21-Year-Old Singaporean Spends A Year On A Working Holiday In New Zealand
Ever felt so stressed by city life that you feel an urge to pack your bags and fly off to lead a more peaceful life?
21-year-old Yuling actually did exactly that! Earlier this year, Yuling booked a one-way ticket to New Zealand for a working holiday. We had a chat with her about what made her take the plunge and her advice on how you can do it too.
Keep reading to find out more about her story!
Q: What sparked your decision to go for this working holiday?
Yuling: I've wanted to do this since three years ago when two of my close friends from poly went for the working holiday in New Zealand, but my parents insisted that I complete my studies first.
I find that living in Singapore is extremely stressful and fast paced. I want to experience something different; living in a country side. Also, I'm not really sure what I actually want to do, and I didn't want to be stuck in a job and complaining about it everyday like what a lot of my friends are doing.
I feel that I'm still young and I just want to live my life to the fullest. It's my prime age to travel now and this is a really good opportunity for me as I don't have much commitment at this age and I would love to travel while I still have the physical strength. With the working holiday scheme, I'm able to support my travel expenses by working at the same time.
Q: Where have you worked at so far?
Yuling: For the first 3 months that I was in New Zealand, I was doing seasonal jobs in the viticulture/horticulture industry in order to extend my visa. I've worked at an apple packhouse, a vineyard and a mussel opening factory.
After that, I've been WWOOFing (work in exchange of accommodation and food) in a country house and beef farm. The work involves things like cutting wood and gardening work. One of the interesting the things that we did was collecting soil sample from the plants for lab test to ensure that there's not too much bacteria infection in the soil.
It is not difficult to find a job as these companies are often looking for seasonal workers to help in their company.
Q: What are some of the challenges you've faced?
Yuling: All the jobs that I've done is either mentally tiring or requires lots of physical strength and stamina. Cutting wood is extremely tiring as the wood can sometimes be more than twice of my weight.
The work is not easy and nothing like an office job, but going back to the hostel everyday and cooking and hanging out with other backpackers is really enjoyable and I really love it.
Q: So far, what are best parts about your experience?
Yuling: One of my favourite part of the trip is meeting people from all over the world and everyone has a story to share. Sometimes I feel like I'm living on the edge, there are so many uncertainties and you are not sure where you will be in the next few days.
I've grown a lot during this period of time, learning how to cook, survive and living with people, dealing with the cultural differences etc.
Q: If our readers are interested in going for a working holiday in New Zealand like you, how would they go about it?
Yuling: You make an application at the immigration website and apply early as there's a quota of 200 per year for Singaporeans.
Other things you need are:
- Passport is valid for more than 9 months
- Age between 18-30
- Have enough funds (NZ $2,250)
- Medical insurance
Q: Do you have any tips or advice for them?
Yuling: Don't worry too much and try not to pack too many things in your luggage. Travel with an open mind. That's when you’ll truly enjoy and have the best experience.
*Responses are edited for clarity and brevity.
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Text by: GirlStyle SG