Sunday, 25 May 2014

Working abroad

When I finished college, like six years ago WHAT?! That long go?!, I was given the amazing opportunity to work in Spain for 11 weeks, June to September. Me and two of my friends in travel and tourism wanted to be on this placement since the course started so we were so pleased when we made it on.

I wanted to tell you briefly about my experience so that it could encourage anyone wanting to do this in the future. As it was six years ago (AGAIN WHAT? Where have the years gone?!) it might not be the same as what happens now but it was such a good time of my life that I wanted to share it.

Working Abroad - Tossa De Mar - What to expect

The placement involved working and living in a hotel, being part of the staff on a breakfast and at tea time as well as helping out in the bar from time to time. This meant getting up early for breakfast shift but then having to work late on a night till finish of the dinner service. It basically involved making sure the food was topped up on the buffet and taking people's dirty plates away from their tables. Work was pretty easy but tiresome and the time in between shifts was totally yours and you could use it as you wished. A lot of the time we sunbathed either on the terrace at the hotel or on the beach, sometimes I just went back to bed but that is me being lazy. Some of the girls that came with me came back sooooo dark as they'd been out all the time caining the sun! I was probably the most tanned I'd been but that was still pretty pale.

Working Abroad - Tossa De Mar - What to expect

I went out with 15 other people and we all worked in different hotels in the chain. It was such a nice experience spending time with people I'd previous never talked to and to be honest probably wouldn't have if this opportunity hadn't came around. Everyday you had someone to go to the beach with or take a trip down the coast to Lloret or Blaines with. Although we don't speak much following the trip it was great to have such a close knit group out in Spain.

Working Abroad - Tossa De Mar - What to expect

I was initially worried that I would miss home a lot, and for the most of the time I was okay. I think the hardest part was that I was there for my 18th birthday, not having my mum, dad or sister there was weird and I did get upset a few times but it was a once in a lifetime chance and I wasn't going to go home. It was my goal to stay to the end which unfortunately a few of the girls didn't do as they left early due to homesickness.

Working Abroad - Tossa De Mar - What to expect

Being that young, 17/18, and being given that amount of freedom was so liberating;you could plan your day, go out at all hours of the day, spend money on what you wanted (within reason) and generally not have anyone on your back. It taught me a lot of life lessons such as making sure you and your friends are safe, having an awareness of your surroundings, understanding your finances - how much you could spend and what you needed - and finally just how to be independent from your parents. I had to get to work  by myself, plan trips on my own and buy all my own groceries as well as wash my clothes. It may sound bad and if your reliant on your parents it probably sounds like a nightmare but I thoroughly enjoyed it as it gave me a bit of space to find myself as well as have fun in the sun.

Working Abroad - Tossa De Mar - What to expect

Another good part of this experience was the crazy nights out we had. Now don't get me wrong it was NOTHING like you will see on Sun Sea and Suspicious parents, as I am not that hardcore! We were young, we had fun and drank too much (as you can imagine morning shifts were not enjoyable after these nights). Nights out in Spain were different as you were clubbing with the locals. I was always wary of people as you never knew what they were thinking or saying. Being in such a big group definitely helped me to relax a bit more as you feel safer with more people you know around you.

Working Abroad - Tossa De Mar - What to expect

Working Abroad - Tossa De Mar - What to expect

We were paid for our work in Spain but we also had all of our accommodation and food provided for so it was just trips and other stuff we wanted that we had to pay for. We actually only received half of our money each week as the other half was kept for the end for 11 weeks which we received in a lump sum. I think this was the best way to do it as we didn't actually need the money when we were there so we would have just wasted it. I actually managed to buy a laptop with my money when I came back which was useful for University.

If anything like this ever comes up for any of you I would recommend taking it. The short term worry of leaving your parents and normality soon wears off as you will be having such a good time! If any of you have been done something like this, let me know! I'd be interested to hear your experiences!
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7 comments

  1. This sounds like such an amazing experience!! I wish I'd done something like this before starting uni.
    I'd actually just started uni when I turned 18, it was so weird not being with my family for it, can definitely identify there!!

    Jess xo

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is weird isn't it! Such a big age to reach and it didn't really feel like much!

      x

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  2. Im 29 now and my biggest regret is not doing something like this when I was younger... either this or travelling for a few months. I have an absolute passion for travel now. Its good that you managed to stick with it and not let the home sickness get the better of you!

    http://aworldfullofprettiness.blogspot.com

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  3. What a great opportunity! Sounds like a brilliant thing to have done. I always have my eye out for any opportunity to get out and see the world and love to do a trip like this :)

    Faye | freckles-and-all.com

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  4. That sounds like a great opportunity and certainly sounds like you lot about yourself. Having birthdays away from home in another country can certainly be hard, I find Christmas and birthdays really hard now I live in the US away from family in the UK.

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  5. This sounds like such fun! It sounds/looks like you had such a good time and experience. I'm currently considering applying for Camp America next year, I'd love to work abroad for a summer. I'd just have to save all my pennies up to afford America haha.
    Kloe xx
    skullsnkisses.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Thanks for sharing this link with me! It was fun to read your story. It does sound like easy work but very tiring. I was quite the opposite, teaching is hard work but I had more free time, around 15 hours a week of teaching but it is mentally training to stand up and teach classes for so long, plus the prep took a long time as I had come up with the lesson plans myself!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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