I have been dreaming of going travelling for years and am determined that I will so next year (although the thought of it makes me so nervous!!)
I am planning to going off for a year hoping to travel/ volunteer through South and Central America and possibly Canada. I have never done any thing like this before so if anyone can give me some advice? Also I was also hoping to do a ski season somewhere but am concerned I am too old (I will be 27). I would be grateful for any advice hints and tips???? thankyou!!!
First of all, don't be nervous. There's really nothing to be scared of and travelling is as simple as heading to the store to buy grocceries, just on a bigger scale. You make a plan, you do all the neccessary preparations, and you go. So relax, start dreaming, and enjoy planning your trip. The possibilities are endless and wherever you want to go, you can go there.
At this point the only advice I can give you is about doing a ski season in Canada. At 27, you have no reason to think that you are too old. Lots of Brits and Aussies heading to Canada for a ski season are as old as 30 (generally the oldest that you qualify for a visa). When I was in Whistler I was working in an Ice Cream store scooping icecream beside brits who were in their late 20's and back home were bank managers and physiotherapists. It doesn't matter. Everyone who is a ski resort for a season to have a good time is all the same age in the same stage in life.
You still have a couple years left to get a working holiday visa so you can work in Canada with no worries. Once you get that, the possibilites are many and there are several great resorts to choose from that are popular with foreigners.
I'm not sure what else to tell you. Let us know if you haev some more specific questinos about planning such a trip.
I can't add much to what degolasse has said, but if you are aware of your surround and don't do anything stupid ie wave a wad full of cash around in the middle of the street, well you should have any major issues arise at all. In South and Central America it is definitely adviseable to be much more aware of your surrounds, because that is where I had a couple of unfortunate incidents happen to me and I was vigilant and didn't go out getting drunk by myself etc.
Don't expect everything in your trip to be totally smooth sailing and you not find areas that may have you thinking to yourself "what am I doing here?, I don't belong here" etc. You'll undoubtedly come across some places like this especially if you go to India because that is very hard to cope with. The moment you think to yourself how nothing at all bad has happened or you haven't been to any places you have disliked a lot, when you least expect it something will happen.
In general unless you go to a place like Lima (one of the most dangerous cities in the world), Iraq (probably the most dangerous country in the world), Afghanistan, some dangerous african countries, dodgy areas of Buenos Aires etc you have nothing to be nervous about. I wouldn't say it is like going to the store to buy groceries but on a bigger scale that is taking it a bit to light, but it isn't difficult. Once you get underway, have met many great people, seen many great things, you will wish your life could go on slow motion and you spend your whole life travelling.
Have a great trip.