My irish Adventure – Work & Travel 

Today I’m going to talk about a very special topic. Since I made my A level this year in June, I had to think about my next step, which was hard for me. I wasn’t sure about a subject of study or about an apprenticeship in general. I’m not one of those people who know right from the beginning what they want to do in their life, if you know what I mean? That’s why I decided to make a gap year and during this year I’m going to make a Work and Travel in Ireland, with my boyfriend (he also wasn’t sure about studying etc.). Our flight is in only a few weeks, on October 25, and I planed to make a little travel diary to share all of my experiences with you. But first of all, I want to share some stuff with you, that could be interesting to know 🙂

Why did I decide to make a Work and Travel in Ireland for my gap year?

It’s pretty easy. Besides Art, Literature, the Movies and everything Vintage, I always loved Travelling. Fortunately, I already had the chance to visit 11 different countries and I’m so thankful for that (thanks to my Mum and Dad). In my opinion there’s nothing better than broaden one’s horizon – other cultures and languages, so many different people and a lot of beautiful new places. I want to see as much as I can from our world and it has always been a dream of mine to spend a longer time in another country and to speak English fluently one day. And a Work and Travel is a good opportunity to realize this dream or well, at least to come a bit closer! Besides, I’ll also have the chance to make my first experiences in the world of work and maybe it’ll help me to choose an apprenticeship afterwards. So all in all, a Work and Travel is a good opportunity for me to make a lot of new experiences, to grow and to get more independent. That’s why I choosed it.

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One of the photographs I took in Ireland 4 years ago, in February 2013.

While talking about Work and Travel, most of the people think of big countries like New Zealand or Australia but we want to explore Ireland. Everybody who has been there knows that it is an amazing country – with a beautiful nature, nice people and an interesting culture. I remember when I was in Ireland for the first time in 2013, I ultimately fell in love. I made an English course at the Emerald Cultural Institute in Dublin for one week, which was a part of my 1 year Business English class (outside of school), but of course we had the chance to see and learn a bit more about the country. After this one week, I promised myself that I would come back to Ireland one day, but for a longer period of time. So when my boyfriend and I thought about our Work and Travel country, Ireland was besides New Zealand our dream destination. And after all, it became the chosen one! 😛

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The Fleet Street Hotel and the College Green photographed during my trip in February 2013.

How do we organize everything? What do we need for a Work and Travel in Ireland?

The hardest question for us was: Are we going to do everything with an organisation or not? Both has it’s advantages and disadvantages. If you want a language course to refresh your skills, more safety and a contact partner, someone who helps you at the beginning, then you should definitely use an organisation. But we decided to do everything by our self, because it’s much cheaper and after all more sensible for us. Of course, we have to think about a lot of stuff and we have to use some of our free time for the organisation, but I think there could be worse! 🙂

Since we are both European, we don’t need to organize as much as f.e. someone from the United States or New Zealand. But why? It’s pretty easy: If you live in the EU and want to visit and work in an European country you don’t need a Working Holiday Visum (you need that f.e. in Australia, NZ or the US). Which means we’re allowed to stay in Ireland for a longer period without any paperwork and this saves us a lot of time! But besides the residence permit, there are a few other things you need to consider, but they’re all achievable in a short amount of time. One of the most important things we organized before our travel, was a foreign health insurance. Because let’s be honest, you never know what happens! Another thing you can already arrange at home is a credit card (just in case) and of course the flight and hostel for the first few days. There are people who only book the flight and look for a accommodation spontaneously, but well, some safety at the beginning doesn’t harm 😀 So we already booked our hostel in Dublin for the first 2 days, but we still have no idea what happens afterwards.. I think this will be very adventurous 😀

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The Temple Bar photographed in 2013.

Now there are two possibilities to spend your Work and Travel. One is to make little side jobs for money, the other one is to make voluntary work for food and a sleeping place.

If you want to work for money in Ireland, you need a PPS number, a tax number and an Irish bank account, which you have to organize on site. To find the right accommodation while you’re working, it’s beneficial to be a member of a youth hostel association to get discount or to become a member of f.e. a room sharing platform. If you want to work for accommodation and food, the only thing you may need is an account at WWOOF, Helpx or Workaway (we have one at Helpx), to find the right contacts. Most of the people do only one of those options, we thought about trying out both but we’ll see! 🙂 I’ll keep you informed.

Besides all this stuff, you need a valid passport and other important documents (f.e. obstetrics, vaccination card, driver licence, insurance papers etc.), your medicine (if you have some) or a little first-aid-kit and not to forget a big bag or backpack full of weatherproof clothes, cosmetics and your camera to take copious photographs of your memorable time. Also, always have some money saved for an emergency, we f.e. saved some money the last few months to have something if we don’t find a normal job or someone at Helpx. Last but not least, don’t forget your courage, your happiness and your spirit of adventure and you will be perfectly prepared for your Work and Travel! 😛

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Lovely photographs from Powerscourt Gardens also from 2013.

What do I want to achieve through this trip and what is my goal?

As I already mentioned, one of my biggest goals is to speak English more fluently. But therefore I also have to overcome my reticence and my shyness. So I would say my second goal for this trip would be to get more open and self confident towards others! I’m pretty sure that this will be very hard for me but since I’ll be in another country and the only person I know will be my boyfriend, I don’t have another chance 😛 Also, I see it as a great opportunity to finally counter my fears, to leave my comfort zone, to meet new friends and of course, to learn more about the Irish way of life!

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Powerscourt Gardens, 2013.

All in all, have to say I’m very excited but also a bit scared :p There still are a few things we need to organize but anyway, I can’t wait to let you be a part of my journey. If I forgot something or if you want to know more, feel free to contact me but I promise, that there will be a lot more on this blog in the future. So stay tuned for my Irish Adventure and my travel diary starting on October 25!

Your Shirinatra xx