P ics by Gretchen Oris-Chong @Eightcorners
How far would you travel for a good curly-hair cut? Answer: 17000 km. That is the distance I covered from London to Melbourne where Australia’s king of curls, Neel Morley, is sovereign. Since a chance meeting in 2013, I have followed him religiously on social media, not only because he rules over curl cuts but because he truly loves them! The Aussie press can’t get enough of him either; some want to big up his reputation as a curly-hair stylist, others focus on his entrepreneurial talent and then there are those who are hyped up about his quirky fashion sense when he turns up at the Melbourne Cup. So upon going Down Under, I had to book myself in for a signature cut at his funky salon, aptly named, Neels Loves Curls and grab a word with the mane monarch himself.
Ever fancied an adventure? To experience a new culture, or just a time out from hectic work? A Working Holiday visa in Australia is just the ticket.
In 2012 I had a crack at it; I packed my bags and boarded a plane to Melbourne. What was I thinking? Well for four years, I was making little career progress in the UK. I was stuck in a rut, not to mention tired of London’s madness. Australia had been on my radar for a while. My cousins migrated there as well as a few friends- all of whom loved it. The economy was strong, wages were high and lifestyle ideal- everything the UK was not. It took quite a bit of research and prep beforehand, but it made the transition that little bit easier.
In the end it didn’t quite pan out the way I thought it would, but that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time. I’ve made some lifelong new friends, explored a beautiful continent and broadened my horizons.
Tempted? Before you take the plunge, my two-part nifty guide has everything you need to know before you go Down Under.