Apologies for the break in communication. One of the hazards of working a 0 hour contract is that every now and then you end up working a huge number of hours leaving little time for other things. I can’t complain though, too many hours is much better than too few.
Anyway, this week I’m going to start the first in a series of posts about travelling. The reason for this being that in the new year I’ll be heading over to the other side of the world, first visiting Singapore and Borneo for a short holiday, and then heading down to Cairns in Australia, to commence a year on a working holiday visa, working my way (both literally and figuratively) down the east coast whilst doing as much ecological volunteering as I can get my hands on.
To kick off this series, I thought I’d talk a bit about my travelling plans.
I think travelling is one of those things which many people dream of doing, but relatively few actually manage to do it. Sure, it seems exotic and adventurous to head off to another part of the world and live there for a while, but then you’d have to leave your job, leave your friends (unless they fancy coming with you), put family stuff on hold etc etc. It just seems rather difficult. Maybe it’s best left to the movies and those students, fresh out of school, who don’t know what they want to do in life…
…or maybe it’s an opportunity to grab with both hands and give it a go whenever you can. For me, it just so happens that events have transpired in such a way that I have the time, motivation, inclination and ability to head off on a merry jaunt. Of course I’m not just going just for the sake of not being in the UK anymore. Australasia has always held a certain fascination, being an exotic land very different to “good ol’ blighty”, and I’ve always wanted to travel there (largely I think thanks to Mr Attenborough and his fantastic documentaries). For biologists, that region of the world is commonly viewed as the epitome of biological diversity, where every other insect, plant, and mushroom you see is new to science (OK, that’s possibly not quite correct, but you get the idea). It’s rather obvious therefore, why a biologist such as myself would want to travel there. In particular, I’m finding that I could do with some more practical experience of hands on conservation, and therefore I’m aiming to get involved in as much volunteering (and ecology work if there’s any going) as I can, while I’m out there.
This is where the Australian working holiday visa enters in. On a working holiday visa you can work in Australia for up to 12 months (with various restrictions and the possibility to extend it to a second year) whilst travelling around. You therefore have the opportunity to work in a wide range of jobs and to see a vast number of places with relative ease
I’m not an experienced traveller, having never been outside Europe thus far, and therefore I didn’t want to throw myself in at the deep end straight away. Australia seems to be the standard country in which travellers cut their teeth (where did that expression originate from?), being well travelled, with an awful lot of “backpacker infrastructure”, and being an English speaking country (so if/when things go horribly wrong it shouldn’t be difficult to sort out issues). Of course this has the drawback that the culture is not massively different from that of the UK, but I’m OK with that.
So that’s vaguely what’s going on. The next few posts are going to detail a little bit more about the travel plans: what I’m aiming to do, what I’m planning to take, where I’m aiming to get to, and anything else I can think of along the way.
Until next time