As I plan my upcoming travels to South America, the thing I'm struggling with most is getting a solid budget (more than anything- seeing that I somehow have the money to do so).
It got me thinking, why is it so expensive to travel and to be culturally immersed? I should be allowed to go where I please as long as the experiences aren’t harmful to other countries’ economies and I am becoming a better person along the journey!
So then I looked into it more and apparently there are a bunch of ways to travel and even live abroad for free. None of which I will be doing this time around but I'm keeping all of this information in my back pocket for my next time ‘round. Briefly, I will remove the information from my back pocket and share my findings with you.
Work Away: This is a program where you volunteer around the world- giving back to local communities and becoming a part of their culture and family. Although it’s a volunteer program, you're still having most of your expenses covered and being given opportunities in almost any country you can think of.
English Teaching Programs: Not only will this cover your living expenses, but you're also paid for your work- so you can live a more glamorous life abroad. For those of you looking for adventure every day and itching for exploration this may not be the best choice. If you're wanting to learn a new language and be submerged in a brand new culture and community then I strongly suggest you check out one of many English teaching abroad programs!
WWOOF: Stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms and is another volunteer opportunity that covers living and food expenses. This program is great because you can work for any length of time and come and go as you please for the most part.
Work as an Au Pair: Be a foreign nanny and become part of a new family half way across the world. Living and food expenses are covered and you're even given pocket money for when you want to explore and shop.
Peace Corps: You've all heard of it. If the Peace Corps is what you’re shooting for, know that it’s a big commitment (2 years) and that it will most likely be a lot tougher than you thought. I have a friend who just started her 2-year term in Ethiopia living in a primitive village. She has been a vegetarian for most of her life but is now forced to kill chickens for her dinner. My dad was also in the Peace Corps in Colombia and lived in a hut infested with enormous roaches and spiders- yikes! Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bad mouth them- just know what you're getting yourself into.
Welp I hope that was helpful to you. It sure makes me want to reevaluate my life and perhaps just do these odd-jobs in different countries through the rest of my twenties. I'll start with South America for now and go from there I think.