Making your around the world travel dreams happen

Travel around the world

Around the world travel – do it!  Because you really can, and discover a whole new you . World travel may seem like some fantasy to you right now. However, this is something everyone can do – It’s a big blue, beautiful planet!

Find out how to travel the world, and discover that simply knowing what you want is far more important than where you go

Around the world travel is 100% possible

Regardless of your age, your situation or your finances, you can make a plan to travel around the world. You can afford to travel. Even if you think you cannot.  There are many ways of achieving around the world travel without going broke or blowing up your life back home..

Mind-set is vitally important. A great starting point to this is simply “Travel within the realistic budget that you have and not stop yourself because you do not have the budget you wish you had”.

World travel requires planning, research, and some saving. But it can be done cheaper than you think.

Read on and you can learn how to travel the world with minimal saving. You can find out how to re-design your life to accommodate travel. Perhaps the very act of adjusting your life will send you in a whole different and exciting path permanently. It probably will.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― Mark Twain

Within this website, I try and show you the many ways to travel for less, or actually make a living while you’re on the road.

I certainly am not a dream merchant and am not trying to sell wonderful plans and ideas that sound great and just look good on paper.
It’s about being real as well. With everything, there is a downside.

There are things you need to seriously consider if you are going for the ultimate trophy of travel – a trip around the world.  

If anyone tells you that it’s easy, they are misinforming you. It’s like telling you that you can develop a fantastic body without telling you about the effort, dedication, discipline, diet and nutrition required.

And that is why I felt this needed to be written..

Furthermore, there is a world library of resources on the internet to find out how. I will show you where to look and give you some suggestions on how to achieve your world travel dreams, where to go and what to do.

Your starting point to around the world travel

Your current status

Taking a little time to self-inventory is the starting point to any around the world travel adventure. Time and money restraints most of us have.

Our status in life may be complicated and we may feel trapped by circumstances. No matter what your situation, I am here to tell you that nothing can stop you traveling if you really want to do it.

Where are you now?

Travel has no barriers, beyond good health. Even that, the physical and health challenge, can be overcome with research, adaptations and assistance from a partner or travelling companion.

It is my firmly held belief that, young or old, you can travel and I think it is our divine right to witness the beautiful planet made for us, if that’s what we truly want to do.  

Commitment

• Married with a young family. • In a serious relationship. • Have financial obligations • In a career • Care giving your spouse

Life Changes

• Lost your job and looking for a complete change • Recently divorced and looking for a life change. • Widowed and want to do the things you wanted to do but never did as a young person.

Fear

• If you’re a single female, you may feel intimidated at the prospect of traveling alone and taking those same risks that a single guy would take. • Family pressure is stopping you taking the leap and going on that around the world travel adventure you always dreamed of

cruise to nowhere compass

Traveling the world and making a living

The holy grail of any world travel would be to be able to make money while you travel

How to travel the world and get paid

Here are some of the most common and effective ways to earn as you travel
On the road occupations

How do you want to travel?

Is this world travel adventure a solo effort, with a partner or perhaps your family?

What will be your traveling style?

Your travel will be very much impacted by how you want to do it. If single, as a couple or a family. Each has things to consider
What to know

My Story

Where did my inspiration come from and what was my journey?

The one thing that changed my life

There are impressionable moments that seed in our minds. One commercial was all it took..
How it happened

What would it cost to travel around the world?

around the worldThe general consensus among all those around the world travelers is that, including airfare, food, accommodation and a bit of entertainment/activities on the side, you may be able to get away with roughly $20000 – $30000 to travel around the world for 12 months.

However, taking a finite number like this is an estimate. It depends who you are and what you like.

In all my conversations with people with the subject being travel, the most common reason for them not traveling is cost.

How much? That’s the bottom line. The question is like being in a job interview and someone asking you ” What are your strengths?”.

 No one can answer this question definitively for you. Only you can. In the case of how much would it cost to travel the world, the same applies. It is highly subjective.

Who are you? How prepared are you to “rough it” and live cheap? Are you okay with taking long flights with longer layovers?

Can you manage to backpack your way around the world with simple street food and snacks?

In which case, that answer can be “it won’t cost you nearly as much as you think”.

“World travel is as individual a style as your wardrobe”

 Around the World travel rough style

I am always saying that to travel effectively, you need to know who you are. Travel will teach you who you are very fast. But you need at least a rudimentary knowledge, an outline, of the type of person you are first.

What are your likes? How attached are you to your comfort zones? Here’s the thing. If you want to travel alone and decide that the only way you can do it is to rough it and sleep on couches, camp in parks, go dumpster diving for food, hitchhike and ‘wing it”, then you better be that type of person. If you’re not, you will be returning home in a matter of weeks.

The shoe string budget works for only some people. Not for everyone. You need to be a very self-sufficient and emotionally secure person to travel in this zone. You will be hungry. You will feel loneliness.

That  decision you made to sleep in the park may be a regret if it suddenly pours with rain and you have limited dry clothing and no shelter.  Stuff happens. Without the structure and a plan, you better be adaptive to the extreme. However, if you are okay with that and have a positive outlook knowing that “this too shall pass’, then that’s a good thing.

If you’re okay with going up to strangers and having conversations, asking for help and if you like and embrace the unknown, cool! You will be okay on the ‘wild side’ of world travel.

But, if you are a person that likes structure, plans, consistency and knowing where you will be sleeping tonight, then reconsider the way you want to approach this. You can travel any way you like. You can learn how to travel cheap. But the caveat here is, the more structured, the more expensive it will become.

Lack of money does not have to be an issue. But careful thought before you travel around the world will definitely put you in a better position for success.

How do you want to travel?

traveling alone

"As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal."

- Robin S. Sharma, author and inspirational speaker Tweet

Single travel

traveling single

Single travelers have the easiest time of finding work and traveling. The reason is obvious. You only have yourself to worry about.

You will have more flexibility traveling alone and potential jobs don’t necessarily come in 2’s or multiples.>The simplest aspect of single travel is that you CAN be selfish.

You get to decide what you want to do, when you want to do it. You can come and go as you please. You can take calculated risks and your responsibility is only to yourself.

The freedom of being solo

You can go hungry, have personal space, be flexible. Basically, you have total freedom. This allows for making quick decisions, relying on your instincts and following your gut. 

Playing solo…It’s an amazing place to be in your life. Likely, it is a rare moment in time unless you decide to be a loner your entire life.

The gift that comes to you..

You will learn about yourself. You will be rewarded with an insight into your own soul…..a clear idea of who you are and what you can be. It is an incredible gift. But, it comes with cost.

You have to be alone too. That means that you will see magical things –  sunsets, unbelievable sights and hear the audio of a place and most likely have no one to share it with.

Give yourself a chance

traveling aloneYou may feel lonely and empty at times. You may feel fear. There will be times that you may cry and times that you feel so vulnerable and empty. These can all be part of your journey. Expect them. Traveling alone can feel very intense at times.

Yes, bloggers will mostly tell you about their personal growth and their fun and excitement. However, they do tend to leave out the way they got that growth. No pain, no gain. That’s a fact.

The fun, the excitement, the awe and the people you meet on the travels will all begin to offset those side effects of the intensity and therein will lie your growth. Give yourself a chance. It takes a while to adjust. Don’t give up too soon. Find out 30 of the best places to go for solo travel

 
 
travel as a couple
traveling as a couple

Traveling as a couple

traveling as a couple

As a couple, travel around the world and working can present problems as well as some great advantages. On the plus side, you have emotional support. Loneliness should not become an issue. You will hopefully work as a team.

 It’s a great goal to have but you really need to have a solid relationship. We all know that most relationships are hard enough without the added stress of the travel challenges; decision making on the spur of the moment and the other myriad of obstacles that can get in the way.

Finding the success ingredient

The key, from my conversations with couples that are working and traveling around the world is that you have to really have excellent communication.

You also have to be on the same page and totally aligned. There is no space for selfishness and no mercy for consistent bickering. If you want to test the strength of your relationship, travel together in an environment of the unknown and unexpected. It is the killer or the builder of a relationship.
You learn so much about each other in a short space of time. 

You learn to accept and love each other for who you are or you realize that it just will not work out.

Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.

Deciding the ‘Decision’

The decision is first aligning with the idea of taking a world trip. Why would you do this? You need to have an objective, an idea what your mutual motivations are.

Just going traveling for the sake of traveling might be fine for a single person on a whim but you have 2 people to consider.

Most likely, you both have careers. You have to both be willing to take the leap. A recipe for disaster would be one person not really keen but doing it for the other.

Fear of losing the person who wants to travel may be the motivator in this scenario. Beware! The resentments could quickly accumulate if this is something that one of you is not 100% invested in.

Teamwork begins long before the adventure

partners working togetherIt takes a certain type of individual to just take off and leave behind relatives, friends and a career. I would strongly suggest that you both discuss your plans and look at all the good, bad and ugly. Research everything.

Read blogs from couples who are traveling together. Learn from their experiences. Discuss your futures.

Discuss your needs and see if the travel will enhance your further development as a couple and if you can gain better experience to improve later career prospects

The Choice you make

making choicesHerein lies the crux of any plan to travel together as a couple. What if the other person is not keen?

What are you going to do? Are you going to break up and go your way, leaving and losing your love? Are you going to stay and ignore your own needs and dreams for the sake of the relationship?

No matter the outcome – Look for a compromise

Obviously no one can tell you what to do in this situation. I would suggest, however,  trying to find a compromise.

Perhaps you can agree that you will go for 3 months because you feel you have to go and do this, regardless.

Maybe your partner can join you during their leave?  Long distance relationships are tough but far tougher are traveling relationships when the one person is regretting and hating every minute.

If your relationship is strong and you are both determined not to lose each other, I would suggest that you try this route first.

Expect the outcome to probably be totally unexpected

What could happen? Anything! You may head out and after a month realize that although you thought travel was your thing, it is not as important as your relationship.

Conversely, you may discover that you are feeling fulfilled and this is the path for you. And there are your answers.

The first would be great for you and your relationship. The second would end your relationship.

Incompatibility can run deep and you may have unearthed that very thing that would have tripped you up later in life.

The possible ultimatum. How to deal with it

challenges in travelIf your partner gives you an ultimatum (which is common) – “it’s me or the trip” then listen to your inner voice and let it stew with you for a while.
Don’t be reactive. Your partner is protecting their feelings and fighting for what they want. Try and understand that and not just jump to the “you’re being unreasonable” line.

Ultimately, you will make the right decision if you let yourself be unemotional about it and more pragmatic. Trust your instincts and go with them.

Finally, on this note – Try not to emotionally blackmail your partner into joining you. If you truly love them, let this decision to travel be theirs alone. It’s a major decision to make for them as it is for you. I say this, not to be preachy.

This is vital because your own quest could be ruined if you take someone who is resistant. Around the world travel does not come without any sacrifices and hopefully your relationship will not be one of them.

traveling with family
travel as a family

Family travel

Okay, this is a whole different play. Read all of the above reference with  traveling as a couple. It all applies. Now add in the kids factor. You don’t need me to tell you that the concept of taking the entire family on an around the world travel adventure is daunting, just to consider.

The variables and planning are multiplied by the power of 10, even if you just have one child. It’s a massive undertaking in the planning stages but the rewards can also be phenomenal. Taking a year or 6 months to travel and taking your family with is a relatively modern phenomena.

It is greeted with both support and detractors,   If they are old enough…that is they understand enough, you need to bring them in on the conversation. How do they feel about it? Make it a family discussion. They will be uprooting from school and friends. In their lives, this is a BIG deal.

The children need to know that you are considering their feelings. Telling them the reason why you would like to do this as a family would be making it inclusive for them and offering them the point of why you want it.

What the professionals suggest

Professionals say that the best way is to gradually immerse them into the process. Using maps, videos and all the fun things. Maybe start learning a language together, create travel plans together.

Perhaps manipulative, but the inclusion of Disneyland, Aqua-parks, kid exhibitions etc will assist the process. Also, more importantly, this should also be their travel too, no?

“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”

-Francis Bacon, Sr.

Shock! Horror!  The kids are not excited like you are

traveling with kidsYou’re a parent. You know how they are. What you may think is going to sound ultra cool and awesome to them may be way off the mark.

Chances are you may receive tantrums, hysteria  or plain defiant surliness.

They’re your kids. You know how to handle them. However, something like this may require some outside guidance. I have many friends who have taken on the yachty lifestyle, sailing around the world with their kids.’

In my conversations with them, some have cited other sources and not their kids as being the resistance.

The outside critics

You may receive the greatest ‘noise’ from your own respective parents. Grandparents may not be supportive of the idea at all.They may lecture you on how irresponsible you are being.How selfish you are. You may be accused of putting your children’s lives in danger, disrupting their education and security.

the critics

Let’s face it, no matter how old you are, you are still a child in your parents eyes and you may still, in some areas, feel like a child.

Extended family pressure may be intense with siblings rounded up to support your parents, Aunts, uncles and cousins, in-laws…in fact, the whole Thanksgiving invite and non-invite list may well get in on the act.

The other mothers at school will have opinions. Work colleagues will have their own voices.  Don’t expect a pat on the back. It could be hell.

Stand firm and do what you think is right

Be prepared. Your decision is unorthodox. It defies normality in terms of what the perception of family life should be. On the other hand, maybe your folks, relatives, friends and community are cool, progressive and hippy-like in their thinking. I certainly hope so. So. You have announced your intentions. If you still feel like this is something you both want to do after hearing all the nay-Sayers, and believe that your children are going to really benefit from the experience, your decision is made.

The Planning

travel planningMy father was in insurance. He was a very cautious person. He saw risks and assessed them as though it was an integral part of breathing. Whilst I would roll my eyes at most of his risk assessment, the one thought that has always stuck with me was this. “Rob. Always look for an exit door” This was profound. You have to have an exit policy before you have a commit policy. This is not defeatist. It is smart. Start with your exit plan thinking first.

Look at worst scenarios. Consider all angles. How do you protect your travel and your family in the process? You try and imagine all the worst case situations.

Sure, you could paint yourself in a corner with this one and scare yourself and your spouse into immobility.  But the exercise is invaluable Once you have listed all the awful possibilities, now’s the time to look for the solutions. the exit strategy.

You cannot plan for everything. In fact, you’ll over-plan but preparedness is the key to success. Putting your head in the unsavory world of negative outcomes will allow you to flex those instinctive survival neurons. You want that. Finance is a big one. How are you going to finance the trip?

The exit strategy here is what if this fails and we have to return? There is your exit and, in fact, your decision on how to finance the trip.

finances for travelWhat are you prepared to risk? What are you not?

Have you plans in place to earn while you travel?

Are you going to rely on savings or investments?

What are the exit strategies?

There are a great many blogs from families living the ‘around the world travel’ dream. They can provide you with incredible insights, far more detailed than I am qualified here to do.

Just Google – Traveling around the world with kids or traveling as a family around the world and you will have a virtual information glut coming your way. Most of which, incidentally, is really helpful.

Meeting the families who have traveled around the world

Getting back to the families I have met along my travels who have sailed in yachts or been backpacking across the globe. If you are wrestling with the idea of travel with your family, I can say that I have yet to be struck by disharmony or unhappiness in these family groups.

The parents are just the most incredible people to meet and the kids are amazing. Really! They are just…how could I say?…Awake!

Yes, that’s it. They are present. They are confident and in touch with themselves. They are still kids but their outlook on life, nature, cultures and their understanding and tolerance are light years ahead of their counterparts back on the mainland.

If you can check all the boxes and you know that you can do this without risking your financial security and that of your family and their safety, then I would say follow your gut instinct and that of your partner.

Happy trails to you and yours, my friend

families sailing the world

be cautiousBeware! Life quakes – those moments of upheaval that can launch us into world travel and disaster

Don’t be hasty. That broken relationship, that dismissal from your job or any other ‘life quake’ that occurred has many of us looking for the next flight outta here.

A decision to go travel around the world is made.

Unfortunately, we forget that we take our emotional baggage with us. We want to run away but on an emotional level, that which we try to escape stays with us. It’s unavoidable.

traveling solo

Taking that example of getting soaked in the park by rain after you chose to sleep under the stars comes to mind.

If you’re running away from something, guess what will start playing in your mind as you shiver in wet misery through a long night? It won’t matter that you are in Bangkok or Brisbane. You will feel horrible.

So, whilst the motivation to travel is present, be aware that travel will not numb you from your issues. If anything it will magnify them. That is what travel does. It makes you face your fears. It does not distract you from them.

If you can survive the self -analysis and get through the other side as a stronger and more effective person, then travel has rewarded you. And it will. But you have to be strong enough to cross that bridge and get to the other side.

Don’t quit..

But give yourself a chance and PLAN your escape. The planning will lessen the rawness of that which you want to escape from.

Your focus will be more on the planning than on the reason why you are going. You need time. Travel should not be a knee jerk reaction. It’s a serious undertaking if it is world travel and a complete lifestyle change. You have to plan properly.

Okay, so maybe not sounding as rosy as you thought. That’s the downside. I love the travel blogs that inspire but most do not look at the realities.

I think you should always be armed with the truth before you go off with a backpack and stare at the departure board in excitement. The last thing I would want is for you to arrive in a foreign country and have your bubble burst in a few days.

Be prepared for anything. Because anything will happen

So how do you get prepared? You adjust your mindset. I cover this in the website. So, just how are you going to achieve traveling around the world when you have limited resources? Let’s first look at the challenges and structure of how you may wish to travel.

Traveling the world and making a living

This has to be the Holy Grail of occupations to most. Imagine the lifestyle of being able to travel around the world and get paid as you do it. Work and travel is totally possible.

Most people think of this Nirvana with a wistful imagery of laptop, bare-feet buried in warm white sand with a turquoise blue ocean staring back at them. 

I certainly am not one who looks to throw that beach sand in your face and tell you that’s just a pipe dream. But I will tell you that if you want that, prepare to work very, very hard to make it happen.

It’s a great option but it will not happen overnight. You would be looking to develop a business or be a highly skilled consultant/teacher to achieve this state of employment euphoria. 

Ok, now we have just had the reality check, time to start making the dream happen and having a look at just how we can get you out, traveling the world and not spending your parents money or blowing your savings/retirement. 

Great ways to save money along the way

Whether you can see your way to making money on the road or just plan to create enough savings, there are some other ways beyond staying in hostels and sleeping in parks to save your valuable vacation budget.

Couch-surfing is a very cool concept

This is like being that relative who comes to stay for a bit….urgh. But no, it’s better. Because you are that ‘relative’ and your host actually welcomes you.

Couch surfing is an app and a website and it really is what it says. You go and stay at locals houses (not always on the couch) and enjoy free lodging.

So you simply use the app to find some local friends you didn’t know. In a perfect world, you will get a host and voila! But hold your horses, partner. There is a little more to it. You will have a few things to do before putting in a couch request.

Make sure that you have a detailed profile – about yourself, your history and your travels. Be sure to come across as someone they would trust and not some sketchy traveler who has no real background. Your chances of finding a host will improve dramatically with a full and real profile. It’s just like getting a pen-pal.

What are your interests, what do you enjoy? This is information that the host can decide if you’re a good fit to stay with them or not. Letting a stranger into your house is a very personal thing. You need to see it from the hosts’ perspective. Why would they want to host you if they don’t know who you are or if they could like you?

If they identify things about you from what you write in your profile that they enjoy too, chances are that they might be interested in getting to know you.

Some of the questions you are asked to answer in the “my details” section might seem a bit superfluous. For example – Why are you using couch-surfing? Why? Cos I wanna go cheap – that would be the wrong answer. The right answer would be along the lines of wanting to meet locals, be part of the community etc.

Like it or not, avoiding putting up your photo’s is like asking a dating site to find you partners based on words and no pictures. You need photo’s. I would suggest quite a few. And not just dull profile shots.

Try and mix it up. Your photo gallery should be as interesting as your words. You should have clear, good quality photo’s and not creepy half silhouette mystery stuff. Look, we all like our privacy and the idea of posting pics of yourself may seem uncomfortable.

But it’s not about a host wanting to judge you on your looks. They want to get a great idea visually about who you are. Get past the modesty and let loose for this.

Have shots with other people. Let them see you as gregarious, smiling and having fun. Avoid party pics where you are guzzling booze, looking half trashed and smoking weed. In fact, I would suggest leave all those spring break type crazy pics on your Facebook or better still, in your own personal cloud.

On the social media note, don’t forget that a serious host would cross reference you with places like Facebook and Linkedin so if you have another persona depicted on these to the one you portrayed, prepare for few or zero offers from hosts.

Wholesome fun times is what you are after.. They work. The photo’s will tell your host what kind of person you may be and if it connects with what you say about yourself, you will create a trust factor that is definitely needed.

References are another important aspect. Now that’s great if you have hosted or been hosted before. But what if you have not?

I would suggest that in your run up time to your own world travels, you host other couch surfers.

Develop a rapport with these ‘guests’. Take them places. Be hospitable (if that’s what they are into) and develop a really good experience for all your own couch surfers. They will leave a review that will hopefully be positive. This will immediately set you up for a trust factor with your own potential hosts in your planned trip.

Read the potential hosts profile

Take a real and genuine interest in your host. Learn about them. You masy read something in their own profile which would tell you that they are not your kind of people. Fair enough. But you may also read something that resonates with you. When you put in your couch request, be sure to refer to their profile in some way and make it PERSONAL

Sending couch requests en masse with copy paste is selfish and lazy. What kind of guest would you be if you have nothing but your own interests at heart? Think before you type. Read their profiles and be genuinely interested in them as people and not just as potential freebies.

While it is free, you can help yourself and get verified by Couch Surfer. It will cost you $20 but it’s worth it.

Be diligent. Couch surfing does not need to be a risky practice. Just remember to check the host profile. If you’re a woman, be particularly interested in not only reading the full profile of the couch surfer but also read the reviews.

This is a tough one because the couch surfing community relies on new blood…new hosts. If we decide that everyone with  zero reviews could be a psycho than where would the community be? It would never flourish. But, I would say this, particularly if you are a first timer and learning the ropes and particularly if you are a female. – don’t just go with 3 or 4 reviews. Look for hosts with multiple reviews…like 10 +. Look for photos of the hosts. No photos. Limited info.  No reviews then DO NOT put in a couch request. Maybe as you get a more experienced instinct, you can take a little gamble. But NEVER go with a host that offers no photos and limited detail about themselves.

 

Couch surfing has evolved, now becoming a more social app where you can” hang-out” either with one person or a group. This is great for traveling. You are not asking to invade someone’s home. You simply want to meet a local and get to see the city through a locals knowledge. You are also able to safely filter the person who you meet.  And, if you become friends then the chances are you might get an offer of accommodation anyway.

It’s simple to sign up. Just use Facebook or your email. Start with checking out the Couchsurfing website. Also, get the app versions Android and iphone for your mobile….and away you go!

 

Okay…what the heck is this? WWOOFING??

Actually, it is an acronym. It stands for World  Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. The concept of WWOOFING is brilliant both in its simplicity and its ideal.

 You get free accommodation but unlike couchsurfing, you actually DO have to do something in return. It is a mutually beneficial union between traveler and farm.

The farm receives enthusiastic help at zero cost other than accommodation and food costs for workers (read traveler) and the traveler, in most cases,  receives free accommodation and food in exchange for work.

Not all farms are actually farms. You will read by the description of work and hours exactly what is expected. In some cases it could just be a small plot of land and you could be the only worker assisting a family or perhaps a small community.

There is no age limit. If you are retirement age or in your 50’s or 60’s, you could still find a place in WWOOFING. Obviously you would need to be in good health and capable of some real outdoor labour to be of value to the host.

Whilst it is predominantly younger travelers who may do this, do not feel your age should get in the way.

 

Not every host ‘farm’ will provide a 100% exchange for room and board in return for work. Some will charge you for food or for board or even both even though you would be working for them. It may sound a bit unfair and perhaps it is. However, in some societal thinking, sharing their culture and farming techniques is seen or indicated to be an “education and a privilege’ and therefore requires some payment above the labor you offer.

Others may offer a stipend of food costs and you purchase your own food and some may offer flexibility by reducing hours worked instead of meals so that you can have more time off but pay your way for food.

Naturally it is not a perfect world. You cannot be guaranteed of standards. This, like couch surfing, is owner dependent.

Some owners may offer semi- luxury accommodation whilst others may have a dump. Food might be great or it might be awful. Working conditions could be wonderful or you could walk into a slave labor scenario.

You need to research and communicate thoroughly with the owners and know what to expect. 

Safety standards could be lax, and hygiene may be questionable. It is a bit of a gamble but you are not under any obligation to stay if you choose not to if the farm misrepresented itself.

You really should not be afraid to ask the owners questions. It is vital you are clear on the tasks they ask you to do. Language barriers can confuse the issue.

But, before you even get there, ask when you are negotiating joining a WWOOFER team. Think about what you need to know.

  • The hours you are going to work
  • What time would you be starting work?
  • What kind of work?
  • Is it close to a town?
  • Is there transport available if not close to civilization?
  • How many fellow WWOOFERS in a team?
  • What are the sleeping arrangements?

These are pertinent questions to ask. You need to know what you need…be it your own tent, food, time off etc. Some farms may provide in-depth details in their descriptions whilst others may be a bit vague. Know what you’re getting into. Knowledge is power – and peace of mind in this case.

Forget your city slicker principles when it comes to WWOOFING. Luxuries like TV and creature comforts are probably going to be non existent. You are going rural. You are returning to the basics and that should translate into how you pack. Less is more. Less clothing, less toiletries, less everything is the way to go. WWOOFERS will tell you, take just 2 items of essentials…2 jeans, 2 shorts, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes. Minimalist is the name of the game

If you’re currently on your around the world trip and packing an accumulation of items, try and offload them in a locker someplace and retrieve the extras after your farm experience.

As with all parts of travel – expect the unexpected. Whatever your expectations, it may not be what you anticipated at all. You have to be flexible and adaptive or you will not survive.

Exhibit 1 – you expect that you will be picking fruit, loading carts, planting seeds everyday

Exhibit 1 REAL – You find out that you have to load manure, spread manure, clean the toilets, help with housework in the farmhouse.

You are there to learn and work. Sure, you will be doing the farm work but there are other areas that need attending – like cleaning the WWOOFERS sleeping quarters and facilities. Or you may discover chores around the farm house that require your assistance.

It is a place of business for the farm. You have to arrive with and maintain a good work ethic and responsibility. WWOOFING is not for the good ole times of kicking back and hanging out unless you have finished your work hour commitments for the day.

Will you have a good time? That’s up to you. But if you are working with other WWOOFERS in a team, chances are, you’ll have the best time and take home memories, new knowledge and  have friends that will most likely be lifelong. WWOOFING is a community and it is generally a wonderful group of people from all backgrounds and ages.

Each region or country has its own WOOFING website. You pay a fee to subscribe and this is valid for 1 year. The payment is not universal. In other words, if you want to go WWOOFING around the world, then you would have to pay a fee to the website for each region or country.

Wwoof.net

The cost?  Usually about $30 per organization. So you’re in for about $300 if you want to WWOOF in 10 countries within a year. Truth be told, you’d never be able to do 10 WWOOFS unless you were very lucky with dates, availability and time.

Most owners would be more inclined to have you join them if you would be exchanging 2 months to 3 months of your time. If you’re looking for 2 weeks or less, the chances of you getting a gig would be far lower. The reason is that the farmers do not want to be training and retraining a high turnover of WWOOFERS. They would prefer to train 1 person and know that they have that person for 3 months and not to have to train 12 new people over the same period.

Work experience in agriculture or gardening would be a plus but is not necessary.

In your around the world travels, you can save a fortune by opting for a 2-3 month stay working as a WWOOFER. Instead of all those food and hostel costs, you could be spending quality time with both fellow travelers and locals in an area that would help you learn in depth about the culture as well as learning the language.

Think about it. If you have a small budget and you want to travel for a year around the world, that 3 months would save you probably around $2-3 thousand. Which means your world travel can either be extended or you can have more money that you managed to save to visit a country that was not in your original plans.

My story...

Where did my inspiration come from and what was my journey?

The idea of travel began early for me, growing up in the 80’s and watching cinema commercials on the big screen was my inspiration. . Ironically, these were cigarette commercials advertising something totally the antithesis of the activity being shown.

The product was for a brand that advertised itself as the “international passport to smoking pleasure” The smoking was not what interested me. It was the high flying traveling lifestyle of the scenes.

My imagination was launched and I could not stop thinking of having the same life as those actors in the commercial. It changed my life. I wanted to travel around the world. I wanted to have THAT exciting life.

The commercial that changed my life

Ok, here it is. The movie commercials that juiced me enough to want to travel. I found them on YouTube and they STILL make me want to go travel. I was filled with a sense of nostalgia and an amazement how my life mirrored what I had watched so many years ago.

Now, before you watch it, my disclaimer is clear. It is nothing about the smoking. If you’re young and impressionable, then be impressed by the active lifestyle and excitement.

I have no wish to have anyone start smoking because they watched this. You are sensible enough to know it’s rubbish and if you want to live a full, healthy and traveling lifestyle, you ideally should be fit and healthy.

Actually, on reflection, the distinct 80’s questionable fashion sense and mullets are way more hazardous….

Ok…said and done. Here’s the smoking gun..

.

Journey to get a job in travel – Take 1

The subconscious is a powerful thing. Once the seed was planted, I started to drift in the faildirection of travel. First I went to England to train as a hotel manager. It involved working in all departments as part of the training.  My thought here was that I would be working in a foreign land and be a hotel manager at some hotel in an exotic locale. Naive, perhaps, but hey, I was 17. What did I know?

I could not carry trays, take meal orders or even come close to being a waiter, let alone someone who was adept at all departments. My spell in the kitchens was traumatic with chefs that I could swear were out to kill me. A year later I was out of there.

I was a disaster!

 

Journey to get a job in travel – Take 2

I worked at a video rent place and earned while I thought about stuff. I then joined a travel insurance company selling insurance to the travel agents. The job was anything but travel.

shitty salesman I was told I would be going overseas for conferences and exhibitions. Ummm, nope. I was gridlocking my way  through traffic in the city of  Johannesburg, South Africa. I was commuting, not traveling. It was the strangest occupation for me. I sat and had coffee and chatted to travel agent women at their desks and had coffee…Maybe I missed the point along the way

 Disaster!  Anyways, I was a shitty salesman.

Journey to get a job in travel – Take 3

Years ago I had seen a movie when I was about 10. It was called The Dove. All about a young guy going across the ocean solo.

From the recesses of my mind, I started to draw the scenes from the film and reignited my intrigue for the ocean. I then applied myself to learning crewing a yacht. I managed to achieve my Coastal skippers license in Cape Town and refreshed in Spain.

sailor Rob

I was determined to get a berth on a yacht and sail the 7 seas. My idea was to get my Yacht masters and save enough money so I could buy my own yacht and sail around the world.

Looking good…

Major path deviation

Then I received a call from a local radio station asking me to come in for a second audition. (The first audition I attended because I was interested in how a radio station looked and this was my only way in).

My curiosity had led me down another path. I became a radio DJ. My lust for travel was given a backseat. After all the failures and attempts, I was ready to accept a change in plans. Or at least that was what I figured.

I became engrossed in a radio career. Eventually I worked my way from all night radio to late night and into afternoon drive time. Then I also became a TV presenter whilst doing the radio work.

All was peachy. I was well known in a major market, earning good money, had a serious girlfriend and life looked like it was getting aligned for career and marriage.  BUT I was missing something. Something was nagging at me. It was those damn ads. Annual vacation was not cutting it. I wanted more.

 

One day I went on a listenership cruise. We took a ship load of listeners for a 3 day sail out into the blue from Durban, SA. I realized my life had changed again.

Next thing I was on the phone to the owner of the ship charter company and joined as an entertainments manager the next season, saying goodbye to my “other life” I quit everything. I blew up my career, my relationship and basically my entire identity.  

Family and friends thought I had gone insane. Why would I quit a successful path of so called celebrity status, moderate wealth, fancy car, great home and a solid relationship for the unknown? 

Because I could not ignore that nagging inner voice that began to shout at me every day about what my real dream and path should be.

Perhaps my path in radio & TV was meant to be. It taught me so much about communication. It was that very training that helped me fast track from cruise staff to cruise director aboard major cruise lines worldwide.

The story is long, but I stayed with the cruising industry. I am currently a program director with Viking Cruises.

The fact I want to illustrate here is the sheer power of our unconscious wills. It may take some time, but you will get to where you want to go if you want it badly enough.

Did I live like the actors in the commercials? Hopefully not as cheesy…but yes. I still do.

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