So then, how was your summer? Ours was crazy busy because we've got some MASSIVE plans afoot. If all goes well, we'll be able to tell you in next month's newsletter, but for now, have a read of this one.
As well as our usual sharing what we've been up to, we've got ways you can get involved, our latest feedback and as always, a mildly-amusing joke. So grab your *checks notes* pumpkin spice macchiato, crank the heating up and get stuck in!
SPONSORED: FREE SUMMER CAMP FAIRS WITH BUNAC
BUNAC are hosting their famous Summer Camp USA Jobs Fairs for summer 2020! Come along, meet other like-minded career breakers, and most importantly get hired for your ultimate summer job.
They''ll have Camp Directors from all over the USA in the room ready to meet and interview you for Summer 2020 jobs. Click here to find out more about what working at a summer camp involves (spoiler: it's amazing).
- Online - November 13th, March 11th
- London - January 19th, February 22nd
- Glasgow - January 21st
Here is our section where we tell you how you can get involved with the stuff we're doing. Newsflash: we've got a billion projects on so if you want to stick your oar in, we can find a place for you! This is what we need from you this month:
- We're short of personal stories on our blog at the moment, particularly from men! We don't know why you chaps don't want to tell us about your career break - but we want to hear about it, and so does everyone else! Drop us a line if you've got a tale to tell (you can stay anonymous if you want).
- If you're "industry" (ie you work for a career break, gap year or other travel organisation) and you've got news or job vacancies you want us to share - do tell us! We can tweet or Facebook it if it's time sensitive, you don't have to wait for us to stick it in next month's newsletter!
VOLUNTEER IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
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.
This month, we're focusing on one of our personal favourites, which is volunteering in community development. Community development is a really broad term and not everyone is sure what it means. In short: if a project helps to improve an area in a positive way, we call it community development. There's a huge variety of projects - some work with vulnerable adults, some work alongside highly-skilled adults and some help children. Still others focus on protecting the environment.
Community development projects are brilliant for career breakers because there are so many things going on that you're bound to find one that suits your skills and interests. Have a look at all our community development volunteer projects here.
ON THE BLOG
First of all, we've got a post on 10 ways to look after your mental health while travelling - and we'd like to extend a special "thank you" to our anonymous correspondent who suggested the topic. Despite the title, it's not just for those who have a history of mental illness - it's steps we can all take to have a productive and happy career break.
We love this month's guest post from George, who shares her unique packing method that you can steal! It is simple but effective, which is exactly what you want in a travel tip - it's easy to remember and means you won't forget your pants!
Finally, we've got 5 myths about raw volunteering. "Raw" volunteering is the kind of very basic work that you might do on a project - things for which you don't need any special skills or experience. It's often associated with gappers but a surprising number of career breakers choose it too. Why? Read the post to find out!
The book writing and editing has been on a bit of a hiatus because of all the other stuff we've been doing, but it's still in the works! We've actually started sending out chapters for review - if you want one of these, please let us know (and don't forget to tell us which chapter you'd like to review - they are the same basic categories as those on our website).
Also, we still have some space for case studies so if you'd like to be in our book, please drop us a line with a brief (and we mean brief) overview of your career break story. And we'll try our best to find a spot for you!
MESSAGE OF THE MONTH
Someone who wishes to stay anonymous emailed asking: "All your projects look great for the young people but what about us over-60s?"
To which the short answer is... um... most of them don't have an upper age limit. The only ones that do are some of the working holiday options, and that's down to working holiday visa restrictions in other countries, not us or our partners. Any age limits are posted on the project page, so if there isn't one, you can assume it's for anyone over the age of 18.
By the way, if you think there'll be no-one else your age on your project, trip or course, you'll be wrong! Loads of older folk go now (I think the oldest reported volunteer was in their 80s) and some of our partners have specific projects for professionals and career breakers. Hope that helps!
If you've got a question, feedback or just want to share the latest joke you saw on the internet, get in touch! We never reveal your name (unless you want us to!)
TIP OF THE MONTH
Write things down on old-fashioned paper, with a pen. Yes, your confirmation is in your phone, or on your laptop, but both of those require a not-flat battery to work, and you will have used it all up on the plane watching films or googling what happened to the kid in the film you just watched. So having addresses, confirmation numbers, your passport number (in case your passport gets stolen) and other important bits of information written down will make your life easier when something goes wrong. And that is a deliberate "when" - not "if"!
I bought my friend an elephant for his room.
He said “Thanks”
I said “Don’t mention it”
We've noticed a lot of new people signing up to our newsletter lately - a big warm squishy hello to you all! But we also know that a lot of you readers have been with us for ages. We just wanted to use this space at the bottom of the newsletter to say a ginormous thanks to you for sticking with us, giving us useful feedback and sending us random emails with questions and comments! You're brilliant and we wouldn't do this if it wasn't for you.
Until next time, have a good summer and we'll see you at the end of October for our we-are-legally-obliged-to-call-it-spooktacular special!