Working Abroad in Australia; Read Ashana’s Story
Ashana Jones is our Work in Australia – Freestyle participant and has been living and working in Australia since February! Read about her experience in Australia and the jobs and experiences she has had there this year.
What has been your best job and your most challenging job?
The second job I had I would describe as my best and most challenging job. It was the best because it’s where I met my group of friends and it was challenging because of the travel and the job that was to be completed. The trip to work was an hour and a half commute; on the way back, it was 40 minutes. The most challenging part upon arriving to work was assembling 195 nail polish stands and having to place individual nail polish bottles in their rightful places on hundreds of trays–mind you, there was not much of a cooling system in the warehouse, so we were constantly sweating and drinking lots of water. I will say that after this job, I did NOT want to see another bottle of nail polish again.
What do you do with your free time?
I usually spend my free time wandering through Sydney. I’m a short walk from the Opera House and Harbor Bridge (of course everyone has to visit these two famous landmarks), a 10 minute train ride to Bondi Beach and there are plenty of parks to relax in. I also like spending afternoons with friends, from having lunch or just sitting in the park, to socializing in a local pub. With my amazing group of friends we do our usual Monday or Tuesday $5 Domino’s Pizza Day. Now this is a good deal for us travelers—it’s a filling meal on a tight budget.
What is the coolest thing you’ve gotten to see while living there?
I took a fantastic trip up into the Blue Mountains on my birthday. It was a solo trip, which made it even better because I was able to hike around the area at my own pace and see a lot. I took the train from the city and it was a long trip, but worth waking up very early. Not only was the trip amazing because it was on my birthday, but the views were breathtaking and I spent a lovely day hiking around. I spent the entire day at Scenic World, where you can take the cableway, skyway, and railway. My favorite was the skyway because you get a spectacular view of The Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls and the vast expansions of the mountains. Even the floor was see through, pretty scary seeing the 270 meter drop.
What do you miss most about home?
What I miss most about the United States, oh my, there is so many things I miss. Of course the main thing I miss the most is my family. The farthest I have ever been from them for a long period of time was a good hour away from my hometown. Living in a different country, continent and time zone, is a major distance from them. Aside from being far away from my family for this long it has helped me grow as a person and fully appreciate my spur of the moment decision to do the work and travel program.
What will you miss most about Australia?
I don’t think I will be sad to come back to the United States. Australia is a wonderful place and the people are very nice, but home is home. No matter where you go, you will always be happy to go home. My stay in this country has been wonderful so I won’t be sad to leave, I enjoyed myself, and that outweighs the sadness I would have from leaving Australia. Leaving only makes me embrace and appreciate the experiences I had on this journey and forever have great fondness for this place. I will see this country again, so no need for sadness.
What has been the best part about moving and working abroad?
The best part of going overseas is experiencing freedom, meeting new people and making long lasting friendships. No matter where you go in the city, there are a lot of travelers who are interested to hear about your travels, where you are from, where you are headed off to next. They give you insight to things that they have done and experienced, giving you that motivation to really experience the time in Australia to the max.
Where do you want to go next!?
The next place I would like to go next is up the coast of Australia, The Great Barrier Reef and then New Zealand. Everyone I have made friends with have gone up the coast and it has really motivated me to do it. Seeing how beautiful the coast looks first hand seems amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. I want to see the Great Barrier Reef because; of course it’s a great natural wonder and I would like to see its beauty, and not just through photographs. I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand, and I have decided that I want to go skydiving while I’m there, and I’ve heard it is the best place to do it. I’m really looking forward experiencing these trips.