Mishmash Monday: Thoughts on travel

London Bridge (Tower Bridge) : Reflection on t...

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One of my best friends is home after a six-month stint abroad. You name it, she’s ticked it off: international romance, meeting new friends, hitchhiking even. How did she afford it? She taught English, and while she was based in Turkey, she had the opportunity to see tons of other places while in Europe.

Another just finished winding her way across the US, and has now landed in the UK hoping to find work in the journalism field…and I will most definitely be watching with interest to see how she fares. Because I don’t want the “traditional” OE – quite frankly, I don’t think I could hack working any old service type job. I’ve been there, done that; I like my cushy desk job. In an office, the worst I can do is spill food onto my keyboard or fall off my chair (true story). I couldn’t be on my feet all day, especially when there’s so much potential to break glasses or spill wine on customers (the tipping point at which I quit waitressing).

Now I’ve nearly dealt to the emergency fund, it’s time to start seriously thinking about saving for a) a car someday and b) some real travel.

When I finally get to travel, I’m happy to do some backpacking and stay in hostels, but I want to be able to fully enjoy and experience the surroundings. Not interested in slumming it. Increasingly, I’m wondering if getting TESOL certified might be one way to do it – especially if we’re talking Europe. Or simply remaining based here, and taking, say, a one or two-week trip abroad every other year or so. I mean, I know they say visiting a place is not the same as living there, but I think the holiday experience would sate me just fine.

BF doesn’t have the travel bug like I do – and it didn’t really help hearing tales of how two friends ran out of money while overseas. He’s reasonably keen to visit Europe, but has no burning interest in seeing the States. Unless, of course, he gets to go see a live wrestling show. Or Letterman. I’ve promised we will. (Nor is he particularly keen on working overseas. If he’d decided to go down the teaching path after all, the UK would probably be a relatively easy option. But he didn’t, and instead, he’ll be staying put for a while to hopefully build a career.)

Ah, but the food! I’ve reminded him of all the amazing cuisines that we’re dying to experience firsthand. As I told Revanche, we would love to do a foodie tour of the US (Mexican! Cajun! IHOP! Seafood! Cheese steak! Bagels! Er….pizza?). And all the flavours of Malaysia. France. Spain. Italy. Surely even the UK has something to offer in that department. And then he concedes that yes, that would be nothing short of astounding.

Who’s lived and worked in a foreign country? What was your experience like?

6 thoughts on “Mishmash Monday: Thoughts on travel

  • Reply findingserenity2010 September 27, 2010 at 13:58

    Go for it! I studied abroad twice during college, during which I was able to tour Great Britain (including Scotland), Ireland, and Paris. Wonderful experiences all around, since I’m less of a foodie and more of a history buff (ha!). I would love to be hiking in the East Midlands again, running my hands over stone walls that have been there for centuries.

    As for your goal, I can’t say there isn’t great food in the States, especially in the out-of-the way places. Or maybe I just say that because I love the Midwest … but definitely go for it, and prepare to gain about 15 pounds (haha … ok, I’m only slightly joking there)

    • Reply Storm September 28, 2010 at 22:14

      I’ve only traveled to other countries, France, Spain, and Italy, but I absolutely loved it! Traveling is just a passion of mine. I try to do some sort of trip at least once every 3 or 4 months. My last one was to New Orleans (AMAZING) and my next one is to Las Vegas. I think once you start traveling you either 1)become totally addicted or 2) only travel when you absolutely have to. My dream is to go to Europe and live there, especially Eastern Europe. I was thinking of the teach English as a second language program and would like to do photojournalism, so I guess I’m a combo of your two friends.

      My best friend has the problem of having a BF that doesn’t want to travel but she does. I don’t know how she will reconcile this, but I’m sure she’ll find a way.

      Me, I would personally never let someone else decide what I’m going to do. Then again, I like being alone, so, I win. If you don’t like to be alone, I guess this isn’t a great option. I’m in the minority though. I also do not like cuddling, holding hands, or touching anyone in public…if I can help it/drunk.

      Good luck, go explore the world, there’s so much of it.

  • Reply Sense September 27, 2010 at 20:38

    Amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Unless you don’t count NZ as a foreign country, that is…ah, perspective.

    Working in the US was less than ideal, but that was just the line of work i was in, I think. But I was paid WAY better!

    I would love to travel to Europe…one day. ONE DAY.

    the IHOP! insertion was a joke, right? I guess it IS very American. I wouldn’t say it’s the best we have to offer, though…unless it is 4 am and you are drunk. and in that case try waffle house instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰ i would love to see what you thought of some of the southern accents on folks in waffle house country.

    How random that your BF wants to see a letterman show! that is cute. My laugh is on a live-audience laugh track for an episode of ‘Full House’ that I saw taped in Hollywood when I was 14. Fun, no? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply The Asian Pear September 28, 2010 at 10:55

    I haven’t worked or lived abroad but I did backpack through Europe for 2 months one summer while I was still in university. I saved up money and did it. I admit though… We totally “slummed” it. We lived in hostels & cheap hotels. We didn’t eat that great. Our budget was $75 CAD a day which included food and hotel. I didn’t mind though as our focus was experience and to see everything. It was great.

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair September 28, 2010 at 11:20

    COME TO CANADA! It’s beautiful, seriously BEAUTIFUL and you can stay on my couch ๐Ÿ˜€

    We spent $10,000 buckaroos on our 3-week European excursion and it was worth every last penny! We definitely didn’t slum it but we did stay in cheaper places etc. But I don’t regret one cent we spent. In fact, if I could do it all over again I would have tried to worry LESS about money because I did tend to stress about it while we were there!

  • Reply Fig September 30, 2010 at 23:10

    I laughed out loud at the foodie tour of America. That’s exactly what my fiance and I did when he came to visit this summer. We just took 2 weeks and drove cross country eating EVERYWHERE. He was so happy. I think he gained like ten pounds but said it was worth it (and lost it after).

    I traveled around the US/Mexico extensively and I studied abroad in europe (Austria) and also traveled around the continent as a backpacker. It’s an amazing experience and I totally recommend it. And of course I’m living in your country now and for me it’s a foreign experience. It’s actually been a really rough adjustment for me, but I’m enjoying it still. Sometimes it’s not all fun, but still worth it.

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