3 Potential Destinations Abroad
Reason for Appeal: If I’m packing up and moving somewhere impulsively, it might as well be on the other side of the world.
- New cultural experience, without a language barrier. (although Aussie slang seems a bit confusing – “cobber” “chooks”?!)
- Koalas! Kangaroos! Swimming with Dolphins! Sultry Australian men! (!!!)
- Aussies tend to live an outdoorsy lifestyle, with a vast array of opportunities for activity.
- Australia is known for it’s solid government, and strong values. They even make you sign a Values Statement when applying for a Visa.
- Speaking of Visas: It is relatively easy to obtain a Working Holiday Visa in Australia as an American. You can apply online, which is insane compared to most other foreign countries, many of which require you apply in-person. This Visa would permit me to work in Australia for 12 months, with no more than 6 months per employer, but no other major restrictions.
- It’s Winter there right now, which means…*Googles weather*… wait, nope, still about 70 degrees fahrenheit. (Should this be a pro?)
- Australia is 17 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. This would make it very difficult to speak to friends and family in the States.
- Manual cars are standard in Australia. I’d need to learn how to use a stick shift before my departure.
- Plane tickets departing the USA range from $800 to 1000 one-way. I would also need to pay the Visa application fee, which is about $400.
Reason for Appeal: Living in China would present the perfect opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese and be exposed to a unique and beautiful culture.
- China is rich in both culture and history, with incredible architecture and unique practices.
- Being able to learn Mandarin Chinese in an atmosphere of complete immersion.
- The cost of living in China is extremely low. A boxed lunch is said to be $2-3 USD, and a fair quality one-bedroom apartment is the equivalent of $100-150 USD/week.
- It would be an entirely unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- This move would only be possible if I accepted a position as an Au Pair. China supports cultural exchanges (as an au pair or ESL teacher), but finding work there otherwise would be impossible, and I need to continue supporting myself.
- Culture shock would be extreme and unavoidable.
- Isolation is a big possibility. Being far from friends and family in a culture so different would be no doubt difficult.
- Chinese families are appreciative of having a native English speaker come into their home, but their expectations for work load would require some de-Westernization on my part. The interactions that I’ve had with families in China thus far have been somewhat like this: 2 days off per week? Ha! Set work schedule? No, there to work when we need you.
Reason for Appeal: Land of culture, beautiful architecture, and of arguable importance: delicious food and beer. (It’s totally important.)
- To be honest, I don’t know a lot about German culture. That would make it exponentially more exciting.
- The little I do know, is that they have some of the best beer and food in the world (saurkraut? nom nom)
- Germany is one of few European countries that is easy to enter as a US citizen. No visa required, and a tourist visa for 90 days is issuable at the airport upon arrival.
- Germans have a reputation for being strict and structured. I doubt that they would appreciate the free spirited “productive but unstructured” mentality I have developed through living in San Francisco, nor my occasional sleeping in until noon.
- Though I would love to learn German, it isn’t a language that particularly appeals to me.
Which one would you choose? Somewhere else entirely?
For now, I’m still teeter-tottering between destinations and other life decisions.
I picked up my final pay check. It was smaller than I expected due to a contractual misunderstanding, but amidst unemployment these last few weeks, I’ve been hustling through odd jobs and the “gigs” section on Craigslist.
Yard cleaning? Sure! Photography assistant for a bondage photographer? Great! Maybe those knot-tying skills will come in handy when I’m the captain of a ship. I even came up with a creative business idea, but no one replied.
This girl is going exotic places, and I’m determined to work my ass off to make it work.