Is life feeling a little stale? Keen to get away? No money or annual leave to actually do it? Same here, my friends. Shimmying your life up to work in the sunshine state might just be the solution.
Yes, it does sound like a fantasy, but it is possible. And don’t take it from my sorry ass — I’m in the same boat as you. Instead, take it from someone who has actually gone and done the damn thing: my sweet colleague Bree.
Bree moved up to Queensland about six months ago to work remotely and she’s loving it sick. So, naturally, we’re gonna grill her about it for content.
If you’ve been thinking about making the move too, right now is the time to do it. Queensland is slinging a Working Holidayer Pass to turn the dream into a reality.
The pass includes a one-way bus ticket to the sunshine state from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, and 30 days of non-consecutive travel over three months. So basically, once you’re there, you can hop on any Greyhound bus, in any direction, to explore the state and save on YHA accommodation while you’re at it. Plus, you’ll score a $200 Backpacker Deals experience voucher to spend on bucket-list stuff like learning to surf on the Gold Coast, or diving in The Great Barrier Reef. Don’t mind if I do.
Not sold? If you’re still perched uncomfortably on the fence there, here’s why Bree rates heading up to Queensland:
The work/life balance
After spending two years in Sydney lockdown, Bree was ready for one helluva change.
“A typical work day in Queensland for me starts at 6 am with some form of exercise — a beach run/walk, pilates, boxing, surfing — then I meditate by the ocean for a bit. After that, I’ll grab a chai from my local cafe before walking home to start my workday,” she says.
Now, that — minus the running — is my dream.
Bree usually has lunch around midday and tries to get out of the house again, usually by chilling at the beach or going for a walk.
“After work I’m usually either meeting up with friends for dinner, cooking dinner for myself or friends and family, playing touch footy, attending a dance class or just chilling out. I’m really excited for my first summer here when I can surf or wakeboard after work when the daylight lasts a little longer,” Bree says.
“Not only do I feel like I can do so much more with my day, but my work/life balance has vastly improved. I’m choosing to do all the things I love on the weekends (and sometimes on weekdays) and my overall mental health and happiness have improved so much since I moved. I feel a lot more connected to myself and the life I want moving forward,” says Bree.
The money, honey
One of the biggest draw cards for Bree was that she’d be able to save while doing things she loves. Hoo boy, as a Sydneysider myself, this reason hit me hard. Farewelling the cooked costs of this city would improve my mood by about 10% a day I reckon.
“I was spending more than half my paycheck on things like rent, gym memberships, public transport, dinners with friends, and getting out of the city whenever I could,” says Bree. “I’ve saved enough money to buy my little Jimny, go on holidays and start looking at what it will take for me to be able to buy a house – and considering I’m in my late 20s, it feels good to finally be financially stable.”
The great outdoors
“When I lived in Sydney, I was really living that city life, immersed in the work hustle, party culture, and stuck in my Eastern Suburbs bubble. The longer I was there, the more I realised I’d lost touch with the parts of myself I loved so much growing up,” Bree explains.
She was always obsessed with outdoor activities like wakeboarding, surfing, hiking and camping, but living in Sydney allowed for very little of that. Now, Bree goes surfing at Noosa and hiking around Mount Coolum, Kondalilla Falls and Mt Ngungun.
“I was craving more of an outdoorsy and active lifestyle to balance out all of the time I spend behind a computer each week for work. So a move to Queensland was conducive to that. I’d highly recommend the move if you’re feeling a little too cooped up in the big city.
It’s familiar but also far
“As to why I chose Queensland, my family has been holidaying on the Sunshine Coast since I was a child,” Bree explains. “So, it naturally felt like the right choice for me. I already knew my way around, I had a few friends there, and luckily for me, my parents had a holiday house there I could rent off them.”
But the beauty is, it’s familiar, with plenty more to explore.
Bree has been doing a lot of trips up to Far North Queensland and The Great Barrier Reef for diving expeditions, as well as travelling more locally to little islands off the coast like Old Woman Island. She’s hit up Elliott Heads, Double Island Point and North Stradbroke Island to camp on the beach, too.
“But I’ve only been here for like six months so far, so there’s still so much left to explore,” says Bree.
It all sound pretty darn tempting, hey? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go pack my bloody bags…
If your sights are set on Queensland, there are thousands of jobs up for grabs right now. Working Holidayer Passes are available for Working Holiday Visa holders. Find out more, here.