A unique guide for the working traveller that explains how to find all types of temporary work around the world not only in advance but also on the spot while travelling.
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The idea of going all the way around the world holds more than a touch of romance. From the early heroic navigators like Ferdinand Magellan to the fictional traveller Phileas Fogg, circumnavigators of our planet have always captured the imagination of adventurous souls. More recently Michael Palin's globetrotting television series and award-winning travel blogs like twoguysaroundtheworld.com attract huge audiences, perhaps because so many of us relish a chance to imagine ourselves - impossibly ambitious as it sounds - as round-the-world explorers.
Nothing can compare with the joy of the open road. The sense of possibility and adventure brings feelings of exhilaration, long submerged in the workaday routines of home. Cheap air travel has opened up parts of the globe once reserved for the seriously affluent. When travelling in far-flung corners of the world, you can escape the demands of modern life in the Western world, the chores, the clutter, the technology. Whatever your stage of life, travelling spontaneously means you have the freedom to choose from an infinite spectrum of possibilities. Those who have experienced independent travel normally catch the bug and long to visit more places, see more wonders and spend a longer time abroad. Today trekking in the hinterland of Rio de Janeiro or diving in the Philippines can be within the grasp of ordinary folk. The longing might stem from a fascination left over from childhood with an exotic destination like Madagascar or Patagonia.
The motivation might come from a friend's reminiscences or a television travelogue or a personal passion for a certain culture or natural habitat. At some point a vague idea begins to crystallise into an actual possibility.
That is the point at which the purple prose of brochure-speak must be interrupted by hard-headed planning. The first question is always: how can I afford such a trip? Magellan had the backing of the King and Queen of Spain, Phileas Fogg was a gentleman of independent means and Michael Palin could call on the resources of the BBC. How can ordinary people possibly move their dreams on to reality? The conventional means to an exciting end is to work and save hard.
A grim spell of working overtime and denying yourself a social life is one route to being able to join a safari in Tanzania, a water sport instructor's course on the Mediterranean or a bungee jump in New Zealand. But what if it were possible to skip this stage and head off towards the horizon sooner than that? Instead of trying to finance the expensive trips advertised in glossy travel brochures, what about trying to find alternative ways of experiencing those same places at a fraction of the cost?
The catchy phrase `work your way around the world' may contain the answer to the thorny question of funding. Picking up bits and pieces of work along the way can go a long way to reducing the cost. Even if it is unrealistic to expect to walk into highly paid jobs in Beijing or Berlin (though they do exist), other informal ways exist of offsetting the cost of travel. Work-for-keep arrangements on a New Zealand farm or Costa Rican eco-lodge will mean that you have to save far less than if you booked a long-haul package holiday to those destinations - in some cases little more than the cost of the flight.
Short of emigrating or marrying a native, working abroad is an excellent way to experience a foreign culture from the inside. The plucky Briton who spends a few months on a Queensland outback station will have a different tale to tell about Australia from the one who serves behind the bar in a Sydney pub. Yet both will experience the exhilaration of doing something completely unfamiliar in an alien setting.
Anyone with a taste for adventure and a modicum of nerve has the potential for exploring far-flung corners of the globe on very little money. In an ideal world, it would be possible to register with an international employment agency and wait to be assigned to a glamorous job as an underwater model in the Caribbean, history co-ordinator for a European tour company or snowboard instructor in the Rockies. But jobs abroad, like jobs at home, must be ferreted out. The hundreds of pages that follow will help you to do just that.
Because the world is always changing, a new edition of this book is necessary every two years. Since the last edition, the world's economy has suffered a huge blow resulting in an alarming rise in unemployment figures worldwide and a dramatic collapse in the value of sterling. This book has been around for so long that I can remember the last major recession at the beginning of the 1990s. Ironically, that crisis seemed to create more opportunities for casual and temporary work because employers did not want to commit to taking on more permanent staff.
In these troubled times, the idea of fleeing to a new place with potentially new opportunities and a stronger currency might appeal more than ever. If job prospects are dire at home, why hang around to become depressed? Travel can transport you to a new universe where credit crunches don't seem to matter so much. If you are convinced that fi nding work at home will be next to impossible, one idea is to broaden your horizons and your skills elsewhere, by working in a Rocky Mountain ski resort or temping in an Australian city. Volunteering or interning may also prove a worthwhile investment in enhancing future career prospects, perhaps a placement teaching in a school in the Andes, or joining a marine research project in Madagascar.
Nowadays, working abroad has become such a mainstream idea that it has spawned scores of websites, been featured on primetime television and is serviced by a huge infrastructure for those who want to combine work and travel. This book has grown up with the travel industry and takes account of all those shortcuts to fixing up work abroad that now exist. The inclusion in its pages of hundreds if not thousands of potential employers, mediating agencies and useful internet sites sometimes makes me feel like a walking database.
Yet the swashbuckling kind of traveller who is prepared to carve out his or her own adventures is also alive and well and using this book to navigate. For this fourteenth edition of Work Your Way Around the World my network of informants included a new graduate who exchanged Spanish for English lessons in Santiago Chile until he was in a position to land a teaching contract at a prestigious English institute, a New Zealander who has found casual work from Buenos Aires to Stockholm, an Irish woman who ignored the discouraging recruitment and visa info from Disneyworld and spent a terrifi c year in Florida, a man no longer in the first flush of youth who has worked in exotic places like Mali and Mauritania, and is now in a small city south of Beijing as an English teacher, saving some of his salary for his next adventure, a young English woman who used an agency to fix up an internship in a video production company in Sydney, and a school leaver who busked in Paris and Seville and is now exchanging a few hours of work a day in order to stay free at a lakeside hostel in Guatemala. Almost with one voice, these travellers urge people whatever their backgrounds to give it a go and expose themselves to the unexpected friendliness and generosity of foreign residents and fellow travellers. Anybody who occasionally feels the call of the road, the spirit of adventure flicker will, I hope, enjoy reading this book and dreaming. My aim has been to make the information in these 404 pages as concrete and up-to-the-minute as possible, to cut all the vague generalities and waffle.
But amongst all the specific contact addresses, websites and realistic practical advice, the stories of working travellers are interwoven to inspire and encourage. This book is written to renew optimism and spark the imagination of all potential travellers.
Cambridge July 2009
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Book Description Crimson Publishing, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1854583670