My Travel Philosophy

What could be better than a one-week, one-month, or even one-year excursion to some exotic locale? That’s easy—having someone else pay for it. This sounds a bit cheeky, even a tad unsavory, but it’s a attainable goal for high school and university faculty, as well as skilled professionals in a wide range of fields. It is also a realistic option for 1) those who are self-employed and willing to close up shop for a while, 2) retirees healthy enough for long-term travel, and 3) individuals “between jobs” who might enjoy an overseas sojourn before sending out their resume. I can personally attest to this claim having made more than a dozen overseas jaunts in the last three decades, from Australia to Zimbabwe, Mauritius to Mongolia, without once paying my own way or giving up my day job.

As I did more and more short-term overseas work, I accumulated a wealth of practical knowledge about how to locate the best opportunities, negotiate contracts, rent our home, find housing and transportation in the host country, and travel safely with young children. Curious colleagues began asking questions about these trips, so I would relate my stories and explain how they could create their own adventures to their own dream destinations. I often wondered why more academics, skilled professionals, and recent retirees, many with resumés and reputations far more impressive than mine, did not take greater advantage of these opportunities—and that is how this blog was born. It is both a travel memoir in which I share our most memorable adventures and a “how-to” guide providing you with the skills needed to locate overseas opportunities and the strategies to turn that information into reality.

Many of us dream about living in a remote Himalayan hideaway or a tropical island paradise, and there are many sites feeding these fantasies. They describe people who quit their job, sold the house, kissed friends and family good-bye, and set off to see the world. However, when you dive into their “About Me” page you often discover that 1) they are independently wealthy, 2) have come into a significant windfall, 3) are living off the largesse of parents or exes, or 4) are knowingly denuding their life savings. Since most of us do not fall into these categories we erroneously conclude that our dream of living and working overseas is unattainable; something that happens only to “the other guy.” That couldn’t be further from the truth, and I plan to prove it to you. My goal is to share what I have accomplished and motivate you to try it yourself—to live and work abroad, have amazing adventures, and grow professionally, culturally, and intellectually—all on the other guy’s dime.

5 responses to “My Travel Philosophy

  1. Nice story and Great Article.Really I have enjoyed by reading your blog.All the Best Michael.

  2. Hello, Michael: I have enjoyed reading your blog. A co-author and I are currently working on a book project about volunteer tourism. Please visit our website (www [dot] transformativetourism [dot] org) and consider sharing a story with us. Also, if you would be able to share information on our book project with anyone you might know (readers of your blog) we would greatly appreciate the support.

  3. Michael- I love your blog. My family has been doing this for five summers now. We’ve managed to travel, teach and bring our kids. We’ve gone back to the same school, but are looking to see what else is out there. It’s been an amazing adventure–an since our school is an international school in the summer our children have met friends from all over the world, and so have we. I prefer living and working in another country to traveling as a tourist. In my experience–it is not a vacation, but a lot of hard work and an amazing experience.

    Thanks again,

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