Travelers Interview – Seba and Cami, the Experts on WH Visas.
Who are you, Where Have you Traveled and How Have you Been Able to Travel so Much?
Seba: My name is Sebastián Lara, I am 33 years old and I am in the fifth Working Holiday that we have done with Cami (Girlfriend) and we have traveled through North America, Europe, Asia, and now we are in New Zealand. The first working Holiday visa we did was in Canada about 4 years ago. Then we went to Denmark, then to Germany, to Australia and now in New Zealand. And well, in between we have also tried to travel as much as we can.
Cami: I am Cami, I’m 32 and well, I’ve been in the same places that Seba said. Just adding Egypt, which is like the part of Africa where we have been and in relation to how we have traveled so much has to do with working visas. Since every time we get to a place with a visa, we try to work as much as possible and with the savings, we plan for the next holidays and for the next working holiday experience that we are planning. The first working holiday was more about learning and having a good time, which was the one we did in Canada and from there, we got a taste for traveling, so from then on we were always working and saving thinking about the next trip we would do.
What does Traveling Mean to you? What do you Like Most About Traveling?
Seba: For me traveling is a way of learning and discovering both places and cultures, ways of life and it also serves to get you to know yourself, since, in the end, one is much more alone traveling than in Chile or in the place where you have lived the most of his life. I always lived in the same city, in Santiago de Chile, then the world seemed something impossible to travel, and even now, after the 4 years we have already been traveling, there are still so many more places missing, and well. You have to take advantage while you can.
About what I like the most about traveling, it is perhaps the feeling that you have when you arrive at a new place, that emotion that you feel when arriving without knowing how it will go. To arrive at a place without knowing anyone, and to have no contact or anything, so it is to arrive and start completely from scratch. It is a reset and a new start, although with the savings from before, completely from scratch.
Cami: Like Seba, I really like arriving at a new place, that although one may know something about the country from before, it is not the same when you are actually experiencing it. I always wanted to travel, since I was a child, I was attracted by living in places that are not familiar or typical. And now sometimes when I think that I am living in a place that I never imagined I was going to visit, it is something unique. And well, also being able to observe and live other systems, of life, of transportation, of culture. Like sometimes we think and we make a review of what we have traveled and it is an incredible sensation.
Why Should I live a Working Holiday Visa Experience? What is the Hardest Part of it?
Cami: In my case, I decided to do a Working Holiday Visa because of the time I was living in life. I had already left school, I had studied a career, I had worked in my career and there was a point where I didn’t want to continue with the following pattern, which is to have children, a house, debts, and thus always be in Chile and well, I always wanted to leave the country, to travel. It was always more with the idea of just traveling than anything else. The possibility of living in another country was something that appealed to me a lot and I learned about it because one of my cousins also went to live in another country. And the most difficult thing I think was to consider the idea and transform it into a reality since it is like a very intense reset. It is not known what will happen next. If the decision is the right one, and at the moment there is a lot of concern about what will happen with that year, which is seen as so large in the amount of time but the time basically flies by and everything works well. I was very concerned about if my family was doing well. My grandfather is very old, but he is still around. And well, the hardest thing I think was deciding. Seba always seemed to have it clearer, but I did not want to regret it. In the end, we always wanted to jump but it was very difficult to finally make the decision.
Seba: In my case, I wanted to take a vacation from work because I already had time working on what I had studied and I didn’t want to stay there anymore. It was like the direction I was going, making a career out of it. So, the option was to take the opportunity of a Working Holiday Visa that allows you to travel, know and differentiate when you are on vacation, it also gives you the option of living a different work experience than what you have done in your entire life. Because for example, you work on things that you had never done before or even thought about but in the end, if you do that, it allows you to save money since they pay much better than in Chile. It is very convenient in that sense, and at the same time, I believe that you finally know much more about the life of the place when you work there than when being just as a tourist. And in relation to the most difficult about living like this, it has to do with the fact that sometimes you have to do any type of work. In such an experience, you must accept the first job option you can get, for the minimum wage most of the time, and many times that involves a lot of physical effort that I am obviously not used to since I never worked on physical things before. And well, at first it costs a lot, and then, although it still costs, you get used to it.
And well, also in relation to the people that come across in your experience, most of them are cool people, sometimes you run into more negative people who make your life much more unpleasant, but that happens everywhere, in all kinds of jobs.
What is Your Favorite Place in the World and Why?
Seba: Only because of the experience we had there I would say Leipzig in Germany. I believe that in all parts of the world there are good things and bad things but in the end, it depends on the experience you have in the place and for us, we were particularly lucky. We came from a difficult experience in Denmark, and in Leipzig, everything went quite well. And beyond that, it is a very beautiful and interesting city. In addition, the country gave us the opportunity to learn a little German, which was a very different language from the one we were used to, living with only English. And well, also the beer that is very cheap and delicious.
Cami: Well, my favorite place in the world is also Leipzig since it has a nice cool vibe. It is difficult to appreciate if you go as a tourist but living there, the experience is great, and in Germany in general. After working in Leipzig we were traveling around the country and of course, in every corner, it is super authentic, each place has its history, its beer, its food, I loved that. Germany is a super respectful country, you are free to walk as you like and think as you like, and they will respect you. It is an open-minded and super diverse, multicultural country. In addition, we found that it was very cheap compared to the rest of the European countries, which makes it perfect for living. It would be wonderful for us to be able to live there. And well, there are also many other places that we have visited on vacation, for a few days like San Francisco in the USA, the Philippines, particularly in Port Barton where you can find very beautiful, natural, super humble places, but where you can connect a lot. And well Banff in Canada is also beautiful, something completely different. Canada must never be ruled out, it is everything very beautiful there.
What Advice Would you Give to Someone Who is Thinking about Doing a Working Holiday Visa but is Feeling Insecure about Making the Decision?
Cami: It is very difficult. Although it may have changed a bit since we left, at least before we left, Chile was a country that was very isolated in every way, so making the decision to go to another country implied a giant leap. After traveling, it seems to us the most common thing in the world to be outside for a year or a season. And of course, it opens up a new world. It changes everything in us. At first, for example, we tried to encourage ourselves, we tried to find the arguments to strengthen our idea, such as “we will go to learn English”, “when we come back it will be a plus for our careers”, but later when we started doing it we really liked the experience of coming into a different country, to contact with people from other places, an idea that Chile is very difficult to actually do. You start to see everything different, really everything. I still love to travel and discover new places, that’s what always attracts me the most. To someone who is undecided, I would say that “he has to jump into the pool” as we say in Chile. For example, one of the things that Seba said was that “I do not want to tell my children later that I had the intention of living abroad and I did not do it”. And now it’s hard for us to stop, we want to go on and on.
Seba: I think that if you have some savings and you want to do it, you should apply as soon as possible, the younger the better. Because more and more people are applying every year and there are limited places, so even if you are not sure, it is not 100% sure that you will actually get it, so start applying even if you have a little desire. I would also say that you should take advantage of your experience. Nothing is lost by doing this. If you try it and you don’t like it or it goes wrong, it will only mean that you have to return to Chile. And when to do it, you are probably going to like it. Ideally, if you are going to travel to a country with a different language, we recommend taking at least an English course, or having some preparation in the language of the country you are visiting since it is essential. If you manage to take a technical course, such as mechanics, or something even easier, such as Bartender or Barista, that although in Chile they may not be appreciated it may become something very valuable when doing this type of experience since you can earn easily 50% more than someone who does not have it.
So the Final Advice is to Venture. To Venture, and to Go for it.
For more information about Working Holidays Visas, you can learn more here