I’m Melanie, and as John mentioned in his introduction, I’m currently living and working in Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa. My decision to move to Melbourne was easy; I visited Melbourne in 2013 and fell in love with its natural and man-made beauty, cultural diversity and laid back atmosphere. I knew I had to live the Melburnian dream before I reached 31 (a requirement of the visa). Actually getting here proved more challenging, leaving my beloved friends, family, job and comfortable familiarity to dive into the unknown. A few points of organisation during my final months were key to shooting my stress levels down and excitement up.
Firstly, applying for the 417 visa was simply done online on Border.gov.au and my squeaky clean record meant it was granted in seconds. It entitles you to work and stay in Australia for a year from the day you arrive, and a possibility to extend another year if you meet certain requirements.
Secondly, Skyscanner.com provided a genius way of planning my route down under to squeeze extra travelling in. With a month in mind you can view flight options from your city of choice to “everywhere” (yes, that’s an option) and book flights based on the cheapest places and dates. I ended up with an incredible 2 month flight itinerary I’d have never imagined without Skyscanner: London-Las Vegas-Hawaii-Tokyo-Hong Kong-Bali-Melbourne for a laughably low cost!
Thirdly, I wanted to secure professional roles in Melbourne. However, business attire can be pricey and thanks to my loaded itinerary, my budget would be stretched once I arrived. Equally I didn’t want to crush smart clothes into the bottom of a backpack for 2 months, taking up valuable bikini and flipflop space. As I know someone in Melbourne, a friend suggested sending a suitcase ahead. Best decision ever! Numerous quotes and reviews revealed that Sendmybag.com was reasonably priced and trustworthy; in hindsight I completely agree! Request a quote based on size and weight of your case, complete and print delivery and customs forms (the website clearly guides you through), arrange a pick up time from your house or place of work, and the case arrives a few days later at the receiver’s address! It was simple, speedy and hassle free. I could mindlessly ram my bag full of hippie beachwear, with my snappy outfits there to greet me down under!