EXTEND YOUR HOLIDAY
Most people think about holidays as a long-awaited break from work, from daily routine, from boredom and from the used-to environment. They start planning since the beginning of the year for these precious two or three weeks away from home. But once the vacation starts, it flies by like a jumbo jet – and once you feel you started getting some rest it’s already time to return to the usual grey and repetitive everyday work. And worst of all, you have to endure a full year again until you will be able to take a new holiday….
Well, if you are convinced that you need to change your environment – and possibly your way of life, and are a little bit courageous, you can benefit from a holiday during which – or part of which – you are working in a foreign country, or in a different profession, or in a completely different part of the World. Yes, that’s easier than you thought! And there are many ways to achieve this goal.
First of all, you have to leave at home the thought and feeling that you can survive only in your hometown or home country. I often heard people saying: “What if I get sick abroad? Can I eat local food abroad without getting poisoned? How will I be able to communicate?” Well, almost all these doubts and fears are futile. In every country people get sick – and they find medicine and hospitals or doctors to cure them. Everywhere people eat in local restaurants – and they usually are very well up. And everywhere people contact each other – even if they are not fluent in the language. And with today’s mobile technology, it became very easy to find what you need and to communicate. So leave your misconceptions at home.
Rather imagine the adventure, pleasure and experience you will enjoy living for some time abroad. If you plan your journey well, you can even combine stays in several countries. Ever wondered how is life in Canada? Or in the U.S.A.? Or did you dream to visit South America? Maybe you prefer to discover the new powers China, India, Singapore, or Malaysia… Or have a look at Australia and New Zealand! You might even prefer to get some firsthand experience in Africa or the Middle East. Wherever you choose to go, you will tie new friendships, learn and better understand that country’s peoples’ traditions and living, broaden your horizons…. and possibly learn new languages!
Go even further: Change your occupation
Are you an accountant crunching figures all day long? Or a secretary copying word by word what your boss dictates you? Certainly you also have other interests, hobbies, a passion for history or science, or would have liked to experience how it is to live as a construction worker. Maybe you like farming and want to experience by yourself what efforts farmers have to do to provide us with food. Now you don’t need any more to be a doctor or a nurse to work abroad. If you are playing an instrument, you could perform at local cafés, and if you are a sports champion, you could coach, teach or help out in a local club… If you like ancient history, you could join archaeologists in their on-site excavations… Of course, there are also the “classic” holiday activities like working part-time in a hotel or camping, at a café or restaurant, against free lodging and meals – or teach languages. If you are an IT specialist, you could also do some computer maintenance, programming, website design, graphic design or video advertisement for the place you are staying in instead… or continue working as freelance online – without the stress of a fixed working time!
There are organizations ready to help you…
If you are interested in this idea – but are still hesitating, you can get a deeper look at the numberless options through the many websites of organizations that offer “working holidays”. One of the best such sites may be the BUNAC site, which organizes full working vacation packages to worldwide destinations! Have a look at http://www.bunac.org/uk?version=2. You will find all the information you need on it. The U.K. Mobility Scheme also gives you some ideas about the costs and obtaining a visa http://www.visafirst.com/en/working_holiday_visas.asp .
Global Work & Travel http://globalworkandtravel.com/ offers several options.
If you prefer working in a humanitarian field, you can find all the answers to your questions with United Planet: http://www.unitedplanet.org/volunteer-abroad?gclid=CIrs3q_bhscCFQnLtAoda0oD0g . GlobeAware suggests activities in many countries worldwide http://www.globeaware.org/, and OneWorld organizes humanitarian assistance for volunteers in even more countries. http://www.oneworld365.org/activity/humanitarian-projects . If you work in a humanitarian field, not only will you enjoy a highly rewarding work and gain a new outlook on the World and the need for food and development for many of its peoples, but you may possibly even find a new vocation!
Or you can try it by yourself!
Even without resorting to such an organization, if you went on holiday to a place you liked and wish to stay for a longer time, you can ask around you in the country itself and will most probably find a way to earn your stay and maybe also meals, while enjoying the country, the sunshine and the new environment for several more months.
As you see, travelling while earning some money or free stay is in the reach of (almost) everybody. Of course you may need to obtain a long holiday from your workplace – or give it up entirely until you come back. Or you might try to exchange your place and work with someone from another country who would like to live for some time in the U.K.! You may also have to renounce on some luxury you are used to at home, and possibly sell some possessions to finance your travel. However, you will find out very soon that – finally – you can live very well without all the material goods and gadgets with which you surrounded yourself at home – and feel free!
Don’t forget that travelling, discovering the World, gaining new friends, seeing new cultures and peoples are treasures that can hardly be equalled by material objects!