yellow Fever shot to get back into Australia.
On my several trips to Brisbane I started buying items such as a back pack, padlocks, micro fibre towels, a first aid kit, trekking boots etc and now this is currently ready to pack/jam/I’ll make it fit into my back pack.
So there you go…hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything!