Whaaaaat, free travel?! Yes, you read right. Well, some of it is very, very cheap and some are free. I loved reading this article because as a college student who is an extreme wanderluster, you are always looking for budget-friendly or even free travel opportunities. From EscapeNormal, they offered 23 ways to travel for free or close to free, I will give an explanation after each one:
1. Work Away- free food and accommodation just handed to you on a silver platter by families in places throughout the world...in exchange for volunteer work.
2. Escape Normal: Adventure Jobs- (I would assume offered by the website) job postings in many locations doing many different things: exotic retreat centers to kayak guiding.
3. Back door jobs- fear of commitment? me too...this is perfect because it is numerous short-term jobs throughout the world doing the most random of jobs (cheese-churning?).
4. Coolworks- a job search engine in places throughout the world- both long and short term.
5. Retreat Finder- think Bali in Eat, Pray, Love. Bliss.
6. Couchsurfing- you literally couch surf...well not literally, literally, but you sleep on random people's couches...don't worry they have backgrounds checks beforehand so you aren't walking into a death trap. I have had several friends who have done this and said it was a great, free experience.
7. WWOOF- volunteering on farms throughout the world, if you are into agriculture and what not.
8. Help Exchange- similar to the above, but with a wider range of options...volunteer work in exchange for food and accommodation.
9. Footprints TEFL- Teaching foreigners your native tongue for money...good deal, good deal.
10. Kibbutz- volunteer program for about 2 to 6 months, you have to pay a small amount of month to reserve your spot though.
11. Peace Corps- (I have actually considered doing this) it's a 2 year commitment doing volunteer work in one place, no leaving for 2 years so if you can't sit still in one place, don't even think about it. You get paid for your volunteer work and also afterwards until you get on your feet with a stable, steady job.
12. Summer Camp Counselor jobs- exactly what the name says. You can be the one calling the shots this time at summer camp...maybe they will offer band camp?
13. Au Pair- Nannying for families in countries throughout the world, I actually applied for a Au Pair in China but I never heard back :(
14. TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language)- again, teaching your native tongue to foreigners in another country for an extended period of time for pay. You have to take online classes and get certified first however.
15. Yacht Crewing- working on a yacht, not a cruise ship...it could be good or it could be horrible and stressful- depending on the yacht owner ultimately.
16. Americorps- a 1-3 year program based on volunteering for social issues (poverty, disease, women's rights, etc.) that you receive a pay for, healthcare, training and another bullet point on your resume/CV.
17. Se7en- free or very cheap volunteer opportunities throughout the world.
18. Home swap- ever seen The Holiday? Think what Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet did, switching their homes when they traveled to the other's country...not sure I would do this, pretty risky if I do say so myself...
19. Caretaker- of a mansion, castle...celebrities and the world's wealthiest hire people to care for their house and pets when they are away for pay, a free stay and a taste of the sweet life.
20. Craigslist Rideshare- forget planes, trains and buses, you can car-pool with other travelers to various places for a small amount of money.
21. Vantage- where you are the trip leader with friends and family...it'll be free for you but not the others.
22. GVI Careers- amazing, interesting and diverse job opportunities throughout the world...might check this out at work today.
23. Idealist- cause-based jobs and volunteer opportunities throughout the world.
Now, yesterday I mentioned I would talk about something I have been thinking about lately, a decision that I think I am going to make in coming weeks, months, maybe in a year. I graduate university with a BA in Journalism and Communications at the extremely young age of 20 (I was one of the youngest in my grade during high school and the BA programs here are only 3 years), so I was planning on just packing up after that summer (2015) and moving to Melbourne, Australia. This was my plan for some time now. However, then I got to thinking, after writing this blog and trying to sort out my life...why would I want to begin working and being committed to a career for the next 30+ years of my life when I am only 20 years old out of college? I should want to travel, explore and see what is out there before I have to plan vacation days and enter the big girl world. So, with that, I think I have decided that I will spend a year, year and a half after university and just travel around to as much places as I can, ending my trips in Melbourne, Australia where I plan to begin my career, my big-girl life and so on. I want to travel to different countries where I would do volunteer work and work in smaller villages to get a little more than the city life experience. I am thinking of maybe going to some places in south-east Asia, New Zealand, South Africa and maybe some central African countries, South America, Hawaii, Philippines, Alaska and maybe Japan. A random island might by nice as well. I have to do my research of course, but I think the volunteer work and travels would be a once in a lifetime experience. Plus, after I start working, have a family, settle down etc., there won't be time to travel when I am young, only when I am old and my knees have officially given out (I have knee problems already at a young age).
P.S. For those of you working this weekend, like myself, here's 17 ways you can be happier at work...who would've thunk...I won't be officially happy for the long-run in a job until I am working with either a travel magazine, fashion magazine or TV station.
1. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS...this is a great tip, it's hard not to but you will only make yourself feel worse if you continue to do (or start doing this).
2. NEVER OBSESS OVER THINGS YOU CANNOT CONTROL...I'm guilty, I'm guilty, I do this too much in every job I work.
3. KNOW AND KEEP YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES AND LIMITS.
4. DON'T OVERCOMMIT YOURSELF OR YOUR TEAM.
5. REMEMBER THAT YOU GET THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME AS EVERYONE ELSE, EVERYDAY (that means on a 24 hour clock).
6. DON'T TAKE YOURSELF SO SERIOUSLY, NO BODY ELSE DOES...I am guilty of this at times, I beat myself up over silly mistakes.
7. DAYDREAM MORE RATHER THAN LESS...I need to do this in work more often.
8. DON'T BOTHER WITH HATE; IT'S NOT WORTH THE EFFORT.
9. MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PAST LEST IT CREATE YOUR FUTURE.
10. DON'T TRY TO "WIN" EVERY ARGUMENT...hard for those of us who are very stubborn.
11. REMEMBER THAT NOBODY IS IN CHARGE OF YOUR HAPPINESS EXCEPT YOU...so if you don't like your job, get out and try to find a new one that you will be happier at. It's not worth working a shit job that gets you down.
12. SMILE AND LAUGH MORE FREQUENTLY.
13. DON'T WASTE PRECIOUS ENERGY ON MALICE AND GOSSIP.
14. DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU; IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS...when you learn not to care what others think, not only does it improve your work ethic but it improves your overall quality of life and the way you look at thing. Best thing to let go of, ever.
15. TRASH EVERYTHING IN YOUR WORK AREA THAT IS NOT USEFUL OR BEAUTIFUL...sheesh, the trash can is about to be full...
16. REMEMBER THAT HOWEVER BAD (OR GOOD) A SITUATION IS, IT WILL CHANGE NO MATTER WHAT..."there is a reason for everything" or "after a rainstorm there is sunshine."
17. BELIEVE THAT THE BEST IS YET TO COME, NO MATTER WHAT...I absolutely love this. Not only does it apply to work but to life in general.
Travel on wanderlusters!