My Travel Journey so far – Part 1

I have decided to write a post about my travel journeys so far, to let you all know about my adventures, inspire you and bring you up to speed on how I got to where I am now. There are too parts to the story and this is part 1.

University

Like many other teenagers I embarked on my journey through life by moving away to University at the age of 18. I choose to study Business Management because it is something I enjoy. I really enjoyed University but half way through my third year I couldn’t help but worry about what’s next, I was so worried about what to do, apply to jobs, getting rejected and work pressure all got to me. I was spiralling out of control, so unhappy, lonely and scared, I couldn’t control anything in my life, I was headed down a troublesome path, I started controlling the only thing in my life that I could – what I ate. I was not in a good place, weighing around 7st and it started to control my life, I had a lot of anger, snapped easily and wouldn’t go out or do anything. As the end of University approached I was in the worst place I could have been, somehow I managed to finish University and graduate. I was no longer worrying about what to do next because I was too worried about what I was eating and exercising, I was well and truly lost.

American Summer Camp

A month after graduating I went to work at an American Summer Camp as a water ski instructor (I had previously worked at the summer camp the summer before) in upstate New York. I loved my previous summer at camp, was excited to get back see my friends and meet new people. Summer Camp jobs are amazing, I lived in a bunk with 16 10 year olds, which was entertaining. The camp was a seven week camp and they had a large variety of activities such as; Tennis, Gymnastics, Canoeing, Sailing, Water Skiing, Soft Ball, Football, Athletics and many more. Many children had attended the summer camp for many years in a row, growing up there, enjoying the summer with their friends.

Working at a summer camp isn’t an easy thing to do, the hours are incredibly long, often working from when you wake up to when you fall asleep with a few hours off during the day. Both years at a camp I completely forgot I was being paid, it was such a good experience that I would have potentially undertaken it without being paid. I enjoyed my camp experience so much that I was thrown completely out of my routine, I started to forget about everything I had once thought was important, I broke away from my bubble and it truly changed my life.

I realised life was more about having fun and I didn’t want to miss out on doing anything with my new friends, I started to smile again. Camp had a set routine- food was given to you at a set time, you had a daily schedule and you had to be strong to look after the kids.

Camp was truly a great experience, I loved every second, everyone should spend a summer at a summer camp, to have fun, realise what’s important and forget their problems. I know it’s cliche but I really found myself that summer, remembered what it was like to be happy, forgot all my worries and came away with a completely new mind set.

 

Post Camp

After returning from America I had no job, nothing to go back to but with my new found happiness, I wasn’t worried at all.

I was at home for around a week and a half, having fun with my friends, going out, searching for jobs and having job interviews when one day I found an email for a water ski instructor out in Greece, I had an interview and I went out to Greece the next weekend.

Seasonnaire Life Round 1 

A seasonnaire job is a job for the summer or winter months, mainly working in resorts or chalets, as a seasonnaire often you work for an English company. You can undertake a variety of jobs from water ski instructor, nanny, chef, hotel host, tennis coach, lifeguard-you name it, it’s a seasonnaire job.

I worked as a seasonnaire in Greece for six weeks after returning from summer camp, I was a water ski instructor and ski boat driver. I worked in an all inclusive resort for English people, it was a great experience, I met some amazing people. I worked for a company called Sunsail, in a resort called Vounaki, I loved it, it was just like summer camp but without the kids.

I spent everyday driving a boat around the bay, teaching people to water ski and wakeboard. I loved it as much as I did my summer camp experience, every day I had to pinch myself this was a dream job and I was doing it, in fact someone was paying me to do it. It was such an incredible six weeks I didn’t want it to end, I made friends with people who wanted to have fun, we went out, had parties, watched movies, I felt like a completely different person to the person I had been less than 6 months previous. I again threw myself outside my comfort zone, this time I knew no one, I could be whoever I wanted to be, no one knew my past. Everyone has a story but at that point I didn’t even want to accept my past troubles, no one needed or had any clue about it and that was the way I wanted it to be.

I made friends and become close to a group of amazing people on that season, I visited them when I returned home and they invited me to join them on their winter season in Chamonix, France, to which I gratefully accepted. Why not? I had no other plans, a winter season sounded fun, snow skiing every day meeting new people and having more great experiences.

Come back on Thursday to read the next part of my travel adventures including a winter season, summer season and my next great adventure.

Follow my blog, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest for more crazy adventures of a girl trying to find her way and place in the world.



 

My Travel Journey so far – Part 2

Welcome back to the second part of my travel journey. In part one I discussed my travel journey the problems I had with my weight/food during University, how travelling and working at a summer camp made me break out of routine and saved me.

Season Number 2 – Chamonix

During my 6 weeks working in Greece as a water ski instructor I made a lot of friends, I met up with these friends after returning to the UK and they invited me to go with them on their winter season.

So Season number 2 was a winter season in Chamonix, France. In early January I booked a one way flight to Geneva and met up with my friends. I had no job and no return ticket but it was a risk I was willing to take and it turned out to be for the best. I found a job easily with a baby sitting agency, they connected me and I worked for weeks at a time and got paid by the hour. This meant I could ski when I wanted to, I ended up working the whole of February and most of March and then odd weekends in April, which gave me lots of time for skiing and making friends. I met an amazing group of friends, from New Zealand, they were amazing, they taught me that its ok to be myself, that everyone should be happy with their life and do whatever they wish to. In truth they inspired me, they were living their lives, being happy and doing the things they love.

I loved my winter season I didn’t want it to end, I felt so alive and was just me.

 

Season Number 3 – Greece

I returned to England for three weeks then embarked on my next adventure to Greece, with a company called Peligoni. I once again worked as a water ski instructor but this time in a high end Greek resort, my sister Emma also joined me. To be fair this season destroyed me, we had to attend party nights and interact with the guests as part of my job, but some evenings I wished I didn’t have to party (being forced to party isn’t all too great). This season was out of hand, so many crazy things happened, I worked with an amazing group of people, who were so much fun. I have stories from that season that people won’t even believe are true! It was hard work but totally fun.

I didn’t want to go home once again, so I applied for a job at another Greek resort which I got. So instead of going home I flew to a different resort in Greece and worked for a company called Neilson.

 

Season Number 4 – Greece

Neilson was a great company to work for, not as fancy as Peligoni and not so much partying but it was exactly what I needed. My friend from my first Greek season was also working at the resort and so were two people from my hometown (happens on seasons), it was a fun season, not so outrageous as the last but I got to water ski a lot more and improved my skiing immensely. This season was short only 8 weeks long but it was still great. I worked in a resort called Sivota, it’s was a resort at the top of a hill overlooking a lagoon, it had incredible hidden channels for skiing. We skied most days and went wake surfing after work. I have some incredible memories from that season.

 

America – Water Skiing

The following January I went out to America to do some proper water ski training, after two years of skiing for fun it was time to get serious, Louisiana was amazing, it was incredible to be surrounded by water skiing royalty. I made some great friends on my time here and learnt a lot. I visited Texas, Arkansas, Florida and Alabama. I also discovered that the South of America is unreal full of culture, New Orleans and Baton Rouge are great cities. I got the opportunity to attend and ski at a number of water ski sites, which was incredible. I had a great time and met some friends for life.

 

Teaching English – Colombia

My most recent adventure has taken me to Bogota, Colombia to teach English to Colombians. Colombia is an amazing country full of culture, life and happiness. I have never felt like I have belonged anywhere before until I came here.

I have spent a number of years trying to find my place in the world, trying to discover what I was good at, where I fit in and most importantly where I was happy.

Colombia has welcomed me with open arms, given me hope in a world which sometimes looks dark, everyone has their own problems, but to belong in a world throwing you problems and struggles is the greatest gift.

I love teaching English, giving Colombians hope, the English language is a gift here, it gives Colombians opportunity to have better jobs and work abroad.

 

So thats it, thats my story so far, the ups the downs. If you want to follow and see how my story unfolds be sure to fill in your email address or follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

How to make friends whilst travelling

People travel in all kinds of ways; with friends, on their own, in groups or with family. No matter how people travel, making friends is part of the travelling experience. Travelling can be scary and lonely but it can also be the best time, full of new friends.

Everyone travelling wants to make friends, share experiences and have fun. It is easy to make friends whilst travelling; in hostels, bars and other places everyone is looking for new friends and will talk to you. Travelling can be lonely but it can also be rewarding for you to spend sometime away from society, to think independently and gain a new outlook on life.

Travelling has gives you friends all over the world, the people you meet travelling are special friends, they never knew you growing up, but they share the same interests as you, they are travelling which in turn makes them a certain type of person! Someone you may have many things in common with, same personality, interests an way of thinking. Not everyone travels so the people who do are special, they have experiences similar to your own, the thing about travellers is they always want to make friends. You tend to become better friends with other travellers quicker than usual friends, you are sharing experiences and memories that will last a lifetime, you both shared this part of your life together and you will never forget it.

I have met a large number of people from all over the world, everyone has different experiences, cultures and knowledge. These are the greatest people to learn from, maybe one of your new friends has been to your next destination and can tell you the good places to visit. Christmas in different countries is one of the most surprising things I learnt whilst travelling. Everyone picks up different experience or knowledge and travelling is a great way to learn about customs and traditions in other countries aside from the country I am visiting.

Travelling has taught me that friends are important, travelling is more fun with friends, it’s no fun doing something exciting if you don’t have anyone to share memories with.

Although this is true, all countries are filled with travellers in the same position as you, because it’s common to embark on an adventure on your own, and people are always willing and open to making new friends whilst travelling. In your loneliest nights remember it’s going to get better, you never know who you will meet tomorrow!

How a trip to the Amazon Rainforest changed my life

The Amazon Rainforest, home to the largest number of animal species in the world, covering vast areas in Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia. The Amazon is home to communities of indigenous families, who have lived in the Amazon for thousands of years, making the most of what they have.

My trip to the Amazon was a revealing one. Coming from England, where we have a defined lower class, middle and upper class, to visiting third world countries. Third world countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru have mainly two classes, the lower class and upper class, with a divide present in-between. Making it eye opening to see how communities live in the Amazon.

I visited a Colombian community called Valencia, which is home to 20 families. They live happily and are content with their lives; they play football, talk to each other and grow their own fruits, crops and plants. These families survive with no running water, windows or electricity. The Colombian Government had supplied the community with big buckets to catch rain water and plates and cups among other necessities. Many of the families in the communities had gas generators to give them electricity periodically and the family I stayed with had a television (I had never thought about a television being used to gain knowledge, and find out things about different places, until that point).

I never knew that people lived in this way, it was eye opening. It was amazing to discover how people live in different places and how much people live without and what we don’t need. It was interesting to see how easily people have adapted to their surroundings and it made me realise how lucky I have been to have travelled as much of the world as I have done. Some people have never ventured out of their communities and it’s a completely different world in the rainforest, but one without which we wouldn’t have some of the things we take for granted.

The Amazon is vast and covers large areas of Colombia, Brazil and Peru. On my flight back from Leticia to Bogota, we flew over the rainforest, we continued to fly over the rainforest for at least an hour of our 2 hour journey. Looking down out of the window I couldn’t help but wonder, what was down there, if I had visited communities by the river still living how they once did, how many more communities was there down there. The communities I visited were known and slightly developed due to the fact they established themselves on the Amazon River, if they had of chosen another river would they have ever been discovered?

How many more communities and people are out there living in Colombia, Brazil and Peru that have never seen the world, never know anything outside of where they live. Never met anyone outside of their communities, never known or seen things we take for granted. It’s crazy to wonder, everyone looks up at the same moon, but everyone lives and sees things differently. The world is full of billions of people, each living life a little differently, each seeing things differently and thinking differently.

It’s something to think about, travelling has taught me to be grateful for the things I have and never take anything for granted, because there are people in the world who would give anything to have what you do.

 

Working Abroad – Teaching English

Teaching English is not only rewarding but it can allow you to travel to many destinations, meet new people and spend time living in other countries.

The need for English Language teachers around the world is a growing business, people have discovered the importance of the English Language with everyday life and in businesses. English is the universal business language and allows businesses to become multinational, the world is a small place and businesses are moving abroad exporting and importing goods. With this increased need for the English language people have identified that having good knowledge of the English language can allow people to gain jobs anywhere in the world, higher paid jobs in third world countries and increase job opportunities. To keep up with this need for teachers, many companies have started offering native English teachers chances to work in schools or companies in Latin American, Asia, Western Europe, China, Indonesia and Japan.

To teach English abroad you don’t necessarily need to have a teaching degree (obviously you will get a better job with a teaching degree or masters). You can gain employment with an English Language teaching qualification through companies offering 4 week courses, online courses and weekly training courses. It depends which type of job you want to get, many schools and companies will allow you to work with just a online teaching course which can be purchased online for between £49 – £200. Research is necessary to find the best and accredited courses available, there are lots of cheap courses online which aren’t accredited.

There are two ways in which you can acquire a job teaching English abroad;

1. Find a job yourself in a school or an English company in the country you want to work in. 

2. Find a TEFL company and apply to them, they will train you and find you a placement in a school or organisation in the country of your choice.

These two ways of finding jobs have their positives and negatives.

English company or School;

Finding an English company on your own can be hard, there are a number of companies and schools which you can apply to directly in the place you want to travel. Although this is true, finding a English company on your own can allow you to choose between companies, find one that is the best fit for you, the one which gives you the best working hours, the best pay and ages which you would like to teach.

TEFL Company 

Finding a TEFL Company can allow you to gain the necessary qualifications from a accredited source, they will find you a job and help you find accommodation, some will even pay for your visa and flight, which is good for people who want to pay someone to sort out everything for them. Although this is true many companies request a deposit, don’t allow you to choose your destination within the country, provide you with a set wage which can be subsequently lower than you deserve. They take away money from your wages for expenses such as finding you the job, some even have to pay schools for you to be there.

Teaching English is rewarding and allows people to earn a wage in a country before travelling around the country.

I recently moved to Bogota, Colombia with the idea of teaching English in mind, I recently just gained a working visa, a job with a English teaching company, I work 4 hours a day and get paid a set hourly fee. My monthly wage is significantly higher, maybe double the amount of which I would have received working for a TEFL Company.