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Working Seasonally and Travelling with Isabella

What are some of your favourite place you have worked in the last 5 years? 

 Over the past 5 years I’ve been lucky enough to work in some incredible locations with the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. 

 It all started with a company called Journey Beyond. They opened a massive door of opportunities for me when I started working on trains around Australia as a Hospitality Attendant. We’d work week on/ week off work, travelling around Australia by train and taking guests on an incredible journey around our country. The train operates out of Adelaide and has a few different trips available which go to Darwin, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (The Ghan, Indian Pacific, Overland and Great Southern). We get to spend the night at most of these places when we arrive which is a fun way to check out a city with friends. On board the train we would give our guests first class restaurant service, we did bar work, housekeeping, went on tours with the guests at locations along the way, spent many sunsets and sunrises in the middle of nowhere with a camp fire or live music and just had an all-round good time with our guests on board. It was truly an amazing experience and you get to meet so many incredible people. 

I then moved on to work in luxury lodges around Australia, with the same company, but as seasonal work. One of my favourites was Sal Salis, in the Cape Range National Park just out of Exmouth, WA, where the ranges meet the reef. We spent our mornings and work breaks snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking or even going for sunrise hikes before work. There was no phone reception, but we had a small team of absolute legends and lived in paradise for 9 months with friends who became family. 

 

 Another cool experience was Ngauwudu Safari Camp, in the Kimberly, WA- with the main tourist attraction being Mitchell Falls. This place is super remote, almost 200km from the closest town or shops. I worked a wet season out here which was really unique as all the roads are closed due to flooding, so no tourists can get through besides the few guests that are staying at our camp and have been flown in. We were able to witness amazing lightning shows and take helicopters over the Mitchell Falls to see an insane amount of water gushing through the falls. Spending time with the nearby Kandiwal Community and learning all about the local indigenous artwork and the significance of each waterhole or waterfall was such a special experience. 

 And now, I am currently working at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, home of the Manta Ray. This one is incredible and isn’t seasonal, but the wildlife changes with the seasons. You can spend your free time swimming with manta rays, sharks and hundreds of turtles straight off the shore. We spend 10 days at work, and have 4 days off, it’s a great work life balance. The underwater world is incredible out here- if you’re into scuba diving you can also go out for dives in your free time, and when you are working, you can watch the humpback whales breach from your work window. 

 

 

 How do you find these unique remote jobs? 

 Journey Beyond, the company I worked for has so many Tourism Operations around Australia. Most of my work was through this company, as I found it quite easy to transfer through to a different job once I’d worked at one of their businesses. The people you meet at work, have often also come from unique remote jobs, so we all share experiences and give each other referrals or contact details for our previous work locations. The managers become your best mates and sometimes we just follow each other to different job sites so we can work together, or help out if they need someone short term. 

You can also find these jobs by searching “lodge” in Seek online. 

 

What is your favourite thing about working seasonally? 

 I loveeee seasonal work because you get to meet incredible people, all whilst exploring a beautiful place you might not have visited if it weren’t for work. You work, live, eat and sleep in such a close proximity to your team that you get to know each other so well, so quickly, it really is a 'family like' vibe. It’s also such a great way to save money, as there’s usually little to no expenses; most places provide food and accommodation. 

 After the season, I can spend my savings on travelling to a new place or heading overseas, without having to worry about work. I know that when I return home, there will be a new season starting somewhere that I can work at if needed. I prefer to travel for a few months at a time and this is great because there’s usually a few months between seasons, so it lines up perfectly. 

 

After Sal Salis, our team was so close that we decided to travel together. We had 6 of us meet up in South East Asia and it was so much fun. 

 

What would you say to a 19 year old who wants to travel but has no idea what to do? 

 Just do it, even if you’re scared, do it scared. Once you take the first initial leap you will see that there’s a whole wide world out there. There’s so many people that live this lifestyle, but you don’t realise the opportunities out there until you leave. There’s loads of people in the same position and that one decision to travel could change your whole life. 

 South East Asia is full of young travellers and is super easy for solo travelling too. Hostels are a great way to meet new people and make friends and often the people you meet in hostels are happy for you to join them on their adventures if you don’t want to be alone. There’s group chats on WhatsApp and Facebook you can join to meet people and ask questions too. I’ve done this before and ending up making some beautiful friends in the Philippines. 

 

Or, if you’re wanting a gentle transition into travel, there’s group trips you can book. From weekend retreats to overseas holidays or even just join meet ups! I know there’s a few skate, surf, yoga, camping or ocean dip groups around the place; this is a cool way to make connections with other keen travellers, and from then you may find a travel buddy if going solo isn’t your thing. This might also tie in better with work plans or situations if that’s something that’s stopping you.

 Otherwise, seasonal work always attracts travellers. Lots of backpackers like seasonal or rural work as they often need this for visa purposes- so I’m sure they’d be down for an adventure or two after the season. Or better yet, go and visit them in their home town overseas. 

 

What are some of your favourite places you have travelled too? 

 Australia! Honestly, our country is so, so beautiful but my favourite spots here so far are Exmouth, WA and everywhere around the Northern Rivers in NSW- an absolute vibe and perfect place to road trip! 

 

Overseas, I lovedddd India- the people, food and culture here is incredible, there’s so much to learn from this beautiful country and their people. 

 

The Philippines also holds a special place in my heart, the people here are some of the kindest I’ve ever come across. The ocean is SO BLUE and pretty and there’s lots to do here. From hiking, to waterfall chasing, surfing, scooting around the streets or scuba diving. 

 

Italy and Greece- very tasty food! So much history and culture, they have some of the cutest little streets/ alleys and gorgeous beaches. 

 

I also loved Laos. Very underrated and far less touristy than other places in South East Asia. A little harder to communicate over here, but there’s some wicked hikes and visiting remote villages was very interesting, a real eye opener. I don’t think I’ll ever take life in Australia for granted after seeing how tough it must be for them in these remote villages with no access to electricity, clean running water and minimal food. 

 

 What experience did you need to start some of these seasonal jobs? 

 As I work in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry, I had years of hospitality experience. However, I know that most places also really appreciate if you have previous experience working in a remote location or are familiar with long working hours. As it can be quite challenging living remotely; they understand that the work can be taught but the living arrangements is something that not everyone can grasp. Often, you’re limited with Wi-Fi, which makes connecting with friends and family difficult, you’ve got a commitment for the season which means no/ limited time off, you live at work and are always surrounded by people- which can be quite tough at times. 

 So, if you have any of these past experiences up your sleeve that will definitely help your situation.  

 

What’s next for Isabella? Do you have any plans for future travel or work you would love to do?

 At the moment, I am quite happy with where I am. I’ve just moved to the East Coast of Australia which was a dream of mine. So, I’m super keen on soaking this up and enjoying the present moment. I really want to see the little baby turtles hatch next year, so I’ll stick around for a while I think! 

 As for overseas travel, I have a huge list of places I’d love to visit- but I think I’ll just slowly chip away at them over the next few years. I'd love to do a bit more volunteering overseas too. 

 I have a little idea in mind for work, but not entirely sure on how it’ll play out. Hopefully I can work on this over the next few years. The goal is to have location freedom and be my own boss one day.  I love travelling, so as long as my job involves or allows space for travel, I’ll be happy! 

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