WORK YOUR WAY AROUND THE WORLD
I was first introduced to this book by a friend in 1995. Soon after they'd mentioned it to me I paid a visit to my local library, but there I was told that as it was stolen so frequently they had ceased to lend it out. This was a very good sign and so I promptly bought a copy from my local bookshop.
Six years and three editions later it remains at the top of my list when packing my rucksack. It has helped me gain employment in France, Switzerland, America and Japan, as well as providing invaluble help and advice in virtually every other country I have visited. It is written in a very positive, human style: the few times when I have felt that all is lost I have just had to read a few paragraphs in order to regain my belief that I Can Do It.
It is very easy to use, divided into sections each covering a different aspect of working abroad. Useful contacts and addresses are given to help you deal with anything from finding cheap (but worthwhile) insurance to what visa you will need to work somewhere. In the main body of the book there is a country-by-country breakdown with many names and addresses of potential employers, and addresses of local offices and organisations designed to help the working traveller.
The book is expertly written and compiled by Susan Griffith, who does a great deal of research to ensure that the information is always up-to-date. To aid her, readers on the road such as myself constantly send news from the field; whenever I return from a particular adventure I always write or email Susan with information that I feel will be useful to another working traveller. As the book is revised, updated and published every other year it rarely contains out-of-date information.
what makes this publication so special is it's inspirational style. I challenge
you to read the short introduction to the book below and still feel that
travel is just "something other people do".
The Decision to Go
For many, deciding to get up and go is the biggest stumbling block. Often the hardest step is fixing a departure date. Once you have bought a ticket, explained to your friends and family that you are off to see the world (they will either be envious or disapproving) and packed away your possessions, the rest seems to look after itself. Inevitably first-time travellers suffer some separation anxieties and pre-departure blues as they contemplate leaving behind the comfortable routines of home. But these are usually much worse in anticipation than in retrospect. As long as you have enough motivation, together with some money and a copy of this book, you are all set to have a great time abroad.
Either you follow your first impulse and opt for an immediate change of scenery; or you plan a job and a route in advance. On the one hand people use working as a means to an end; they work in order to fund further travelling. Other people look upon a job abroad as an end in itself, a way to explore other cultures, a means of satisfying their curiosity about whether there is any truth in the clichés about other nationalities. Often it is the best way to shake off the boredom which comes with routine. Zoe Drew felt quite liberated when she decided to drop everything - her 'cushy secretarial job, Debenhams account card, stiletto heels' - and embark on a working holiday around Europe. Bruce Lawson finally kicked over the traces of the 'Office Job from Hell' and went off to Thailand to teach English.
When you are wondering whether you are the right sort to work abroad, do not imagine you are a special case. It is not only students, school-leavers and people on the dole who enjoy the chance to travel and work, but also a large number of people with a profession, craft or trade which they were happy to abandon temporarily. We have heard from a man who left the Met Office to pick grapes in Pauillac, a sixth former teaching in Nepal, a mechanical engineer crewing on yachts in the South Pacific, an Israeli busker in Switzerland, a career civil servant who enjoyed washing dishes in a Munich restaurant, a physiotherapist who has packed cod in Iceland, a nurse who husked in Norway and another who has worked on a sheep station in Australia, an Australian teacher who became a nanny in Istanbul, a Scottish lawyer who worked as a chalet girl in a French ski resort, a German tourism trainee who planted trees in Canada, a chartered surveyor who took more than two years off from his job to work his way around the world and a journalist and tour operator couple who picked up casual jobs to fund their 'Stuff Mammon World Tour' and ended up living quite comfortably in Hong Kong. They were motivated not by a desire to earn money but by a craving for new and different experiences, and a conviction that not all events which make up one's life need to be career-furthering or 'success'-oriented."
- Extract from Work Your Way Around the World by Susan Griffith, published by Vacation Work Publications. 11th Edition 2003.
Vacation work also publish a number of other invaluble books for the working traveller. To quote their website, "Vacation Work are the publishers of an unrivalled range of books for all those looking for short or long term work overseas, including the definitive series of annual guides to Summer Jobs in Britain, Abroad and the USA, and the unique Work Your Way Around the World. We also publish the original and pioneering Travellers Survival Kit series of country guides, and eleven titles for a range of countries in the popular Live & Work Abroad series."
These titles can be bought in all good bookshops, or at a discounted price at www.vacationwork.co.uk
North American travellers should contact the U.S.A. distributors: www.petersons.com
For all other countries: www.amazon.com
My thanks to Susan Griffith and all at Vacation Work Publications for the use of their material.
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