More about me & this site
“I think you need a break son”
Those were the words my dad said to me shortly after the end of a long relationship back in early 2004. I was 21 at the time, and little did he know that my 'break' would lead to a life changing adventure travelling to distant countries and experiencing different cultures I never knew existed.
Once the decision had been made to leave Australia, move to England and start a working holiday visa there were many things to plan, including moving out of my apartment and selling most of my stuff.
It took about 6 months to prepare everything, including saving around $5,000 from scratch. I waited until my visa had been approved before purchasing a one-way ticket from Melbourne (via Singapore and Bahrain) to London.
Through my research online I had discovered that Earls Court was a big hang out for Aussies in London (as is Shepherds Bush, Acton Town and Covent Garden) and there were plenty of cheap hostels that I was rather confident would have vacancies in November.
When I arrived in London I really did not have anything booked. I had looked online before I left to figure out what I would do for work but there was very little information available.
I had already picked live-in pub work as the most likely path for me. It seemed the most flexible and most fun – I particularly liked the idea of turning up and having a bunch of like minded travellers to work with – friends on arrival, brilliant! Plus who wouldn't want to work in a pub?
Me - Tartu, Estonia
Something I realised at the time and for years to come was the critical shortage of information for travellers just like myself wanting to work and holiday in England and the United Kingdom. I spent months without a bank account, or tax numbers, I had no idea what was the cheapest way to travel or how to find a live-in pub job. I also didn't know much about the hospitality industry in the UK or what I would expect to be paid or how many hours I would work.
Suffice to say I endured a very steep learning curve. I often thought how handy it would be to have a website that offered all the information on working and living in pubs in the UK. It was due to this need that I have created www.pubwork-uk.com a place for travellers the world over to get free advice and information on all things related to British pub jobs and bar work. I wanted the voice of my site to 'tell it like it is' so there's not much sugar coating going on here.
Living on minimum wage in London isn't easy, I quickly learnt how to conserve my money and how to travel cheap. I would often see tour packages to Spain or Germany and would challenge myself to do a similar trip independently for around half the price. So this site has a big lean towards cheaper independent travel for the thriftier minded out there.
Working and living in the UK really has changed my life, I have met the sort of people I could only have imagined beforehand and seen things and far off places I'd only read about. We live on an amazing planet full of incredible beauty and wonder, travelling opened my eyes to new concepts and feelings, whilst building strong independent personal growth. I am a better and happy person for having travelled. I have also had the privilege to spend the last 6 years with a special woman I would not otherwise have met. The cost of travelling can come with a high price but the experiences I gained are priceless.
“I think you need a break son”
For all you current and future working holiday makers out there I hope you have an amazing time in the UK and elsewhere around the world. I enjoy creating this site so I hope you find it informative, educational and fun. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
One final point. It was whilst working in a pub in Warwickshire in summer '06 that I met a very special girl. A local, she had been working at the pub for 7 years and was getting ready to quit and move on with her life before meeting me. We got together, and have since lived in Ireland, England and Australia, travelled to over 20 countries and enevitably, we got married in July 2010!
UK Live-in pub work - you just never know where it will take you!
“You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself”