A different budget travel experience this time around…
A different budget travel experience this time around…
As you guys may know from a recent post ( Next budget backpacking destination) the wheels are in motion, and I’m ready to stat traveling again. The sabbatical away from traveling is coming to an end, I feel fresh, reinvigorated and ready to leave England behind once more. However this time around I would like a different budget travel experience other than what I’m used to.
What I mean by having a different budget travel experience is, that, for the majority of my traveling life I’ve lived the typical backpacker life. I’ve stayed mostly in hostels; everything from big party hostels to small home like hostels. I’ve partied my way from country to country, I’ve got most the T-shirts (Bingtang and Chang vests all around.) I’ve done touristy stuff and ticked off so many things from my bucket list and although that won’t stop, I’d like something different.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking anybody that is living life to the max in a party hostel, or a crazy booze filled boat cruise, doing the touristy things, or even doing nothing but living a hostel life. In-fact going back to hostel life would be in the belly of my comfort zone – but I want to leave my comfort zone. After all, traveling life is having new experiences right?
I Would leave tomorrow if I could.
Some of you may or may not know, when I travel I travel long-term, and I mean years; 6 months is a short trip for me – I am a nomad. I would just love to pick up my backpack and leave tomorrow. In the past I’ve been able to do just that as I could supplement my funds by working in foreign countries on working holiday visas however that isn’t an option anymore as I’m too old for that now. (I’m in my 30’s). The reality is I need to have enough funds to sustain my traveling life or find alternate means.
I can still obtain work visa’s, skip over to Europe, (well before Brexit kicks in) or work for accommodation in hostels but I don’t want to do that anymore.
Of course the long-term goal is to become location independent, to have forever roaming the world be a global budget travel brand, an influencer in the budget and solo travel world (Yes I dream big). However in saying that, I am only 4 months into this blog. I’m under no illusions and know I’m just a spec of sand in this digital world and yes I know that the money is not going to come from the blog it-self; this is just the first step. So for now, I need a job or some other way to supplement my travels.
A different budget travel experience…But what?
While I’ve been looking at destinations to start my nomad life again, I’ve been exploring the alternate ways to experience budget traveling and be able to sustain it.
It recently dawned on me there are viable options I can explore, I don’t need to just look for just a standard job, there are other options to have a different budget travel experience. These are options I’ve known about but never utilized in the past; which may come as a surprise and might even sound ridiculous considering I’ve been a budget backpacker for 6 continuous years.
I’ve narrowed my choices down to these three options for now (of course things can and will most likely to change).
“Workaway is an international organisation that enable travelers willing to work as volunteers to contact hosts (who can be individuals, families or groups) wanting help with their projects or activities. Volunteers or ‘Workawayers’, are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day in exchange for lodging and food provided by their host.” (source: Wikipedia)
This is something that I’ve known about in the past but never really gave a thought to – Until now. Having looked into it in some detail, I think this would be a fantastic option for me. Not only would I be provided with food and accommodation from a local host but it would completely bring me out my comfort zone. I could learn gain new skills, do jobs wouldn’t normally do, meet different types of people, live with locals, learn the language. Just to be around them day to day would give me more of a local feel and experience local culture from a different perspective.
With workaways or volunteering in general, depending on the type of work, it could give me that sense of pride and accomplishment that I’ve helped make a difference to somebody. This would be a brand new experience for me. There are other types of volunteering programs like helpx and woofing that I can also look into.
(If you are interested in this check out their website – www.workaway.info )
“Homestay is a popular form of accommodation whereby visitors stay in a house or apartment of a local of the city to which they are traveling. The length of stay can vary from one night to even a year and can be for free, in exchange for monetary compensation, in exchange for a stay at the guest’s property either simultaneously or at another time, or in exchange for help on the host‘s property. It is sometimes used by people who wish to improve their language skills, immerse in a particular culture, or become familiar with the local lifestyle.” (source: Wikipedia)
I think more often than not you have to pay rent for the room for this option but if it works out cheaper than a hostel then it could be a shout to. With this option I’d be living with a local family and completely immersed in their way of life. Like couchsurfing, I may get shown around, learn the local culture more, their ways, the language but I would be living like a local and not just another tourist. however with this option, i would be spending money on rent and really would have to get a job to fund myself. This would be my third option for sure but definitely one I want to experience at one point.
(more info at www.homestay.com )
House sitting is the practice whereby a landlord (or “homeowner”), leaving their house for a period of time, entrusts it to one or more “house-sitters”, who by a mutual agreement are entitled to live there rent-free in exchange for assuming responsibilities such as taking care of the homeowner’s pets, performing general maintenance (including pools, lawns, air-conditioning systems etc.), keeping trespassers off the property, readdressing the mail, and in general, making sure that everything runs smoothly just as if the owner was at home. (Source Wikipedia)
From the research I’ve done into house-sitting, It seems like something that is growing in popularity amongst backpackers and budget travelers. It would be another good option for me, I do like my peace sometimes, I’d be ok with looking after a property, doing some general up keeping or looking after pets depending on what pet it is (I’m a dog person not a cat person) with this option I would have to choose carefully and depending on location and what the house owner is looking for in me.
However I also have a couple of concerns with this one. My biggest concern for this would be if I would get lonely, I do like having my own space but not for too long. At least with the other options you are in around locals and living with people. With house-sitting how hard would it be to get to know locals. Also you’re looking after a house, if something does happen that’s on you. This one is an option but I think I need to look into it a bit more before I’m completely sold on the idea.
These are the three options I want to explore a different budget travel experience. If you have had any experience with the above or anything different let me know how you found it? Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? What advise would you give? I’m very keen to hear your thoughts.
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