A massive HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! An especially warm welcome to our new subscribers (waves) and a big squishy hug for our regular readers.
This is our early bird New Year Special newsletter, which we send out a bit earlier than normal every January, BUT, this time, we've got hooge changes afoot. In response to what you told us, and to make us a bit more efficient, we are changing the format of this newsletter. We've got rid of loads of the sections, like photos, vidoes and free stuff and will now be sharing all that kind of stuff more on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.
And what are we replacing it with? Much more stuff that's focused on us and you. That means news from us and our partners, updates to our site, new career breaks and all the things you've told us you value the most. We're even adding pictures!
We're keeping everything that involves you of course - that's the messages you send us, top tips and so on. The Useful Thing of the Month will continue to be an occasional feature, and we're sure that more than one of you will be disappointed to learn that we're keeping the joke.
SPONSORED: _SOCIALSTARTERS ARE RECRUITING SOCIAL ENTERPRISE VOLUNTEERS FOR 2019
_SocialStarters run volunteer programmes designed specifically for career breakers. Their 12-week social enterprise 'taster experiences' will give you valuable insight into what it's like to work for or run a social enterprise, as you provide business support to a local social entrepreneur. This unique experience means will be matched to a remote consulting assignment based on your professional skills and experience and you'll be part of an international group of purpose-driven professionals as you take on the role of 'social enterprise consultant'.
EVENTS - MOST COMING UP VERY SOON!
BUNAC Summer Camp Fairs in Dublin, London and Glasgow, January. There are FREE CV writing workshops and you could get hired to work in an American summer camp next year!
Projects Abroad information evenings to find out about volunteering overseas. January to March, in various cities in the UK, plus a webinar.
Destinations Holiday and Travel Show, Manchester and London, January and February respectively.
Click here for more details and to book (it's £8.50 but we'll let you know if we score any free tickets)
Adventure Travel Show, London, January. Again, you have to pay but they sometimes chuck us some free tickets so we'll let you know if we've got any going spare!
NEW CAREER BREAKS
We added a ton of new career breaks to the site just before Christmas, including some brand new ones involving volunteering in the UK, social entrepreneurship, and volunteering in Thailand!
We also added a few new organisations to our site - and welcomed back an old one! Remember, we don't add any organisation to our site unless they get through the first stage of the approvals process, so you can use them with confidence. Our process is the strictest in the industry - stricter than the Year Out Group in fact.
ON THE BLOG
We haven't done any new posts this month (on account of some serious drinking over Christmas) but we have updated some of our older ones. They are, in no particular order:
The best clothes to take travelling - top ten tips from us and some other people about the best clothes to take on a trip and who you should ask for for advice (spoiler: no-one who wears shorts in the winter).
A similar top tips post was about packing - 10 things I can't travel without, which lists the reasons why as well. This focuses on the less obvious travel gear, which is super-useful but that you might not have thought of.
A related post was 10 things I take travelling then wonder why I bothered - written by our founder, who is supposed to be good at this stuff but isn't. You can (hopefully) relate to some of these though.
How to write a personal statement that doesn't suck - we've seen so many rubbish ones that we'd thought we'd help you to avoid the same mistakes.
In another CV-related post, we updated 7 1/2 things NOT to put on your CV, some of which you might find obvious and some of which will surprise you.
Things to do on a long-haul flight for the easily bored - a variety of games and activities to help you pass the time in a space where there's not a lot of room to do stuff.
Finally, proving that our old posts do include the occasional serious one, we have 10 myths you believe about volunteering abroad, which will hopefully debunk some of the ones you've heard.
We're always looking for real career breakers, travellers, industry experts and bloggers to share their stories on our blog. If you want to be famous and featured, drop us an email. We accept anonymous submissions too.
We were asked recently, what is our book actually about? Well, you probably already guessed that it is about career breaks, but here are some other things you might not know:
- It contains literally everything you need to plan and organise your career break
- It has tons of ideas as well as facts
- We're bringing lots of contributors in to share their stories or expert tips. If you know someone who might be a good case study, or if you know a travel expert, please email us and tell us about them.
- It has the largest people-edited career break directory in the world
- We're using our vetting process (strictest in the industry) when choosing who to include and not - which means you can use the organisations listed in our book with confidence
As you can tell, it's massive which is why it's taking our tiny team a while to write and edit it. The good news is though, this is going to be a permanent feature in the newsletter, so you'll be the first to hear about what we're doing and ways you can get involved - plus you'll get an exclusive discount when it's published.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Even though you're a proper traveller, not a tourist, visit the tourist office in your destination. You will meet people who know the area better than anyone, they can tailor their advice to your needs, offer you discounts, and can even book things for you, in some places. They will also know about any events that are on, which you won't find on TripAdvisor or in the Lonely Planet.
MESSAGE OF THE MONTH
We had an absolute slew of messages over Christmas and New Year, so it's taking us a while to get back to you all (Vincii, Elizabeth, we can't wait to talk to you two in particular!).
Here is one message from someone who provided his full name but will be known to us for now as NM:
"I am not sure what I want but I just feel for varying personal reasons this is the right time to maybe see the world.
I am middle aged male (single) and would like to travel and / or work or possibly volunteer somewhere safe preferably for say upto 6 months. If thats even doable!"
We get so many messages like this and we love them because it gives us a lot of scope! NM can certainly volunteer somewhere safe up to 6 months, that's certainly doable (and easy). Our volunteer placements are here.
Travelling is also easy for a middle-aged male, but getting paid work abroad is a bit more tricky, as NM is too old for the working holiday visas that are available. His best option is to do a TEFL course then get a job teaching English. He (and you) can find our TEFL section here.
Also, we're not sure why NM is telling us he's single, but we can tell him that finding love on a career break is far from a rare occurrence, so the experience can address that part of his life as well!
If you've got a question, feedback or just want to share your top tip for getting red wine stains off someone's top you borrowed without permission (asking for a friend), get in touch! We never reveal your name (unless you want us to!)
I see Amazon boss Jeff Bezo's wife is leaving him.
With a neighbour, presumably.
We hope you like our new style newsletter. We'll keep tweaking it depending on what you like and what you hate, so give us your feedback - all you have to do is reply to this email and we promise someone will read it!
We'll be back next month as usual. Until then, have a great January, do try to stick to your resolutions, but don't beat yourself up if you don't manage it. After all, if you're reading this you're already your way to a better life!