Merry Christmas: Enjoy These Repeats 2014

Merry Christmas: Enjoy These Repeats 2014

In our continued celebration of seasonal tradition we once again present our-couldn’t-be-arsed-to-do-something-new-for-Christmas post by serving up another bunch of repeats just as the TV channels are want to do over the festive period.

Writing this in a bit of rush on Christmas Eve I’m very tempted to just cut and paste last year’s Christmas repeats post and see if anyone notices through the fog of alcohol and simmering family resentments that have lain dormant since this time last year.

But no! These are new repeats. The right repeats and certainly not repeat repeats. We do have some standards here at The Working Traveller so please enjoy once again some stuff we wrote already and if you are new here today, please come back again; it’s not always like this.

While 2013 was a year of travel for us, in 2014 we haven’t been anywhere but home. Literally nowhere as I realised last week when journeying ten miles out of town to photograph some camels that this was the first time I’d left the town limits in 12 months. We don’t do things by halves here. When we travel we go away for a year at a time but when we stay put we really stay put.

Instead we pretend we are still on the road through the backlog of posts we didn’t manage to write when we were still actually on the road. We kept up this pretence pretty much all the way to April when despite going through our daily lives at home in Turkey in blogtime we were still in Southeast Asia pondering the differences in a street in Thailand and Britain, taking photos of the most astonishing place I’d barely heard of and offering advice on where and how to enjoy Songkran.

We also reviewed the time we lived on a fucking zoo! were two of the more incompetent volunteers at a Safari Park in Kanchanaburi.

Volunteering in a zoo in Thailand

We finished up that trip back where we once lived in London and Northern Ireland and for once did the tourist thing and took photos of people taking photos of Trafalgar Square, the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede. People also got in the way of my shots in Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market and the Petonas Twin Towers.

In Northern Ireland Deirdre’s mum is no longer driving. Unable to ferry me into town for more wine I finally decided to walk the six mile round trip to the nearest pub and enjoy a peaceful pint in O’Tooles Bar, Loughinisland, something the patrons were unable to do 20 years ago when UVF gunmen entered the bar with automatic rifles killing six and wounding five others.

We eventually wrapped up our Wintering in Southeast Asia trip with our highlights, lowlights and first ever video post. Other past trips provided the material for 20 things that made us laugh in Egypt.

While our work rate came to a grinding halt during the football World Cup, we were very busy in the first part of the year giving both The Working Traveller and our Jobs Abroad Bulletin a new look.

One thing we promised this year was that there would be more working abroad content on TWT. We introduced a new JobSpy column where daily (except for Monday, when we stick up a photo to brighten your day) we posted a vacancy trawled from somewhere on the internet, and also profiled 139 travellers that have worked and volunteered abroad with links to their first hand experiences of working abroad.

This is a list we will continue adding to as was the 347 Hostels and Guest Houses Open to Volunteer Work Exchanges. We initially intended to do a quick post of 15 or so hostels but kept going as we found more and more. Part one covers Europe, Asia and Africa, while Part two lists hostels in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.

Free accommodation in backpacker hostels

Other working and volunteering abroad topics covered were working at summer camps in the USA and elsewhere, plus English language summer camps. Typically these jobs are for those under 35 but older gentlemen might be interested in becoming a dance host on a cruise ship.

Shorter posts suggested two big websites for landing a summer job in tourism, delivering rental cars and campervans around New Zealand, ideas for finding fruit picking jobs in Australia and earning a bed, food and sometimes free wine by helping to create an English speaking environment in Germany and Turkey. Though not everyone liked our suggestion for working on a farm in Sweden.

We also did a bunch of volunteer work exchange posts including working with huskies, building work exchanges, in cave houses, on boats and yachts, on the beach, with the Bedouin in Jordan, and horse riding in New Zealand.

None of these posts would have been written had we not once picked up Work You Way Around the World, a fantastic book by Susan Griffith, who we inducted into our Travel Hall of Fame.

We like an interview here too. Do you like an interview? I hope so because we asked a varied selection of expats why they live in Berlin, Amsterdam, Yeoju, Miri, Istanbul, New York, Barcelona, Ohio, Port Douglas, and even Altinkum, another name for our own home town.

Lastly, we found out my photos aren’t all shit, when we won and hosted a round of Travel Photo Roulette.

Merry Christmas,
Shane and Deirdre

Image courtesy Wonderlane.

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