Many friends who share with me their desire to go and explore the world also talk about their worries. “But I don’t have time”, “but I have to save enough money first” or simply “I’m not ready”.
I used to be like them. I used to stay wide-awake at night for weeks before my first time going abroad to do a volunteer job in Thailand. “Two months of living at an orphanage in a rural area, no washing machine, no air-conditioner and no Internet, is that worth to spend my summer break on? How can I survive?” – I thought. But I did and I enjoyed it. I met many great people, saw the world in different aspects and had many new experiences that I had never imagined. I even travelled to different places in Thailand and Laos during weekend using my poor student budget. The journey has made a huge impact on me that I hope all my friends will have that too.
Yes, youths are poor and busy with their lives. However, seeing the world is not an out-of-reach mission. Following are my suggestions to kick-start your journey to explore the world.
- Study Abroad There are many universities and colleges offering Study Abroad programs, both long-term and short-term. You can check with your school to figure out which program is suitable for you. There are always scholarships available and you can earn credits, too. Think about it!
- Volunteer Abroad Doing volunteer abroad is a very cool idea. You will have a chance to really interact with the locals and surely you will learn a lot from them. You can also have free home-stay accommodation and/or free meals during your stay. Check out AIESEC Global Citizen Program or WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) for more volunteer opportunities.
- Work Abroad You can work in exchange for your experience going abroad. Be a bartender, an English teacher or do a professional internship in a company are some suggestions for you. Finding a job in a foreign company might take times and efforts, you can try to search for help from Work & Travel, AIESEC Global Internship Program or bab.la Job Search.
If this article makes you want to chase these opportunities to go abroad and see the world, I want to share with you my most favourite quote that always give me the encouragement to go.
“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
Good luck with your journey ahead!