Category Archives: Blog

What You Should Know Before You Start A Work Exchange?

Work exchange is an excellent way to travel the world on a frugal budget.  I’ve had numerous positive interactions with hosts and many successful stays around the U.S. One of the keys to an enjoyable stay is preparation.

Here are some factors that are crucial to consider before committing to a work exchange:

Scheduling

Scheduling is numero uno. Most hosts expect 20-25 hours of work a week. In my opinion anything over that is taking advantage of a traveler. If you’re staying at a place with more than one person ask if there are different shifts and make sure the start and end times work for you. Don’t try to force yourself into becoming a morning person if you’re a night owl, chances are both you and you’re host will become flustered.

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What is it like to work in a hostel?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was absolute insanity. This year I got to spend an ample amount of time in New Orleans. I was absolutely psyched to finally be spending some time in one of my bucket list cities. I hadn’t specifically planned to be in NOLA for Carnivale Season and was ecstatic about my good timing.

Things started out rocky. I made a verbal agreement over the phone to work 20-25 hours a week in exchange for room/board and breakfast at Madame Isabelle’s Hostel.

Madame Isabelle’s

Though I now think the owner is a great guy and have a lot of love for this hostel I almost left as soon as I arrived. To say the  owner did not have the best conversational skills would have been understatement. He improved a lot during my stay but when I first started  he kept panicking because he thought I wasn’t going to show up or stay. When I arrived he left to go shopping instead of showing me to my sleeping quarters and the co-worker on duty hadn’t been informed where I should go. My co-worker was also super baked and kept telling me there were cockroaches everywhere. There weren’t, well at least not at the hostel. But where some of the guys had to live there was a small infestation. I was one of the lucky/unlucky ones who lived on site. Within minutes I was laughing in the kitchen because the same guy had just overloaded dish detergent in the dishwasher. And there I met another co-worker who was shaking her head but appeared amused. The manager didn’t think it was that funny when he arrived. I should have taken that as an indicator that we weren’t going to get along. That same manager ending up robbing the cash drawer, stealing the business credit card, renting a porsche, and bouncing. I think it was all the cocaine. But that’s another story.

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Five Surprising Items That Can Get You Into Trouble Abroad

I was researching the availability of vape juice in Thailand when I came across a number of articles stating that not only would I not be able to find any there but that it was illegal to bring mine with me.

1.  Electronic Cigarettes and Vapes

Where: Thailand, India, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Turkey, Thailand, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Brunei, Belgium, Austria, Argentina, Brasil, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, Panama

(https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/4289492/we-reveal-the-countries-where-vaping-is-banned-and-could-even-get-you-chucked-in-prison/)

 

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A Guide to South-east Asia: Part Three – Common Health Concerns & Advice

A Guide to South-east Asia: Part Three! In which I attempt to answer general health questions and provide advice based on my personal experiences.

Sun Safety

Sun Safety is not to be downplayed. “Melanoma is the least common but the most deadly skin cancer, accounting for only about 1% of all cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer death.” (https://www.aimatmelanoma.org/about-melanoma/melanoma-stats-facts-and-figures/)

Put on sunscreen, wear a hat, and be especially cautious if you’re on antibiotics or anti-malaria medication. And as I’ll cover in part four always check for skin lightening agents in your sunscreen lotion. Keep hydrated and keep a bottle of water on hand whenever possible. If you become dizzy, disoriented, or otherwise symptomatic of heat stroke get out of the sun asap. That’s about it folks.

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Blue Hills and an Impromptu Personal Challenge

This morning in the parking lot of the Blue Hills Reservation I pulled out my phone to text a friend and ended up setting up a stopwatch after I hit send. What was originally supposed to be a relaxing morning hike turned into a personal challenge.

I’m a goal oriented person and 23 hours to the moment I started that stopwatch I had what I hoped was my last cigarette. I’ve been trying to quit off and on for the past 3 years. This is my 4th round of being on Chantix. The first time I went on Chantix was so I’d be able to stretch whatever cash I had the longest. I quit just before I left for Alpha Farm in Oregon. Seven miles away from the nearest store and car-less I kept smoke free. Until I started living on a volunteer bus where I lived with several other smokers in tight quarters. Before I knew it I was back to chain smoking.

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