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Working Holiday in Cyprus

Posted on Oct 1, 2010 in Uncategorized, Work & Holiday, Working Holiday Visa |

Now you have the opportunity to explore Cyprus – a land of Roman ruins, medieval frescoed churches, castles, Mediterranean cuisine, and lots of fun. Visa First recently started offering assistance to Australians for Working Holiday visas for Cyprus, Australians can work while experiencing the life and culture of Cyprus – a place much different from their home country. Cyprus is an island located in the Eastern Mediterranean, south of Turkey and west of Syria and Lebanon. Nicosia is the capital. Its population is about 800,000 people, which makes it the third biggest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. Cyprus is a presidential republic with Greek and Turkish for official languages. As a member of the European Union, it adopted the euro in 2008. The economy is very well-developed and the Gross Domestic Product is just above the average of the European Union. Cyprus is ranked the 40th most popular destination in the world with over 2 million tourist arrivals annually. As such, backpackers can get seasonal jobs to support their stay. It’s best to arrive during the tourist season as this way you can easily find jobs in the restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, etc. The busiest tourist resorts are Ayia Napa and Proteras, so you have greater chances to find a job quickly if you go there. Fruit picking is also a job backpackers often find through asking around. English is widely spoken, so you shouldn’t have trouble with the locals. Getting around the island should not be a problem either, as buses and taxis are always available. You can rent a car– Cypriots drive on the left side of the road just like in Australia. As far as things to see in Cyprus, the list is quite long. Check out cyprus-travel-secrets.com for specific attractions and activities. So, if you are ready to see how the Mediterranean is different from the Pacific, see the requirements for a Working Holiday visa in Cyprus, and start...

Tourist vs. Traveller vs. Backpacker vs. Flashpacker vs. Expat vs. Location Independent Professional

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 in Travel |

Tourist, traveller, backpacker, flashpacker, expat and location independent professional – do you know which one is what, and, more importantly, do you know exactly what are you? These words are similar and overlap at times, but differences still exist, and I’ll try to straighten them up below. According to several dictionaries, tourist is: ‘One who travels for pleasure.‘ thefreedictionary.com ‘A person who makes a tour, esp. for pleasure.’ yourdictionary.com ‘A person who is travelling or visiting a place for pleasure.‘ oxforddictionaries.com They are distinguished by being part of tour groups, going to the main attractions and sightseeings of a place, and passing only through the surface of the culture and customs. Tourists are being taken care of by tour guides and tourist companies. Here’s what Daniel J. Boorsin, an American historian, professor, attorney and writer, said about the tourist: “The traveller was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing.'” Let’s see now what is out there for traveller: ‘A person who travels, esp habitually.‘ thefreedictionary.com ‘One who travels or has traveled, as to distant places.‘ yourdictionary.com Traveller is someone who gets deeper  into the culture and experience the authenticity of the place. He avoids the popular tourist attractions and blends in with the locals in order to get to know them and their lives better. But how does the traveller differ from the backpacker? ‘A backpacker is someone, especially a young person without much money, who travels around an area on foot or with public transport, often carrying a backpack.’ macmillandictionary.com He tries to experience the local life as he lives along with its inhabitants for awhile. He always looks for the lowest cost accomodation, food, way of getting around, etc. regardless of the quality of service and product he gets in return. He is also known for working jobs abroad such as fruit picking, farm work, etc. in order to finance his travels. He drinks beer, likes the freedom to wonder around and go to the outbacks of...

Abduction Tourism…

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 in Travel |

Apparently, exploring the sightseeings or trying the local cuisine of the chosen destination is old school now.  Even extreme sports such as sky-diving or swimming with sharks is not adrenaline enough. Tourists go for hard-core stuff now – such as simulated kidnapping experience. Practically, you pay to get unexpectedly kidnapped, bound, gagged and imprisoned for hours. Seriously. A French company is already offering kidnapping packages. “It allows you to experience the terror of the real thing,” Craig Shim, Tourism Queensland marketing manager, said. …Except while you are being abducted, you will know “the real thing” will be over in several hours. If it’s not over, then it is for real. To add to the absurdity of this idea, here’s a simple but straight to the point thought of Ethan Gelber, who wrote an article about the Abduction Tourism for the Lonely Planet blog: “Just remember: You can’t relive your holiday if your only memories are of a featureless room. And you can’t see great sights through a blindfold.” Enough said. Source:...

Work-Life Balance Worsening

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 in Migration News |

Instead of improving, the work life of more than two million Australians is worsening, according to the latest Work and Life Index 2010. The Australian Council of Trade Unions says that the increased pressure at work is reflecting on people’s personal lives as their families are suffering for it. “It’s getting harder, not easier for working people and this is having a negative effect on children … and the whole community,” Ged Kearney, the ACTU president, said. The report, which analyses a survey from March of 2800 workers who answered questions related to work-life balance and their use of leave, shows that more full-time employees reported dissatisfaction with their work-life balance. Mr Kearney also said that the most dissatisfied from all are the working women as one in four is unhappy. The men between the ages 29 and 49, on the other hand, have the longest working hours and worst work-life balance. Source:...

The Importance of Travel Insurance

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 in Travel |

Travel Insurance is one of those things that either get into use, or is a waste of money. But, it’s also one of those things that make the difference between an unforgettable travel experience and a nightmare that you never want to go through again – ever. People are quite negligent when it comes to travel safety simply because they don’t know what to expect, or they have never had an accident during travelling before. Think of this: what is the chance to have your luggage lost or stolen? Or, to break a leg while skiing or hiking? The chances are huge. “Regardless of whether you travel overseas regularly, infrequently or on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, travel insurance is essential and can well mean the difference between fantastic and disaster,” Steve Mickenbecker, head of research at Canstar Cannex, said. “Cancelled reservations, lost luggage, diverted flights, missed connections, bad weather and illness or accident can turn your well deserved holiday into a horror story.” So, if you are thinking of spending hundreds (or more likely thousands) of dollars for a trip to another country, why wouldn’t you invest a couple of hundred more and secure your travel and fun? Travel insurances are available both online and at physical locations, as the online version is the cheapest. Some people prefer the face-to-face experience, and go to insurance agencies. They might be a little more expensive, but they sure guarantee more personalized service and insurance that best fits your needs. Other people have travel insurances through their credit cards which are usually platinum or gold and not everyone has those. “Surprisingly, premium credit cards offer very comparable travel insurance. A platinum card may cost you roughly $200 in an annual fee and you’ll get free travel insurance,” Harry Senlitonga, financial analyst at Datamonitor in Sydney, said. The most important thing people need to know when choosing their travel insurance is, however, its coverage. That’s why sometimes it’s recommended that you go to an agency and let them choose the right one for you, in case you don’t know how to search for one....

Ski at night

Posted on Jul 30, 2010 in Travel |

Travellers who want to ski in Australia and New Zealand but are overwhelmed with the prices at these resorts, can save money by skiing at night. Several major OZ and NZ ski resorts such as Perisher, Falls Creek, Mt Buller and Coronet Peak offer night ski at lower rates. This way ski lovers will enjoy the almost empty slopes, and their mistakes will be barely noticed. Some may be concerned about the safety side of this experience, but all precautions are taken – instructors, first aid, lifts and high intensity lamps are operate all the time. “It’s a whole different atmosphere at night – skiing under the stars then enjoying music and hot mulled wine on the deck – it’s very special,” Coronet Peak ski manager, Hamish McCrostie, said. Night skiing is available for teenagers as well. Source:...

European Immigration Paradox

Posted on Jul 30, 2010 in Living Abroad |

Europe is stressing on the high number of immigrants floating the continent, and some of the biggest economies like Germany and UK fear that immigrants harm – rather than support – their economies and cultures. In UK the immigrants, who are increasing extremely fast, are filling up the job availability, and the UK nationals fear that the unemployment rate will keep growing. In addition, the constant wave of foreigners coming into the country is bringing foreign traditions and customs with it, and is thus completely changing the national culture – slowly but surely. Despite all fears and problems coming with the mass immigration to Europe, Brussels says Europe needs more of it in order to recover from the economic downturn. Brussels authorities plan to make it easier for workers to enter Europe for temporary seasonal jobs in farming, tourism and other industries. According to Cecilia Malmstrom, EU home affairs commissioner, more immigrants are needed to fill “labour shortages.” She plans to speed up procedures for hiring managers, specialists and seasonal workers from outside the EU. “We need immigrant workers in order to secure our economic survival,” she said. “We know unemployment rates are still very high in Europe. Paradoxically, at the same time there are labour shortages,” she also explained. The British Home Office, however, does not approve such action, and insists Britain to refuse signing up the latest overhaul of EU border controls. Source:...

Tips for Buying Used Cars

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 in Travel |

It’s a common practice for backpackers in Australia and New Zealand to buy used cars to travel and explore the life there during their stay. Being foreigners, however, they are not familiar with the local practices and could turn into easily be ripped-off. Carsguide.com.au offers some helpful tips on how to get the right car and how to avoid being lied to. Budget. You should not forget to include the charges that will apply additionally to the car price, such as registration, insurance, basic maintenance and gas. So, don’t fall for the first offer. Shop around to find the best rate. Research. Doing some research before buying a used car is essential. In order to figure out whether the given price of a car is realistic, research the model in local newspapers, and online. Also, when the car price is way too low for the particular model, then there is likely something wrong with the car. Talk to the seller. Make sure you ask a lot of questions such as: why are they selling the car; how long have they had it for; what condition is it in; has it been damaged, etc. Look at the car. If it’s a private seller, not a dealer, make sure you go to their home address, instead of arranging a different place to meet. Compare the home address with the one on the registration certificate. Car’s history. Always check the car history to make sure the car is not stolen, for example. Ask for the VIN number and search through databases of the state where the car was registered. In some states you can pay a fee and have that done, which will save you time and money. Check the car. This is an extremely important part of the process, and you have to be very cautious. If you don’t have the knowledge and experience, just take the car to a specialist to do it for you. Test drive. The price. In most cases you have a real chance to reduce the price. You can make a list with the problems of...

Free Tan At Gatwick

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 in Travel |

Here’s what Gatwick Airport in London did to attract travelers – it started offering free fake tan before taking off. The idea came into effect thanks to combined efforts between the airport and the tanning firm St Tropez. Both sides hope they will make passengers more confident prior to arriving to their holiday destination. The spray tan is also called “Gatwick Glow,” and is meant to prepare the travelers for the summer sun. Kim Francis, the airport’s marketing manager said, “Hopefully it will send them off on their holidays feeling great about themselves.” The offer will continue between July 28 and August...