How Working Abroad Will Change Your Life
Mark Robinson from New Zealand finished a sport and recreation degree but the thought of working full time in a job did not interest him in the slightest. He had a huge desire to travel the world but just had absolutely no idea how to get started.
Mark ended up googling Camp America and found a company called Smaller Earth with an underlying organization called Camp Leaders. Here Mark shares his experience of working abroad with Smaller Earth and why you might want to do something similar as it really will change your life.
Starting My Application
After finding out about Smaller Earth and the opportunities they offer I contacted the team and within a few days the ball was rolling and my excitement was building. The team was very professional, understanding and really took time with me to make sure this was what I wanted to do.
Fresh out of university and not having many life skills or experiences I was nervous, however having the support of a company kept me confident that things would work out.
Working in the USA
Off I went - Auckland, New Zealand onwards to Camp Hidden Meadows based in Bartow, West Virginia, America. Here I would be a camp counsellor for a group of 10 campers aged between 10-12. Luckily I had an Australian co-counsellor to help me out and we got along like a house on fire.
Here we were responsible for leading our own activities, mine being mountain biking. Aswell as that we were responsible for making each one of our kids were prepared each day and on time to their activities. Kind of like a big brother.
This experience of working in the USA was incredible, I learnt countless things about myself, people, the world.. the list goes on. Honestly go do it - it’s indescribable and to this day I still use skills I learnt from the camp. I even still reminisce about camp and the co-counsellors I met out there are now life long friends of mine.
Travelling & Arriving Back Home
Following the summer camp I went on to travel 6 states during the month of travel the American J1 visa allows. I also went travelling for 5 months to Canada, England, Ireland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Thailand an finally I ended up back home in Auckland. Where to from here!? I had the travel bug bad.
I worked in Auckland for 6 months saving frantically to get back out and see what this incredible world has to offer. Again though I was unsure of what to do. Cue Smaller Earth, however with a different program this time - Canago.
Canago is a program designed to get people working in the hospitality industry. The hotels that Canago aligns with are based in small ski towns in the Canadian Rockies with the intentions of workers being on a working holiday. Working enough to fund the costs of skiing and living the dream in the Rockies.
Working in Canada
Off I went to work in Canada, this time working as a bellman at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This was something so foreign to me, but again I had the support of smaller earth so was confident things would work out.
I arrived in the small town of Jasper which is located in the Alberta Province in Canada. Here I was in absolute awe of the incredible scenery that was all around me. Literally every where I looked was a photo waiting to be taken and put on the back of a post card.
My job was amazing, front of house, greeting people and assisting with luggage while driving flash cars. I’m living the dream!! All well working with the friendliest people and having all the perks of guests staying at the hotel, and all I had to do was work and be friendly? Easy.
I knew id ended up in the right place and again I have Smaller Earth to thank. Currently I am doing my second ski season here, I didn’t think I’d be out here this long but honestly I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and wouldn’t change a thing.
Smaller Earth Really Have Changed My Life
I’d 1000% recommend this company and have absolutely no regrets with what I’ve done post completing my degree. I just have to one day knuckle down and do something related to my degree, however for now I’ll keep living the dream and having the time of my life.
Thanks Smaller Earth, for changing my life for the better - you guys truly did rock my world!!
By Mark Robinson