Why ‘work and travel’ when I could just travel?

Is it better just to save up and then have a blow out couple of months travelling? Or should you dig deep and brave a move overseas?

If you are tossing up between working or just traveling, then the short answer is that there is simply no comparison! Independent travel certainly helps broaden your horizons, but it is a completely different experience to moving somewhere to experience life in another country. So, yes you can jump on a coach tour of Europe and see thirty countries in thirty days. You will certainly have a lot of experiences to chalk up but why limit yourself to such a short time when there is so much on offer. These tours are a free way to discover new places, but there is just a whole lot more to enjoy when you actually live overseas.

Now we are not saying don’t travel, far from it. Travel, travel, travel as much as you can, but just be sure to include ‘work and travel’ experiences too.

Here are our reasons as to why, when you do have the choice, it is better to live and work overseas, rather than to just travel there.

1) It will take you out of your comfort zone

Yes, this is a good thing! You could very well say the same of a trip to Vietnam, when never has crossing a road felt like such a life achievement! But moving your life somewhere will really test whether you can stand on your own two feet! Ascending a challenging mountain is exhilarating but finding a job and somewhere to live in London will feel equally conquering! Have you heard people use the phrase ‘rite of passage’ when describing an overseas work and travel experience? Well it’s often used to describe an important stage in your life journey, like a major milestone or change. When you are thousands of kilometres away from home, it will be your choices, your decisions and your personal achievements. As the saying goes life does begin when you step outside your comfort zone.

2) You’ll meet people who will become lifelong friends.

Everyone talks about how meeting people is one of the benefits of travel, and so it is. But when you move overseas you meet people who are going through the same challenges and emotions as you. Its hard to explain but you have a different connection to people you meet living in a city than those you just meet on a tour or in a hostel whilst travelling. The people you meet here either at work, through social events, BritBound or as your flat mates, will share and understand all the nuances of living overseas. It makes for a friendship that is much more profound than those you meet just travelling. It also due in part to the length of time you’ll spend getting to know eachother! When you work here you are here for an average of two years, so there’s a lot more adventures you’ll share with them.

3) You can travel for longer and to more places

So a lot of those who choose just to travel will save for months, probably years to complete the trip of a life-time, but then they return home feeling it was over too soon! Imagine the envy of the rest of the people on your tour, when you say you’re actually staying on to continue your overseas experience by working in the UK! We receive lots of e-mails from those same people, who realise too late that they are not ready to go home, but alas they have not organised a working visa so it’s not possible for them to switch over once here. When you work in the UK you have the ability to keep financing your travel, you can continually top up your travel fund. If you are on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa that means you have two years to hop over to Europe, whenever you want. If you have a passport or an Ancestry Visa then you have the bonus of even more years to spend

4) You can take longer to see places

And really get to know them. Coach tours, the likes of Topdeck and Contiki are fantastic ways to see many destinations in the minimum amount of effort or time. But it really is a hop on hop off type of experience, a great way to dip your toe into the world of travel but incomparable to spending time getting to really know the place. If you do decide to do a European Tourbefore you arrive then the great thing about staying over here to work afterwards is that you can then revisit those places you particularly loved on your tour, at a later date and in your own time, at your own pace. The awesome thing about being based in the UK is of course the close proximity to Europe. There are 21 capital cities within a 2-hour flight of London, no wonder it’s called the Gateway to Europe!

5) It’s a chance to do enjoy some slightly different travel experiences

Lets face it, you’re probably not going to have too many times in your life where you can do what pleases you and you only! Soon responsibility will come along in the form of relationships, marriage, mortgages and children. This window you have to indulge yourself could be your only opportunity to do things that you might other not have time for in a few years. Whilst you’re overseas you can consider enjoying different types of travel experiences that you’ll not only talk about for years to come, but could also help you stand out in job interviews. After all, few people will forget someone who spent 8 weeks working on a Llama rescue farm in Iceland!