How to travel and emigrate with a low budget

Episode Description

In this episode, my guest Jess is sharing her story on how she left her country to travel and work in multiple states. She explains how she found jobs before moving to the new country and what website she uses.

Jess is originally from Wales, UK. She left her country when she was 25 to go traveling and explore different countries. Jess found a job online as an English teacher in China and already had a job and a place to stay when she landed. A year before moving to China, she went to work in a summer camp in Seattle, US. After coming came back for that experience, she wanted to keep traveling. She used every opportunity and time off work to travel around Europe, where flights can be very cheap.

When she moved to China, she had a plan-b in case she didn’t like it. Her plan-b was a visa for Australia. She ended up loving China, but at the end of her visa to work as a teacher, she moved to Australia, where she worked and traveled for a year before moving to Canada.

She already had a job lined up in Nova Scotia, Canada, to work in a resort, but because of the covid, the job offer fell through, and her plan changed. She now lives in Vancouver, Canada.


  • Traveling with a low budget
  • Cheap flights around Europe
  • Finding a job overseas
  • Hostels vs. AU Pairing
  • Pros and Cons about staying in a hostel
  • Visa process to get to Canada
  • Becoming a teacher
  • The emigrants’ superpower

Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Daniel 0:03

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode number nine of the Emigrant's Life podcast, where we share stories of people who have left their country to chase a better life. In this episode, I sat down with Jess, she left Wales to travel and explore the world. And in the last couple of years, she moved and work in many countries like US, China and Australia. She's now in Canada, and because of the COVID her plans changed a little bit. She will share her experience and tips on how to travel with a low budget and the website to use to find the job before you leave your country. So please enjoy this episode with Jessica Thomas. Hey, Jess, thanks for being here today. How are you?

Jess 0:40

No worries. I am very well. Thank you. How are you?

Daniel 0:43

Pretty good. Thanks. So where are you calling from or actually where are you, where are you right now?

Jess 0:49

Right now I'm in Vancouver in Canada. So yeah, just enjoying a bit of the sunshine today.

Daniel 0:56

Yeah, we have the some now very good weather so far. Isn't it?

Jess 1:01

I've not had the best of luck with the weather but it's starting to get better. So fingers crossed. It sticks around for a while. I've heard good things about the Vancouver summer so I'm hopeful

Daniel 1:11

And where are you originally from?

Jess 1:13

I'm originally from Cardiff, in Wales in UK.

Daniel 1:16

Okay, it's like it's a city or a town?

Jess 1:19

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales.

Daniel 1:22

Oh, that's my ignorance in geography just so bad at geography. I barely know where Wales is.

Jess 1:29

So Wales is southwest of the UK.

Daniel 1:32


Jess 1:32

It's about - Cardiff's about a three, four hour drive from London.

Daniel 1:36

Okay, perfect. Okay, thanks for the geography lesson.

Jess 1:40

That's okay. A lot of people when I say Wales, some people know exactly where it is and other people don't have any idea.

Daniel 1:47

And what age did you leave - did you leave your country?

Jess 1:49

I left 25 so it's two years ago next month. I left on my one way ticket.

Daniel 1:58

Why did you leave your country? Why did you decide to leave your country?

Jess 2:02

So I've always enjoyed traveling. So I went first on my first solo travel when I was 21. And I went to Seattle for a few months to a summer camp. And I've just always, always wanted to keep traveling. And I was going on two to three holidays a year. And when I got back, I was just like, I just want to I want to keep I want to keep going. And so I was looking at different opportunities. And then an opportunity came up to teach English in China. And I just thought, you know what, I have nothing to lose. I wasn't in a place that I was super happy. So I thought I'll just go for it. If I didn't enjoy it, I could go home. But here we are two years later, and now I'm just making my way across the world.

Daniel 2:40

Awesome. So walk me through your process of like how you left England. You went to Seattle for a little bit, right?

Jess 2:46

Yes. So I was 21. I got offered a job to work at a summer camp in Seattle. So I went and did that for three months. And that was my first solo trip away from UK. I've only ever traveled with other people prior, and I'm just getting a sense of freedom, I was able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and so I go back home, I've got a better job, which gave me more money to do more traveling. And then I was just constantly on the go even got to the point, my friends, or anyone in work knew if I had three or more days off from work, I would never be in the UK. I'd always be somewhere else in Europe, somewhere new. And I just be like I would Friday night, I'd finish work. I'd be on a flight within a few hours. And then usually I get back Monday evening and back to work Tuesday, just because I always wanted to be on the go exploring new places, meeting new people. Yeah, and it just became the norm for me that if it was three or more days off from work. I was in another country.

Daniel 3:43

Nice and the fact that in Europe, you can fly from country to country like a super - usually it's pretty cheap, right?

Jess 3:50

Yeah, you can get them pretty cheap. I'm pretty quick as I remember this one time I finished work at 5pm on a Friday and by 7pm I was in Dublin. I have been having a beer in a pub. I just left work straight to the airport, 45 minute flight. And then I was in Dublin for the weekend.

Daniel 4:10

Yeah, that's awesome. Actually, I used to when I was working in Italy, I had the chance to work on the Saturday and take a day off over the week, so didn't have to take any time off. And I used to get I used to get like a newsletter from Ryanair. So when they have like a free flights, or they called free flights, but it was like super cheap, I would just book it and take a day off. I would just tell my boss, sorry, I won't be I won't be at work next week or whatever. And I just go just for a day because it was super cheap. You can just get there and visit the city and blah, blah and come back and come back and actually do not even spend on accommodation.

Jess 4:44


Daniel 4:45

And the cheapest one I got was 20 cents return to Brasil, Milan, Brasil. 20 cents.

Jess 4:52

Oh damn, that's pretty. We didn't get them 20 cents ones in UK we used to get the its like the nine euro fight nine euros -

Daniel 5:00


Jess 5:00

Like a one way flight. And so I used to do those quite often. And there was even one point me and a few other the girls I worked in a summer camp with we wanted to have a little mini reunion but I was in Cardiff, woman's in Southampton and one was somewhere else. And it worked out cheaper for us to all fly out to Copenhagen and meet in Copenhagen for a few days instead of trying to find somewhere in the UK to meet up just because the Ryanair flights were just so cheap. So um yeah, we just all on a Friday flew from different airports, met in Copenhagen for three days and then went back to our respective airports on this like 20 euro flights with Ryanair.

Daniel 5:39

Yes so sometimes you're right it was cheaper to fly in different in different cities then actually go and return. Once we have to go visit my friend in Poland, Milan Frankfurt we stayed there for a few hours in Frankfurt. Then we went to Poland, then Poland, London, London back and was for two of us 70 euros for the all route,

Jess 6:00

It's sort of nothing.

Daniel 6:01


Jess 6:02

It's just crazy. It's interesting how flights work even when I flew to - flew to Vancouver. I was coming from originally coming from Australia, but I wanted to do a bit of traveling beforehand, and there was a flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver direct which I was going to get, but then it worked out cheaper that I can go to Taiwan for four days and get - there was a connecting flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong, and then my original flight from Hong Kong to Canada. And I think even that connecting flight was like 100 hundred and $50 cheaper than just getting the one flight. So the hundred and fifty dollars I saved on the flight covered my three days in Taiwan. I was like well, I'm not gonna say no to three extra days then where to explore the same price as what I'd be spending anyway.

Daniel 6:50

No, exactly. Unless you have a like a resort I have to get there and back and whatever. I don't want to stop. But if you if you have a chance, and it's, as you said with the money you can actually visit Taiwan. Why not?

Jess 7:01

Yeah, I get the flexibility. It works out great.

Daniel 7:04

Yeah, you're right. You're absolutely right.

Jess 7:07

It's just nice sometimes because sometimes you end up places you wouldn't normally think to go. And it's just you have that little bit of time to explore and get a little taste of oh cool I could go back though I hate it, though. There's nice little little taster flights sometimes.

Daniel 7:23

Exa- yeah, you're right. Um, so going back to when, when you left when you left England. So let's go back. So you left England, you went to Seattle to for the summer camp and then you went back to England. And then you decide again to leave England because you had the opportunity to go to China, right?

Jess 7:42

Yeah. So four years passed. And I was just working away doing my little holidays. And every time I came back from my two to three week holidays, there's never - I always wanted to just still be going. So I was just looking at different opportunities and I was never really committing too much. And then I know something came up and I was like, oh working in China. That could be different. That could be cool. And I just I didn't know when I think it was just in November and I was like, cool I'll go for it, I applied and I got accepted to the course to teach in China. And then I just remember saying to my friends, I was like, guys in August, I move into China. See yah bye, and no one was surprised, no one was even shocked. They're like, yeah, that sounds about right. This is what we expect. And so yeah, I applied in November and then in August I got my I got my little travels go in and I ended up taking a 16 hour bus from London to Belgium. There's a direct flight from Belgium to Beijing that was cheaper than flying from London. This 16 hour coach ride ends up in Belgium airport flight six hours and then when we fly to Beijing. And then before I knew it, I was in the crazy crazy land of China.

Daniel 8:56

Tell me more about that because I just interviewed on the previous episode, I interviewed a guy that went from the Seychelles, the islands to Beijing with speaking no Chinese at all. And for you, it's like such a big shock to get there. And the culture shock was just like so big. That was just crazy.

Jess 9:16

Yeah, everything is so different. And then yeah, the first sort of, so I was there for six months altogether, the first two, three months, I was still - it's still a massive adjustment obviously. It's the culture, the food, the language, just everything is complete opposite. And it does take a big, big adjustment to get used to because, you know, it's a lot especially when you're on your own as well. There's a lot to get used to, but I I loved it and anyone I speak to knows that I love China, I would live in China forever. And the people are some of the nicest, kindest people I met, although they're all a little bit crazy. And sometimes I always think they're shouting at each other, but everyone's super friendly. The food as long as you're open minded I'm not gonna lie, some of the things I ate were pretty questionable. But I think you've just got to go in and just go for it, throw yourself in at the deep end. Just try everything. Because either it might be a once in a lifetime opportunity that you're going to be there and you don't want to leave with the regretting at all, oh I wish I'd done that. We should have done that. And so yeah, just go in, jump into it. Google Translate was my best friend. I tried. I tried so hard to learn some Mandarin and I was so bad. And so everything was via Google Translate. But even if I was stuck, people were mostly always happy to try and help. So yeah, I would I would say to everyone, I was like everyone needs to go. I also tried to say to spend more than a few weeks there because it is such a vast country and just go into sort of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou. It is they are beautiful cities but you're not going to get the experience cause I think they are trying to cater a lot for tourists. So some of my best experience with just getting trained a few hours into little cities, I went to Guilin, a little city called Guilin, and it was really lovely. And it's more authentic, more genuine because they haven't adapted to the Western world as much. And it's just what you expected all these little Chinese stores like people on the streets with a little street pots and it's just what you've think of when you're thinking of old style China, and they were my best experiences. But I definitely recommend people to go out with their little bubble, and go and try and explore places they wouldn't usually go to. Just because the memories you get, just some of the best memories I've got from my travels altogether.

Daniel 11:41

Yeah, absolutely. But how easy was it to move around without language, though, was just - was easy enough to use Google?

Jess 11:47

Yeah, Google. So Google's, Google's very hit and miss all these cause they have the firewall. And for Google, I think you did need to have a VPN to override that. And even then, Sometimes the google, Google information wasn't up to date. So they do have like a Chinese version, which is called Bing. I think it was. And then the only difficulty with that everything on there was in Chinese. And it's so it was it was a little bit easier to have a few people, few Chinese friends that would help us. But getting around is pretty simple. The train stations, when the first time was terrifying, because it was my first transit I went to them Beijing, it was huge. There's hundreds of people, everything's very confusing, and it's a lot of noise, I think which will become the first one, it just gets a little bit easier each time. And as long as you're aware. So when I lived in Guangzhou, a few me and a few friends are going to an ice hockey game in Shenzhen. And then we didn't realize all the trains that you had to get there, pick up your tickets, show your passports, go through security and I think the weekend we'd go it might have been a holiday weekend. There's just thousands of people in this one place. And we had to get through all this and I think we got there for 30 minutes before our train thinking we were on time. It's cool we got now we ended up having to sprint through the train station. We found out which which platform we would go into. And as a case of everyone ran for the train, because we had like two minutes to get there. Run for the train. If you make it, great. we'll see you in Shenzhen. If you don't make it, we'll see you when you get back cuz we couldn't just leisurely walk. So there's just four of us sprinting through this train station. Every Chinese person has a suitcase they're trying to like leap over these suitcases not take anyone out. And it was the middle of August its super hot and humid. We all made it to the train, but we were just absolute messes. I think we're all sweating head to toe. It was just super humid. But um, yeah, so after that first couple of times it got a little bit easier, we established to get there with plenty of time to make sure that we weren't rushing again. And then yeah, I think as long as you remember the experiences and remember to get there early at the train stations, have your passport otherwise you can't get on. And then little things. The traveling part wasn't so difficult.

Daniel 11:47

Okay, yeah, because everything is written in Chinese there's no - is there's a translation in English or?

Jess 14:28

Some of the stuff I think for the biggest cities like Beijing, Shanghai, there were some translations the thing obviously, that's where the majority of tourists go to. And out in the little, little cities, there was less there's less of that. So it was kind of, a lot of the times I was just trying to match up the symbols. Like if I have a train ticket, I like that looks that looks about right. I just go on that train. But usually, as I said, a lot of people they were super helpful. So even if they couldn't speak the language, if you sort of showed them your ticket and you've kind of like, lost look like, where? They would point you in the right direction, then it wasn't too difficult to find help when needed. And, I think more and more people there are starting to learn English anyway. So it might be broken but you can kind of have a conversation and get - you can get through you can get through with just the broken English and Google Translate at times.

Daniel 15:27

Okay, yeah that's pretty much what I did when I went to Japan, same kind of thing. It was just what do you said then looking at the symbols and makes like, oh, yeah, it looks the same. It looks the same thing it must be that one.

Jess 15:39

Yes. Hope for the best.

Daniel 15:40

Yeah, exactly. But yes, they are. Even even in Japan. People are super friendly, super polite, and they usually help you out anyway.

Jess 15:47

Yeah. I think as long as you find the right person to help you like a few people like I tried to get help from they were just like, no one walk away. But the majority of people I ask pretty pretty out helped. It's always always a good thing to find that one person.

Daniel 16:05

And out from China did you move to Canada?

Jess 16:09

So after China I actually went down to Australia for a year first. So from China to Australia, spent a year living and traveling to Australia, and then after Australia that was when I came to Canada, via Singapore and Hong Kong.

Daniel 16:24

Okay, so how long did you stay in China?

Jess 16:27

I stayed for six months.

Daniel 16:29

Okay, six months then Australia for a year. Was there the same thing that you went to China for? Did you get a job did you already have a job when you went to Australia or just?

Jess 16:38

No. Australia, I just got the one year working visa. There's kind of like my China backup. If I didn't enjoy China, I was going to go straight to Australia. Because I was I just was determined not to go back to the UK. So I was like, I'll try anything first. And then I did my six months in China and I was going to stay in China longer but due to visa reasons it wasn't, wasn't a viable option. So, went down to Australia and I ended up spending nine months around Australia au pairing for some families in Melbourne and Perth and then spent the other sort of three months traveling through the outback and up the East Coast. And kind of yeah, I just traveled all over Australia really.

Daniel 16:39

So it was like a traveling around, finding a job here and there just to make money and -

Jess 17:27

Yeah, it was very much just I didn't want a proper job. I didn't want to be a full blown adult. I just wanted to kind of travel and breeze by do what I wanted. They've got little jobs. Au pairing was great because even though it's not a proper job, I lived with families. So they like covered my rent and food and then I help look after their children. Even though it wasn't getting paid it saves so much money on rent, accommodation and food expenditure. I didn't have to find a 40 hour job to cover those costs. So that was great, and I saved so much money doing that, and I'd recommend it to sort of anyone looking to travel Australia its such a huge thing over there because there are so many people that need it. And you just, it just gives you that little sort of buffer that you don't have to worry. Because I didn't get a lot of travelers in Australia that found it difficult to find jobs at times. And it was nice not to have that extra stress because moving to another country is stressful anyway.

Daniel 18:26


Jess 18:27

So to take that little element away, which is meant to be a bit more relaxed and you could enjoy a bit more for myself anyway, I know other people are different, but my recommendation would be to do it that way.

And what was that called? Au pairing it's a u and then p a i r i n g au pairing

Daniel 18:45

Okay. Because another thing that I hear a lot of people doing when I was staying in hostels in New Zealand, people were just working in the hostels, so they were helping to also I don't know cleaning or doing I don't know, whatever they weren't supposed to do and they also do have free accommodation. That's another way.

Jess 19:05

I have a friend who did that for a little while. She said to her it didn't work because the hostel she went to took full advantage of her from it. So I think as long as you find a good hostel that doesn't, you know, make you work eight hours a day, just in exchange for a room, especially because they usually the shared rooms as well. So it's not like you get a private room. And so she she worked for a hostel. I think she did eight hours as a training shift, but they didn't pay her for and then they wanted her to work I think it was 30 hours a week just to have a bed and a ten room, ten bed shade room. Yeah so for her she was she just was like, no that's just slave labor pretty much like 30 hours a week. You definitely earn more than what you would pay. I have heard a lot of success stories and people have said they've loved it they've met lots of travelers through it because obviously there's always that rotation of people coming through. And I think it's just personal preference I think if I was younger, I would have loved it because it's always, you know, people meeting people. But now I'm getting a little bit older I kind of like my privacy a bit more like I don't mind a hostel for a couple of nights but I think every week or two, I like to have my own room just to sort of refresh myself, not have to worry about sharing a shower with six other people and just be able to get a good night's sleep. I just feel like I'm getting old and I'm always thinking about a good night's sleep. So I think when I was younger, I wouldn't I would have fully enjoyed that but now I'm just I'm a bit more bit more into my own space, my own my own time.

Daniel 20:41

Yeah, I think for me the biggest challenge to living that also which I did for probably two months when I moved to New Zealand because I was looking for a job I was looking for a place to stay so it was just easier to stay in a hostel. The problem, the main thing was not really privacy maybe you deal with it, we deal with the privacy for me was not being able to empty your suitcase, all your clothes are in a suitcase, you just wash them and put it back in a suitcase. Take them out, they're all like a ripple and they just, you can, having a wardrobe probably was the main thing that was most missing more than anything.

Jess 21:19

Yeah, it is, it is a bit much when you're just scrambling through the suitcase. And I think it's I don't know whether different for guys I've said a lot in female only dorms. And it just becomes a bit of a like, a bomb site because you have like, usually six or eight girls, and they'll always be like, there's always makeup, there's always hair stuff, clothes, they're just so it becomes like, you'll start here and it just spreads and spreads and spreads. And I've got to the point I've started doing shared shared sex dorms, and they usually so much cleaner because I think it's just six to eight girls. And um, yeah, it just spreads out because we like our clothes, we like our makeup. I found the share sex dorms usually just a bit more bit more nicer because men I find they are just very in and out. They don't, they don't spread their stuff anywhere and some of the best experiences I've had actually have been in shared sex dorms. So yeah, I love having to make one but I know some, some women and girls feel safer just in a same sex but I love a mixed mixed room. It's just yeah, some of my best experiences have come from that.

Daniel 22:30

Yeah, you meet so many people and from all over the place. I remember that. especially coming from me, for me coming from Italy that I never speak for anybody really outside of Italy. Or, like outside of my own town. My region is just a forest if somebody was coming from a different region. So for me like sitting at a table with people from South Africa, people from India, people from other - the US even though I couldn't understand a word and what they were saying, but it was cool because I I could understand where they were from. So like, Oh, I'm sitting on the table with somebody from South Africa.

Jess 23:02


Daniel 23:02

That's so cool.

Jess 23:04

You just you just make friends around the world, which has been great because now as I've been traveling, I've been able to, like meet up with these people that I've met, like I met a lot of Australians when I was in Europe. So when I lived in Australia, I gotta go around to meet, like, catch up with them after four or five years. I've got some friends that live on Vancouver Island that i have met in China, so I'm excited to go see them. It's just nice to have those little people around that you can just be like, hey, I'm coming to your country. Show me around show me the good stuff. So yeah, I think it's just great sort of networking as well from traveling. You just meet so many people and you connect and it's just so much fun.

Daniel 23:41

Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, going back in for me when I went to Japan, I luckily I knew somebody in Japan, somebody from Osaka, which I met in New Zealand near an English school. It wasn't for her I couldn't even book. I probably could have booked an accommodation. But would it be just an hotel room or whatever. It wouldn't be like a full experience that I actually had it was if it wasn't for her I couldn't stay in the place where I where I stayed. It was just so much easier because this was so difficult to find and Google things in Japanese, where you're trying to search in English. It doesn't -nothing shows up.

Jess 24:16

Yeah, its a bit difficult when you're trying that one. Yeah, so it's good to have that sort of person who can bridge that gap that you have, and help you out a little bit.

Daniel 24:27

Yeah. Totally. Totally. And okay, so you were in Australia traveling around? Why did you leave Australia and decided to go to Canada?

Jess 24:37

So originally, I was thinking about doing the farm work. So with the one year visa, you have to do three months agriculture to get a second year. But my Canadian visa actually got approved four or five days after me entering Australia. So I only had the one year to be able to enter Canada to activate it so it just meant that I could only do the one year in Australia. And I'd heard a lot of up and down stories about farm work. And I just remember thinking, I didn't want to put myself through the three months of possibly horrific even I've heard great stories, I wasn't totally sold. So I didn't want to do the three months work. And when I could do three months doing stuff I want and travel in, just in case I didn't really use the second year, I just didn't want to waste my three months. And so I just thought, I'm just gonna do a year in Australia, do things I wanted to do, take those memories away. And then if there's something else in Australia, I want to do, I could just go back as a visitor and take any little boxes off where I just need it. I'm gonna do the things I want to do. And then kind of do is just the next step just because it was kind of bad timing with the visa approval, but it's fine. I'm here now and I'm loving it though.

Daniel 25:54

Okay, but hold on a second because you said when you went to China, you apply for the visa in Australia just to have like a plan B. But now you're saying that when you went to Australia, you got your visa for Canada? How many visa did you apply for?

Jess 26:08

Yes, I apply for it because then I don't know what it's like for Italy but with the UK. Sometimes the Canadian visa process isn't the simplest, because there's usually more people applying than visas available. And so, I've been like, I've been thinking about moving to Canada for a few years, I've been keeping my eye on the process. remember a few years ago, it was a case of like, first come first serve for visas for the UK. So they would they would announce that day next week, the visas were going to become available. And then the day before they would announce that it's going to be Wednesday at 9am. And you had to be there ready with your documents to go. And I remember, like for a few years, all the visas swept within a few minutes of being available. And so the year I applied, it was a case of you put yourself into the pool and then you could or could not be asked invited to apply. It was all very hit and miss so I know people that have been to the pool two, three years in a row and never got invited to apply for their visas. And they always say just to go in, because you're not definite, it's not a definite to get it anyway. So I was in the pool, and I wasn't expected to get invited 'cause I know there were thousands of people who are in it before me. And then I think the pools opened in November, and I got invited to apply in the January. And I think then, you can turn it down, but then it's not definite that you're going to get invited again. So I was kind of like, well, I don't want to miss my chance. So I was like, well, you know, I'm super flexible about my travels so I applied, I've done my application, see how it went. And then, I think it was like February 23rd or 24th is when they approved it so I was like okay, instead of being in Australia for two years I'll do Australia for one year. And then I moved to Canada and then, because originally I was going to Australia or New Zealand, common sense thy're the same area. But now it's gonna be a case of having to do Canada and then make my way back around to New Zealand to do a year or two there.

Daniel 28:15

Okay so you're now planning to stay in Canada? You're planning to keep going and try more countries?

Jess 28:20

I'm kind of seeing how it goes. I've looked at PR and but I was just trying to get the relevant amount of points and all that kind of stuff so I'm kind of - I like to keep my options open because I don't want it to be "this is the plan" I'm very much "this is my plan." But you know if stuff comes out like if something come out, and I could get PR in Canada, I probably go for it because I do like it here. But looking at the process, especially excited speaking to someone the other day and they said obviously you have to get your 10 years work history and travel history you have to know everything and I'm like, time is not going to be easy to get that information from. I've been to so many different places now it's kind of when I looked into it as a practicality for me I was like it's not going to be the easiest. And then I looked at the point system, I don't actually have enough points anyway at the moment until I got a better job to boost myself up. So it's going to see in a year, see where I stand in a year's time, and then go from there. But I didn't want it to just be that was my goal, because if I can't get it, then I didn't want to be heartbroken. So I was like, well, that's one goal, but then I also have this option and this option, you know, I don't want to just be sat on one thing, and if that goes wrong, lose out on any other opportunities.

Daniel 29:40

Yeah, no, fair enough.

Jess 29:42

Yeah, I just, I'm open to everything.

Daniel 29:44

Then how long is your visa for in Canada?

Jess 29:48

In Canada its two years so I got till February 2022.

Daniel 29:52

Okay, so you got plenty of time to make your mind-

Jess 29:54

Plenty of time to try to figure stuff out and see what happens.

Daniel 29:57

Yeah, because going back from what you said about the application, the documents you need from other countries, if I remember correctly, they asked me, because I applied for the PR as well, like a year ago. And they asked me, I think they did ask me for police document police certificates for countries that I lived in for more than six months or something like that.

Jess 30:18


Daniel 30:19

It wasn't made before that was even less than that because I had to apply for police certificates in Italy. And I haven't lived in Italy for more than six months for seven years now so I don't remember exactly so.

Jess 30:32

Yeah, they very much want to know exactly where you were and when. Sometimes I can't remember because, as I said, when I had three days off, I'd be in different countries and I was always traveling, so sometimes I just can't remember like, where I've been exactly. So I'm just gonna see how it goes I've kind of got it there in the back of my mind. But as I said, my points are not high enough anywhere at the moment so it's not really something for me to worry about or think about because at the moment it's not feasible but I'm going to give it a year and see where I stand then and go from there really.

Daniel 31:06

Yeah maybe there's more other more countries to to visit

Jess 31:09

Yeah and I kind of don't want to just choose to stay in one and then always be like, but I want to go I want to go I want to go as I need to. I've got like a couple of years left to hit the age limit of visa. So I'm like I need to do them I need to do all now while I can. And then when I've hit 30 when I can no longer get the visas that's when I can figure out what I wanted to long term.

Daniel 31:32

Yeah, there's no many country to give you a working working holiday visa or visa like that in over 30 over 30 years old. Some country like Canada you cannot 35 that's why-

Jess 31:44

UK is 31. I think if it's Ireland, some countries have 35 I know Ireland can have up to 35 but UK again is 31 because it's reciprocal. I think all the UK ones, I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that once I looked at all the UK ones are 31 so I'm - I've only got a few years left to get around and do my "do this thing" before then I have to think about what am I going to do, my actual long term.

Daniel 32:13

So your idea is - its not to go going back to UK, its going to different place?

Jess 32:17

No, there's nothing in me at the moment that wants to go back, especially like looking at the news and the what's going on I kind of try to ignore it and think it's not happening.

Daniel 32:28

And going back from the time when you when you left from like from a scale of one to 10, how difficult was it to make the decisons to leave your country?

Jess 32:39

For me it was super easy. Like a one or two it was so easy for me because I knew it's why wanted to do once I like I've been thinking about it for a few years, but I always kind of put it off made up excuses like I had a good job or you know, friends, family, but then when I made the decision I was like I'm going and I just remember being it yeah, that's exactly what I want to do. There was no doubt in my mind once I you know applied for visas and everything. I was just 100% certain that was what I was meant to be doing. So for me, it was the easiest decision I probably made.

Daniel 33:13

Okay, and probably was easier even because I listened the first and the second time you left you already had a place to go a job to yeah to go to right?

Jess 33:23

That did make it a bit easier although first up being in China probably wasn't the easiest decision. But yeah it doesn't make it that slight bit easier knowing that you've got a base a base to go to and figure stuff out. And so yeah, but then yeah, it just, it just takes a little bit of stress away knowing there's something but then I come into Canada. Well, Canada, I did have the same kind of thing I had a job set up, but due to a lovely, a lovely little virus that kind of got ruined. So I kind of have to just figure out as I go along, but I'm my best friend at home she says no matter what I've always been someone that if something goes wrong, I just figure it out. I never have a day where I'm like, oh god, what am I going to do? But I'm always one that's like okay, there's always there's always ways to fix things. There's always ways to, you know, do what you want to do. And she's always said that no matter what happens, I'm always someone that ends up where I'm meant to be figuring it out. So I'm always pretty confident that no matter what happens or where I go, that I'm going to end up doing something that works for me.

Daniel 34:31

And what was your plan when you went to Canada? You said you were already into something, a job?

Jess 34:34

Yeah. So I had a job arranged over in Nova Scotia, so it's going to be working in a wilderness retreat, which I was super excited about. I was like, I was ready to go, I have my flight and everything over to Nova Scotia I was good to go. And then obviously, it's working in the tourism sector. It got hit pretty hard with the virus and everything so um, they ended up having to just open with a smaller team of people that work there year round, which I fully understood because, you know, I also didn't want to go and have an experience that wasn't what I'm expecting because of less people, etc. So instead of moving over there, I ended up staying in Vancouver got a new job. And then, which has been really nice so instead of just being here for two months, a quick stop, I started to build up a good little friendship group got a new job. And so yeah, it's a different experience to me, because usually, I don't stay in places longer than six months, just because I do want to get around and see stuff. So it's going to be different for me, because I'm getting up to my sixth month mark now. So I'm like, oh, usually I'd be moving on but now I'm just starting a new job and I'm like battlin so it's the first sort of time in two years and, you know, put in some little roots down somewhere. So I'm still figuring that out as I go along. But it's been nice. It's been nice to kind of thank God, you know, I've got a good little friendship group now. I've done some nice little job and just living in an actual settled life first of the year now I think.

Daniel 36:06

Sweet, sweet. And just out of curiosity, how do you find these jobs from overseas?

Jess 36:13

The one I found for Nova Scotia, I seen advertised in a kind of backpackers Facebook group. I think there's a gentleman who works there who is from somewhere in Europe. And obviously the bosses have asked him to just post on there because I think each year they take a couple of like they have a few travelers work there because the resort itself is only open for six months because the winters are too cold so I think each summer that they just hire some travelers and a working holiday visas to fill the little gaps that they have. And so I applied for it on a whim, thinking I don't have any experience in this kind of thing. My main career back home was finance. I've never worked in resorts or the - it's like a really high end luxury place. But I applied like, yeah, we'll see how it goes you know and like 10 days later, they're like, oh yeah, we want to offer you the job. And I remember I was in Byron Bay at my friend's house. And I remember just like, three am, and she had this pool. And we like, all ran and jumped in the pool and I was so excited. But yeah, it was a bit heartbreaking when I found out because I had been looking forward to sort of three, four months at this point. I am hoping fingers crossed, maybe next year, that the opportunity will come up again. So we'll see. We'll see how it goes. But um, yeah, it's just taking those hits and being flexible with everything. I think it's made it a bit easier for me to just be like, okay, that's happened. What can I do to fix it for me? That's how it went.

Daniel 37:47

Yeah, sounds like you're doing great. You've just find another job, which right now is not easy to do.

Jess 37:53

No, yeah, I think I've been pretty lucky. I've been pretty lucky with it. I know a lot of people have struggled but I do. I am pretty thankful for that, that I've been able to find something that's helped me. So yeah, I'm very thankful for that situation.

Daniel 38:09

Awesome. And and when you went to China and went to Seattle. How did you find a job there?

Jess 38:15

Yeah, my Seattle one, so I went through company I think I went through it wasn't camp America, but its a company similar to camp America. So you set up a profile, you have to pay you pay a fee, obviously. And then they have hundreds of camps from across America, they can check out your profile, the what skills you have that fits what they need. And it was a very quick turnaround for my Seattle one actually because it was getting to the end of the season, and I hadn't really committed fully so I think this was the summer camp season starts like June, June time. So I had an interview on a Wednesday, Wednesday afternoon with this camp in Seattle. And they were like, yes, we want to offer you the job, but we need you to be in Seattle on Friday. This is the first time I'd ever - the longest flight I've been to don't even to Barcelona. It was like two hours, I'd never flown by myself. I didn't even own a suitcase at this point. So I had a sort of 36 hour window, they had to tell my friends and family that on Friday morning I'm flying. Also, because the company arranges your flights out. I didn't actually know what I was flying from. So I couldn't book any chance. I knew it wasn't gonna be from Cardiff because we only have a tiny little airport. And so I had to wait for them to get my flight so I could arrange transport from Cardiff, to whatever airport in London, with a coach from Cardiff to the airport is usually five, six hours. And so yeah, it was just a crazy 36 hours and to buy a suitcase I have to, I also had two cat which I had to pack up and give to my mom to mine for the three months. So it's just a crazy 36 hours of being like goodbye, buy a suitcase. Sort the cats out, pack what I needed because I was like, what do I need? Like, what is Seattle like? Everyone told me I it was going to be raining. So I was like, well, I take like, what am I doing? So yeah, that was super crazy. And then the Friday afternoon then I arrived into Seattle. So within the space of 48 hours, had my interview, got accepted and flew to Seattle.

Daniel 40:22

And how was the process with the visa gate, because that's not enough time to get a visa right?

Jess 40:26

Well, the visa you get beforehand, because you get a job offer letter from the temp company. So you get sort of a generic letter saying, this person is going to be working at a summer camp. It's just not sure where yet then you'll about to go down to London and you go to the embassy, and you just have a meeting, just to sort of explain what you're doing. And then I think it was a J1 work visa that I got.

Daniel 40:53


Jess 40:53

So that's all arranged beforehand, just because I think the company that arranged that they're pretty certain that you're going to get a job. They're just figuring out where,

Daniel 41:05


Jess 41:06

So they just give everyone a blanket, cover letter sort of thing to get their visa. And then that just covers entry into America then whichever camp you go into,

Daniel 41:17

Okay, that makes more sense now.

Jess 41:19

Yeah, I know I couldn't - 48 hours to get a visa that would be that would be a rush.

Daniel 41:26

Yeah, no, exactly, it's yeah. And for China, how did you find a job there?

Jess 41:31

China, I think it was just through Google searches. So I am - I think I was just searching like different ways to work abroad because even I had Australia as my backup. I kind of sounded I didn't want to do a generic working visa region, I wanted to do something different. And so I was just searching at different ways to work aboard and then teaching English came up. I was like, oh, I can I can speak English maybe I can teach it so I looked at different opportunities. So there were pretty much like Thailand, Vietnam and then the one I see was I think I can get through I don't know if you know a company cuz I don't think it's over and kind of it's called STA travel.

Daniel 42:10

No, I dont think I've ever heard it.

Jess 42:12

Though its quite big in Australia and UK, I don't think it's over here. So they have lots of it's just a travel, travel agency pretty much. But then they have all different options. They do like group tours and flights, they do everything. It's allowed for student flights. They do like sort of cheaper flights. So they have this internship in China and I was like, oh, what's this then I looked into it. And then instead of it just being sort of sent over to work in a school, you go over but you have a company supporting you, which for me, it just felt a bit more as you know, a bit more comfortable having people there who knew the process cause I had no idea. They help you through everything. They help you get your visa, and then even when you're in China, it gives you that point of contact if something went wrong you had people who were English, English speakers your sort of a helper so a lot of the people who work for the company were from the UK. So it just gave me that point of contact to have. So if they're like, if ever you're feeling down or something's stressing you out, or if something goes wrong, you could get in touch with them. And they have people based in Beijing that they would send people to wherever you are in China to come and like, see what the issue is or just help you out for a few days to get you more comfortable and settle you in so that was, that's what made me go for that. I was like, it's nice to have an experience a completely different experience and living in China, but still have in that sort of ease and that gap to fill with these people that understand as well because if they had all done the internship previously, they knew any issues or what you could be feeling so they had the first hand experience to help you through.

Daniel 43:56

Okay, yeah, that's that sounds like really a big help for me. Going there with, with the support of people that speak the language and-

Jess 44:04


Daniel 44:05

Having local support, yes. That's massive.

Jess 44:08

I looked a lot into it and it is pretty easy to just get a job in China. But it would just be with the schools that you go to so you don't have that extra support. And then the two - so I went into different schools, and the one school I worked with there's only one other person at the school that was a Chinese teacher who spoke broken English. So if there was an issue within the school its a bit hard to resolve it. And then the second school there was like four or five people there who spoke English cause its the biggest school. But um, I remember thinking that if you just went over independently, you could easily go to school with no one that speaks English. And I can just imagine it being very scary because you know, there are like the first few months were crazy and there was a lot and I do go through days like oh, is this the right thing? You know, I'm sad, not sad, but you get a bit lonely especially when there's no one speaks English. You have no friends around you, but having the company at that gap to be like oh you know what this is how I'm feeling. And then you have people who like I always felt the same when I done it. You know, we can talk about experience and it just gives you that bit of boost to be like if other people have done it, I can do it. And so yeah, they were really they were super helpful in that aspect.

Daniel 45:21

Exactly. Even I, I tried to think about it, I can put myself in a situation that go into a different country where they don't speak my language and teaching that something that I've never done before. So like, imagine myself standing in this room with people that are not even like I understand what I'm saying. And try to do a job that I've never done before. That must be really scary.

Jess 45:41

Yeah, I was I was pretty lucky because I had a kindergarten. So all they're just all these little kids who loved you. So I was super lucky. But I know a few people on my internship they had teenagers. And I couldn't imagine doing that because, like it sounds weird, but when you get the teenagers you actually have to teach properly. With kindergarten, it's like, let's do colors red, yellow, pink, and it's super fun and easy. But my friend who was in the same school, but he did the higher grades, he had to do like five lesson plans a day. And it had to be really in depth and he actually had to teach the aptitude. Whereas I could just go in and be like, let's watch some fun little videos, let's do color, let's run around. So I had a pretty easy end of the deal, I think. I couldn't imagine having to go in and teach teach teenagers. Like, like actual proper English grammar and all that that was that. No, I wanted kindergarden. I knew what I wanted. And I was super happy with it because they also just love you and they just want to hug you. They just want to be your friend. With teenagers, you know, teenagers across the world, they're all going to be a bit. They're teenagers. They're not bothered by the little kindergarten kids, three, four year olds. You know, just wanting to hug and play that's all I wanted for my six months and that's what I got for my six months.

Daniel 47:01

How can you feel lonely then in that environment?

Jess 47:04

I know. Some days like some days I'd feel sad. And then I go in and I'd be like, no, I can't be sad because look at these children, their little faces like light up when they see you and you're like, oh, this is, this is what it is. This is what you want. So um, yeah, that was great. I loved it.

Daniel 47:21

Awesome. And did they help you to find accommodation as well? Because it's just imagine like, even fine accommodation, a country where you can speak the language, you know, name and the standard sign that could be really challenging.

Jess 47:32

Yeah, so I was pretty lucky. So the schools I worked for they provide accommodation. Though, the first school I worked for the accommodation was like a two, three minute walk from the school. And then the second school, the accommodation was on site.

Daniel 47:47


Jess 47:47

So they were provided, but usually I had friends in Beijing. And usually the schools do help you find the accommodation. Just because it is obviously as you said, it's super difficult with the language barriers. Everyone I spoke to even my friends who were - who live on Vancouver Island they work at a school out there. They had helped them the school to find their accommodation beforehand. And to make sure it gives you something to settle into rather than stressing about trying to find something because it would be pretty difficult to do it I imagine.

Daniel 48:20

Yeah, no, totally. Absolutely. I don't know totally. For you for your experience, do you need much money to to start and traveling start doing what you did?

Jess 48:31

And you probably do to have that cushion. I didn't do that. So I had a bit saved up I didn't have too much. And I remember I spent the majority in China traveling around then when I got into Australia, I think I had maybe like less than 1000 pounds. It definitely less than 1000 pounds when I entered Australia, which isn't the best idea because Australia is pretty pricey. I remember in my first because the first two weeks I stayed in a hostel and that's one thing I don't like about hostels is that like the cooking isn't the easiest because you know it usually you end up eating out. So remember my first two weeks I spent a lot on eating out and just doing stuff. And yeah, my money - it never really ran out, but it dwindled pretty quickly. So I would highly recommend having more of a cushion than I did. Because you know things can go wrong. And unexpected expenses come up and even just when you're doing stuff I remember I did a three week travel from Darwin down to Melbourne. And there was these two excursions you can either go on an air balloon or a helicopter ride, and I speak into the family, I'd love to do both, but they're both pretty pricey. I probably shouldn't. And then they were like, but you can have the option again, I was like, no, so I ended up doing both. I think they're like $350 each.

And they were but like when I think back on my trip they were some of the best things I did like the hot air balloon ride at sunrise over Alice Springs. And then the helicopter was over at Lulu. So they are amazing experiences. But it's expensive doing things like that are expensive. So I think if and I've always been when I travel, I don't like the not do stuff, just in case, you know, I don't want to leave thinking, I wish I'd done that. But I'm very much like when I travel, I feel like I'm a millionaire and I just like take all my money, it's fine. And then when I get to someone, I stopped like, what have I've done? So I definitely recommend having more money than me. But I think also my mindset is that you can also as long as you've got the relat- like got a working visa, I feel like you can always make money. There's always ways to find even like a little job part. There's always ways to make the money back. And I'm very much like, you know, the most the better things to have is memories. Rather than just all this money saved up. That's my outlook on things but I know some people are different and they like to always have a cushion. And I very rarely to, which isn't the best but you know, each to their own.

Daniel 51:14

Yeah, no, I mean even depend on you and depend on the situation if you especially with your situation where where you had already a job so you have control over your expenses because if you want to do the things, you wanted to go out for dinner, you want to do or experience, you want to do some activities, whatever, it's up to you. It's not like you move to a new country where you don't have any income because you have to find a job you pay accomodation everything. So you need more cushion there. And also, as far as I know, even for some certain visa, you need to prove that you have enough money to pay for your accommodation, pay for yourself for at least a few months, which depend from country to country, but at least I think they ask you for, say something like $3,000 or something like that.

Jess 51:58

Yes, I think for Australia, you're meant like it does say when you have your visa you're meant to have so much money when you enter the country but I think it's very hit or miss or whether they check but I definitely recommend having it because if they do ask you to prove when you don't have it, they can refuse your entry. I was just lucky that I never I never got asked. But yeah, it's definitely I think it is better to have it because even though I had the au pairing job lined up in Australia, they could have easily have canceled if something come up like you know, people have changes of circumstances etc. So yeah, it's definitely better to have it would be better to have it if you can have it have it 100%. But I think also having the right mindset of what you want to do if you know you don't have too much money, then probably best not to do the extra things until you've worked away to have the income for it.

Daniel 52:54

But it can be done, it can be done for like a few thousand dollars in your bank account.

Jess 52:57

Yeah, it can be done as long as you I think you should just got to stay positive about it. Try not to worry too much about it, which I know some people it can be a forefront of their mind. But for me, I try not to worry too much about money because like I said, I'm always in the mindset, there's a way to make money. There's always jobs available if you can do it. And I try not to stress too much about about money on my travels.

Daniel 53:25

Yeah, yeah, no, you're right. And what was the main thing you think on in your journey on your on your experience, the main thing that helped you going through your movement from country to country to find a job to carry on with your travel experience?

Jess 53:39

Um, my main thing, I think is I've just always open to any job. I've never been like, I won't do anything if I needed to make money, I would do I would do anything. Like the first three months when I got here. When after I found out about my Nova Scotia job. I ended up just working in the local grocery store. Even though it's the middle of the virus, and everyone was like, stay inside, I was just like, no, you know, I need to make some money. I'm going to do what I need to do. So I think my like I always say, just to be open, because if you just sort of stopped looking at specific jobs that you just sort of putting yourself in a box that can be hard to get out of sometimes. And so yeah, I've always been like, and I'm not like, I'm not settled on where I go, like, I have a friend in Australia who is from Saskatchewan. And she always said to me, she said, if you get super desperate, she gets like, get me a job there because she has family with farms. And I was like, that's great. So I have that ultimate - its like a very backup backup backup backup, because it's like the middle of nowhere. She doesn't recommend it to anyone. But you know if I was if I really needed money, I wouldn't say no. I think anything is an opportunity. I think that's how you have to look at it like you can meet the best people, have the best time. I think as long I think just being open to everything in anything has been my sort of way to get by through stuff.

Daniel 55:04

And I'm curious, do you think you would do the same thing if you were back in Wales. Would you be open minded for jobs and the way you make money in Wales or?

Jess 55:15

I'm probably not so much because I had a pretty decent job. I was making good money and I think if stayed in Wales I would have just stayed in that career. I didn't enjoy it, but it was just it was good money for what I was doing. So I think if I didn't leave, I would have just stayed in this job and just you know, worked my way through and just had a mediocre happy career life.

Daniel 55:41

Yeah, no, I'm asking that because i i think what you described that you are you will do whatever it takes to make the money. I think it's just like a common common thing for for people tthat immigrate. For people that live overseas because you're, you adapt to the situation where you don't have high expectations and just do whatever it takes while if you are - I was a like the same when I was in Italy. I mean, I've never been in a situation where I had to make money somehow I always had the job.

Jess 56:06


Daniel 56:07

But at the same time, I don't think I would go and clean toilet because I have to pay the rent, you know what I mean? I would just

Jess 56:12

Yeah, it's a weird mindset.

Daniel 56:15

It's completely different, isn't it?

Jess 56:18

I think it's also like when you're traveling, and you're just on your own so you have no, like, there's no backup for me. Like, if I don't have the money, there's no one there so I'll be like, oh, I can help you out for a little bit. But I think back at home in the - like, if I was in Wales, and if something come up that put me in a situation, I've got friends and family that if I needed the help they're there. I think that's probably the different mindset like now I'm just like, okay, I'm on my own. If something goes wrong, there's no one to be like, okay, cool you can come stay with us if you need it or whatever. So I think it's just that different situation that changes what you think and how you look at situations.

Daniel 56:57

Yeah, no, totally. I completely agree with you and looking back to your, your journey or traveling so far, is there anything you would have done differently?

Jess 57:05

I don't think so. Because everything I've done, I've always just, I've now just followed what I wanted to do. So there's nothing I regret, there's nothing. I wish I changed. I think I've always just been because I'm so flexible if there's something I wanted to do, I've just done it. And so now I don't think there's anything. maybe I wish I went to Tasmania in Australia, it's meant to be amazing. Because I can always go back so yeah, I think I'm just because I'm so open. There's nothing I look back on and I wish I didn't do it or wish I did do it really.

Daniel 57:38

Yeah. Nice. Yeah. Sounds like you did quite a bit. That would've going to the air balloon if you didn't do it.

Jess 57:44

I know exactly so I'm glad I did it. We're glad we did it. Yeah, hundred percent.

Daniel 57:49

Awesome. And if anybody wants to get in touch with you, asking questions, whatever. Is there any way they can get in touch with you?

Jess 57:57

Yeah, definitely can reach out to me I usually use mostly my Instagram as my main sort of social media of usage so if anyone wants to message me or get in touch and they're more than welcome to via my Instagram. And my name on Instagram let me just check I always give out the wrong one. I'm like yeah, this is it and then it's not. So my Instagram is Jessie which is je s s i e 121092. Its Jesse 121092.

Daniel 58:30

Okay, I'll just write it down in the description below on the description somewhere. So we won't go to the to the wrong account.

Jess 58:38

To some other person. I forget what - I think its because I always think it's just Jess not Jessie. Like oh, yeah, Jess 121092 and its not that one is definitely Jessie.

Daniel 58:50

It showed up like a dude.

Jess 58:53

That's not me. Not me.

Daniel 58:57

Awesome. Thanks Jess for for the time for the interview.

Jess 59:00

No worries. Thanks for having me.

Daniel 59:03

Awesome. Thanks a lot.

Jess 59:05

See ya. Bye.

Daniel 59:08

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. You can find all the links we discussed in the show notes and on our website, in If you liked this episode and want to support the show, you can leave us a review whenever you listen to our podcast. That will make my day and help others find the show. Also, do you want to share your story and get a $20 gift card? Visit story. Thanks again for listening and talk to you in the next one. Ciao!