I want to travel overseas and work in Canada in a ski resort for 6-12 months.

But I am a home person and get really nervous when I travel, and the thought of going overseas by my self sometimes takes over and makes me not want to travel. I thought maybe if I wait till later in life I might not be as nervous and will go then but if I am still just as nervous I will end up never going which I don't want to happen.

Have there been any 18-19 year olds that have traveled and been really nervous before they went and did it and got to their destination and the nerves just go? Any personal experiences or stories would be much appreciated.

  • I've put better tags on this question - it had nothing to do with snow. It's going to be hard to answer, though. – Kate Gregory Mar 3 '13 at 13:43
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    This is indeed a hard to answer question. One 18 y/o is not comparable to the other. It's just very subjective. Could you maybe elaborate on why you want to travel to Canada for such a long time? – Saaru Lindestøkke Mar 3 '13 at 16:14
  • Just go and find out. Later in life, you will not regret the things you did, but the things you did not do. In the worst case, you'll go home earlier, but than you tried at least, but I don't think this will happen. Go, make new friends, have fun! – Bernhard Mar 3 '13 at 22:25
  • Polling people / asking for stories generally isn't how this website works - see the faq. I suggest hopping into our Travel Chat and asking in there. For example, I'm about to finish a 1 year visa in Canada, and it's been a blast, and when I'm in the chat (often) would be happy to have a word about it. However, as per the faq, for now I'm closing this as not suitable for the site. :/ – Mark Mayo Mar 4 '13 at 5:15

I'll try answering, but it will mostly be questions. As you answer these questions for yourself you may be in a better position to make a decision.

First, whose idea was this?

  • have you been offered a job in a ski resort?
  • did you read something about working in a ski resort and think "that sounds fun!"
  • do you know someone who did it and you want to do the same?
  • is this a limited-time offer that won't be there for you later?

Second, how much concrete knowledge do you have?

  • have you learned about the "working holiday" visa for Canada? Have you looked into whether you qualify?
  • can you name a ski resort (even one) in Canada? Do you know roughly what the ski season is? (Hint: not 12 months)
  • have you ever worked at a ski resort before?
  • do you know what you would be likely to earn, and what your expenses would be?
  • is there some other generally available job (lawnmowing, house painting, retail clerk) that you would be just as willing to do, or is this about the ski thing?

Third, how much support do you have?

  • is someone able to buy your tickets, send you money if you need it, and give you advice (by phone or email) if things aren't going well?
  • do you have the money you'll need in hand already, or must you borrow it, or earn it while you're here?
  • will you be able to come home early if you're desparately homesick or lonely?
  • do you know anybody in all of North America who you could visit while you're away from home?
  • are you part of a community that is well represented in ski resort towns? (See "name a ski resort" - the kind of food you can buy or religious services you can attend will be different for Mont Tremblanc and Whistler, for example.) How important is that to you?

What is your motivation for going?

  • are you looking for "different" or just to prove you can stand on your own two feet?
  • are you about to lock into 4 years of university, or something else that will make doing this harder if you don't do it now?
  • are you going to something, or away from something?

Don't tell me the answers to these, tell yourself. Write up a firm and serious plan and budget. Look things up on the web to make them more real. As you gain information, you should lose nervousness and gain excitement. You can see whether this is a risky thing for you to do or not. You can learn more about Canada and about what your time here would be like. Within a day or two of research, one spreadsheet, and maybe one document of words and pictures, you should find out how you feel.

Many people have gone across the world, not for a few months but forever, at about this age, and it wasn't always their choice and many of them did it alone. Some go home sad and wish they'd never gone; most get over their nerves and find joy in where they are. We can't tell which you will be based on so little information, but I think perhaps you can. You know yourself, you know why you are even considering this, and you can find out the rest of what you need to know to make a pretty good prediction of how it will work out.


My wife was a very nervous traveller as a young adult. She was brave for her first long flight but seemed almost more worried for later flights. She could travel but it wasn't easy.

Eventually, she was alone on a rather rough flight seated next to someone more even frightened than herself. The other passenger had the extra difficulty of not understanding the language. Seeing this (and being able to speak both languages), she was able to calm her down.

Cliche as it may sound, this event is what helped her overcome (most) of her fear of flying. Focusing on someone else's problem helped her ignore her own.

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