I’ve always considered myself a hard working individual. At the ripe age of twelve I landed my first real gig – I organized a lawn care service that spanned several blocks in the neighborhood. A few years later I found myself working as a cashier at a coffee house where I quickly worked my way to shift manager. Working 50-hour weeks to pay my way through school, when I finally received my diploma, I was already bracing for the next big challenge.
My love of travel really dictated the next few years of my life. Not long after I entered the real world I caught wind of an incredible opportunity that complimented my work ethic and promised to support my passion to explore – living in Australia for 12 months to work as a skilled laborer in the mines. It was gritty, potentially dangerous and far from glamorous – perfect for me.
Despite my appetite for adventure, I’ll be the first to tell you that I had plenty of reservations going into this situation. Swirling in my head were news stories of mine workers trapped hundreds of feet below the surface, explosions and all sorts of doom scenarios that my imagination ran rampant with. Was I setting myself up for disaster?
The more I researched the job the more I realized how serious they are about leaving no stone unturned when it comes to safety measures. People I reached out to (yes, I have friends in Australia) told me these guys were seriously hard workers, a group I could easily identify with.
Sometimes you just have to jump into the ice cold pool water. I started the process of applying for my 457 temporary work visa and in a short period of time I was given the green light to live my life down under. When I found out chefs were urgently required, it was a perfect opportunity.
The 12 months that followed after I landed under the warm Australian sunshine were some of the most testing of my life. During this period I worked harder than I ever had before – the physical demands of the job were beyond what I could have ever imagined. To date, despite my extensive travels, there’s been no more transformative experience in my life.
That old adage ‘hard work has reward’ has always proven true – I was able to amass some serious coin out in Australia. I used my savings to explore new places like Portugal, Germany and Israel – places I could only previously visit on Google image searches. Hard work changed my life for the better and brought my passion for travel to full bloom.
What’s the point of all this, you might be wondering? Simply this: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.