My best year yet?

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.

Teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam

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 HouseSit Match) 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!

Milan Cathedral

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

77 thoughts on “My best year yet?”

  1. That cat sanctuary sounds so lovely. I would love to cuddle cats all the time… You will have so much fun and if you don’t know where to go you can always come to Slovenia. Lots to do and see here. 🙂

    Like

  2. Ahh how fabulous, you’re going to have an amazing year! Santorini is so beautiful you will love it! Be sure to check out the churches there as well as the beautiful little jewellery shops that are all dotted around. There are also some great pastry shops 😍

    Like

  3. Sounds like an amazing experience! I want to do something similar and my eye has been caught by the workaway website thank you for sharing that. I look forward to reading about your adventures.

    Like

    1. Thank you! This will be my first Workaway experience, but already I’m surprised at how easy it can be to connect with hosts and organise amazing experiences. I’m glad I could share something useful for you – good luck with your own travels!

      Like

    1. Thanks so much! I think it’s important, especially for younger women and men, to know that just because ‘a job, a house and a family’ are what most people do, it doesn’t mean that something different is any less normal or satisfying. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  4. Aw yay! I’m so glad your best friend will be going along with you. This will be a great experience to share with them. I hope you two have a great time. 🙂

    Like

  5. This sounds amazing! I did the same sort of thing as you – I worked in England teaching primary there for a year and a half. Moved home, worked at home again and was a proper adult. Not I’m bored too. I’m moving to Europe in July to teach (again), but I just prefer living overseas – there are so many experiences to be had when living overseas! It sounds like you’re going to have an absolutely amazing time – it’s great being able to do things like this!

    Like

  6. That’s exciting! Are you going back to England, or somewhere else in Europe? You’re right, there are so many experiences to be had when living overseas, and the feeling of living like a local is so different to visiting as a tourist. I’m really looking forward to spending time in places I otherwise would have missed if I was just visiting on holiday. I can’t wait!

    Like

  7. I am here for all of this! This sounds like an amazing adventure and I see why you’re so excited! I’m also headed to Italy this year for a holiday but it’ll be nothing compared to your experience! All the best and I can’t wait to see more

    Like

      1. I’ve never been to Italy but we plan to start off in Milan, Como Lake to catch a George Clooney-haha, Venice, Prosecco Hills, then down to Sorrento and end off in Capri Island.

        Like

      2. Sounds like it will be an amazing trip! I’ve been to most of those places before and they’re all so beautiful. Make sure you taste limoncello in Sorrento! Best of luck catching a Clooney! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh wow, you are living my dream!! 😭 I wish I can travel the world. I’ve never been anywhere but I wish I will.
    This post of yours makes me so excited, really! And jealous of course! 🙃 I hope you have good time on your trip 💖

    Like

  9. Sounds amazing!! My son loves to travel abroad, and is always interested in ideas etc. Of ways to volunteer or work abroad a bit!

    Like

  10. Oh wow – what an amazing year you have lined up! I’m particularly jealous of all that cat cuddling you’re going to get to do 🙂 feeling inspired to go and check out workaway myself now!

    Like

  11. How exciting! Your plans sound amazing so far! Can’t wait to see the pictures! Do you already personally know the family your moving in with or how was it arranged?

    Like

    1. Hi Marla. I don’t know the family personally, I connected with them via Workaway. After I created my profile they contacted me through the Workaway messaging system, then after a few messages back and forth we Skyped to make sure we were a good match. I highly recommend taking a look at the website if you’re curious at all about it – it’s really easy to organise lots of different types of experiences around the world.

      Like

  12. Wow this is definitely going to be an insane year for you and your friend! I’m incredibly jealous. Best of luck on all your travels, I can’t wait to see what you get up to. x
    El | Welsh Wanderer

    Like

  13. I’m so glad to have come across your blog via bloggers tribe thread! I have never been the travelling type. I love being at home and staying there for as long as possible without leaving the house. I travel frequently to Spain to visit my grandparents who moved there and for the longest time that was enough to satisfy me. I was itching to buy a house and settle down in the vicinity of where I grew up. Suddenly, though, I have gotten a travel bug! I was recommend the site work away and have spent hours just scrolling through the various opportunities all over the world and can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner. It’s so interesting reading about all the different lifestyles that are out there and I hope to be immersed in them sooner rather than later. I haven’t heard of trustedhousesitters but I will have a look on there as well! I will likely be travelling solo and so I look forward to reading your older posts which I will do throughout the day. You give such good tips and I will be taking notes for when I finally decide to venture out to see the world! I have decided I definitely must do it I just haven’t decided if I will buy my house first as planned and rent it out or do that when I come back and live in it – many decisions to be made… much love! Amy x

    Like

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Amy! I’m glad to have helped inspire and encourage you to travel, now that you feel the urge to go. I’ve actually just bought a house in the area I live and grew up in, which I will rent out while I travel and come back to live in one day (maybe). So it can be done, you can do both at the same time, if you want to. I also wish I’d found Workaway long before now, there are so many amazing opportunities all around the world! All the best with your future plans – whatever you decide, it’ll be the right decision xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem at all! You definitely have- I still need to find the time to read your old posts but I’m hoping it get to it this week as I can’t wait to read them🙌🏻 Oh that’s great that you have the security for coming back to if you wish! Thanks so much❤️ xx

        Liked by 1 person

  14. This year is going to be your year. I love the idea yous are working and just seeing where the wind takes you for some of the year! I did workaway last year in Nepal and I find it so helpful to get by on so little. Looking forward to reading about your amazing year which lies for you both ahead.

    Like

    1. Thanks lovely! I’m amazed at how many different opportunities there are around the world using Workaway – I wish I’d known about it years ago! Will definitely plan more overseas trips using Workaway in the future, maybe even Nepal! Xx

      Like

Leave a Reply to Mashibaby Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.