How are you doing? Excited about Christmas or couldn't give a stuff? Remember, if you've got generous friends and relatives, now's the time to ask for career break related Christmas presents - whether that's a new backpack, a gift voucher at a travel gear store, or simply cold hard cash.
We've got our usual mix of news, advice and inspiration today, with an extra big free stuff round-up because we know you may well be feeling the pinch at this time of year. Plus, don't miss our special appeal.
**SPECIAL APPEAL - VOLUNTEER IN THE PHILIPPINES**
Tacloban city in the Philippines, which was hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan, is the home of Kaya Responsible Travel’s office and volunteer projects. Due to their long-established presence in the area, their local staff can effectively identify the needs of communities, and Kaya have launched an urgent appeal for volunteers.
They are looking for volunteers with skills in healthcare, nutrition, teaching and anyone who can lend a hand rebuilding homes, schools and hospitals. The work is tough, but the need will continue for many months to come, and your help is invaluable. To volunteer, email email@example.com phone 0161 8706212 or visit this page of the Kaya site.
FREE STUFF ROUND-UP
Free £1 credit for international calls although you do have to use the Tesco International Calling Card app.
Free year of Evernote premium with O2
Localipedia is a free app that brings you location-based information from some online encyclopedia or other. Only available for Blackberry.
Get your guide is a free app that lets you find and book guided tours around the world - don't pretend you're too bohemian, guided tours can really open your eyes!
Get £5 credited to your American Express statement when you connect it to your TripAdvisor account and post a review. It's not much but you get other offers too apparently.
Get a Waitrose loyalty card and get a free tea or coffee – every day! Very handy if you pass a Waitrose on your way to work.
Free Coke if the Coke truck passes near you. Diet Coke is also available. Dunno about Coke Zero but it's vile anyway.
Free personalised video message from Santa – excellent if you're trying to save money on Christmas gifts for the rugrats in your family.
Free audiobook - invaluable on long and/or noisy trips.
Disclosure: no-one pays us for putting the free stuff in our free stuff round-up. If you see a travel or work related freebie, email firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll get a special mention in next month's newsletter!
CAREER BREAKS STARTING SOON
Here's a list of career breaks starting in the next 3 months.
PHOTO CORNER - YOUR MONTHLY DOSE OF INSPIRATION
A newly-published photo series focusing on lines and shapes around the world - something a bit different from the usual traveller pics, and strangely fascinating!
Learn to travel, travel to learn - a TED talk of 21 minutes.
ON THE BLOG
We published an email we received from a survivor of the Philippines typhoon (with her permission). It gives a first-hand account of what happened (and there's a link to the DEC appeal as well).
Our exclusive guest blog post this month is about living as an expat in Bangkok - a fascinating insight into what life is like for someone who upped sticks and changed her life completely.
We've also got a post on money cushions - how much emergency cash do you need when you take a career break?
All these, and the rest of our blog posts, can be found here: http://www.thecareerbreaksite.com/blog. If you'd like to be interviewed for the blog, or you're itching to show off your journalistic skills by writing a guest post, email email@example.com.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Fasten your earrings through the holes of your belt before packing, to keep them together and avoid losing them.
If you have a tip for us, email firstname.lastname@example.org - we will credit you unless you want to stay anonymous.
NEW SECTION - USEFUL THING OF THE MONTH
Books about backpacking and gap year safety from Bemused Backpacker - 2 of them come in old-school paper format as well as Kindle editions. The best thing about them is that they're written by someone who's actually done it so knows first-hand the questions and concerns you might have.
Nick a load of paper from the stationary cupboard and make yourself some Star Wars snowflake templates.
If you want to set up a company then that's your business.
If you've found something interesting you think should be in next month's newsletter, tell us! Reply to this email (or email email@example.com if you're reading this on the blog). You can be credited if you want (we'll even link to your blog / Twitter / Facebook / kitten album) or you can stay anonymous if you're shy.
See you next month!
The Career Break Site