Sunday, July 18, 2010

Trying New Things

I was reading 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference. Part of the plan now. From tagging marine life to teaching English on a short term basis to spending a month on a archeological dig, it provides an endless source of intriguing ways to spend your time after work. And make a difference. No long term commitment. You work 2-3 weeks on a project. You can return to a site anytime if there is one that excites you. They are landed costs only so no airline ticket is included. They involve travel all over the world. Some of them are expensive and some are free. Most of them cost something but there are some free opportunities as well.

There is an airline ticket on a separate site that costs between $6000-8000 and you can travel around the world for a year with this ticket. There is a neat app on the site that lets you map out your route. You choose your route and destinations and that is it. Go to to explore the routes you can take and feed your imagination with the possiblities. The very act of planning a route makes you realize how big the world is and how much there is to experience. And, as an aside how little time.

Teach swimming to children in Fiji. (Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of death in young people in Fiji?) Caring for baby elephants in Sri Lanka. Definitely fits with my goal of trying new things. But not too dangerous. I have no desire to be, say, on a war front as a journalist. But I do crave new experiences. I prefer to be immersed in a culture rather than being a tourist and that is what these programs will do. You work alongside the people who live there and they train you with any skills they would like you to have.

I am going to build a dozen of these experiences into my early retirement plan. Who knows? I may love it enough to continue on year after year until I cannot.

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