Are you feeling stuck in a rut? Are you in need of a change? Are you getting an overwhelming feeling for wanting to explore? Are you in need of some time for yourself, without the pressure of society? Then you might benefit from long term travel. In 2017, we embarked on a five month trip around New Zealand. We traveled slowly and consciously, which made all the difference. Afterwards, we have met so many people who ask us for advice on how to get it done. This is why we put together an article explaining ten realistic ways on how to make long term travel possible for almost anyone!
We really recommend volunteering to make your travels last longer. This is how we personally made it happen to travel for five months around New Zealand. We used WWOOF which is a useful platform to find organic farms to volunteer at. You will learn many new and exciting skills. Above all that, your room and board is included! We would usually work four to six hours in the morning and then spend the afternoons doing whatever we wanted. A similar platform would be Workaway.
2) Au pair
During our travels we met a girl who was working as an au pair. It was perfect in many ways: she got free room and board, some pocket money and she didn’t have to work on weekends and school holidays. That meant she could spend a full year abroad and get in a lot of travel during the breaks. This way you also get involved in the local life and immerse in the culture. Sounds like a win-win, right?
3) Study Abroad
Nowadays a lot of universities/colleges and even high schools offer exchange programs. Just ask your school! Are you currently enrolled in a university? Check out what they can offer you. It might be a class of a few weeks, a semester or maybe even a full year abroad! If you are not currently enrolled in school but are planning to, make sure to check out the programs abroad beforehand so you can make the right decision. If you are looking outside of your direct school, AFS is a great organisation to give a go.
4) Transfer through work
Already done with the studying life? Don’t think your travelling life is over! If you are working for an international company, simply ask what they might have available for you. You never know where it may lead you. We have personally seen our family members live in different parts of the world, such as England, France, the Netherlands and even Canada for a few months! Without the ability to switch up work through different countries, one of us might not even have been born. 🙂 So take the risk, you guys!
5) Teach abroad
Another great way to get abroad and improve your resume, is by teaching. You might have a skill that you don’t even know will take you far in the teaching life. Examples can be English, painting or mathematics. You can sometimes get a one year contract and even get it renewed afterwards. A great benefit is that you can learn the local language while abroad! One of our friends brushed up on some Swahili while teaching kids in Tanzania. So be creative! 🙂
Housesitting is another way you can extend your stay in a foreign country. We personally used this method to spend our Christmas in a lovely home in Blenheim, instead of the cosy, but busy hostels of New Zealand. There are many ways on finding people willing to let strangers housesit. We recommend a website such as Trusted Housesitters. Consider this option the other way around as well! Do you want to travel for a long time but can’t take your pets with you? Let someone housesit and make sure they get all the care and love they need while you are off exploring the world!
7) Gap Year
How many of us are truly ready for the next step once we graduate high school or even college… Many people feel the need to first celebrate what they have accomplished and then spend some time wandering the world before finding out the direction they want to head to. A great way to figure out your next move is through a gap year. Take some time off, travel to beautiful places, meet lots of interesting people and come back with a refreshed view on life.
8) Ask about a sabbatical
“I wish I could do what you guys do, but I just can’t! Once you start working, life is over.” We have heard this many times before, but it doesn’t always have to be the case. Talk to your supervisor. Maybe it is possible to take a few weeks, months or even a year off. It might be unpaid, but at least you know that once you come back you will still have a job. This can give a great sense of security and more time to focus on the fun parts while away!
9) Freelance work
We are living in the digital age! This means that a lot of jobs can be done freelance and online, wherever you are. Think about all the skills you already have. Do they include writing, social media management, photography, translating, videography, building websites or anything else in that genre? You might be able to swap your desk area for a dreamy beach or exciting jungle while still getting paid!
10) Take an opportunity!
Last but not least: take an opportunity once it arrives. Pay attention though, because it might be in disguise. Did you get laid off at your company? Did you graduate school and don’t have a morgage yet? Did your significant other decide to study abroad? Is your company experiencing low season right now? All of these can be used as a gate towards international travel if you are brave enough to take the chances. Stop worrying and just get it done!
There you go. We have just laid out ten very do-able ways to make long term travel an achievable goal instead of an unrealistic dream. We have seen many people use one of more of these tricks, so we know that you can do this as well. Don’t be scared and don’t be afraid to ask others for advice! Do you have any advice on people wanting to travel for longer? Let us know in the comments!