Lessons From Global Work and Travel co
One of the most common questions I receive is how have I managed to travel like I do. Initially in our process to live in Canada we had a few options, many of these ideas stemmed from pictures and articles we had researched prior to booking our flights. But to really explain let me start by first telling you that the idea of Canada wasn’t actually an idea of my own, my little sister had already started plotting her escape months prior to Beau and I jumping on the band wagon. When she approached me telling me of her plans to travel and live abroad I was of course sceptical - as all protective big sisters should be! But TOTALLY understood the longing to jet around the globe in search for adventure!
My advice to her in that moment was to do her homework as thoroughly as she could and when she thought she knew enough to find more and than come to me so we could tell our Mum. Now let me tell you, if you are fresh out of home and school as my sister was at the time and you approach your Mother with the news that you are going to live overseas, it goes down as well as a lead balloon would. So as you can only imagine being the bigger sibling whom had already lived abroad once before, I knew how to deal with this delicate hand grenade that she intended to drop.
MORE INFO = BETTER PREPARED!
Space jump to her informing me that she had found a travel company called ‘Global Work & Travel Co’ to help her on her way. My first impression as all cautious people would think was ITS A SCAM. So I asked her how legitimate they were? But never fear it would seem the young grass hopper had learned from her prior mistakes and had already done her homework in preparation to answer my questions!
They have an office based in Queensland, Australia in which we lived 8 hours South of at the time. Plus another office based in Vancouver where she had intended to fly into on her arrival to Canada. After researching as many Google reviews and social media profiles that this company possessed as countless hours scrolling through a fully informational and helpful website, she emailed her interest to them through the link provided on their page. It was within days we had an email reply and then an ecstatic phone call from one of the companies rep’s.
Fast forward to a month after that, if you have read any of the prior blog entries you already know of the reasoning for myself and my partner Beau to travel abroad, it was then that we approached my sister and pitched her the idea of us tagging along and joining the adventure. Many of our friends thought it strange that we would be doing something this independent together but here’s the thing my sister and I are much closer than most siblings and the thought apart actually makes me tear up. Legit. Yes Im a little bit of a sook but we are bonded together with more than just DNA so a life in Canada together with our boys to enjoy all together sounded like one big adventure we were all willing to jump head first into!
So heres the part you all want to know, in order to travel via GW&Tc you have to pay an initial ‘life-time’ deposit averaging around $500 and then we paid another $1300 for the rest of their organisational services. What that ‘life-time’ deposit means is that if for some unforeseeable reason we can not make our original plans to travel abroad they will hold that fund until you are able to, BUT the stipulation is that you don’t get that back if you choose to not travel at all - it just becomes a voucher for your friend to have to begin their dream of adventure. Quote un quote. So be sure you’ve done your homework first!
Now this fee was just the amount we paid at the time, plus after negoitating and receiving a special discount for referring our boys (which meant that out of a group of 4 only 3 of us received a referral discount) we did save a little but keep in mind companies are always changing their prices, altering specials and may not be the same if you were to apply now. The same can be said in what they offer you, so our story is exactly that - just our experience.
GW&Tc offered us much for what we paid and it is a great peace of mind if you are travelling abroad for the first time. They hold your hand throughout the visa process and booking flexible flights and packaged insurance as well as providing you with all the go-to knowledge they possess for great locations and places to visit.
Much of the reason we chose them was for the unlimited job opportunities, now take that last sentence with a grain of salt. They will provide you with the job opportunity, down to the part where they reformat your resume to look way more impressive - more impressive than I ever thought mine could - throughout the process of finding a job BUT it is YOU who ultimately sits the interview resulting in it being YOU who secures any form of employment overseas. With this said, if we at any time of our stay feel uncomfortable or unhappy in our jobs all we need to do is speak up and they will go into battle for us, figuratively speaking of course! Plus the ability to find other opportunities in just one email to our travel rep gives us great peace of mind. This just means that it's efficient and streamline plus a great security net if you are worried about finding employment in a country that you have no clue where to start! BUT let me assure you once you figure out the lay of the land you can and will source the employment yourself - that is how we found the job we have now. It wasn’t out of lack of trying, you have to do the work yourself and let your fingers do the searching.
As well as this benefit they will also help you with your Canadian tax return, which can be very confusing if you are unaware of this process. BUT don’t be fooled, all you do is follow the link they email you and the rest is up to you. They also provide you with storage for some of your belongings if at any time you need it. This being said, it is only for a short amount of time - it’s not your own storage container. We considered using this when we traveled around British Columbia in April, as our snowboards can be quite bulky but ended up playing a daily round of tricky tetris in our trusty van instead. Partly due to the boys being emotionally attached to their boards, but they won’t admit that to you!
Now you heard me mention that they helped us in the process of booking our flights and insurance, this being the wisest of lessons for us to learn. Once we had finalized our payment for their services we were then referred to our own personal travel concierge. Fancy I know! Although I personally found it difficult to be in contact with so many different company rep’s, of course I was always thankful for that support nevertheless. The thing with booking ‘Flexi-flights’ is that you are going to pay more FOR SURE. We paid an average of $3200 for 12 months insurance and our one way flight - truthfully we were just happy to have the leg work done for us I think, I know how that sounds but when they package your insurance together with your flights I think subconsciously you think you are saving something and I am sure we did to some extent but I have later learnt that we could of done it ourselves and probably saved our penny's too.
When we signed up for GW&Tc we also received complimentary tickets for the ‘Capliano Suspension Bridge’ which was awesome when we had paid so much it was a nice added bonus to have! When we arrived in Vancouver we also had our first 5 nights paid for and an orientation with the first few days - this was where we met many other travellers in the same situation as us, which provided a wave of relief to the jet-lagged uncertainty that comes to venturing to any new country - particularly for our boys whom had never been overseas before!
This informational orientation lead to the massive group we were plus a GW&Tc rep venturing down to the closest Bank, where we all had an individual pre-organized meeting with the Bank tellers to set up our own Canadian bank accounts. This than lead to the group travelling even further down town to obtain our Canadian SIN numbers - you will need this in order to legally work in Canada.
Come to think of it when I look back at this day, it does give me the reminisce of a nasty headache! Not only did we organize all of the above but we also chose to stand in line for 45 minutes at a Virgin store to connect all our mobiles. Safe to say it was a HUGE day where we weren’t even recognizable human beings at the end of it, just sleep deprived zombies whom had barely gotten over a 13.5 hour flight. Not even a steady I.V of caffeine could’ve helped! If it hadn’t been for GW&Tc’s help that day I do truly believe we would’ve been four rookies wandering around Vancouver with our heads in the cloud getting distracted by food on every corner!
7 months later with many Canadian adventures under my belt and many other beneficial international connections and expanded knowledge, I sit here on my laptop typing away trying to help others reach their goals just as I have. Many of my lessons with the finer parts of travel have been learnt and accepted, much of my gratitude can be found from my experiences with GW&Tc. I now feel like I can be more of an independent international traveller without their guidance and I personally do not see me choosing to travel through them again, of course these lessons have only come to pass because of their presence in the first place. A catch 22 at its finest.
So if you are like my sister and fearfully dread that conversation with your Mum about living overseas, Global Work & Travel co will definitely be there for you to breath easy and ensure you get where you want to go, never fear they’ll get you there. Plus your Mum will thank you in the long run!
Until next time,
- Liz x