For those of you who have been following my blog or Instagram for a while, you know that London is my dream city that became a reality. So why did I leave? Sadly, I only had access to a two year Working Holiday Visa; though I am eternally grateful that I even had that opportunity. When it came time to decide where to move, Dublin was high on my list. I could get another two years, and it would be the closest to London, culturally.
Having met so many Australians while in London, I started to consider getting their one-year working holiday visa before moving to Dublin. It seems like a very odd choice for a girl who wants to be a London girl, but here was my reasoning:
- Explore a New Side of the World
- Chase Summer
- Melbourne is Culturally Close to London
- A Gap Year of Sorts
- Health Conscious Country
- Connections Already
- Break from London
- Taking a Leap of Faith
Well, I’ve been here three months now and have no intention to leave anytime soon! I fully expected this to be a “working holiday” but have been quick to make a proper life that I love here.
I’d been warned it’s quite hard to get a career-related job in Australia as an ex-pat, as the working holiday visa only allows you to work at one company for 6 months. There wasn’t much faith I’d be able to progress my career here, but I figured I’d give it a go just in case they were wrong. They were.
After working for 2 years at Ogilvy in London I felt confident in my experience and “cold emailed” a bunch of advertising agencies telling them why they should hire me.
As that application process went on, I managed to secure a freelance writing gig at a startup where I wrote web content for their clients, as well as doing some branding and strategy consulting. It was a great gig to keep me busy until I got a full-time job.
Three weeks in, on a Friday, I secured an interview at Y&R. They just had a position open up that needed to be filled. Monday rolled around and I got the offer; which was also a promotion from Account Executive to Account Manager! I’ve been working there for two months now and it’s been a dream. I’m given so much responsibility and I can see the impact I’m having, Sponsorship is the goal!
I found a short-term rental in St. Kilda quite quickly. It was exactly what I needed while I found a longer-term solution. The date that sublet ran out, my friend’s housemate was moving countries so I took his room! I now live in a beautiful 3 bedroom home in Middle Park. I have to pinch myself at the fact that I live a 3-minute walk to a beautiful beach. It’s also pretty great living with friends.
There is so much to explore in Melbourne. It has such a fantastic culture; similar to London, in that there is always something to do. I find people mingle a lot more here, which is welcoming. From rooftop bars in the city to riverside bars to beachside bars, the alcoholic spirit I had in the UK has not faded.
The other day a group of us went stand-up paddleboarding, devoured fish & chips with a Corona sitting along the beach boardwalk, and then went for a swim. Living here feels like being on a never-ending holiday. I’m still in awe that this is my life now.
It wouldn’t be right for me not to mention this aspect of my life. Let’s just say, there is someone in my life and no dating apps have been needed. ;)
I expected to be travelling a lot more, but with the goal of getting sponsored I am putting all my effort into my career for the 6-months, I’m allowed to work there. Also, Melbourne is fantastic this time of year. My 6-month contract ends by May, which is when Melbourne transitions to Winter, so that would be a great time for me to do a big trip to Asia. In the meantime, I’m exploring around Melbourne and will soon book some weekend trips around Australia. My travel bug has not disappeared, it’s merely on hold.
My lifestyle has simply changed. I feel more easygoing, yet more ambitious, more health-conscious, more outdoorsy, and ultimately less fixated on social media. I’ve posted a bit on Instagram since living here, but I find I am on my phone a whole lot less. It’s nice to refocus on the things that make me happy and continue discovering new things to add to that list.
Have you ever moved somewhere that completely exceeded your expectations? Or vice versa?