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!