Passport infatuation

I like my passport.

No, I love my passport.

I’m kind infatuated with my passport. When I see it, I get all giddy and excited and I just want to leave. Somewhere. It doesn’t matter where.

My passport has never let me down, it’s always by my side and it gives a stamp-by-stamp summary of the past few years of my life. It’s basically awesome.

If I don’t have it with me, I feel a slight panic until I realise I’m home and don’t need it with me.

It’s my perfect travel companion and going abroad without it would be impossible.

Recently my passport has changed and my feelings are mixed.
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Why I broke up with China

It’s always tough breaking up, but when it’s with a whole country you’ve made a one-year commitment to, it’s affects a lot of plans.

The last few months, I’ve been planning on teaching English in China for one year. Two weeks ago that plan crumbled.

Just like with most breakups, there was some drama, some lying, some different views and a lot of miscommunication.
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My summer fling with Italy – teaching English at a summer camp

I have a job! I know I said this a few months ago, but this time I really mean it! As you can guess, China didn’t work out (here’s the story). But when the travel gods close a door, they open a window. And windows are a lot more fun to climb through.

I was planning on going to Kunming, in the south of China, to teach English for one year, but a few weeks ago that plan fell through. I found other options and in 12 short days I have gone from application to hired!

China was now my closed door and Italy is my wide open window with fresh air and sunshine.
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Working in a foreign land: hostels

When traveling long-term, sometimes it’s just nice to be able to settle down in one place and unpack your bag.  Even if you are just traveling for a few weeks, finding a place to volunteer can feel like moving temporarily and can be a unique travel experience.  Hostels sometimes offer to house volunteers in exchange for a few hours of work each day. Taking advantage of this probably won’t earn you any money (although some pay a small stipend) but you probably won’t spend much money, either.  If you can find the right hostel that suits your personality, it can make for an interesting time and you can feel like a local on your trip!
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6 online ways to keep safe abroad

Everyone wants a safe trip.  If your trip leaves you in a dangerous situation, ill or missing documents, it can change your trip for the worse.  The US State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) is there to care for Americans, especially while traveling.  Knowing how to use the information they offer online can help you if a threatening situation arises while you are abroad.
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Teaching English in China – my new job

Recently, I was offered a job teaching English in China. I’m very excited about it. Teaching English is a great way to live in another country, be immersed in a different culture and make a little money while doing it. It can be really rewarding and something you will never forget.

More and more people have been asking me for advice in finding jobs abroad, so here’s my two cents worth.
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Europe’s Schengen agreement in a nutshell

For tourists traveling around Europe, there is a lot to think about. For those traveling more than 3 months, there’s even more! Something that is often overlooked by long-term travelers is the Schengen Agreement.
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