As we’re getting settled in our new home on Kauai, our thoughts still turn to future travel. Southeast Asia, with Thailand in particular, heads up the list since we’ve essentially halved the distance to get there with this move. This guest post explains why Thailand appeals to so many travelers seeking work-life integration.
Combining Working Holidays With Thailand Travel
With its myriad white sandy beaches, low prices and relaxed way of life Thailand is perhaps the ultimate backpacker destination. It is also a good place for a working break. From yoga teaching to volunteering, there are many options here.
The Ultimate Gap Year Destination
Thailand is legendary among gap year destinations. The lure of full moon parties on the beach, a steady influx of soul-searching young travellers, low cost of living and stunning scenery make it hard to resist for many people looking for an exciting break abroad. Whilst there are few better places to just kick back and relax, Thailand is also a top spot to take working holidays, whether they be unpaid volunteer placements or paid positions in fields ranging from journalism to yoga teaching and tourism.
Big Cities And Breathtaking Beaches
Thailand is a country of distinct contrasts. The breakneck pace of life in big city Bangkok feels light years away from the sleepy towns and villages along the coast. The famous party beaches, flanked by backpacker hostels, likewise feel a long distance removed from the virtually untouched hidden beaches and coves that lie a little off the beaten track. The thick jungle makes for exciting adventure tourism escapades, whilst island-hopping boat trips complete with snorkelling and swimming are perhaps the ultimate way to relax. Working holiday opportunities are equally varied should you be looking for volunteer work on eco-projects in the jungle or for paid work. For a tour guide, English teacher or yoga teacher, the opportunities in Thailand are many and varied.
Volunteer Placements In Thailand
Those looking to combine travel with a boost to their resume might well be wise to consider a volunteer placement in Thailand. A paid working holiday can be difficult to arrange for visa reasons, but volunteer placements can give visitors unbeatable life experience and valuable work experience, as well as the pleasure of knowing that they are making a real positive difference to the country they are visiting. Many volunteer placements in the country will involve helping to build communities in rural or marginalised areas of Thailand, as these tend to be the areas that are most in need of a helping hand. Whilst the touristic spots tend to be well maintained, for those living in rural locations it is often a very different matter, with many people suffering from sub-standard housing, poor sanitation and health care and little or no access to education. Get involved in teaching or building as a volunteer and you will be richly rewarded with immersion in one of the most colourful cultures on the planet.
Eco-Projects In Thailand
Looking at building a career in environmental science or a similar field? You will find many opportunities to boost your career prospects in Thailand. Whether helping to build conservation projects in the jungle or looking after injured animals at wildlife sanctuaries, opportunities that are as rewarding personally as they are professionally abound. As a volunteer, you may be required to pay for your placement, but positions will generally offer accommodation and immersion advice during your stay.
Noelle Sandy is a freelance careers advisor based in Cardiff. She loves to travel and to write and took a working holiday in Thailand before settling into professional life.