Talk To Me, People. Talk to Me!

For the past few months I have been running off at the mouth about my working vacations, about my travel experiences.   Well, let’s change that.  Instead, I now would like to know your feelings about leaving home for a temporary position overseas,  your thoughts about living in a completely new culture, your “dream destination.”

Here is the scenario:  Your department chair, director, manager, or supervisor has just informed you that your request for a temporary six-month leave of absence to work overseas has been approved and, best of all, your job will be waiting for you when you return.  You are free to rent out your house and search for a temporary position abroad, comfortable in the knowledge that you are not burning any bridges behind you–your home, friends, family (and paycheck) will be there when you get back.

So, my questions to you are:  1) Where in the world would you most like to go or, if you have already lived out this scenario, where did you go, and 2)  what kind of work would you like to do (or did you do) overseas?

Finally, to spice things up a bit, I am adding a “Jeopardy!” style travel contest to the mix.  See if you can guess, from the following clue, the location of our family’s next working vacation, a trip I will begin to describe in the next post.  Include in your comments  the city identified in the clue, and the winner will receive a $25 gift certificate from to purchase a travel memoir or guide book for that next dream trip.  If we have multiple correct answers I will draw one name at random from among all the correct responses.  Please send in your comments and guesses prior to my next blog entry which will be posted early on the morning of June 17th.  (Sorry, no friend or family winners allowed since you were probably there at the airport to see us off!)  And, while you are here, I invite you to subscribe to my blog and get automatic notification of future posts and contests.  Just click the “Sign Me Up!” button in the right-hand column.

Clue: I am the capital of a country whose name means “God’s resting place” in the local language.  My two largest agricultural exports are tea and coffee but my biggest money earner by far is tourism, with about 2 million visitors arriving last year.

12 responses to “Talk To Me, People. Talk to Me!

  1. Hi,

    My dream break is to live in Italy for a year to master the language, connect with my roots, soak up the culture etc.

    The best I could probably hope for is maybe tefl or Woofing, assuming my blogging efforts don’t REALLY take off before then! So, interesting to hear that there are other options if you know where to find them. My fiance could earn a few euros by pet sitting /dog walking maybe?

    I’ve read on expat forums that your options there are limited until you speak Italian fluently and have a few personal connections. All ideas considered!

    • I don’t know that much about Italy but I do know that if you are in a technical field you can usually get by with English–see my last post on teaching in Turkey. Yes, your best bet would be teaching English as a foreign language while you learn Italian. If both you and your fiance do it, you could likely get by.


  2. Nairoibi, Kenya

    But that would not be my ideal 6 month working holiday. Somewhere not too cold, with lots of art galleries and museums and interesting architecture to explore. Somewhere with good travel links, so it is possible to explore neighbouring places in the weekends. europe, us or central/south america are the first places i would look. and given the friendliness of north americans, that is probably where i would head – but somewhere that is fairly small town.

    but i think each person’s idea of an adventuresome destination depends on where they start from – having been living in a remote ‘ least developed country’ for a long time, (after heading there for what i thought would be a maximum of 3 years for work) a bit of ‘first world civilisation’ seems very exotic.

    if i was looking for work rather than destination first, i would begin with WWOOF – something outdoors, that gives me a chance to learn skills i can bring home.

  3. Am I too late to answer Nairobi, Kenya?

  4. I have done a lot of travel abroad and lived abroad twice, but have never done a short-term working vacation as you describe. I would like to try it and have been enjoying your blog. Where would I want to go? Anywhere. What would I want to do? Teach.

  5. First of all: Kenya (that’s too easy! :o)

    Where would I like to go? Austria or Germany, lands of my forefathers (and fore-mothers) . What would I like to do there? Teach or do research. I’m at a teaching-focused institution. I love complex systems and teach Systems Analysis – my favorite course. It would be great to spend some time doing something a bit different. So, not the same old, same old. Other than that, it’s pretty open. Whacha got?

  6. Animesh Rawal


  7. I would most like to go Kolkota, India for this working vacation.

    The kind of work I like to do would be to set up centers aimed to aid homeless women and children.

    As for the clue, I would say, “What is Nairobi?”

    How exciting!

  8. Nairobi, Kenya

  9. Working in industry right now the sort of thing you blog about is really just a dream for me. But assuming I could do it I’d like to spend time in Norway because my father’s family came from there or Japan because it seems so very different.
    I have taught (high school mostly) and would like to teach abroad. On the other hand I currently work in industry and if I could get a short term assigment abroad doing what I do now that would be great. Probably work OK in Norway where English is so common but not in most non-English speaking countries.
    Pretty sure I know the city in Africa where you went BTW but will leave the prize for someone else.

  10. The answer is … Kenya

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s