So I have always enjoyed travelling but never really thought about doing it for 3 months working away from my friends, family and that regular lifestyle. Doing this would mean sacrificing my normal routine and leaving my comfort zone.
When I was told that there was a secondment opportunity with iiNet in Canberra, I was told about the perks of having a weekly allowance, living close to work in an awesome serviced apartment and a work car. I realised I had imprisoned myself and decided to give it a shot.
I applied and was successfully selected. My friends asked me why would you go to Canberra? There is nothing to do there right? Truth is, I thought the same but after this secondment, my mind has changed and I wish to continue adventuring to other secondments when available.
My first secondment – Canberra, Australia
Working as an acting manager for one of the new teams in a new environment was refreshing. Even though more work had to be done; it was worthwhile as I gained new experiences in Canberra’s culture and people, who are now my friends. Just because they live 3 hours away, the city itself feels different, feels more carefree than the busy CBD of Sydney. I made lots of friends there and let’s just say Canberra’s alcoholic beverages were a lot cheaper than Sydney.
I also met other staff from around Australia during my secondment and we still regularly email each other for help so building a network is also important.
I have been to Canberra multiple times as a child but I don’t recall most of the attractions there. While we did not go to every place to visit, we spent some time as tourists and explored the museums. Visiting these sites is something that I do not do normally so it was refreshing that once again I was taking part in activities I could not have done or seen things I would not see under normal circumstances.
I love food and found some excellent places to eat while in Cenberra including the best chips, pies and laksa. Secondments are the best opportunity to try different cuisines and what chefs have to offer from around the globe as secondments are not limited to Canberra only!
My Second Secondment – Capetown, South Africa
Once again like my first secondment to Canberra, flights, accommodation and allowance was part of the deal, we even had cabs taking us to and from work!
Everything in Capetown is cheap (especially alcohol), you eat and live like a king and you realise you are barely spending any money at all.
People and culture
Wow, just wow. Capetown really opened up my eyes. There are really people that live in sheds and share port-a-loos as their toilets in a dead field like in the movies, it really does exist. You experience their ways of living, how poor can poor actually be.
There were so many things I have never experienced before and I got to witness it with my own eyes that I can’t even begin to list them all. There were good and bad but they are all valuable lessons which made me a better person.
I was afraid that it may have been a dangerous place but as long as you are smart and have awareness, it is actually quite safe.
Living the tourist life
There were so many things to do and see! I tried to take advantage of all the activities I could including:
– Shark cage diving,
– Table mountain (see my photo below),
– Cape point, the very end of South Africa,
– Quad biking,
– A million different restaurants (and most were really good and cheap!) and
I don’t want to go into detail of most of these activities as you will be reading an 800 page novel but Capetown is a place you should visit, or better yet, experience through a working secondment!
The food is amazing, while I was not a big fan of some of the “game” meats they were definitely interesting to try. You can go from springbok to ostrich and even wild boar.
Thanks iiNet for an amazing opportunity
Getting paid for a holiday? Accommodation sorted close to work? Allowance money? Need I say more?
But the best reason is that changing your living and working environment for a few months not only freshens your job but even your personal life. This secondment has definitely changed and improved who I am. I encourage you to consider what opportunities there may be at your current workplace to participate in a secondment. And if your workplace don’t offer that – maybe you could check out iiNet’s career’s page!
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