This month's newsletter will be a little different. The travel circumstances around the world have drastically changed since our last newsletter. While we are social distancing, we have time to plan our next career break or holiday.
IMPORTANT VISA UPDATES - Working holidays in Canada and in Japan - you can still apply
The first round of 2020 Canadian IEC Visa invitations for UK passport holders have been sent out. To be in with the best chance of securing yours, make sure your name has been submitted to the IEC visa pool. For help with in-depth visa guidance, as well as help finding a job and accommodation in Canada, flights, insurance and much more, check out BUNAC's two Work Canada programmes. They can even get you a pre-arranged job all sorted before you leave the UK.
Looking to head to Japan for 2020? Visas are set to be released in April, so its time to start thinking about your adventure to this wonderfully diverse country. On their Work Japan programmes, BUNAC will help you every step of the way from visas, orientations, support securing an English speaking job, CV translation, Japanese language classes and much more to ensure you are prepped and ready for your life changing trip!
Although these programmes are still open for application, as BUNAC are obviously dealing with a huge number of enquiries from people abroad and those here due to travel in the next 3 months, they're not taking enquiries at the moment. We'll let you know as soon as this changes.
NEWS FROM OUR OTHER PARTNERS
Our partners have been working hard to bring people home or ensure their safety while they're abroad. Many have now suspended their programmes.
Some of them are now allowing you to book with no deposit, and with increased flexibility. So you can book your trip now and not worry if you need to change things, plus you don't need to put any money down now.
THE 20/20 TRAVEL PROJECT
March is communication month. Communication is especially important now with so many people isolated and unable to meet people face to face. We've been Skyping, Face-Timing, calling, and waving at people from windows and safe distances. How are you keeping in touch?
Another aspect of communication is language. While we're all in a holding pattern, we can add learning a new language to our work-from-home schedule. Use the time you would have been commuting (one way or the other or both) for your language lessons.
Laughter is especially important now. We've been seeing lots of hilarious posts about how people are coping wth their new "office mates." From children to pets to partners, we're all learning new ways to communicate and spend time together that we don't normally have. How are you working from home now?
We're not traveling, but we all still love travel. Let's help keep each other's travel spirits up by sharing pictures and stories of the things we've seen on our travels. Use the hashtag #2020travel on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll reshare as much as we can, and we'll put the highlights on the 20/20 Travel Project page, and in this newsletter.
On our site, we have one big section all about volunteering, and we've got sections dedicated to the different kinds of volunteering you can do, to make it easier to find the kind of placements you're interested in. Travel restrictions may prevent us from going on volunteer breaks and social distancing may keep us from doing much locally, but there are ways to help.
Are there elderly people in your neighborhood who need help with shopping or even just a friendly face to brighten their day, even for just a moment? Does a local farm need help with crops or animal care? This is not the same as volunteering abroad of course, but right now, it matters. Let's all do what we can to help.
ON THE RADIO AND IN THE PRESS
We were interviewed on The Travel Goals podcast which is due to come out tomorrow. We talk about the impact COVID-19 has had on us and our partners, and how we think we'll recover. We also give advice to career breakers who don't know what to do now.
This is where we would tell you about events to attend, but we are practicing social distancing. We'll start posting events again as soon as it's safe for people to gather again.
On our social media channels, we've been posting free events that are happening virtually. Various celebrities, venues, museums, etc., are posting free concerts, shows, tours, classes, etc. We'll keep posting them as we learn about them, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
ON THE BLOG
Now is a good time to catch up on your reading. We loved interviewing Lucy Jones about her work with Glastonbury Festival. She moved from volunteering to working in a paid position with the festival. Glastonbury fans will love this behind-the-scenes look:
Check out this blog post about working from home by Sparkle Class: How to Work from Home When You Feel Like You Can't.
Well, we now have plenty of time to work on it!
Drop us a line if you've got something to share - whether that's a personal story or some sage advice you want to dispense to other travellers.
MESSAGE OF THE MONTH
We're encouraging people to keep planning their career breaks as most of you do it 6 months to a year in advance anyway. We don't know what the world will be like then but you can still start planning and change things later if you need to!
With that in mind, our chosen message this month is from Ben at The Sabbatical Guide. He's made a list of great travel resources for career breakers, and of course, he's put us in there alongside some of our colleagues. Have a look at his list here.
If you've got a question, feedback or, get in touch! We never reveal your name (unless you want us to!)
TIP OF THE MONTH
Follow the guidelines and practice social distancing. Stay strong and healthy and prepare for your next adventure. We have loads of adventures on The Career Break Site and they'll all need more help than ever when we're allowed to travel again.
Yes, it's a tough time for all of us now. We're doing what we can to keep going through this and to plan (as much as we can) for the future. If you want to talk to us about anything, just drop us a line.
And wash your hands.
Thanks for reading and we'll see you next month.