I am a backpacker; I am a trilingual dive instructor

Choco (2014-2017 Australia/Japan)

Q: Where do you come from?
A: Hong Kong.

Q: When did you go on your working holiday?
A: Australia in 2014-2016; Japan in 2016-2017.

Q: Where did you go for your working holiday and why?
A: I went to Australia for my first working holiday as I wanted to be a scuba diving instructor. I went to Japan for my second working holiday after teaching diving in South East Asia. I wanted to learn Japanese language and snowboarding.

Q: What kinds of jobs did you do, and what kinds of courses did you take during your working holiday?
A: I was a live-in nanny in an Aussie family. I also worked part time in a sushi shop and cafe. I went fruit picking in a farm and spent A$5000+ for my Dive Master Training in Sydney. After that, I volunteered on a dive expedition boat and started working on the dive boat as a host for a few months before I started my Dive Instructor course. Finally, I worked as a dive instructor in my last few months in Australia.
My first stop in Japan was Hokkaido. I got my working holiday visa approval in late November 2016. Then, I went through a few Skype interviews, and got hired as a waitress for the snow season. I flew to Japan after two weeks. I learned snowboarding from new friends there and from a day course. It was hurt when you fell down at the beginning. It was also scary when you went up too high and it took a long way to get down. But I didn't give up. I practiced boarding in my free time by myself, like doing everything else when you are traveling. Three months later, I was flying down the mountain, and having so much fun riding between the trees. I almost broke my leg a few times. Now I want to be a snowboard instructor.

Q: Tell us one of your most unforgettable memories in your working holiday.
A: When I had only A$200 left without a job, I was working as volunteer on a dive boat after my Dive Master Training. On the day that I supposed to say goodbye to the Best Dive Boat in the world, the captain told me that I had got a job as a hostess, "Welcome on board!" That was my first job related to diving. I only had 20 logged dives when I left Hong Kong, and finally I took a selfie with more than 50 sharks at my back during my 100th dive at work.

Q: What is the greatest reward you have got from your working holiday?
A: Friendship: I met friends came from all over the world, and I am still catching up with them when we go traveling.
Independence: you learned cooking, searching for a place to stay, organising transportation or trips, meeting new friends when you are new to town... the thing that you do the most is sending your resume. Those things above are the things that only I know why they are so important in my life, not all the dive certificates I got, not the money I earned. Those are the result of my working holiday: enjoy the adventure and life.

Q: Can you give 3 tips for young people who wish to visit the working holiday destination of your choice?
A: 3 Tips for 3 stages – before getting a job, before settling down, before going travelling.
Don't be afraid to show people your strength in order to find new options - Put some professional and funny pictures on your resume. Let the employer see your smile, creativity and smartness before you have got employed.
Take new challenge and jump out of your comfort zone - talk with peoples. Make new friends. Try not to live with the people who speak your first language. I only lived with Hongkongese in my first month in Australia. I moved out after I had found a job. It was a great time to live with them at the beginning and they helped me settle down and brought me around. We still catch up after I moved out. But the reason why I am there is that I want to practice foreign language.
Be brave and be safe; know how to say NO - When you are finding a travel-mate, spending time on your trip or even at work, you will always meet someone trying to take advantage from you. Say NO to them.

Q: Is there any extra thing you would like to tell us?
A: I am planning to go to another working Holiday in Sweden. Sweden is one of the top 5 eco-friendly countries in the world. I am wondering what I can learn from Sweden, other than its culture and life style. I learned a lot about marine, animals and nature things in Australia. I learned to speak Japanese, be thankful to food and people, and understand the recycle systems in Japan. I want to bring more eco-friendly knowledges and skills to home from Sweden. Lastly, I want to tell you where I learned English from. This is the question people always want to know. I studied English at school as you, but I only finished Form 5 when I was 16 years old. I have NEVER passed the English exams and I got a "U" in English in the HKCEE in 2009. So I hope The Labour Department won't correct my writing too much (although I know there are a lot), so that you can see what my level is. I have little Australian assent, but people always thought I am a local when I was traveling in the South East Asia because I got a tank skin from working in diving. But I love to tell people that I am from Hong Kong.

Note: The views and comments expressed in individual sharings are the authors' own and do not reflect the views of the Labour Department. Working holidaymakers are advised to research thoroughly and check up for updated and verified information before departure.