We all dream of heading Down Under for an extended period of time to explore everything Australia has to offer. But we’re also pretty good at finding excuses not to take the mammoth plane journey to the other side of the world. After all, it’s a pretty costly and time-consuming experience – no matter how picture-perfect the beaches are.
Even though Australia offers something for everyone, the whole country feels designed for the young, free, and adventurous. So here’s why you should dust off your passport, grab your backpack and head to Australia before you hit the big three-zero (and the responsibilities that often come with it).
1. Your 20s are made for adventure
It’s true, adventures can and should be had at any age, but the 20s are a decade where everything seems a tad more exciting and carefree. And what’s the best place to channel your inner adventurer? Australia, hands down. Adventure is literally in the air (or the water) – just ask the many skydivers, surfers and scuba divers.
2. Ready-made visas for 18-30-year-olds
Simply put: You have to be under 30 to receive a Working Holiday Visa. These year-long visas allow you to get flexible jobs – like bartending, fruit-picking and babysitting – around Australia. It makes it super easy for you to meet new people while earning some money to travel around this awesome country.
3. Work, work, work
If you really want to go beyond the tourist trail, you need to go before life becomes all work, work, work. That’s why your 20s are such a special time. It’s a lot easier to take a career break sooner rather than later, and today, companies look fondly on those with international experience under their belt.
4. Responsibility is coming for you
It’s much easier and more fun to travel for a few months without worrying about vacation days or the cost of flying a family half way across the world (the costs really add up, ask any friend with kids). Sure, everyone has something holding them back, but it’s harder to get caught up in life’s annoyances when wearing flip-flops, sporting the beachiest of beach hair, and having BBQs for months on end.
5. Go long, go far
You’re not limited to Australia. It might be a hard country to pull yourself away from, but you can use your gap year there to explore New Zealand’s adrenaline-filled activities, Fiji’s idyllic coastal retreats, and South East Asia’s booming cities. The flights are still a little lengthy, but you have to seize the opportunity while you’re down there.
Why wait to hold a cuddly koala? Seriously – the time is now.
7. Help combat climate change
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s natural wonders, but it’s disappearing at an alarming rate due to global warming. Australia is home to a number of jaw-dropping spectacles that are under threat, and it’s important to visit them in the greenest way possible: Make your trip long rather than short (to avoid doing several long-haul flights in a year and maximizing your time there), donate to a charity that plants trees to offset your flight’s emissions, make sure you always explore ethically and…
8.… sign up for rewarding volunteer projects
Australia has a diverse array of volunteer opportunities that are ready-made for young travelers, including helping to protect coral reefs, lending a hand at a music festival or volunteering at a farm. Giving something back to the culture you are calling home not only feels awesome, but also provides you with valuable experience for your next career step by boosting both your language and practical skills.