Now or never

My decision to travel abroad came up a few weeks ago right after I looked into the possibility of buying a house. I looked at a real fixer-upper of a house and really contemplated buying it, but then thought if I buy a house I won’t be able to travel nearly as much as I would like to and see all the places I would like to see. That was when I decided that it was now or never. After that, I started coming up with a plan on how and where I would travel.  At that point in time I already had a 2 week Environmental Research Volunteer Abroad program booked through the volunteer organization IVHQ, which starts on May 1, 2016 in Mexico.  So I decided to look into some other volunteer programs through IVHQ and applied for programs in Fiji, Bali, and reapplied to a program I originally wanted to do located in Italy, but couldn’t because of the minimum length time commitment.  I heard back the next day that I was accepted into each program for the dates I selected, so I hurried up and put down my registration fee deposits so there would be no going back.

Now I am planning an itinerary of how to go from Mexico, to Fiji, to Bali, and then to Italy with some solo travel in between each program. I never felt like I had a good enough reason to leave my job to travel other than “I just want to travel,” which for me wasn’t a good enough excuse. The way I look at it now, is at least this way I’ll be giving back to some of the communities I will be visiting abroad, while also being able to see places I never dreamed I would see.

I’ve also never been very good at just going with the flow and being spontaneous.  Having these programs set up where I will only have a few days here and there that I have to plan the majority of my day for is ideal, until I get a feel for being a solo traveler.  I also just really like staying busy, and get bored if I have too much down time, so helping out in different communities will give me a more real cultural experience than visiting a bunch of touristy areas.  This trip will be about 5 months in length, and I can’t wait to see where my  itinerary will take me!

4 thoughts

  1. Reading your blog brings back memories of when I started my own blog in 2012 doing the EXACT same thing you are doing– volunteering in different places around the world with some solo travel here and there. I also have been going through IVHQ and my upcoming trip to Fiji will be my eighth time with them. Each country I’ve volunteered with IVHQ has exceeded all of my expectations.

    I began backpacking solo between volunteering in places like Southeast Asia, Central America, and Europe with other volunteers I met or backpackers I came across. A lot of them have become very good friends of mine that I still keep in touch with to this day. I haven’t stopped since I started.Every time I go to travel, it’s longer and more expansive than before. I’m currently planning an 18+ month trip to hit all seven continents beginning with Fiji and Australia.

    I’m looking forward to seeing where your travels take you! If its anything like mine, it will take you to some amazingly unexpected places you will never forget!!

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    1. That is so amazing! From what I’ve heard IVHQ is a great organization to go through, what types of programs have you done through them!? Also, which one will you be doing in Fiji? I’d love to hear some of your experiences with them! I feel like that is how I will be, I’m starting off with a 5 month trip, and I’m already thinking of possibly doing another trip shortly after this one and volunteer in some countries in Central/South America!

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      1. I’ve done the following so far:

        Costa Rica – Sea Turtles Conservation
        Peru – Wildlife Conservation
        South Africa – Teaching English
        Tanzania – Teaching English
        Vietnam – Teaching English
        Nepal – Teaching English
        Guatemala – Teaching English

        In Fiji I will either be teaching English or Sports Development. I also plan one after in either Romania or India. Its just so convenient 🙂

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      2. In Fiji I’m signed up for the Sport Development! I’m super excited for it because they play a lot of rugby and I used to play in college. Depending on my length of travels I thought of possibly signing up for the program in Romania also, but I’m not sure that I’ll have enough time to fit it in!

        How was the Wildlife Conservation program in Peru? I’ve been looking up different programs that are offered in South America/Central America and am trying to decide which ones I would want to work on. I typically try to go for the more environmental ones because that’s what I’m the most interested in!

        All of the past programs you’ve done before sound amazing though!

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