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Help with where to start and trip expectations.

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Help with where to start and trip expectations.

1. Posted by sapereaude (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!


I just got my degree and am planning a round-the-world trip as my reward. I am leaving in October and I am starting out with less than $10,000 (American) and want that to stretch for as long as I can handle with a combination of working and traveling. Although the point is to travel, I want to work as well and really experience day to day life in another place. I can start out in 2 very different directions, but can't decide which one would be best. All opinions welcome.

My first option would be to start out in Ireland. I would get a working holiday visa through BUNAC and spend 4 months probably in Galway working and living. I'm nervous about doing this though, because the cost of living is so high there. But hopefully getting paid in Euros will balance it all out. I was also hoping to find a hostel that would let me work for accommodation. If anyone knows anything about job prospects/cost of living in galway/ working in a hostel, let me know! After that I was planning on doing wwoof (working on an organic farm) from Feb- March in either Greece or Italy. Next I was hoping to somehow stretch my money and go to South America or Southeast Asia for the rest of my trip. I don't have any ideas of where to go, or what to do there (maybe wwoof again, if I found it to be successful and enjoyable). I'm just concerned that I won't have enough money by this time, and I don't want to stay Europe, but instead go somewhere more foreign and less Western. I've heard that the Irish economy is good and I'm hoping that I can possibly come out of Ireland with more cash than when I came in to travel with for the rest of the year, but I want to be realistic. The problem is, I don't know the realities of what to expect. In Ireland, I'd only have a visa and when I'm there I'd need to look for a job and look for housing. I'm not sure the prospects of someone hiring me when they know I can only be there for 4 months. Although I am not looking for a "real" job, like a restaurant/pub job would be sufficient.

My second option would be to start out in Thailand. I can go through TEFL international for my certification. I've already been accepted (But I have not put down a deposit yet or anything) and if I go, I would be teaching ESL from October until the end of February. Schools would provide me with free accommodation plus around US$900/month, which I think should be sufficient to live off of (I'm not a big spender) without really delving into the cash I earn before I leave. After Thailand (with some trips through part of southeast Asia while I am there) I was hoping to go to India and Nepal for a little bit. After that, I'm not really sure what to do, and again, where I can go, and how much my money will stretch. Keep in mind, I also need to pay for travel from place to place, which I think will be my biggest expense. But as a negative for Thailand, I'd have to fly out the day after I take the LSATs (The reason I can't leave until October) because of the program dates, and I'm not sure that's enough time to get ready. I'd like to be able to concentrate on the exam and not my trip.

I need to either send in my payment for the working visa soon, or payment for the tefl course soon and I'm just unsure if I should start in Thailand or Ireland. Whichever one would allow me to travel longer in the long run, is what I am interested in doing. If I choose Thailand, I lose my prospects of ever getting a working visa to Ireland because it can only be done within 1 semester of being in school. But I am terrified that if I go to Ireland, I will end up losing money and not able to go to other parts of the world. But, maybe I will end up making more there? I have no idea. Of course, I am not looking to go abroad for the reason of earning money. But I don't have a lot of money, and I don't have a lot of patience (I am getting antsy, even the thought of staying home until October is horrible), so I just want to go out into the world. Experience new things, live life in different ways, and see what happens.

Any ideas/opinions/stories would be really helpful and very appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I would personally go for the first option with Ireland. This would be because if you can budget well and not spend all your money quickly, then when you reach South East Asia you could stay as long as your money will allow it. If you do it the other way around, living is cheap but you will probably end up spending too long there and end up getting to Ireland without the money to stay long enough to find a job that pays well enough to support yourself.

One thing ou have to think about is the cost of getting places. Doing one of the options (going from Europe to South America) will cost you a small fortune and once you get there your money may not be able to stretch very far depending on how much you want to see and do. In most places in South East Asia you can get by reasonably comfortably on $15-$20US a day where as in South America I found it was more like $25-$30US a day would get you by most the time but sometimes more depending on how far you travelled on the bus or what you saw. If you were in South East Asia, you could go to Cambodia and splurge out on a bungalow only 20 or so metres from the beach for $5US a night. In Phnom Penh I stayed at a place next to the lake for just $2US a night in a room to myself! I could quite comfortably lived in that place for a month or so had time permitted and I would have done so for less than a fortnight where I currently live.

Definitely work as much as humanly possible before you travel to save every spare cent you can get.

3. Posted by sapereaude (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

well, the thing is that if i go to thailand first, I probably wouldn't go to Ireland at all. I can only get a working visa from Ireland within one semester of graduation, and if I go to Thailand I will have passed that opportunity. Instead, I'd do Thailand (and SE Asia), India, Nepal, then maybe make my way to Greece to wwoof, and finish with eastern europe (romania, croatia, slovenia, etc.).

If I did Ireland, I'd do Ireland, Greece, and then from there fly to either south/southeast asia or south america.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 8, 2008, at 2:02 PM by sapereaude ]