I have been trying to think of something Christmassy for our first post on the day Jesus was born. I didn’t want to put too much effort into it though. After all it is Christmas and who wants to work stuffed full of mince pies and sherry when there’s Top Gear and Doctor Who on the telly?
The initial plan of just saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is going to make for a very short post, exactly two words short, so I needed something more.
I thought of offering up a piece on how they celebrate Christmas around the world, listing the gazillion words the Lapps (or is the Inuit?) have for snow, St Nicholas’s journey from Asia Minor to Coca Cola poster boy or interviewing Santa himself for our Why I Live in… (The North Pole) feature.
Then I thought sod that, there’s nothing that says Christmas more than a bunch of repeats. So, below is some stuff I wrote when I wasn’t asleep in a chair wearing a silly hat and a jumper with a reindeer on it.
Shane & Deirdre
Our first post, back on May 15 this year, concerned the Chicken Dance, the angry, yet artful strut I did on the banks of the Nile in 2006 to symbolise, through the medium of dance, the oppression suffered by white western men in poor third world countries specifically in relation to getting from one side of a big river to the other.
Temper tantrums and making a tit of myself in general were covered in our guide on how to get in touch with your inner jerk. Often the reason for these localised melt downs are touts and hasslers – those annoying people who get in the way of the world’s natural or man made wonders by trying to make a living.
From vaccinophobia (the fear of vaccinations), via alektorophobia (fear of chickens) to the fear of returning home (nostophobia), we listed 99 reasons to be afraid of travelling and added 4 insults that can land you in prison.
I’m quite surprised how few articles there are about working abroad in a blog/magazine called The Working Traveller. I did write more than what is listed here but these posts tend to be small snippets of information and often are far more date sensitive than travel features. For instance a summer 2010 fruit picking work round up is more past its sell by date than a turkey dinner on January the 4th (tip: the same information will be useful in summer 2011. If you are still eating the turkey by then you will probably end up as a dead traveller.
This lack of information on working abroad is made up for all in one post called 50 ways to leave your country, an updated version of a factsheet I wrote a long time ago, before the internet had gained popularity (who knew that would take off, eh?)
A couple of guest writers also wrote for us about the three roadblocks to working abroad and 6 reasons to work abroad before you die. Guest posting is a great way for writers to promote their own writing to a new audience and we suggested twelve and then 33 travel blogs looking for guest posts.
Volunteer work has seen more coverage, and we particularly tend to concentrate on inexpensive ways to volunteer abroad whether with animals, or in Ecuador, Costa Rica, or Serbia. More unusual is the option of raising funds for travel by volunteering for medical trials.
Long term travellers and volunteers often fall in love with some of the places they visit and decide to stick around for a while, perhaps even for ever. Our first interviewee for our Why I Live In… series, Marlo Perry, talks about living in Buenos Aires. Subsequent interviewees have told us about their permanent or temporary homes in Freiburg, the Algarve, Quito, Tainan and Amsterdam.
Happy travels in 2011.
Image courtesy of Kelly Korv