"Find something you love and let it kill you."
--Carl Bukowski (poet and novelist)
Have you been aching to see the world but don't know how and where to start?
You see, travelling is like getting into what you feel is a promising relationship. It seduces you with the possibilities of a more blissful life. But you also have a lot of fears,doubts and apprehensions. You can never be totally prepared for everything and you simply have to learn in the process. Sometimes you just have to jump in with all that you have and the courage you've mustered. And the harsh reality is..there's no guarantee it will work out the way you want it to.
Do you wanna know a secret?
Here it is...Even when the outcome disappoints you, in the end you'll still come out of it bloody AWESOME! You've learned wonderful lessons you wouldn't have learned had you stayed safe in your comfort zone. You've realized you are much braver than you thought and that there is always a way out of a bad situation
BUT imagine this.. Things worked out the way you've envisioned it! Or let's say most things you've planned worked out and led you into something even better than you hoped for. Even serendipity worked its magic.There is nothing sweeter and more glorious than succeeding in something you've risked so much for. This would also energize you take more risks not just in travel or in love, but in life.
So choose what works for you,close your eyes and just take a leap!
1. HIT THE ROAD. START NOW.
"It's never the perfect time to travel. Forget about tomorrow. Just go."
--Nomadic Matt (kickass travel blogger)
If travelling is something you've always wanted, take baby steps today to make it happen! Go somewhere you've never been and do something you've never done. And do it as often as you possibly can. Make a DECISION to have unforgettable weekends and short breaks.Travelling is about getting out of your tiny bubble, taking chances and experiencing remarkable things.
Don’t be stuck on planning that “one big” trip! Don't equate travelling with just exploring overseas or going on long holidays. Travelling is the regular rendezvous with the unfamiliar. Kick your own ass and get out of the house. Go on an adventure-filled getaway. Travel with new friends.Talk to the locals and fellow explorers. Meet nomadic souls you might want to travel with in the future.
Better yet, travel on your own. And go Couchsurfing! Travelling solo doesn't necessarily mean travelling alone.It allows you to make room for people you meet on the road. Amazing things happen once you open yourself up and talk to people who come from different backgrounds and with different points of view. With the availability of resources on the net, you can make plans and design your travels according to your needs and preference.
go camping and learn how to pitch a tent
I decided to live a life of travel at a very young age: at about 14 years old after reading one man's story of exploration and wanderlust in Reader's Digest. I started travelling when I was still at university and vowed to travel more as soon as I was earning my own keep. I did not wait for boredom, restlessness and unfulfillment to set in.
I made a choice to be on the road on weekends and always tried to catch the last bus ride, boat trip and plane ride to my weekend destination. When most people went clubbing,drank to death and got wasted on weekends, I was always in a new place discovering something novel, trying new food and chatting with strangers. Although I was planning major travels abroad I was also busy travelling in the Philippines.
Start where you are and with what you have now. If you start travelling on a regular basis, someday you will be amazed with the experience you have accumulated through the years.
Don't waste time, make a decision to travel. Now.
YOUR BABY STEP: Free up this coming weekend from work and other obligations. Instead, go out of town, spend overnight somewhere you've always wanted to go. Leave the smartphone or tablet behind. Be mindful of your surroundings. Initiate small talk with a complete stranger. Watch the sunset from a nice vantage point. Watch out for a shooting star. Sleep under the stars and with the sound of the sea!
2. IF YOU CAN, TEACH!
"I am not a teacher, but an awakener."
--Robert Frost (poet)
Do you have what it takes to inspire learning, motivate hard work and stimulate young and not-so-young minds?
Picture yourself teaching in exotic Myanmar... You wake up to the smell of Mohinga (rice noodles with ginger, tumeric, onion and chili in fish-based broth) that makes you salivate and look forward to breakfast. You hear people chatting in a new language and feel the sunshine reinvigorating your soul as you wait for your ride to work..
If you have the passion to teach, you have a good chance to see the world. One of the most popular ways to travel around the world is to teach English. But you can also teach academic and special subjects in international schools.
The most popular countries where to teach English are Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. Chances are you'll meet people who can help you do it in other corners of the world too.
It is of course an advantage if you are a trained teacher as you can also teach subjects of your expertise. Having a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification makes you more marketable. Nonetheless, there are many schools and English centers that would be willing to train you (sometimes for free) and help you get employed.
teaching Basic Culinary Arts at ICHEF Davao, Philippines
Some of the best things about teaching: free weekends, term breaks and long holidays.Teaching may entail a lot of paper work especially at the beginning but you eventually learn to do it quicker and more systematically. And once you have, you've got a lot of free time to explore your new home.
Teaching to travel is one good way to truly experience the local culture. You get to stay in one place for ample amount of time that you end up learning the dialect or the language. You might also find yourself in places where you see only locals except for your expat co-teachers.
I got to see the less explored and non-touristy areas of London when I started working through agencies. I was on-call and ready for an adventure every single morning. I eventually got "permanent" jobs, got to teach both in British and American schools and focused on my area of specialization (teaching children with dyslexia) when I got my University diploma.
Landing a teaching job in Bangkok helped me learn the Thai language easier. The process of looking for a teaching job alone both in local and international schools made me understand the Thai educational system. I was able to grasp the Thai psyche: what makes them tick and what would make them love me.
Teaching English is just one of your options. Once you have settled in the new culture, you can teach cooking, baking,dancing or even voice lessons. You can teach anything you are good at and find or create a market for it.
You have to try teaching in a foreign country at least once. You have no idea how much learning actually awaits you as you set out to see the world and teach!
YOUR BABY STEP: Click on the given links above where you can go to teach. Decide where you want to go,check out the
requirements and email the contact person for your questions. Or if you are feeling more adventurous, request for an interview and go for a holiday in that country on your scheduled interview. Or
you can email me and ask a few questions about teaching abroad or simply post your questions on the comments section of this post. Goodluck!
3. STUDY ABROAD
Me ( leftmost) and the Chevening Scholars at the Leeds Castle, England
"Dont tell me how educated you are, but how much you have travelled."
Studying abroad feels like going back to kindergarten!
You start everything from scratch and see the world with awe and wonder again. You feel like a child willing to absorb every single experience.
If money is not an issue, studying abroad is one of the best ways to travel slow. If it is a concern, finding a scholarship/fellowship is the next option especially if you are academically inclined. I am grateful to my family for sending me to London for further studies. But many of my friends were able to leave the country for further studies through a scholarship or fellowship.
The scholarship/fellowship provides you stipend which if you know how to budget would allow you to do a bit of travel on your term breaks. International students are also allowed to do part-time work for a maximum number of hours. Most American universities will allow you to work only in the university premises. In Europe, you can work almost anywhere.
Finishing a degree overseas also gives you the advantage of finding a permanent job in that country. You could send your resume to as many agencies or direct to your prospect employers and be actually there for phone and face-to-face interviews. You already have an advantage of being there to sell yourself, apart from earning a degree based on their curriculum.
queuing up for discounted West End tickets in London
Being a student overseas especially if you’re in your early twenties entitles you to a lot of discounts: from bus to train rides and long term eurorail pass if you’re in travelling around Europe.
Studying in London and living there for four years, I was able to boost my resume, learn new skills and gained more confidence in public speaking. I got to explore the amazing countryside of UK, backpacked solo around Europe, met a lot of fellow travellers who eventually became good friends. Four years passed so quickly as I was busy juggling my studies, work and travels.
When I decided to come back to the Philippines to put up a business with friends I was truly confident. Why? I drowned myself in the ocean of knowledge and experience. Every single day. For four years.
Scholarships that might help you fulfill that "study abroad" project:
YOUR BABY STEP: Find a way to study abroad if you want to pursue further studies. Check out the websites I gave or visit the
university/institution you are eyeing for and look for available scholarships/fellowship. Ask friends how they were able to get sponshorship and let them share stories of their life abroad as a
4. TAKE YOUR PASSIONS AS YOU GO TRAIPSING AROUND THE WORLD
With fellow kitchen staff at Bo.lan Restaurant, Bangkok
"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from."
--Seth Godin (author,entrepreneur and blogger)
What are you passionate about? What are your special talents? You have to keep searching for ways to be more mobile while doing the things that you love to do. Seek opportunities. Ask your mentors. Ask friends for help. The people you have worked with and the travellers you've met, in my experience are the first ones to provide these opportunities for you. But cast a wider net. Seach online, find virtual communities, join forums, go to meet-ups and establish deep connections not just networks.
In this day and age, there's a lot of jobs that enable you to travel more. The hospitaly industry allows many professionals to work in different regions/countries for many big brands. You can stick to one employer yet work in different locations and with different people.
Many nurses do not stay in one hospital anymore and opt to travel more while working. People who are fluent in several languages work as translators everywhere. Extraordinarily good life and business coaches, motivational speakers, authors and writers go globetrotting by inspiring people.
A friend of mine who is both a filmmaker and a photographer travels by exhibiting her documentaries abroad. She gets even more money for travel when she receives awards. She is then able to extend her stay and explore the host country.
preparing the heirloom tomatoes for dinner service, Sayad Seafood Restaurant, Abu Dhabi
My travels and food adventures inspired me to pursue a second career in cooking. Being a certified chef provided me more opportunities to work in different parts of the world. My employers had to take care of my visa/work permit.
I also experienced doing a stage (unpaid kitchen work) at Bo.lan Bangkok, one of the best restaurants in Asia. One of the fringe benefits of being a chef is to stage at the best restaurants anywhere in the world when you are willing to learn more and money is not always a concern.
Doing something you truly love, being paid to do it while travelling is actually travelling the world for free. Don't you think so?
NEXC - careers in hospitality
Hotel Careers -hotel jobs
Be creative. There is always a way for you to travel doing what you love. Think outside the box. Break rules. Anything is possible!
YOUR BABY STEP: Do your research and find out how you can leverage your PASSION to travel the world! Find inspiration by
clicking on the links I provided.
5. BE A DIGITAL NOMAD
"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul."
--Moshe Dayan (Israeli military leader and politician)
Tired of being dictated by your job when and how to travel?
If you dream of being able to travel full-time and you are creative enough to do online work, then you can be a digital nomad. Basic things you need: laptop, good internet connection, perseverance and discipline.
You can work anywhere you want: from home, coffee shops, public libraries and even at the beach to perform tasks you would normally perfom in one location.
Be your own boss, dictate your work and leisure hours. If you are good at balancing work and pleasure while on the road, you can be successful, You can do blogging, copywriting, develop phone applications, set up and sell blogs or website, graphic design, photography and writing, The options are endless!
It is not all perks though. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain a good balance between work and travel. There are days when all you think of is your work and put in long hours to accomplish something. And sometimes you still think about work even when you're already in bed.
But if this lifestyle suits your personality, then give it a go!
I Dreamed of This: Nathan Allen's blog that has gained quite a following.
YOUR BABY STEP: Evaluate yourself and find out what you can offer
and market online. Find out the goods and bads of working online. Make a business plan and take a chance!
6.TRAVEL FOR A CAUSE!
“That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”
--Simone de Beauvoir (philosopher,essayist and novelist)
Make a difference while you travel and you take your travels to a higher level!
If you’d like to be more involved in communities you are visiting then volunteering could be for you. You'll establish a stronger bond with the locals, truly learn to appreciate their environment and respect their way of life.
Travelling and volunteering open your eyes to some harsh realities of life you wouldn't have seen if you travelled only for pleasure. You’ll be amazed to meet people who have so little yet have so much to give. This powerful experience teaches you not just to be grateful but also to be more generous and to find fulfillment in helping others.
WWOOF Philipines provides volunteering opportunities
At one point, I wanted to travel to Belfast (Northern Ireland) as the city intrigued me. I wondered why there was so much violence in that part of the world. I decided to go on a volunteering holiday with the British Trust Conservation Volunteers.
It was a weeklong conservation job so it was hard work clearing a heritage park. But at the end of the day, it was fulfilling because we were doing something beautiful for the community.
But it wasn't just hard work. We volunteers played hard after work too. We went out for drinks on some nights, engaged in wonderful conversations and listened to traditional Irish music. We explored Belfast on our free time and had encounter with the locals. It turned out they were not scary as most people thought.
Bonus: One of the volunteers became a good friend and was my host on my first visit to Paris.
There's quite a few opportunities to do volunteer work: environmental conservation, teaching, rebuilding communities and medical missons. When you find fulfillment in doing this for the first time, I bet you'll get hooked and would be doing it for the rest of your travels.
Worldwide Opportunities in Organic Farms (WWOOF)-
host provides food and accommodation in exchange of your work in the farm
YOUR BABY STEP: Visit the volunteer work websites and see what catches your interest! Sign Up and do something truly REMARKABLE on your next trip!
7. GO TO VISA-FREE COUNTRIES
"To travel is to discover that is everyone is wrong about other countries."
--Aldous Huxley (English writer)
Do you have these visa concerns?
- long list of visa requirements and complicated application process especially in First World Countries
- your visa application has been denied at least once and you don't want to go through that process again
- high visa application fee which does not even guarantee you get a visa
Well, life is not always fair. But do not despair. There are certain countries where you automatically get a visa upon arrival. You just have to know what they are.All you need is a more adventurous spirit coupled with a sense of wonder for these places you don't hear so much about.
For Filipinos,here is a list of Visa-Free Countries.
When I first learned about this list so many years ago (I was still a student in London I think), I was ecstatic! I've always wanted to go to Morocco, Brazil, Costa Rica and the rest of Latin America. If you've been reading my posts, these are the kind of places I've been dying to explore, not really the ones most people would like to see.
YOUR BABY STEP: Awaken your adventurous spirit and find out which places wouldn't give you so much hassle in the visa application process. Do some reseach about these destinations. Make an itinerary and Go! You have no idea what adventure awaits you!
8. HAVE FUN VAGABONDING. HAVE FUN DOING INTERESTING JOBS.
"I travel a lot. I hate having my life disrupted by routine."
-- Caskie Stinnett (travel writer
If you simply want to have fun meeting people, experience something new and earn while travelling, there is always something interesting for you to do to finance your travels.
You just have to ask yourself these questions:
- am I flexible?
- am I willing to learn a new task/skill?
- am I a fast and a curious learner?
- do I mind doing tasks I wouldn't normally do?
Check out these websites and find jobs that match with your interests.
YOUR BABY STEP: Take on a task you wouldn't normally do. Do your friend a favor he/she would happy you'd do for the first time. The point is for you to do
something novel and intersting, not something you are dying to do. But who knows? You'll end up liking it too!
9. TAKE THAT EPIC TRIP
"You say I dream too big. I say you think too small."
What is that BIG trip you've always wanted to take?
The good news is nobody should dictate to you how big this trip is. It's unique for each individual. Is it that first trip abroad you've always saved up for? Or that 3-month backpacking trip in Latin America? It could be your first SOLO trip in Europe. Or that first time you are travelling with the whole family? To me, it's the one year non-stop travelling with my future husband and kids!
It's your dream,design it. It's your plan, make it unforgettable! The most important thing, in my opinion is to focus NOT on how long you will travel but HOW MUCH you'll experience life on the road.
These books and stories of people might inspire you to design your trip:
YOUR BABY STEP: Sit down and think about your epic trip. Write down the details. Evaluate your resources
and set a date!
10. RELOCATE: LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND AND START A NEW LIFE
pick a new place to live and start anew
"I always wonder why birds stay in one place when they can fly anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question."
--Harun Yahya (Turkish author)
So you're not the kind who really moves around. But this time you'd love to have a change of atmosphere. Everything just seems predictable and bland.
Relocating could be the cure. It doesn't have to be in a new country although this one would be a very good move. But you can still move to a new town or another region in your country.
The idea is to start a new life: buy or rent a new house, have new neighbors, new friends, or even a totally new job. Sometimes all we need is that one big change. This also helps us change perspectives and see regular activities in a new light. Even going out to do the groceries in your new place would make you feel rejuvenated and gives that mundane task a new flavor.
So go ahead! Relocate for love, relocate with your whole family or simply on your own. Redesign your life. Reinvent yourself. Have a brand new life!
YOUR BABY STEP: Think of an interesting town or country you would love to relocate to. List down all the preps for that big move. List down the possible sources of joy in that new place!
So, What's Next?..
Now that you know you have more options to travel, it is time to make a move.
CLAIM your dream! If it is something that keeps you awake at night, by all means CHASE it! Let it be an all-counsuming goal and believe in your heart it will someday be a REALITY!
Let me end this post with a quote from my favorite children's book author Roald Dahl. It has always been my mantra and it has always worked..
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
PHOTO CREDITS: Zimmbodillion Mosende, Darika Supratoom, Mayrena Enriquez-Reid and Christine Loos
Did you like this post? Do you think someone would benefit from reading it? PLEASE SHARE!
JOIN THE TRIBE ON FACEBOOK!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ACHIEVE YOUR TRAVEL DREAMS? PLEASE SHARE SO PEOPLE CAN LEARN FROM IT TOO!