The last time I decided to pack everything up and travel overseas indefinitely was in 2016 when I moved to Vietnam to teach English. And since returning home after eight months abroad, there’s been one thing on my mind: when can I do it again?! But of course, leaving everything behind and flying off to an unknown land requires some level of planning and preparation – unless you’re totally comfortable ‘winging it’, which I am not. So, for the past two years I’ve been a ‘proper adult’ – you know, get a real job, find a place to live, etc, etc – and now I’m done! This version of life is not for me! And that’s why in a few months’ time I will once again be leaving my job, packing up and storing my stuff (thanks mum!), and venturing overseas for another indefinite adventure.
Unlike the majority of my previous adventures, I won’t be doing this one alone. My best friend has decided that she too needs to see the world and we’re going to see it together. And because we want to be able to travel for as long as possible we’re planning to do it as cheaply as possible, but still in relative comfort (so no 16 bed mixed dorms with shared bathrooms, thanks). And what’s the biggest expense, other than airfares? Accommodation! So we’ll be using three awesome platforms (Airbnb*, Workaway, and Trusted Housesitters) that will allow us to travel and stay in some amazing places for next to nothing, and in some cases, actually nothing!
So what does my Best Year Yet look like, you ask? Well, the first few months will be spent picking up as much work (as a substitute teacher) as possible to put as much money into the travel kitty as possible. Then, in April, we’re off! First stop – Athens!
There are some really affordable Airbnbs in and around the centre of Athens (we’ve managed to nab one for just $30 a night) that will serve as a handy base for five days exploring this ancient capital. After being a tourist for nearly a week, it’ll be time to move on to our next experience as Workaway volunteers in a cat sanctuary in a regional area south of Athens. If you’re not a cat lover then you probably can’t relate to our excitement about doing this, but bear with me! For two weeks we will be responsible for feeding, cleaning, and snuggling a menagerie of furry critters that have been rescued from the streets, nursed back to full health, and then hopefully adopted by loving new families. Bliss! In our free time we plan to explore as much as we can – my bucket list includes Santorini, Paros, Corfu and Meteora!
After three weeks in Greece, my friend and I will go our separate ways for a month as I go gallivanting across to Italy for my second Workaway experience, this time living with a family in the small town of Galliate, near Milan. This is my dream! Living like a local, experiencing life well away from the tourist trail, in my favourite country – to say I’m excited would be an understatement! My role will simply be to spend time with the family (mum, dad, and three kids), help them with their English (and improve my Italian) and basically provide them with a cultural exchange. I think I can manage that!
Then, in June I’ll meet back up with my friend and head to . . . we don’t know yet! Maybe Albania? Or Macedonia? Or Croatia? Wherever we want! We’ll keep applying for Workaway positions and see what opportunities arise. Because that’s the point, isn’t it? To seize opportunities, say yes to new experiences, to not have everything so rigidly mapped out that you miss out on the true joy of travelling? I think so.
Stay tuned for updates as more of our trip comes together! And remember to follow me on social media for photos and snippets of our adventures!
Bec @ loveshetravels
* Use this link to get $55 AUD off your first booking