A Year Down Under

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Forget Europe and North America. If getting lost is a personal passion of yours, then there’s no better place to do it than down under. This continent has a population of just 25 million, making it perhaps the wildest place you can go in the West.

Spending a week there is an experience, but going to Australia for a year can be life-changing. It’s home to some of the most varied landscapes in the world, making it a must-visit location for anyone who loves hiking or the rugged beauty of nature.

Stories From Down Under

Spending two weeks in Perth or the Gold Coast is a vacation. But enjoying twelve months Down Under is an adventure – something you can talk to your friends and family about for decades to come.

But what could motivate such an epic trip?

The Travelogue

One option would be to create a travelogue, chronically day-by-day what you do and where you go. Australia is one of those places that always offers you a new vista and rolls out before you like some giant carpet.

For instance, you could start your journey in a tame location, like Adelaide, and make your way north. You could document how the landscape changes from something that looks vaguely European into a reddish Martian-like desert.

Or you could go from West to East, through the uninhabited heart of the country. Your travelogue could contain snaps of wilderness that nobody has seen for decades (and certainly not photographed). The story could be one of your struggles against the elements in a harsh and unforgiving land.

The Coming-of-Age Story

Another option that might motivate an epic trip to Australia would be a coming-of-age story. You could spend a year in the outback facing challenges and encountering situations that you could never come across back home.

Yes, Aussie culture might feel a little familiar back home. But the laid-back surfing and lounging on Bondi Beach could be contrasted with hiking through the outback and learning how to cook bush meat. Six months you could be enjoying luxury, while the rest of the year could be learning survival skills and how to fend for yourself.

A Historical Novel

You could also take a trip to Australia to write a historical novel. Travelling the country might be the inspiration you need to learn about the colonisation of indigenous populations or the mad rush to find gold in the country’s interior.

How To Arrange A Year Down Under

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Those were just some ideas for what could motivate a trip to Australia. But how would you go about arranging such a trip?

Discover Your Purpose

You’ll want to consider why Australia. After all, there are plenty of other places in the world with unique cultures, varied landscapes, and engaging wildlife.

Australia is a country that offers adventure and relaxation. It’s up to you which option you want.

You should also think about whether you want to go alone or with friends. Both solo and group adventures can be character-building.

Arrange Your Visa

Next, you’ll want to arrange your visa. Like most wealthy countries, Australia is strict about who can go to the country, and how long they can stay.

If you’re under 30, you might want to opt for the working visa option. This lets you work in the country for 12 months to fund your travels and applying is relatively easy.

You can also apply for an extended tourist visa for up to 12 months. These let you travel across the whole country during a gap year, but you can’t work for any Australian companies.

You could also explore other visa types if you want to stay longer. Australia doesn’t have a golden visa anymore, but you can stay in the country long-term if you have an employment contract.

Budget Carefully

You should also budget carefully for your trip. Add up how much things like transportation, accommodation, food, activities and emergencies will cost. If you are planning on taking internal flights while you are there between places like Sydney and Darwin, include those, too.

Remember, the prices in Australia for the things you need might be quite different from back home. The country is a long way from the rest of the world and, therefore, can sometimes have higher import costs than more connected places, like Europe.

Plan Your Accommodation

You should also plan your accommodation. If you are planning to stay in the same place, then you might want to get a long-term rental. These can be great if you are looking to maintain a similar lifestyle back home.

According to Seven Seas Worldwide, these arrangements are becoming more common, and you can move your possessions internationally.

“Lots of people want to take their lives with them when spending a year Down Under,” the company says. “And now it’s possible, thanks to container shipping. Adventurers simply load their belongings into the international freight system and have them delivered to their new address. Then, when they want to move, they can take their stuff with them again.”

If you are camping or staying in hostels, you’ll want to take a different approach. Australia, like many Western countries, offers dormitories at a low cost that you share with others.

You can also couch surf or go to families that open up their homes for willing travellers. It’s all possible.

Plan Your Itinerary

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Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that you make the most of every moment you spend in Australia. After all, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many people.

Think about what matters to you, and what you want to see. Most tourists go to the country’s most treasured hotspots, including the Sydney Opera House, Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef. However, those locations are a long way from each other, so you won’t want to do all of them over a weekend.

At the same time, you also want to go off the beaten track. That’s where Australia shines. Unlike most other countries, there are parts of it that nobody sees for years at a time, if at all, giving you a real sense of adventure.

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