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We caught up with Jade again, after her amazing experience on Work Australia - this is what she had to say...
So after spending my first 6 weeks or so traveling down the illustrious East Coast, it was time to come back to reality, (almost), and begin to look for a job and somewhere to live in Melbourne. Voted the Worlds Most Liveable City, Melbourne seemed like a pretty good place to settle, and it didn't take me long to realise why this amazing city was named as such....
A few days of wondering around Melbourne and I'd found a flat in the centre of the city, just opposite the iconic Flinders Street Station, with two other BUNAC girls. Next, after a long week of printing off and handing in CVs to nearly every cafe and restaurant I came across, I managed to find a job in the beach side suburb of St Kilda, at a lovely little cafe just minutes from the beach.
At this point I felt I had the best of both worlds, living in amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, and working in a laid-back, friendly, suburb just by the beach. So I was all set up and ready to enjoy my first Aussie Christmas and new year!
Finding a waiting job in Melbourne is pretty competitive. Although there are tonnes of hospitality jobs, everybody wants them... Who wouldn't prefer a job where you spend all day chatting to other backpackers and local Aussies, rather than being stuck in an air-conditioned office calling people who do not want to be called?!? As I say, it's pretty much by chance that you manage to get these jobs but there are certain tips I can offer to help you out:
It really is worth putting the effort into finding a nice job. I absolutely love my job and it has totally added to my experience out here, hence why I have stuck with the same job for over 5 months now. I have met friends for life who I've worked with, and got to chat to so many interesting people from all over the world, locals, and those just passing through. Who says a job should just be for earning money to support your travels? It should also be a part of your travel experience and what has made your time working abroad more worth while.
So after 3 months living in the CBD, exploring the laneways, street art, architecture, cafes, libraries, markets, and parks on my days off, our lease was up and it was time to move out. Next I was to move into a share house with another of my BUNAC friends in Richmond. With 10+ people in the house and sharing a room with my travel buddy, I almost felt like I was back at Uni. House/Room shares are a good way to go as a backpacker. They are usually cheaper, and you don't need to put down a huge bond or sign a long lease like you do with a flat. So this was us sorted for the next 6 weeks, after which my friend would be heading home and it was time to move on, again.
Although the share house had some down sides, like being constantly messy, potentially having to wait for a shower or to cook a meal, we managed to make some great friends, have some fun house parties, and grew to love another area of the city we hadn't previously explored. Richmond is a great suburb, with some fantastic bars, music venues, and Vietnamese food. It was also where we were when the AFL (Aussie footy) season began, which automatically made us Richmond Tigers supporters, so we donned our Tigers scarves and headed off to a few matches at the iconic MCG, which was a lot of fun!
In Richmond we were also just a short tram ride away from Chapel Street. A famous Melbourne street spanning over nearly 4 suburbs, packed full of restaurants, bars, cafes, pubs, coffee shops, clothes shops, quirky shops, op shops, vintages shops.... you name it!
After the 6 weeks in Richmond, my friend left for home, and I could have ended up moving into a hostel for my final 6 weeks in Melbourne, after which I was planning to finish work, do some more traveling and then head home. However, luckily for me, I had 3 friends from home who had just arrived in Melbourne on their working holiday visa and had signed a lease for 6 months on a flat in St. Kilda, just around the corner from where I work. Even luckier for me, I wasn't stuck on their couch for the next six weeks, they had 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each, which meant a bed for me!
So my final few weeks in Melbourne have mostly be spent in the beautiful, and ever vibrant St. Kilda, working just round the corner from home. Spending most of my time walking along the coast, chilling out in cafes, enjoying the last of my time with great work friends, and being well looked after by my lovely flat mates!
Throughout my 5 months here in Melbourne, there has constantly been events and festivals going on, almost every single week there is something new.... Australian open Tennis, St. Kilda Free Festival, Melbourne White Night Festival, F1 Grand Prix, Moomba, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Melbourne Fashion Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival... And the list goes on!
Another thing I have noticed about this incredible city is that there is something for everyone... It is A City of Sport, A City of Street Art, A City of Hidden Bars and Cafes, A City of Architecture, A City of Coffee, and more!
If you would like the experience of a lifetime in Australia, like Jade, then check out Work Australia to find out more information.