Visa Bureau and STA Travel's
lucky winner Jamie Priest!
We at the Visa Bureau teamed up with our friends at STA Travel once more this year to offer one working holiday maker the chance to make their trip truly once in a life time.
All you had to do to enter our competition was to process your Working Holiday Visa with us and book your flights to Australia with STA Travel before the end of March and you were automatically entered into a draw to win back the full cost of your flights - up to £1,000!
Naturally, we had plenty of entries but we could only have one winner: Jamie Priest!
Jamie joins our last winner Kara Lyons as exclusive members of competition winners, scooping a massive £1,000 to put in his travel kitty.
We caught up with Jamie in the middle of his hectic planning before he leaves next week and, after we finally convinced him it wasn't a scam and he really had won, we had a quick chat before he went back to packing.
From entering to winning
Jamie said his luck isn't normally the best so his decision to use the Visa Bureau and STA was based on friends' recommendations rather than the possibility of winning a competition, so naturally it came as a huge surprise.
Visa Bureau and STA were recommended to me by numerous friends and I found the process very straight forward and easy. I'm I used Visa Bureau and STA, they helped me plan my travels and give me advice.
I never thought I stood a chance of winning the competition so I am absolutely over the moon to be the lucky winner - finally I have some luck on my side :)
In this day and age, scams are like rats - you're never more than 10 feet away from them and Jamie first wanted to make sure he hadn't been taken in my news that really was too good to be true.
I was with my parents at the time I received the news congratulating me on my win. They couldn't believe it either!
After a couple of hasty phonecalls and emails though we managed to convince Jamie he really did have an extra £1,000 to spend on his working holiday.
Jamie's working holiday
Jamie's working holiday in Australia isn't his first time travelling but he'd heard so many good things about the land Down Under, that he couldn't resist the chance to go.
I have been travelling once before, about four years ago. I went to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Bali. It was the thing I've ever done (to date) and I definitely still have the travel bug.
I've never been to Australia before but I have had a few friends go in the past and they had the best time of their live so when my best friend said they wanted to, I thought why not?
Jamie's working holiday is not
his first adventure.
As Jamie is yet to leave, it might be tempting to blow the whole lot on a jewel-encrusted pair of shades or enough cans of Fosters and Marmite to make Harold Bishop sick, but Jamie insists his winnings will be put to good use.
The win means I can do all the thing I have been dreaming of for years. My plans are remaining the same despite the win but it means I can do the diving course I always wanted to do which I wouldn't have been able to afford without this win.
I want to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef. I love being on the sea and I have seen pictures of what you can see diving in Australia. Looks incredible!
But it's not all about what the money can do for Jamie and he has plenty of plans to do more than just spend his money.
I just want to experience things I've never experienced! I want to see the world, meet new people and see different ways of living.
Getting ready to go
With just a few days left before he sets out on the trip of a lifetime, Jamie cannot wait to get away from the excuse of a spring in the UK to the excuse of a winter in Australia:
I'm looking forward to the clear waters in the Great Barrier Reef, and the beautiful beaches! I am trying to avoid the cold winter in Australia as I'm getting away from England due to this :)
I am flying into Melbourne, but doing a road trip over to Queensland! Looks beautiful!
And finally, Jamie has just one tip for all budding travellers.
Take a Lonely Planet book! I used one in Thailand and I would highly recommend them to anyone travelling!
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor with the Australian Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to Australia.
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