Hello again, dear readers. I just returned from four glorious weeks in Malaysia and Japan ready to renew blogging and eager to again share with you my techniques for finding no-cost, short-term travel adventures.
I was in Malaysia as the external examiner for the Faculty of Information Technology at Multimedia University (MMU) in Cyberjaya, a new, high-technology city about 25 miles from Kuala Lumpur. (Note: An external examiner is an artifact of the British system of higher education. The examiner goes to the school, reviews the program, and makes recommendations for improvement. It is like an accreditation visit.) I previously had worked at MMU for eight months in 2001 as a Visiting Professor under the auspices of the U.S. State Department Fulbright Scholar program and, because of their familiarity with my work, was invited back as an external examiner. My airline ticket, all living and travel expenses, and an honorarium were included, and it was sufficient to allow me to add a three-week stopover in Japan on the return trip at little cost to myself and my wife who met me in Tokyo.
This experience highlights one of the best ways of locating a working vacation–keep in close contact with institutions where you have previously worked. Assuming you did a good job the first time, and assuming that money is available, there is a high likelihood they will invite you back for a second visit–working vacation redux! It worked for me, and it can certainly work for you.