Working To Travel
HOUSESITTING, VOLUNTEERING AND PAID WORK
Housesitting is a fantastic arrangement that allows travellers to affordably live all over the world.
Basically, the idea is that the housesitter looks after the houseowners property and more often than not, a pet, while the houseowner is away. It could be any length of time from a weekend to a year (or even more). The homeowner has someone to take care of their pet and doesn't have to send them to a kennel or pet hotel. They also have someone collecting their mail, watering their plants and generally keeping an eye on things.
Usually the house sitter will not charge, but it enables them to live somewhere that they wouldn't otherwise get the opportunity to, rent free. The system is beneficial to both parties and is perfect for long-term travellers as you can house sit all over the world from New Zealand to Costa Rica.
There are a many websites out there including http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/ and www.mindmyhouse.com/, some of them dealing with international housesits and others that are more localised.
Although we are relatively new to the idea of house sitting, our experiences so far have been very positive and we intend to continue in our quest for house sits in the most fascinating corners of the earth.
Volunteering can be a great way to have a more authentic and meaningful experience and simultaneously help support a cause that is close to your heart.
Although many volunteering experiences (especially the more popular ones) are very expensive, there are also a substantial amount that are either cheap or free. There are a world of opportunities from working with street kids in Mumbai to caring for monkeys in the Bolivian rainforest. Some of them cost $2000 for a couple weeks and others are free for several months. It's a case of doing some online research and finding what is right for you and your budget.
Some major volunteer companies make a profit from both the volunteer and the local organisation, and also have administration costs to cover. Consequently the money doesn't go directly to the local organisation. When an application is made directly to the local organisation, there is also an opportunity to donate financially, which cuts out the middleman. The advantage of arranging your volunteering experience through a company is that you get their support from pre-departure to induction and the rest of your stay. There is always someone to contact if you need to.
If you are happy to 'go it alone' check online for cheap/free volunteer opportunities and you will find that several come up that are worth looking into including www.volunteersouthamerica.net/ and freevolunteering.co.uk
Many people save up enough money to travel for a year or so and take a career break. Others give up their job and change career direction when returning from their travels. And then there are those who want to keep travelling. If you are in this group, you will need to fund your travels somehow. Here are a few ideas on how to generate an income to fund your adventures.
This is most lucrative if you have both a degree (in any subject) and a TEFL (Teaching English As A Foreign Language) qualification. Sometimes, it is possible to get work without one or the other. However, without a degree, you aren't likely to earn as much and it will be tougher to get work in the first place (there are exceptions, but this is the general rule). If you have both a degree and a TEFL, the world is your oyster. You could work six months a year in Korea, Japan or China and make easily make enough money to fund your travels for the other six months of the year (probably more).There are TEFL courses of varying lengths and costs, both online and in the classroom. Getting some experience teaching in the classroom (if you haven't already) is obviously a good idea before you apply for work.
Teaching English abroad is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture, make friends and can develop into a rewarding career. If you are starting out, there are many companies who can set up your first teaching experience and support you throughout your assignment. If you are a little apprehensive about taking the plunge, it is a good idea to go down this route for peace of mind.
Australia/New Zealand Working Holiday Visa
If you are lucky enough to be between eighteen and thirty, you can apply for a working holiday visa which allows you to work legally in Australia and New Zealand. Take advantage of this opportunity while you can! It's an excellent opportunity and a reciprocal agreement between countries. You could apply for jobs relating to the career that you want to follow or alternatively it could be a means of living/travelling in Australia or New Zealand for a while.
Nowadays many people make their living online from wherever they happen to be located in the world. Some of the top travel bloggers make more than enough money to fund their travels. There are a wealth of online options to explore. If you have a little technical know-how, the discipline to put in the hours and some creative ideas it could be the perfect way to make money on the road.
If you are fit and have a strong back, seasonal and temporary fruit picking is the ideal way to make pretty good money fast. Depending on the farm you are working on, you may either camp or stay in shared accommodation provided for a nominal fee. Fruit picking seasons vary and some people follow the harvest through Europe, North America or Australasia. If you are European, an advantage is that you can work anywhere in Europe legally.
All over Europe campsites run by companies such as Keycamp, Siesta and Canvas employ camp staff to work in a variety of roles each summer, from sports instructors to couriers. The pay isn't fantastic, but accommodation is included, so it is possible to save up a fair amount (especially if you are planning to travel somewhere cheap like India or South East Asia in the winter months).
Seasonal work of all kinds allows the world wanderer to alternate between work and travel. Work in bars, restaurants, the fishing industry, selling ice cream, tour leading or working as a holiday representative are all possibilities. Doing work of this kind means that you can 'follow the sun' perhaps working in the northern hemisphere in summer and travelling to warmer climes in the winter.
Use Your Skills
If you have anything you are good at - making jewellery, painting, languages, web design, teaching - anything at all, think about utilising these skills to make money. Use your initiative, tap into a market and make some cash!