Leah is a young Traveller who embarked on a life-changing experience through the A-Way to Work Program. She often finds she has to pinch herself to ensure this journey is not a dream for the whirlwind of excitement, personal growth, and unforgettable memories she has made.
Leaving home is never easy, and Leah couldn’t help but feel a pang of emptiness as she bid farewell to her loved ones. But with a burning desire to explore the world, she set off on a journey to Australia.
Arriving on the other side of the world, she experienced the weird phenomenon of jetlag taking over her system. Waking up at 5:30 in the morning, dealing with a strange appetite, and eating like crazy might have seemed peculiar, but it was all part of the adventure. Jetlag has its way of shaking things up, doesn’t it?
Now, let’s talk about telling her story. Oh, the tales she can share after six incredible months! But here’s the catch: people often have preconceived notions about what she’s been up to. Some might think she spent her time exploring like there’s no tomorrow, and she did do a lot of that. But the truth is, she did work – meaningful, hands-on work that expanded her horizons and contributed to her personal and professional growth.
The A-Way To Work Outbound Program is so much bigger than what people might imagine. For Leah, it meant immersing herself in a tropical spot, not just a place with dust and dirt everywhere. The climate was hot and humid, reminiscent of a paradise. However, there were also cold nights in Victoria that felt surprisingly similar to the chill in Canada. It’s incredible how different parts of the world can surprise us with their unique landscapes and climates.
During her adventure, she worked diligently Monday to Friday, with weekends off. But it wasn’t all work and no play! She got to experience the thrill of attending horse races, exquisite and upscale affairs where big hats and fancy heels were the norm. This glamorous side of the adventure resonated deeply with Leah, who had grown up around horses and felt a special connection to the equestrian world.
From trying Vegemite and discovering its fiercely protected status to encountering kangaroos, which seemed as commonplace as deer in Canada, she embraced the unique experiences every step of the way. Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, surrounded by mesmerizing neon fish, evoked a sense of wonder and joy like nothing else. You could see the excitement in her eyes and feel the happiness radiating from within as she tells her story.
Feeling incredibly fortunate, Leah discovered a serendipitous connection with her boss even before flying to Australia. , connected her with his uncle, a saddle maker, after seeing her leatherwork on TikTok. Together, they spent time crafting horse bridles, combining their talents and passion for the trade. It was a remarkable collaboration that exemplified the power of unexpected connections and shared interests.
When it was time to return home, Leah found herself with a case of mixed emotions. So she planned to return to Australia. At the end of this, next harvest season, marks her return down under, where she will continue her work with that same employer. The promise of new adventures and reconnecting with friends added an extra spark of excitement to her journey.
With her studies in animal science and a Bachelor of Agriculture Technology Degree from Vermillion behind her, Leah’s experience in Australia served as an official practicum. She was ready to take on the world with her newfound knowledge, eager to make a difference as a precision agriculturalist or beef tech specialist. Their focus? Educating producers on collecting data and bridging the gap between technology and agriculture.
So, fellow adventurers, whether you’re dreaming of exploring the vast landscapes of Australia, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, or connecting with like-minded individuals through the program, remember that the world is waiting for you. Let your curiosity guide you, embrace the unknown, and embark on a journey that will shape you in ways you never thought possible.