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!