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Seeking it Out: A Guide to Finding Perfect Travel Opportunities

There is so much to experience, start seeking!

Credit: Tessa Logli

One of the most common questions I get when I talk about traveling is “how on earth did you find a way to do that?!” I’m a college student with a part-time job, and have somehow found a way to sneak inexpensive travel into my everyday life. My answer to the question at hand is always to SEEK OPPORTUNITY. 

Opportunities to travel are all around and much easier to access than you would think!

Keep reading for some tips and guiding points towards finding the best travel fit for you.

To begin

This could be you before you know it! Just start seeking. Credit: Shutterstock/OlegRi

Before I jump into the tips and tricks to seeking opportunity, I must start with the foundation. I’ll start by telling you about an astronaut that I met at outer space camp when I was younger. You may be wondering “How does that relate at all?” Well, hang in there is all I have to say!

This astronaut told me a story of her rise to success in the NASA world and she made sure to drill in one lesson: If you never ask, you will never receive. She explained to me that if you desire something in life, it’s up to you to search for it and to make it happen. You have to keep your eyes open and be willing to say yes.

That being said, in the world of travel (rather than outer space) seeking opportunity is the best way to ensure a sustainable travel lifestyle.

The easy route is just booking a trip, but with the right research, you can find a way to extend your travel time and keep it all very affordable. But it’s hard starting from scratch (trust me, I’ve been there!) so I’ve taken on the task of providing a few pointers and examples to help shine a light on your path to travel. 

Some websites

You can stay cozy in your bed while finding the best route for your next adventures! Credit: Shutterstock/Floral Deco

The easiest way to find travel opportunities is from right inside your very own home. Your homework once you finish reading this article is to switch the tabs and start doing some research!

  1. Aupair.com! This is one of my all-time favorites. This website is for searching for a family to live with and work for all around the world. Using this website, I lived with the most wonderful family in Northern Italy for 3 months last summer. You can make your own profile and seek out the perfect family for you, or fate can step in and have the perfect family reach out to you. Either way, get on that website and start asking around! You never know what amazing experience you can stumble upon.
  2. Workaway.com! Though I’ve never used this one, I’ve met so many people who have. A boy I met in Croatia was living on a farm in France with an opportunity he found on this website and he was having a blast. This website guides you to international jobs and helps set you up for work.
  3. Highdesertcenter.org! This one is more specific, and I’ve interviewed someone who attended one of these gap year programs below. Basically, this website offers a gap year program where you’ll learn to live in nature and travel by car and foot, learning about the world we live in.
  4. CCUSA.com! This allows you to find overnight camp working experiences across America. It’s an excellent way to experience a new part of the world while getting paid. If you want to know more about the camp counselor experience, check out one of my recent articles here!
  5. Tefl.org! This is a website where you can get certified to teach English abroad or online. By teaching online, it allows you to travel by being able to work from anywhere around the world.
A photo taken by me of Positano, Italy during my Au Pair experience that I discovered on aupair.com (mentioned above)

Those are just a few of the many options! Hopefully, all those websites can give you a good place to start when beginning the process of seeking travel opportunities.

Lived experience

Tessa often seeks opportunity through spontaneous travel, shown in this photo. She arrived here by bus!
Tessa Logli in front of Volcan San Pedro in Guatemala. Credit: Tessa Logli

Tessa Logli: World traveler, 20 years old.

I reached out to traveler and thinker Tessa Logli, who told me of her experiences traveling and seeking opportunities. Tessa opted out of the usual post-high school grad experience and instead chose to do a gap year using the program from the website listed above under number 3, High Desert Center.

When I gave space to feelings and intuition that was when I started googling and researching alternatives to college and that is when I found my gap year program. 

Tessa Logli

I asked Tessa about what inspired her to seek an unconventional experience and she told me that it just happened naturally when she stopped to listen to her body and her mind. She simply started googling!

Once she completed her gap year program, a life of travel followed. She has been all around the United States by car and bus, hiked volcanoes in Guatemala, lived on a yoga farm in Portugal, hiked the Camino, and much more. Moral of the story: trust your gut! The world caters to your decisions.

Insight

A photo demonstrating Tessa's opportunity seeking through her gap year program.
Tessa’s campsite in Guatemala after taking the purple bus from Arizona. Credit: Tessa Logli

I asked Tessa more about how she was able to find the bravery to seek these adventures and she told me, “These opportunities only exist external to you if they’re inside of you first.”

She went on to say that “living a life of intention was part of the reason I was able to seek opportunities out in the world.” In this, she means that by choosing to live intentionally rather than conventionally, she was able to find all the experiences that the world had to offer.

All wise words! I think the takeaway from my conversation with Tessa is that traveling experiences not only takes research, but the drive and bravery to do it as well. It takes SEEKING! If you want to hear more about Tessa’s thoughts, follow her Instagram @spacetimeandtessa and her website SpaceTimewithTessa.com

Even more lived experience

Ellen Lyons on the streets of Valencia, experiencing her discovered world of travel! Credit: Ellen Lyons

Ellen Lyons: Working and living in Valencia, Spain.

In addition to my conversations with Tessa, I reached out to a friend of mine Ellen Lyons, 20 years old from Dublin, Ireland. She’s currently living in Valencia and I asked about her accommodation and job-finding process because it’s not easy to up and move to a new country!

I wanted to leave Ireland for the summer because I live at home there during the academic year, and while I love Dublin, it’s so expensive and a change is welcome.

Lyons

Ellen told me that a few friends of hers had recommended Valencia to her and she had never been before, so she committed to the idea of it and began the search to find a way to make a summer in Spain her reality!

She informed me that the website spotahome.com proved to be the most reliable and useful space to home search. She discovered the flat she lives in now through that website, and once a home was secured she was able to move onto job searching.

Ellen told me that she applied for a lot of jobs online, but had more success reaching out to specific places directly to ask if they needed staff. In the end, she got a job at an Irish pub by walking in with her resume and “pretending to be confident” in her bartending and Spanish speaking, according to her.

A successful experience

Having recently visited Ellen in Valencia, I can attest that hers is a story of success! Ellen is a perfect example of what it looks like to have a dream, and then go forward to take all the necessary steps to make it happen. She’s living up her Spanish summer all the while working and paying her rent! And all of this happened through the simple process of SEEKING OPPORTUNITY! Are you starting to notice a trend?

Thanks for hanging in there, readers! If you’re interested in more specifics about Ellen’s journey, touch base on her Instagram, @ellen.lyons.

I have one last story of lived experience for you to provide you with ideas of where to begin, or inspire you with tales of bravery and adventure seeking.

Hilary Morrissey: Former ski instructor in the Austrian Alps.

Hilary Morrissey skiing in Austria! Credit: Hilary Morrissey

I reached out to Hilary Morrissey, a college friend who is also from Dublin, Ireland. Hilary has wonderful tales of all of her adventures, so I asked her about her recent experience as a ski instructor in Austria, the Tirol region.

I’d say just show up and keep asking for the job. Sounds simplistic but it is. Just ask around. It’s not as hard as people think to travel cheaply and get jobs abroad. I only found that place because I went to all the schools I could, walked in the door and asked for a job. If I hadn’t gotten that one I would’ve gotten something else.

Morrissey

In this, Hilary discusses her experience moving to Austria and finding work at a typical small-town ski school. She simply moved to Austria and walked around with her resume and some knowledge of German, asking for a job and a place to live. Hilary told me she’s aware that some people would require some more planning to stay comfortable, but for her, it wasn’t necessary. Here’s her advice:

Print some cvs and put them in your rucksack, show up with some enthusiasm and don’t give up if a few places turn you down.

Hilary Morrissey
The mountains that Hilary lived in. Credit: Hilary Morrissey

Being immersed

I asked Hilary about the cultural immersion that came with working and living in small-town Austria, and she told me about her experience being welcomed into the town.

“You become a necessary part of the community and especially seen as it was quite a small town I got to know some of the locals and most of the business owners quite well.” This is an experience you could never get by just going on a quick ski trip!

Hilary stayed for a few months in Austria before moving onto her other adventures and had the best time, all just from asking around and staying open. Hilary is a prime example of what could happen if you just ask! (Remember my astronaut from earlier in this article? Exactly!)

Parting words from Hilary

“I mean it’s scary to go abroad with no solid plan or anything lined up but it’s also very exciting and a massive adventure,” Hilary said. “So I guess personally I overcame any fear very quickly with enthusiasm. There’s a reason you’re doing this, it’s because you want to go on this adventure and have a new exciting experience so enjoy it, get excited, and face it with optimism and enthusiasm instead of fear. I dunno go have some fun. You’ll be fine.”

Take that in! Optimism and enthusiasm will get you far. If you want to hear more from Hilary, check out her Instagram page @hi_lary.m.

Additional ideas to seek travel opportunities

I thought I’d throw in a couple other ideas! Personally, what allowed me to travel as much as I have was to study abroad full time. Check out this article: An International Outlook: What Is Studying Abroad Full-Time Actually Like? for more information. Traveling becomes a lot cheaper once you’ve already hopped the pond!

Also, a little life hack that I’ve discovered is to make friends wherever you go! My experience as a camp counselor in Wisconsin allowed me to travel much of Europe with minimal housing costs. Be kind, and be resourceful- those two things can fall under the category of seeking travel and opportunity as well.

In all this seeking, you also need to be willing to take the step that scares you. I’m about to embark on my next journey to study in Hong Kong, and all because the opportunity arose and I snatched it up, despite the uncertainty.

Through my seeking of opportunity, I will soon be able to visit this magical city pictured!
City scape of Hong Kong at dusk. Credit: Shutterstock/ EarnestTse

Now! I hope that I, or Tessa, Ellen, and Hilary have inspired you with our stories.

It’s time.

Take a moment to sit and notice your intuition, and then proceed with intention. What opportunity is calling you? Go out and start seeking travel!

Written By

Hello! My name is Katie and I'm a travel writer for Trill Mag. I'm from Chicago, but currently living in Dublin, Ireland for college at TCD. I'm OBSESSED with traveling and experiencing all the world has to offer, and writing is a wonderful outlet for all that life on the road has taught me. It's beautiful to be alive!

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