5 Ways to Spend Your Summer Abroad
Remember your school days when every September meant the return of the
"How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay in English class? Some kids
wrote about summer camp, some had visited relatives out of state, and a
few lucky ones had gone to the Grand Canyon or Disneyland. Then there
was always the one kid who had done something truly amazing. His essay
included a photo of himself sitting on a camel in front of an Egyptian
pyramid, or a photo of herself waving happily from a small motor boat
with the wide mouth of a crocodile just out of reach. This summer, take
the opportunity to make up for all those essays you wrote about mowing
the neighbors' lawns, playing park and rec baseball, or scooping ice
cream at the family's corner store. This summer you are in charge of
your summer vacation. Make it epic; go forth and be awesome.
When Working Abroad Isn't Work
Work? You're probably saying to yourself, why would I spend my
summer vacation working? The answer is easy; when you combine a work
experience with travel, somehow it doesn't really seem like work. One
of the coolest ways to work abroad is through international house
sitting. Other people around the world are also going on their summer
holidays, and they want someone to watch over their property (and
sometimes their pets) while they're gone. To get started, register with
the major house sitting websites, then grab the book The House Sitters How-to Handbook: Your Complete Guide to Travel & Adventure as a House Sitter
to help snag this summer's best house sits.
How about mixing work with adventure? Again, is it really work if it's this much fun? Bold Earth Teen Adventures
are trips to global destinations that are packed with life-changing
experiences. Paid Trip Leaders for this outdoor adventure company guide
teens (ratio 2:16) on tours ranging from four to nine weeks. All Trip
Leaders are trained prior to leading an adventure and must meet several
other criteria; many come back every summer! Bike Amsterdam to Paris,
explore the Amazon rainforest, or walk the Great Wall of China while
empowering the world's future leaders.
Global Volunteering Serves Vegetables and Karma
Often referred to as "woofing", volunteering on organic farms in
exchange for room and board is becoming increasingly popular among
those dedicated to organic food sources and sustainable living. WWOOF
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, is the international
clearinghouse that connects woofing volunteers to opportunities.
Volunteers can choose organic and sustainable host properties from
around the world. It's a great way to learn the principles of organic
farming and sustainable living in a hands-on environment, while
providing a valued service to the property owners.
If you're looking for more choice in your volunteer experience, Projects Abroad
is a reputable resource for an array of volunteer activities including
environmental, medical, human rights, and business. You can choose your
volunteer vacation by project or by destination. Help build a school in
typhoon ravaged Northern Cebu, Philippines. Feed and care for animals
at a rescue center in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Coach a sport in
an orphanage in Brasov, Romania. Your volunteer opportunities are
limited only by your willingness.
Lessons from the World Travel Classroom
The language and cuisine of another culture has long been a
favorite combination for those who travel to learn. This summer spend
your vacation learning Spanish in beautiful Antigua, Guatemala. With
over 80 Spanish language schools from which to choose, this colonial
city is an excellent choice. The popular Mundo Spanish Language School
offers relaxing one-on-one Spanish lessons in their tranquil outdoor
garden setting, plus volunteer and homestay opportunities for a
complete cultural immersion. Antigua's proximity to beautiful Lake
Atitlan and its surrounding Maya villages is a delightful bonus.
As long as you're traveling to learn a new skill this summer, why not
turn the adventure dial up a notch and learn to scuba dive in Belize?
You can become Open Water, Advanced Scuba, or Divemaster certified at
one of many dive schools, including Scuba School Belize & Recreational Diving
on Ambergris Caye. Belize is the perfect place to receive an immediate
reward for learning a new skill. Home to the famous Blue Hole, divers
can make use of their certification to descend into the same mysterious
130-ft. hole that Jacques Cousteau did years ago. Take advantage of the
countless other breathtaking Caribbean dive opportunities of Belize
before summer's end.
All Hands on Deck for Adventure Travel
Here's something you maybe haven't considered for a summer abroad --
tall ship crewing. You can get hands-on training when you sign on as
crew with one of the Classic Sailing
ocean voyages out of England. There is really no place in the world
that they don't sail, so finding an opportunity that fits your summer
plans should be easy. Challenge your physical and mental limits,
simplify your life, learn new languages and cultures from a
multi-national crew, and make lifelong friendships. Maybe you'll become
so addicted to this free spirited adventure that you'll discover a new
way of life.
You don't have to give up your conscience to be an extreme traveler.
Those in pursuit of adventure are often also those who are looking for
off-the-beaten-path experiences that offer the ultimate challenges
without harming the environment. If that sounds like you, Responsible Travel
extreme vacations may offer the shot of adrenaline you seek. White
water raft the wilderness of Patagonia, explore remote parts of
Mongolia by camel and kayak, parasail and mountain bike your way
through the Himalayas. No matter where your adventurous mind takes you,
there's a tour for that.
Travel Abroad to Where Dreams Meet Destiny
Sometimes travel is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. It
starts a little something like this, "I've always wanted to" and goes
on to describe "what we've already given up ever doing". This summer
give yourself permission to do it. Maybe you have a vague desire to be
part of something grand and meaningful, but it hasn't come into focus
yet. Here are a couple of unusual ideas to get you thinking about your
own dreams and turning them into your destiny.
Do you have a little Indiana Jones in you? If you think it
would be epic to be part of a discovery that changes the way we look at
the world, how about participating in an archaeological dig? There are
numerous sites across the globe currently seeking field volunteers for
major digs, but one of the most intriguing locations is Israel. They
currently have a dozen significant digs planned for this summer; check
out their list at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and start making your summer travel plans.
For the ultimate "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" story, what could be
better than telling how you struck it rich hunting for buried treasure?
put together a list of the 10 best places in the world to hunt for
buried treasure. Search the Australian outback for opals, dive for gold
off the coast of Papau New Guinea, discover a sunken ship worth
millions in the Caribbean; the possibilities are intriguing. Becoming a
modern day adventurer could be the best way to spend your summer
With a planet full of interesting travel destinations, we're
just getting started. What are your suggestions for how to spend a
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