start travelling and don't stop...
Anyone who has ever been backpacking knows that Aussies love to travel. Go to any hostel, anywhere on the planet and you are almost guaranteed find Australians. Go skiing anywhere in BC, for example, and you will likely be greeted "G'day mate". In Silverstar, 80% of the staff at the resort is from AUS. Yes Aussie dominate the workforce in the "canadian ski-fields" but they are similarly present in the Alps. They're leading "free walking tours" or pub-crawls in all European tourist hot-spots, from Berlin to Madrid. They are all over Greece working at bars and and beach resorts. There are droves of them living and working (and partying) in London. and naturally they are all over thailand and indonesia...In short, Aussies are everywhere...(the Aussies Im taking about are almost all young and are just abroad for the fun of it.)
When you talk to Australians in hostels (pronounced hos-tal in Aussie), there is usually about a 50% that they are on a 1+ year travelling mission. Mark, a awesome guy from Melbourne I met in budapest, is into his sixth year!!!
its awesome! When you meet Canadians or Americans however, they are almost invariably here on a 1-4 month trip, usually during there summer holiday or before they start/return to work. whats more, you meet only a fraction of Canadians when compared to how many Aussies you meet.
going abroad seems like a right of passage, an Australian bar mitzvah of sorts. its normal for Australians to go abroad for 2-5 years (sometimes longer) before heading back to Australia and "getting a real life"
why do they travel so much? why are there so many Aussies working in really cool jobs all over the world? MORE IMPORTANTLY, why don't canadians do the same???? why is it not in our culture to travel like crazy? why is it more normal for us to take trips with definite end dates...only to return home to a shitty job and begin saving up for the next trip?.
I dont know the answers. I know that personally i have noticed subliminal angst at the thought of travelling for so long...when i "should" be going back to school, getting a good job, etc. but I have had to remind myself that im in my 20s!! not my 30s. these are the years to have fun, see the world, meet lots of people, work fun jobs that pay nothing but are enjoyable.
i met an American guy named Andrew in a hostel budapest. he was from Virginia. and he is 30. he is backpacking through eastern europe and staying in hostel and living it up. why? because hes never done it before. he spent his 20s in corporate america. out of university, he became a management consultant (something I considered seriously in third year uni), moved up the ladder, made lots of money, worked long hours and had no life. did he like it? no. he said he felt like he had sold his soul. so he quit. I asked him if it would be the right decision to spend my 20s just enjoying myself and rejecting the instinct to begin climbing the corporate ladder. his answer: definitely!
so having been inspired by my conversations with Andrew, Mark and the countless of other Aussies I have met, I have decided to dedicate my twenties to being an Aussie-style nomad: travelling, working and adventuring.
Things I want to do in my 20s:
- work in the Alps (winter 09/10 baby!!!)
- work on a greek island
- live/work in South Africa (specifically Cape Town)
- live/work in Australia
- work on a luxury yacht as crew (this is what Mark did for 3 years and he made big $$$...or should i say €€€)
- teach English in Korea (or Taiwan)
-do a big backpacking tour of southeast Asia
- do a backpacking trip from Panama to LA
- buy a cheap sailboat and spend a year in the Caribbean (using money from Korea and the crewing job)
- Go to Carnival in Rio
This is my list...and i feel it is my mission to do it!! (special shout out to Jonnie Penn and the Buried Life concept)