We had an incredible Google+ Hangout on Saturday. With that, we also had a ton of unanswered questions. Scroll below to find some answers to the questions we missed. If you couldn’t make the Hangout, click the play button above to get started!

 

1. Would you recommend teaching abroad as a segue into traveling abroad? I can’t decide if I want to teach abroad in one place next year or just travel for myself. Also, what resources are there to navigate the teach abroad world & applications?

Nicole: I would absolutely recommend that! Why pay for travel yourself when a job teaching abroad for just one year can subsidize it? You get paid a decent salary as a teacher abroad. You can then use that money that yo save to travel to neighboring countries. The schools that hire international teachers typically pay for your apt, airfare, medical coverage, vacation bonus, flights home;  so your day-to-day expenses are minimal! You may need to take a TESOL certification online course. (But many schools will hire you with little credentials/certifications!)

There are tons of opportunities out there. China, Indonesia, South Korea, Spain, Argentina and just a few countries that are desperate for educators. I would start by visiting https://www.ibo.org  – as they list international schools and vacancies. You can also just google “international schools” in a city you may have in mind and lots of leads with come up. 

2. I’m interested in becoming a travel writer. Other than social networking what can I do to get my writing out there? I have tumblr and instagram accounts, but what’s the best website for a travel blog?

Quinn: One way to get your content out there is to start promoting within your local context, share your work with local newspapers, websites, radio stations, and related businesses. Another great way to move your content is through blogger networking. I am a prime example. I reached out to the Travel Noire team, and now I am sharing my blog content from travellersbazaar.com. You can also join travel journalist and travel blogger groups on LinkedIn.com; I share my entries there to a network of over 3,000 travel professionals. 


Sonjia: You can submit your articles and photos to travel-centric magazines and publications. Even try online publications such as Ebony, Essence, the Grio, Madame Noire, etc. The point is  – use any and all avenues to get your content in front of the public.

3. Can you please rename the resources for student travel? MGO? and Work Along?

Nicole: Traveling as a student brings endless opportunities!

  • Get a Student Advantage Card  for discounts (www.studentadvantage.com)!
  • Check to see if your university has a campus abroad (ding ding ding!) or offers opportunities for study abroad at partnering schools.
  • Join an organization on campus that provides sponsored travel opportunities. I mentioned that there are many NGO’s (non-governmental orgs) that provide these opportunities.CIEE.org is an international exchange program to study abroad, teach abroad, summer work etc. AlliancesAbroad.com and BUNAC.org are also great exchange program resources. Workaway.info is a community service based agency that can help you find a place to volunteer for 5 hrs a day/ 5 days a week and food and board is provided! (You do have to pay $22E for access to this database though!)
  • Apply for a merit-based Fullbright Fellowship or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to study abroad. EducationUSA is another great resource for fellowship listings.

4. As someone with limited proficiency in other languages, what travel tips do you have? Do you recommend any resources for learning enough of the language to ‘survive’ while in that country?

Modupe: The beauty of having mastered English as a first language is that it is the official language of science and business! Any country that relies on tourism to boost their economy is going to speak English as a primary or secondary language.  So if you don’t speak the native language, definitely give it a try when you land. Natives love and welcome a traveler that makes any attempt to speak the language!

Sonjia: Don’t let the lack of speaking another language deter you from traveling. I only speak English fluently, and to be honest, it really hasn’t posed a problem in any of the 47 countries I’ve visited except for Madrid, Spain and Moscow, Russia where I came across very few English speakers. Of course I wanted to learn another language, and even took classes in Spanish, but I can’t roll the “r” so I totally butchered that beautiful language! 🙂 There’s a slew of apps available that can provide you with translations on the go. Utilize them to at least show you have an interest in making a connection with the Locals.

5. Can you repeat the educational/volunteer programs you mentioned earlier?

Nicole: Sure. Check with CIEE.org – an international exchange program to study abroad, teach abroad, summer work etc. AlliancesAbroad.com and BUNAC.org are also great exchange program resources. Workaway.info is a community service based agency that can help you find a place to volunteer for 5 hrs a day/ 5 days a week and food and board is provided! (You do have to pay $22E for access to this database though!)  You can also apply for a merit-based Fullbright Fellowship or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to study abroad. EducationUSA is another great resource for fellowship listings.

6. For someone who currently does the most basic level hotel auditing, what would it take to become an external auditor to allow travel, what are some of the companies one would target?

Sonjia: Keep in mind that a lot of auditors are not external, but internal – meaning they audit their own company’s internal operations (this is what I did for Shell & Exxon Mobil). Most large, global companies in any industry/field have their own audit staff. Another option is joining an external auditing firm that goes out and audits other companies, such as KPMG, Ernst & Young, Price Waterhouse, etc. Even my company gets audited by an external firm even though we have our own internal auditor). Whether you work as an internal auditor for a particular company or an external auditor for an auditing firm, the opportunity to travel on company expense is tremendous! 

7. Quinn, when you mentioned you were working on your blog for a year, writing about places you’d like to go (but didn’t actually visit), exactly what kind of content were you writing to attract such good fortune? Any examples?

Quinn: I live between South Florida and the Bahamas & I did a lot of blog entries on local places, sharing my original pictures and videos. I also shared blog entries on my inspirations found during web surfing, from architecture, to hotels, and travel destinations. I gave my analysis on each entry through looking at pictures and videos on the selected topic. Most travel writers aren’t on the road full-time, some hardly travel at all. Like them, use the Internet to research topics you want to speak about, there is an endless amount of information you can use to form your blog voice.  

8. What’s the most efficient way you would recommend to accumulate frequent flyer miles? Would you recommend specific airline programs (e.g. SkyMiles, Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club) or accumulating through one’s credit card?

Zim: The most efficient & effective way to accumulate frequent flyer miles is through credit card bonuses. Some cards give bonuses upwards of 50,000 miles (enough for an international round trip flight). I use this website to find the best credit cards. We’re going to take a deep dive into this with our Travel Hacking course, make sure you sign up!

Sonjia: Determine what airline/alliance will be your primary “go-to” airline/alliance (for me, it’s United because their hub is here in Houston where I live, and the Star Alliance because United is a member). Don’t let miles be the #1 factor determining whether you book a particular flight or not, but if all other factors are equal (i.e. cost, time, etc.), always go for the miles…on any airline. But the more you can consolidate miles on one airline or alliance (from paid flights, credit card purchases, etc.), the quicker you’ll get to booking some free travel! 

9. As solo travelers, how do you find time to establish a stable and healthy relationship?

Sonjia: First of all, you have to get involved with someone who understands your passion and desire to travel, and that’s if they themselves are not passionate travelers. Everyone has (should have) hobbies and interests – make sure your dating partner understands that traveling is yours, and that it will mean some time apart if their interests/financial resources don’t include them traveling with you. However, make sure they know your desire to travel (which could be misconstrued by them as a desire to “get away” from them) has nothing to do with your feelings for them. Check in often when you’re gone, keep them abreast of what you’re doing/experiencing, and bring back a little something special for them from your travels. And of course, give them some dedicated 1-on-1 time when you return to reassure them of their importance in your life & their place in your heart.

10. Traveling while your young is deff a plus, but what are some ways to cope with traveling alone at a young age for those of us with less adventurous (boring) friends and family?

Modupe: When traveling solo, I like to keep a journal that allows me to express my thoughts freely.  Additionally, Skype, FaceTime, Group Me, Whats App, etc. are all great programs that allow you to call your friends and family in the case of a severe and irreversible case of homesickness!

11. What do you recommend if your friends are either unwilling or unable to travel (and you don’t necessarily want to travel by yourself)?

Modupe: If you don’t have family or friends that share your passion for wanderlust, there are ways around it! Travel Noire has a great article on solo travel.  There’s another article about group travel.  It gets you out of the country and into your next adventure, despite a lack of interest from your immediate circle of friends.

Sonjia: I primarily travel solo. I learned a long time ago that I would miss out on a whole lot of living if I always waited on other people to do things with me. The more I traveled alone, the more I became comfortable with it. I learned to appreciate the many advantages it offers. By all means, invite family and friends and significant others on trips with you, giving them plenty of advance notice to plan and budget accordingly, but always be prepared to go it alone. Never let them put a halt to your travel plans! If traveling solo bothers you that much, book a group trip that allows some independent time in the schedule. That way, you get the best of both worlds.

Quinn: In this situation I would recommend solo travel, sometimes you can’t wait for others to get on board with your schedule.  I just got back from a month of solo travel in Asia, and I can certainly say, it was one of the best months of my life! In my recent article, Four Reasons why you should Travel SOLO, I recommend going it alone because 1.) You Learn to Rely on Yourself’ 2.) Create your own Itinerary’ 3.) Become Acquainted with Yourself ‘and you 4.) Meet New People. It was a bit daunting to travel alone, but now that I’ve experienced it, I know that I’ll do many more solo trips. 

12. Are there other medical careers that afford the benefit of traveling (such as healthcare management, radiology, surgical etc.) to renew licenses or for “global work related reasons?”

Modupe: Yes! The opportunities for those individuals in healthcare are endless. Your veteran colleagues are some of the best resources for inquiring how and when. Additionally, ask your directors and managers. Medical missions are an amazing way to give back and see the world.  And did I mention that they are entirely tax deductible? Check out non profit groups like Surgicorp. As mentioned before, the rest of the world is constantly searching for Western educated (healthcare) professionals.  I could live like a royal if I lived in Saudi Arabia!

13. How would I balance a life here at home and still travel the world for a living?

Sonjia: By finding a career that includes travel as a periodic requirement. Thus, you have the opportunity to travel the world at the company’s expense from to time, but your primary work base is still in your home town. Obviously, this is more difficult when a spouse and kids are part of the equation, but it’s still doable. I’ve seen it many times before, but it absolutely requires 2 spouses committed to making it work…because while one is traveling, the other is at home picking up the slack by being “Mom” AND “Dad.” Balancing marriage, family, career, and travel is not easy, but if you’re willing to embrace a lifestyle that you create (even if it differs from that of most other people), then you can achieve it. As I said on the Google Chat, it’s about what you value in life. If you want travel to be a part of your relationship or your family’s life story, prioritize it and make it a part of the very fabric of your relationship/family.

14. Quinn, Are you Bahamian? If so, do you find that as a Caribbean national it’s a bit harder/more expensive to travel, seeing that lots of C’bean nationals require visas to go to other countries, whereas US residents/citizens only need a passport to travel.

Quinn: Ha! You must have spotted the accent that makes me smile! I am Bahamian, but I am also America. I was born in the US, and then moved to the Bahamas at the age of two months. Because my dad is Bahamian and my mom is American, I am fortunate to enjoy the benefits of both nationalities, especially as you mentioned during travel. As such, I use my American passport. Although it may seem like heavy regulations are enforced upon Caribbean nationals during travel, a simple visit to the Embassy of the country you are choosing to visit will help you plan out your trip quickly. My father and friends have had no problems traveling all across the globe; you just have to plan in advance and do your diligent research. 

15. Is there a section on the site that you can find the hacks and tips all in one place?

Zim: Not yet! We’re teaching an amazing course, Travel Hacking: How to Travel the World for Cheap that’ll be launching soon & with that, you’ll get access to our exclusive Google+ Community. Within the community is a dedicated section specifically for hacks & tips. Be sure to enroll!

16. For someone who currently does the most basic level hotel auditing, what would it take to become an external auditor to allow travel, what are some of the companies one would target?

Sonjia: Keep in mind that a lot of auditors are not external, but internal – meaning they audit their own company’s internal operations (this is what I did for Shell & Exxon Mobil). Most large, global companies in any industry/field have their own audit staff. Another option is joining an external auditing firm that goes out and audits other companies, such as KPMG, Ernst & Young, Price Waterhouse, etc. Even my company gets audited by an external firm even though we have our own internal auditor). Whether you work as an internal auditor for a particular company or an external auditor for an auditing firm, the opportunity to travel on company expense is tremendous! 

17. What is the most effective way to promote your blog or website?

Sonjia: It goes without saying that you need to use all social media outlets (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.). Other options include cross-posting & promoting with similar bloggers; paid advertising/promotions, dedicated focus on improving SEO (search engine optimization), etc. But the most critical thing is to constantly put content in front of your readers to remain relevant. The more you write, the more your blog content will get out there on the web & the more likely people will find you.

18. How do you travel safely as a black woman? What countries should single women travelers avoid?

Sonjia: I’ve found that most reports of political unrest and safety concerns in other countries are grossly exaggerated, and unfortunately, Americans, in particular fall for it, every time. I have never let political and safety reports keep me from traveling anywhere, not Egypt, Turkey, Greece, etc. And I have never experienced any problems or safety concerns from having made those trips anyway. I exercise the same amount of caution and common sense I would back home in America. Obviously, I recommend staying away from countries like Saudi Arabia where there are much larger cultural & religious issues at play that would make it difficult if not impossible to navigate the country freely as a solo woman.

Participants

Nicole Grimes: @1flyky & @geektreks // geektreks.com

Quinn Russell: @travellersbazaar // travellersbazaar.com

Zim Ugochukwu (moderator): @zimism // zimism.com

Modupe Sonuyi: @superdupersleepy

Alphonso Jordan: @gtjumperzo

Sonjia Mackey: @mslioness2u // impossibleliving.me

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We had an incredible Google+ Hangout on Saturday. With that, we also had a ton of unanswered questions. Scroll below to find some answers to the questions we missed. If you couldn’t make the Hangout, click the play button above to get started! Sonjia, Cameron and Nate chime in on your unanswered questions below. 1. How would […]

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