So you’ve decided to travel, to take a gap year or to work abroad. Good for you! But now comes the hard part. With 5 continents, 196 countries and thousands of cities to choose from, narrowing down where exactly you’ll go can be quite a mission.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Whether you’ve got no clue at all, or are toying between two favourite destinations, we’ve got a few important questions to ask yourself to nail down the perfect place for your work abroad adventure.
Here are Jetsetter Job’s top 5 tips for choosing where to go:
- Work – Figuring out what kind of work you want first will help to narrow down the choices. If your heart is set on working a ski season, Canada or Switzerland would be on the top of your list. If you’re thinking about marine conservation, you’ll need to be near an ocean. It can be daunting to consider the hundreds of destination choices out there, but once you’ve pondered the type of work you’re looking for the list will get shorter. Check out our advice for how to choose what work to do abroad if you’re stumped here too. (link to this?)
- Wants – Have a think about the must-haves and non-negotiables that come with your dream work abroad experience. Is getting a tan high on the to-do list? Do you want to learn a language? What kind of lifestyle do you want to discover: big city, calming countryside, immersed in culture or access to home comforts? Either way, having a few specifics makes the question of where a little easier to answer. Consider weather, culture and lifestyle to get a better idea of the best place for you.
- When – the time of year you’re travelling can make all the difference. If you’re in search of sun, keep in mind the different seasonal times. Consider when the rainy season is in certain destinations and if you want to avoid this. Beyond the weather, remember you’ll be travelling during the on or off-season for a destination. Off-season is quieter, cheaper and could allow you to see a more local side of a place, but you’ll miss the atmospheric feel of busy tourist life and may find fewer businesses are open. Finally, keep in mind major holidays, are there any you want to attend or avoid?
- Weighty questions – as tempting as it is to throw a dart at a spinning globe and hop on the first plane to wherever it lands, there are a few practical bits to consider when narrowing down where to go. Is it easy, or even possible, to apply for a visa to your chosen country? Is it safe? Is it too far from home? Is it not far enough? What does your budget look like? Spend a little time pondering these essential questions to narrow down the choices even more.
- Wanderlust – there’s nothing wrong with finding work in a country simply because you want to visit that area of the world. If you’ve always dreamed of discovering Asian culture, maybe a teaching job in Thailand is on the cards. If you’ve got a craving for croissants au pairing in Paris could be your calling. Take a look at your bucket list and start looking for jobs in those countries that you’ve always dreamed of discovering. If you just can’t decide, or don’t know where to start, consider some virtual exploration to get the inspiration you need. Start broad with Pintrest boards, travel blogs and advice forums then move into guide books and our Jetsetter Jobs blog for some real life stories.
After not too long, you’ll stumble upon the perfect place and then the fun, and job hunt, can begin.