After finishing my Tourism Management degree in July 2015 I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do more than go travelling. I took the opportunity before starting a career to travel visiting Dubai, South East Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali and ending up in Australia. After an amazing 2 years working in various tourism and hospitality jobs in Australia, my 2 year visa ended.
After nearly 2.5 years living abroad and Christmas approaching it seemed like the perfect time to return home. Home being Windermere, Lake District. Within a week of returning I had two job interviews lined up and was offered a job just before Christmas, starting in January.
Whilst my time in Australia had been amazing, I found it really difficult and quite degrading finding jobs. With the 2 year working holiday visa, your only allowed to take a job with one company for 6 months. This meant many businesses didn’t want to recruit ‘backpackers’. I’d finished university, had over 5 years experience in a hotel and couldn’t get a reception or reservation job for love no money. So returning home and instantly being offered a job really boosted my confidence.
Living in Brisbane was amazing, I’d never lived in a city before and loved the accessibility of going out at any time and being able to go to a cafe or bar. There was always something going on and I met so many friends whilst living in Australia and hope to meet them all again in the future.
Although returning home just before Christmas seemed like a good idea at the time, the festive season was fantastic but once Christmas and New Year had past it was a long and bleak winter ahead. I wasn’t sure if returning had been the best decision.
However the summer definitely made up for the winter. There is no better place to be when the sun is shining down on the Lake District. What I love the most about Cumbria is the amazing and diverse scenery from the mountains to coast and the bay to the lakes.
Many of the people in the village I have grown up with and known throughout my life. It’s really nice being back in a community where everyone knows each other and looks after each other. I live less than 10 minutes from most of my family and I’m loving spending time and making memories with them after missing some rough times in the past 2.5 years.
There are so many opportunities in my current role which I can’t wait to explore in the next few years. I’ve been given responsibility for my role and I’m really enjoying working in the tourism industry. The 2.9bn tourism industry in Cumbria is exciting and constantly changing and growing to deal with challenges. In 2017 there were 18.35m visitors to the county and I think it’s really exciting being part of that industry.
One of the reasons I’ve loved returning home after travelling is that I appreciate where I live now. Having lived in Windermere all my life before I left I didn’t truly appreciate its outstanding beauty and everything it had to offer. Since returning home, I’m taking every opportunity to get out in the UNSECO world heritage site that is my back garden and explore it.
I can’t say the travel bug has gone completely but I’m making the most of living just an hours plane ride from the continent and making more effort to visit places in the U.K. I haven’t been to before. Since returning I’ve visited, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay, Fort William, York, Liverpool, Manchester, London as well as Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and soon Turkey.