On The Other Guys Dime
There are a lot of blogs out there (what I call the wandering nomad style) describing people who sell their house, quit their job, leave behind all their belongs and move to Bhutan, Bali, or Bombay for a few years to "scratch that travel itch." Well those stories are a lot of fun and make for some great reading, but in all honesty they do not apply to us. Most people, myself included, have home, family, and employment comittments that make it impossible to pick up and leave home for years at a time. But that does not mean we don't have a similar travel itch. So, what to do? How to have an overseas cultural experience without having to either quit our day job or empty our savings accounts?
My wife and I have found what we believe to be a reasonable answer: working vacations. These are paid, short-term overseas jobs, usually lasting from 2 to 6 months, taken during summer vacations (if you are a teacher/academic/professor), sabbaticals, or unpaid leaves of absence. While a few months may not offer as much opportunity for cultural immersion as a few years, it can provide you and your family with a memorable cultural experience. My wife and I have been on 15 of these working vacations--Australia to Zimbabwe, Mauritius to Mongolia--with many more on the way. And, best of all, we travel "on the other guy's dime."
If you are a skilled professional with a marketable skill, you might want to consider this "middle ground" cultural travel model. I invite you to check out my blog, otherguysdime.wordpress.com to read about how have been able to manage these trips and how you can do it too.