I absolutely LOVE to travel. I go somewhere other than home every chance I get. I originally went to sea for the promise of travel to exotic ports in foreign countries.
Even tho I almost never get to go anywhere other than Fourchon Louisiana anymore, I still hold out hope that someday soon I’ll find another job on a vessel going somewhere interesting.
So I read this article with high hopes for something new and actually do-able. I’ve heard of a lot of these ideas before, but it’s nice to see them all in one place. I’m not especially interested in a full time job in another country, but I wouldn’t mind having something to do.
Get a job?
I’ve heard of the worldwide workers on organic farms (WWOOF) before, and wondered how much work it actually entails and how hard it would be. I’ve never really gone very far with researching it yet. It does sound interesting and a great way to learn new skills and really get involved with things in a new location.
I’ve also heard of house-sitting and have subscribed to Caretakers for a few years now. I’ve seen a few great looking opportunities there but so far, none of them have fit in with my schedule. I’m still hoping to arrange something with them.
Be a bum?
I’ve also heard of couchsurfing and love the idea. I would love to meet other travelers from around the world and have been planning to sign up. My only issue is that my schedule is so unpredictable that I don’t know how I can make it work.
Save your points?
Travel hacking is another way to get around for ‘free’, but to me, this one seems to take a LOT of work. You need to spend a lot of time and effort to score points with your credit cards. I do try to maximize my credit card points, but it’s important that you can pay off your balance every month or you’ll get screwed by the money you wind up paying in high interest costs.
Be a teacher?
Teaching English in a foreign country is another option I have looked into previously. When my old ship the Performer was still working overseas, I was very seriously considering it.
I’m still thinking about it, but I haven’t made any moves towards DOING it. I think I would like to take the TEFL course somewhere first and have the schools help in finding a position. The main reason I haven’t done it yet is basically that I’m spoiled. I don’t want to get tied down in a foreign country and totally dependent on that job!
I want OPTIONS! What happens if I sign on to teach at a school and it turns out that I just can’t stand it? The living conditions suck? Or they don’t follow through in some other way on promises made? If I have no cash in the bank or if my visa is tied to a particular school, then I am basically stuck with it. I don’t want to be in that position. SO, I am still putting off doing anything constructive.
Teaching overseas does sound like a really good option for someone who already has some teaching experience.
Volunteer your talents?
Volunteering abroad sounds like a great idea. I would be much better motivated to do this if most of the opportunities didn’t cost so much. Some of the volunteer opportunities I’ve seen cost thousands of dollars in ‘program costs’. Of course that is ON TOP OF whatever value your time and effort is worth.
I’m not sure how they can call this ‘free’ traveling. I haven’t seen most of the places they mention in this article, so there probably are some very affordable ways to travel this way. I’ll have to be sure to look into this further. 🙂
Make a trade?
House swapping sounds like a great idea. I’d like to do this, but I wonder who in their right mind would want to trade houses with me? I live in Lake Jackson, Texas. There is not really a whole lot there to see or do. I live 50 miles South of Houston, which I suppose SOME people would like to see, but the only thing in Lake Jackson is a lot of chemical plants. 🙁
Yeah, I am exaggerating (slightly), but my relatives all thought I was NUTS to move here from Florida. I gave up the beautiful beaches and clean, clear water to move to Texas, where our beaches are brown instead of white, and the Gulf is brown instead of blue, from all the mud washing down from the rivers.
I moved there to go to school. I stay there because even tho our beaches are not as pretty as the ones in Florida, we can still enjoy them fully! We don’t have the restrictions that Florida does. We can fish, camp, drive on, drink on, smoke on, play on, overnight on our beaches without the crowds and hassles and rules and regulations that Floridians have to put up with now.
I guess it’s not really that bad here. It’s quiet and there’s plenty to do once you spend some time and get to know people. People are friendly and helpful. We get together to play cards or have a BBQ. The beach is decent and the fishing is pretty good. The bays are great for kayaking and bird watching. There are all the usual small town events, kids baseball games, county fairs, etc.
I wonder if anyone from a foreign country would be interested in spending 2 weeks or more doing that kind of thing? Anybody on here interested in a house swap? 😉