Where to Go: What Calls You

There are a lot of decisions to make when planning a career break, but perhaps the one that is the most fun to make is deciding where to go.  So how do you do it?

What Calls You

[singlepic=871,150,,,right]Most of my travel destinations have been places that have called me. In high school I became fascinated with Vietnam and Cambodia after studying the war and Pol Pot’s regime in the 1970’s. For years afterwards I would read and watch anything associated with those countries. So when I decided to take a three-month career break in 2001, I centered my travels on those destinations.

During my experience I learned a great deal of insight into the atrocities that affected those countries and gained a perspective I could never have learned in the classroom. And by meeting the locals I found that there were no hard feelings associated towards me because of the “American War,” despite the fact that it is still affecting their lives today.

[singlepic=36,125,,,left]I also love ancient ruins and cultures. There is definitely something mystical and magical that can be felt in their presence, despite a lack of structure and definition. Many of my vacations have been planned around visiting temples, including the Mayan ruins of Tulum & the Yucatan, Tikal in Guatemala, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Knossos on the island of Crete. So when I decided to volunteer for the summer of 2006, I chose to do it in the heart of the Incan Empire – Cusco, Peru.

So think about places or cultures that might call you – they don’t have to be steeped in history like mine usually are. Perhaps there is a cuisine that you love, or a language that you want to learn. Think about some of your favorite movies or books. Inspiration is all around you and you may not even realize it.

Read Sherry’s inspiration for traveling to Borneo.

Where to Go: Timing |  Where to Go: Comfort Level

We’d love to hear from you!

Do you have some tips on deciding where to go? Let us know! Share here.

Other comments

3 Comments on "Where to Go: What Calls You"

  1. jeremy clarke on Tue, 9th Mar 2010 11:37 pm 

    Hey there,
    First of all… what a great site. It has been a huge help for me.
    So here’s the jist of what i want to do.
    Im finishing high school in june. I wan’t to help people, and i want to surf.
    I’v been looking in Costa Rica and am lucky enough to have a teacher who’s spent most of his life traveling and exploring. I’ll have around $4000 to work with. I would like to go for around a month, leaning towards more then a month.

    I wouldn’t mind traveling with a group or NGO , but feel that its really tough to do both things in one trip. I don’t mind structure, but i really really wan’t to explore and experience the culture of it all. I don’t want to just go on a surfing trip though.

    :S Please help! It would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks so much,
    – jeremy

  2. Michaela Potter on Wed, 10th Mar 2010 12:15 am 

    Jeremy – I love that you have found our site so inspiring! Just goes to show that travel spans every age.

    And I love that you are in high school and wanting to explore the world – you are off to an awesome start. And the fact that you also want to give back is amazing.

    Don’t feel like you need to chose between the two. $4,000 is actually a lot of money in many parts of the world. Costa Rica is a great place for surfing (and affordable to live). So while you are taking lessons, you can also find places in the community that you can help out by teaching English.

    And get in touch with SurfAid International: http://www.surfaidinternational.org/ – They are just one way that you can combine your passion for surfing with helping others.

    I hope that helps you in getting started, and can’t wait to hear what you do!

  3. jeremy clarke on Wed, 10th Mar 2010 10:33 am 

    Wow! Thanks so much for the quick response. I will check out all that stuff and let you know where i’m headed asap!

    Thanks again.
    Take care.

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