Sometimes a week is not enough.

We spend a large number of our days plastered to a career with hopes for a vacation once, maybe twice, a year. And if the Glassdoor’s survey is correct the number of days spent away from the daily routine are but a mere four a year. For those of you looking to break this habit and get out in the world spending a portion of your life filled with exploration, dedication, immersion and just all around positive vibes, you may have some interest in the possibilities below.

REMOTE YEAR:

When looking at the possibilities of extended travel, one of the first and foremost questions we have for ourselves is, how will I pay for this? Remote Year has the answer to this question. A down payment of $5,000.00 is required along with a monthly fee of $2,000.00, but there is good news. Remote year works directly with your current employer to allow you the time to explore while also maintaining your average income.  The name says it all, you will have to work, but you will work remotely for a full year with full accommodations and excursions paid and planned.

Whether it be Vietnam to Hungary, Mexico to Thailand, Argentina to Japan, Remote year will take you there. Why would an employer ever be on board? Well, their website boasts because it will establish them a “great place to work,” and offers “global experiential learning associated with employment.”

The careers for past workers range from freelance lawyer to graphic designer.

You can start the application process here.

BAMBOO:

If you are looking for a more immersive approach Bamboo may be for you. Bamboo is a volunteer organization helping communities throughout South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.   Like Remote Year you will be working while you travel, but the volunteer opportunities are wide.  If you are an animal lover why not travel to rural Thailand to help Mahouts (elephant gaurdians) care for farming elephants?
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Maybe your passions lie more in activism for gender equality.  You can fly to Argentina to educate and empower abused women at a local shelter.  Bamboo also offers volunteer opportunities in development, the medical field, and childcare.

Your travel time is flexible, offering a four week program to start and allowing you to add  additional weeks as you see fit. The charges are not too extreme but additional income is not likely to be made while you are in the program.  The average program costs $495 per week for the first four weeks along with an additional $250 application fee. After the first month the charges drop to only $200.00 a week when you add on to your stay. That is approximately $1,250.00 for a month of global outreach not including the cost of your flight.  Compare that to the $3,000.00 average two week trip to Europe and you have to admit it is quite the deal.  Especially when you count in the potential for immense moral fulfillment.

An application is also required for the excursions, but with the large range of opportunities, it is not hard to get into the perfect program for you.

WWOOF:

If Bamboo’s volunteerism intrigues you but the price tag has you hesitant, WWOOF may be the next best option. The acronym remains but its meaning has changed throughout the organization’s history.  WWOOF is currently widely known as standing for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. And that is exactly what they offer. The organization allows volunteers to directly connect with organic farmers throughout the globe in exchange for food and living accommodations.

WWOOF Italy: La Rochetta in Mugnano - 01

This is where WWOOF largely differs from Bamboo and Remote Year.  WWOOF provides the platform for connections with farmers but the host choice is yours.  This freedom allows for individuals to plan how long they want to stay, what type of farming they would like to perform, what kind of accommodations suit them best and what parts of the world they would like to explore. Plus, each experience is different allowing you the ability to negotiate your specific work terms with each potential host.

Oh, and did I mention the only cost is your membership fee!  Outside of that you only have to account for your transportation to and from.

WORKING HOLIDAY VISAS:

Slightly more limited in scope but not in opportunity, working holiday visas offer a distinctive post University immersive travel experience.  Generally only offered to those between 18-30 (hence post University) these visas allow the young adventurer a taste of what it’s like to live in five select countries (namely Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, Australia and Ireland). Each country has their own requirements to obtain the visa but mostly the only fees associated are your application fee, your daily living expenses and plane ticket abroad.

You may be allowed to work but the cultural expansion and understanding are the purpose of these visas and the restrictions very obviously denote this. You have to be able to prove you can support yourself even if you do not decide to work.

However, the positives are boundless.  You can apply for six months and extend up to a year (two years in some instances).  You will get to choose your lodging, your employment and your excursions.  Just imagine adjusting to a move to a new town but the town is the size of a country.

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