This week I'm writing to the young Jetsetters out there and those of you who are just starting out in exploring your love of travel. Yesterday I met up with a University friend and we got to talking. She reminded me of the lunch hours I spent at the library researching – thank you Google – upcoming travel specials and group booking rates. This meeting made me think much farther than that to when I was in primary school and I visited everyone on our family tree during the holidays. Here are some tips on how you can travel and explore on a budget.
International Student Exchange
This was my dream all through high school. I wanted to spend a term in London and do all the things I thought people do in London. We couldn’t really afford it, but I suspect the number one reason I never got my term in London (or Paris) was that my parents listened to their over-protective instincts.Student exchange programmes are designed for high school students from around the globe, according to this website students can spend a term, six months or a whole school year abroad. The last time I checked you needed R30, 000.00 for a year abroad, most of which goes toward the student’s medical insurance should anything go wrong.
If you are lucky you might meet a family that does a lot of travelling within their country or neighbouring regions; so you not only experience the state of Indiana (in the US) but well as Nevada, New York and even Canada.
This takes a love of children. Being an aupair means that your primary responsibility is to take care of a family’s children and whatever else you and your employers agree on. Most families will even provide you with study opportunities. After I had just finished my degree I heard through a friend of a friend of the family that someone they used to work with had recently moved to Seoul for a year and a half and the children were struggling to adjust. Two weeks later I was on long flight to the east and that’s how I spent 13 months abroad. It was like the gap year I never had, I also got paid and got to go on group outings with my new friends and with the family.
If you want to apply to be an aupair you’ll need a reliable agency, a passport, a work visa and a driver’s licence.
This is the premise of one of my favourite movies (The Holiday), strangers swap homes and cars. All you have to do is pack weather-appropriate clothes into your semi-designer luggage and buy your plane ticket.
I hope this has given you something to think about, a way to experience new beds (this always makes me appreciate my Sealy.