New Sight of Travelling

KimKam (2014-2015 Ireland)

Q: Where do you come from?
A: I am a Hongkonger.

Q: When did you go on your working holiday?
A: Apr 2014 - Apr 2015.

Q: Where did you go for your working holiday and why?
A: I went to Ireland for my working holiday in April 2014. Working holiday scheme provides young people a chance to earn living by working at particular country and travel around. It was my dream to have a world trip and I would like to start the trip from Europe. There were five European countries included in the working holiday scheme. What I concerned most when deciding the destination to apply a working holiday visa was the language it speaks. English speaking countries should be my first priority. And I would also like to work and travel in an island nation which is not commonly visited. For that reason, I took Ireland as my first choice of working holiday.

Q: What kinds of jobs did you do, and what kinds of courses did you take during your working holiday?
A: I was only working and traveling in Ireland. I worked as a waitress in three different restaurants located at Dublin, Cork and Galway respectively. Before starting the full time job, I had also worked as a menu deliver for two days. Waiter/waitress or kitchen hands are the most common jobs can be found in Ireland. Applicants can drop their CV directly to manager or boss at the restaurants. They might be asked to have half or one day work trial. You are encouraged to understand your rights before looking for and starting any new jobs, such as getting a fair wage.

Q: Tell us one of your most unforgettable memories in your working holiday.
A: Walking along the Cliff of Moher is definitely the most unforgettable memory for me in Ireland. I have been there for twice. It is the largest cliff in Europe and a famous attraction which is highly recommended to visit in Ireland as well. I will never forget the amazing feeling when I first saw such a gorgeous creature! It is important for every human being to learn to be humble in front of the nature.

Q: What is the greatest reward you have got from your working holiday?
A: It is not my first time to travel as a backpacker, but probably a new experience in my travel life. The difference is that I have to consider my living in a particular country for a year this time. What I need to learn is to be a temporary resident in Ireland rather than being just a tourist. Life in Ireland was totally different from Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, my knowledge, career and social network were built up for years. However, my educational background and working experiences meant nothing in Ireland and my life was being challenged. We can always learn and grow up from every challenge. So my greatest reward from Ireland working holiday is that I can step out of my comfort zone. I enjoy such kind of life adventure for that is a process of reflection and growing up. Throughout the year, I learnt Irish culture while working with Irish colleagues. Besides working, I spent rest of my time to explore this lovely place. That's what working holiday brings to me.

Q: Can you give 3 tips for young people who wish to visit the working holiday destination of your choice?
A: People can easily search for any practical tips from "google". So I won't say any here. Instead, I would like to share three tips on self-preparation which will make your working holiday different. And I think they are important to every young people who is thinking of or deciding to apply for working holiday in Ireland.

1) Learn to unlearn
For most of the people, we always try to show others how much we have learnt and experienced to build up our confidence and self-image. While we are trying to use previous knowledge and experience to deal with everyday issues in a new place, our sight may be blocked. Then, we won't recognize the alternative ways and have no inspirations at all. I always remind myself to "learn to unlearn". Try to put down self-prejudgment based on previous points of view. It is a way of "unlearning". You will find that you can learn much more by that rather than only working and having holiday in Ireland.

2) Respect Irish culture
Try to read the history of Ireland before you go. You do not need to be qualified as a professor level, but at least you have to understand the historical background between Ireland and England. Then you will know why Irish like to call milk tea as "Irish tea" instead of "English tea". The more you know about a country's history, more you can feel about its real culture. Irish culture is not only about beer and music. You can find out far more than that. Please be respectful always. It helps you get in touch with Irish and earn a nice experience.

3) Ready to meet new friends
Remember, there are no mum and dad to help you deal with any stuffs in your working holiday. But you can build up a supportive network there. Always get ready to meet new friends and be generous to others. It's important to share experiences and information among the groups

Q: Is there any extra thing you would like to tell us?
A: /

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.