My friend from university had been considering getting a Working Holiday visa and coming to meet me down under, but spent a good few months talking herself out of it. I managed to corner her to find out exactly what was so offputting to her, and she said she was scared of leaving all her friends and family and moving to a place where she knew next to no one. I responded to her fears by explaining that if friends are her concern, man up and come down!
No one should be put off the idea of working abroad because of these reasons. Especially with the plethora of free messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger available, gone are the days of manically checking the postbox for a letter from loved ones, plus with FaceTime and Skype, you can basically be back in the living room with Ma and Pa or down The Red Lion with all your homies whenever you want!
If anything, being abroad with minimal friends works in your favour when meeting new people as you’re already removed from your comfort zone and your mind is forced to open to new experiences. I spoke to everyone at new jobs, messaged old acquaintances on Facebook who are in Australia too, said yes to every invitation even if it was on the other side of the city (and if I wasn’t enjoying myself I used the excuse of infrequent public transport and snuck away), made friends with the friends of my new friends, and so on. Melburnians are some of the most hospitable people I’ve met and within no time I found myself spoilt for choice of intivations to coffee dates, exersise partnerships, day trips, sporting events and weekend Airbnb.com.au staycations.
Fast forward 10 months and I now have a concrete and diverse group of wonderful friends, both Aussie and expat, who I will be devastated to say goodbye to. This Working Holiday has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life, because of the friends I have made and memories I will always have with them.