I’ll Give You My Firstborn if You Solve All My Problems

Alright people, it’s clear as crystal I don’t have a bloody clue what I’m doing anymore.

I’m wasting my golden unemployment opportunity. It’s been five months and I’m all, “Whoa, I don’t have a job?!” You’ve either been following along with me and rolling your eyes about me being a whiny jerk, or you’re waiting to see how the hell I’m gonna get myself out of this jam.

I don’t have any energy. I don’t have a shred of energy. I’ve been sitting at my kitchen table for weeks with my hair pulled back in a half-assed ponytail, lips red with wine and wearing the same pyjamas from yester-year because I am tired.

I’ve applied for jobs. Many, many jobs. Halifax was a good spot for me. I thought I could live there, I thought GEE! I love that city. I still do. I’m still waiting to hear back from positions in town. I still love THIS city. I still love Newfoundland with the kind of patriotism that makes me cry when I see our flag floating in some stranger’s backyard five provinces over. Don’t judge.

And then, after months and months of self-doubt, misery and uninhibited booze binges, a few people came to me at one time. Well, why don’t you travel?

I have several reasons why I don’t travel.

1. I’m broke. I’m not kidding. I mean I dropped all my pay cheques on my student debt, and took care of a fair chunk of it, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I have minimal savings to get me anywhere, and if I’m unsure of stability, it’s just not happenin’.

2. I’m terrified. Life is safe here. I have more friends on hand than I know what to do with. My family is six hours away. My family is unhealthy. I have a house-load of furniture, including the world’s best bed. My god, I love that bed. I can’t even express my love for that bed.

But I do realize now is the time to travel. I’m free. Free as the wind. And I’ll do it, if I can.

This photo has nothing to do with anything but its 1:20 a.m., so give me a goddamned break. Also the dog Im taking care of just farted some kind of toxic gas and Im feeling slightly disoriented.

This photo has nothing to do with anything but it’s 1:20 a.m. in the morning, so give me a goddamned break. Also the dog I’m taking care of just farted some kind of toxic gas and I’m feeling slightly disoriented.

What CAN I do?

I do have options.

1. I could get my TEFL certification and teach abroad, especially in Asia. More specifically in South Korea, where I can live outside my comfort zone AND pay off debt. Why am I not doing this? Asia just isn’t at the top of my list right now.

2. I could go work in Australia or New Zealand. People have been encouraging me to go there so much I figure they’re onto something. It’s warm there, and I could hug koalas. But the plane ticket from here to either one of those places…sometimes upwards of $2000. Then I’d have to find a place to live, and a job.

3. I could go back to school, learn French like I’ve always wanted, and do an exchange problem. Except I doubt I could afford the tuition and student loans won’t back me up now that I’ve been a professional for two years. Life’s a bitch in the real world, ain’t it?

4. I could take my potential freelance work and move to a country with low cost of living, like Thailand. My god, everyone loves Thailand. It’s out of this world. This might be my best option, but again, the $5 billion plane ticket.

5. But do you know where I really, really, really want to be? More than anywhere else in the world? Greece. The Greek Islands. I am so inspired by Greek history, the ancient civilization and all their art, that I want to LIVE there. Really LIVE there. Not the three weeks of visiting I had planned. I mean I want to see a fair chunk of the 1400 islands.

Of course, this is my hardest, most unlikely option. Greece is falling apart at the seams and the only people they want working from them are EU citizens. Teaching is unlikely, and it’s not a cheap place to live.

So tell me, friends. Tell me how you’ve made money abroad. How you’ve managed to live comfortably jumping from country to country. I’ve exhausted all my resources. To sweeten the pot, I’ll give you my firstborn if you can outline a legitimate plan for me to make money overseas while still managing to pay off my debt.

Don’t say prostitution.

  • November 23 2010

    Wow, so brave for writing this post. I was once unemployed and let me tell you my self-esteem tanked, I applied for jobs for months and got nothing as well. It really does a number on you.

    I can’t believe I didn’t think of telling you this before:

    You mentioned student loan so I will assume you have a degree. When I finished university I went on an international internship to live in the Philippines. There were over 100 offered through the Department of Foreign Affairs and National Trade in all kinds of fields.

    You don’t have to be straight out of university, I think just under 30 with a degree. I also had a whack of debt (put it in loan remission while you’re gone as if you get paid in another country the gov’t doesn’t know about it) and wanted to travel but had no way to do it.

    It was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it, maybe there’s one in Greece…

    • November 25 2010

      Hehe Ayngelina, I’m glad you think I’m brave for writing, because I had to seriously reconsider posting it like a dozen times.

      I’ve already contacted you by email, but thanks again for the info!

  • November 23 2010

    I’m a teacher in South Korea at the moment, and I highly recommend it! EPIK is currently recruiting for public school positions starting at the end of February. They pay for your airfare and your apartment, plus they offer the highest salary for ESL teachers in Asia. I’ve been reading your blog for a little while and I can tell that you would fit in very well over here in Korea! There are expats coming out the ying yang so you’ll never be alone, beer is cheap, the food is fab, and teaching is so easy, especially public school. Plus, it’s easy to fly to Thailand on your holidays. My only regret is that I didn’t come here sooner! I dilly-dallied for a long time, then after years of talking about it, I finally did it. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. DO. IT. NOW.

    check it out:

    • November 25 2010

      Thanks for the info, Maddy! I have a friend in Seoul right now who is practically begging me to join her, hahaha. She loves it. I’m still considering it, it’s really my best option to minimize debt at the moment. I’ve been fixated on Busan for awhile.

  • November 23 2010

    Candice, I’m with you on the teaching thing. I think unless you really want to teach, it would suck. Also, Australia is extremely, extremely expensive. I could hardly do a thing while there. A five-minute bus ride cost $3.50. Food at the grocery store was prohibitively expensive. From what photos of yours I’ve seen of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, you’ve got at least as spectacular scenery and nature there. I don’t think you’d be gaining a thing by going to Australia, although I do maintain that you would probably love it.

    I would follow your dream while at the same time doing something you can easily get out of if it doesn’t fit, if it sucks, if life back home urgently calls you, etc. You said Greece wants primarily EU citizens, but have you thoroughly checked out the hostel volunteering situation? Maybe there is an opening somewhere and you could follow your dream of working there for a month or so and then stay in Greece for an extra week or two so that you could thoroughly explore the country and come home completely satisfied.

    • November 25 2010

      I could TRY the teaching thing, and perhaps I’d like it…I’ve worked with kids a lot in the past and it’s always either awesome, or terrible. But yeah, if I gamble it all and end up hating it, I’m stuck in a year contract. Not a good thing.

      Greece, I think, will work best if I’m location independent…but who knows, maybe this volunteer thing will work out after all. :)

  • November 23 2010

    If you aren’t passionate about teaching, I wouldn’t do it. I agreed to be an au pair in Italy so I could live abroad and make money teaching English. Two days into living in a hallway I found I hated teaching and living without a door. I promised myself I wouldn’t do something I hated just to travel.

    Go to Greece and take me with you! I have been dying to go as well. Sometimes you just have to get to a place and find a job once you get there. I financed my summer in Europe by just freelance writing. Granted, it took about 9 months of applying to jobs daily prior, but it worked out. With your writing experience I would you could do something similar. Also, you could rent an apartment somewhere in Greece (it’s much more affordable that way) for say three months and see what happens.

    • November 25 2010

      Let’s go!! Hahaha, how fun would that be?! I want to spend a MINIMUM of 6 months in Greece…a year would be ideal. Y’know, being 1400 islands around and all…

      And yeah, au pairing never even stood a chance, in my mind…I’ve heard nothing but bad things. :( Thanks for stopping by, Suzy!

  • November 23 2010

    i hope the greece thing isnt a hoax, from what you have posted there are only two positive aspects in your life- greece and your bed.

  • November 23 2010

    Candice, I was originally thinking of teaching in Korea as well so I could earn a ton of cash and pay off my student loans ($14k USD). But after my month in Thailand, my mind has been completely spun around.

    The people I’ve met in Thailand have carved out lifestyles that make them happy. It’s amazing to see how good life can be when you focus on what gives you happiness!

    Because of that, I want to live in Thailand. Maybe teaching. Lower salary, sure, but the lifestyle here is f*cking unbelievable. You don’t have to work full-time to live well here.

    I think you would love it here. Particularly in Ao Nang, Krabi. It’s on the beach with easy access to the islands, and there’s a great expat community of divers and teachers and freelancers like Cody (@codymckibb) who would totally hook you up with cool people. And the party scene is INSANE. BUCKETS BUCKETS BUCKETS!!!

    My advice? Get a job in St. John’s waitressing or bartending. Yeah, I know, you have a college degree, but EFF IT. I might do the same if I’m broke when I get home this spring. Office jobs suck. If you waitress or bartend, you can make a ton of money quickly. With $1500 CAD, you should be able to get a flight to Thailand.

    Of course, that’s just an idea…but I think you would really love it here!!

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

    • November 25 2010

      Kate, you’re seriously one of the reasons why I’ve been seriously considering Thailand, hahaha. I just haven’t heard anyone say ANYTHING bad about it. Plus I want to live a little outside my comfort zone, know what I mean? Please let me know if you decide to teach in Thailand, I’d love to hear how the experience goes for you.

  • November 23 2010

    Kate’s idea sounds pretty legit. It’s exactly what I was thinking the last few days.

    Candice, this is yet another post proving why you RULE – this is brutal honesty here. Yet fuckin funny as hell. I am not laughing at you. I’m laughing at how completely and totally I get you and feel the SAME way yet have not had the courage to say it as brutally as you. I’ve lost my income too, though more by choice, and yet I don’t know where to go from here. I’m beyond broke and faking that life is great 1/2 the time or more. Meanwhile, I’m wondering what the eff is going to happen to me. I am in the same boat in that I want to get the h out of dodge – but that plane ticket to Asia is just CRAZY (or, a place like Greece would be even better. but same problem).

    Ok, now I am just rambling. Point was – mad props to you for putting this out there. I hope it brings you the plan you need!!

    • November 25 2010

      Hahaha Kirsten, thanks for stopping by! Funny, I never considered myself brutally honest. I was afraid people would take this as more pathetic than anything. Let’s go to Greece?

      • November 26 2010

        Ok, how do we pay for the plane ticket to Greece? If we can figure that out I am SOO in. Surely we could find nice Greek men to take pity on us and take us in … and I hear their alcohol is just, well, we’d have a good time!!!

        • December 02 2010

          We can housesit and become bartenders! Yeeees.

  • November 24 2010

    OK to give my opinion on your ideas (feel free to take them or leave them, but you mostly know my experiences).

    1. TEFL – you need money to pay for this. You don’t have a guaranteed paid job, you need more money up front for the flight. South Korea is probably the best place to go wage/living cost wise. I wouldn’t worry about the kids – mostly harmless ;-) But if you don’t care too much for teaching (I don’t either) you will be cheating children out of their education somewhat if you can’t fake it. That’s what has held me back from teaching so far, even though I have a TEFL qualification (but no degree for the visas).

    2. Work in Oz/NZ? – Cross this off your list right now. It’s fucking hard to get a decent job there and VERY expensive to live. I lived in a mobile metal box to keep costs down, and I still struggled to get by. It wiped my modest budget quickly – you can’t go there with debt/no money unless you have an absolute SOLID plan (e.g arrange employment before at least). This is also the reason Oz was my least favourite country I visited – way too expensive, it’s difficult to genuinely enjoy yourself when you are bleeding money to get by – same position as you are in now.

    3. I fancy a bit of school myself now at this stage in life too. But again it just add’s to your debt and doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to pay it off once you finish and get a job then. Only difference is you’ve got less work experience, double the debt, no travel and a few years older. I personally wouldn’t consider it unless I was debt free to start with and had travelled first.

    4. Thailand is lovely and cheap yes. But you need the work first. If no/small money from freelance comes in then it is a good damage limitation method, and certainly buys you time to get things sorted.

    5. Greece is falling apart economically, so hard to get an actual job from a Greek employer yes. But you could always make your own job – if you love it, and know about it, consider setting up a tour guide company, just walk people around your favourite places, and charge them for it – granted easier said than done though, and again could do with money up front/back up.

    6. Your option of living there is good, again flight cost. But it buys you time.

    *Time is what you need*, and will help you get back on the path you want, and you want to *be paid whilst you have that time* too. So I say concentrate on that – both parts are important.

    Nothing is easy except the stuff that requires you to hand over your money – the world is like that everywhere and for a reason.

    Do something shitty to get by, although when you can’t get those jobs (I was often told I’m ‘over qualified/too old’) it can get even more depressing – sorry to let you in on that!

    My tip is to look at countries that Canada has a working holiday agreement with, and then look online for long term jobs in those countries and try your luck with them.

    In Japan the work is mostly ski resorts in winter and beach resorts in summer – 6 month contracts for each. It’s actually difficult to get teaching jobs as a lot of places want experienced teachers – this is probably enough private work to get you by, but you’d struggle from what I can make out (catching trains/bus across your city to meet people different times every week to pay for the rent is going to get old quickly). There is also the option of hostessing, where you prance around wearing little and serve/pour rich guys drinks and listen to their ‘hard’ life, not prostitution but certainly pushes morals a bit – the pay is VERY good (think $5-8k a month), but not an option for males like myself.

    • November 25 2010

      Damn Rob, thanks for all the info. I agree with pretty much everything you said, although I haven’t ENTIRELY ruled out the possibility of teaching…I don’t think I’d be a bad teacher, and I love kids, I’m just unsure how to handle them sometimes.

      I can potentially get by on my freelance in Thailand. As for hostessing in Japan…? Crap, I’d do anything for that kind of money. Within reason. Plus think of the story possibilities??!!! Hahahaha. Hope to hear more about how you’re liking it there soon.

  • November 24 2010

    You were peeking in the boys’ bathroom in 5th grade?? wow! ;)

    My vote goes to Thailand too. Greece sounds nice, but Its heading into the depths of the northern winter and not even Greece is immune from that. The most reliable travel-income seems to be from teaching. There’s plenty of teaching jobs everywhere in Asia at the moment – along with miscellaneous other jobs, but its very much a case of having to look for something once you get here to get the best deal. You don’t need a TEFL course if you’re a native English speaker (I think Canadian still counts) and have a degree.

    I think its time to break out of the safety bubble of home and “Get Wet at the Songkran Water Festival” its not so far away now…

    • November 25 2010

      It was purely by accident, I swear!

      Man, I hope Greece pulls their shit together. Although honestly, the harder it is for me to get there, the more tempting it becomes…

      I’m gonna start doing a tally…so far, Thailand it is! Haha.

  • November 24 2010

    Hey my redheaded friend!

    Remember what I said about finding work being a full time job? First, don’t get discouraged. It sounds like you are a bit depressed by the whole experience and it’s likely showing in your interactions with employers. While it’s not what you want to be hearing, be sure to have your best foot forward.

    My brother once gave me some advice. If what your are doing is not working, change what you are doing. Basically, change up the resume, cover letter, application process. Don’t be afraid to try something new in this space. Sometimes it’s what gets you noticed. Lori Yetman once told me a great story how she berated a guy once for dissing on her degree in an interview. She ended up getting the job. So, it’s not all about being agreeable and saying the “right” things.

    I know tech writing is not your thing but it is where you have experience. Perhaps reconsider returning to that field until you can use it to jump into something else.

    And this is my personal suggestion. Next job, put some savings aside. Paying down debt is good but any financial adviser will tell you that rushing to pay off Student Loan debt is not always the best option. Some times building savings, RRSP’s, build assets (a house), will do far more for you than being “debt free”.

    • November 25 2010

      Thanks for jumping in, Chris! You’re right, it’s just been a bad week. I’m mostly optimistic. But honestly very few attractive jobs have even come up, so it’s looking more and more like I’m going to have to leave.

      I wouldn’t even mind doing tech writing contract jobs, actually. It’d be great to earn some cash for a certain amount of time, then take off for a few weeks of travel. Know what I mean?

      As for the savings thing, I have enough to help me relocate, I’m fairly certain…just not much. We’ll see, I guess.

  • November 24 2010

    You could teach in Korea for a couple of years, go back to school online while you’re doing it, vacation in Thailand and Australia during school holidays, then spend your cushy earnings on a charming Greek sublet.

    Mostly, I think you’d love South Korea, the people are lovely and I imagine you have a great personality for teaching. The job markets for foreigners is far more attractive than Greece at the moment, or Australia/NZ.

    Also, we can go to the rice alcohol festival together.

    • November 25 2010

      Yeah, financially, it’s the best option for me. Plus I DO want to live outside my comfort zone. Siiigh. Maybe we’ll be neighbors soon. ;)

  • November 24 2010

    You need a kick in the pants to get your energy back up. This no energy suck hole you’re in is not helping your situation at all ;P
    I’m not sure what to recommend, as most of my kicks in the pants have been wholey unpleasant experiences…. but they work. And probably can’t be planned. And now I feel like I just wished something bad to happen to you, dear god.. :S

    I’m a fan of the “get ANY job and start saving like woah” plan. And I will stand by my promise to make you quit once you reach your savings goal. Then you can fly whereever and try your luck abroad :) It’s okay to take your time with student loans, by the way. I’m sticking to minimum payments with my student loans until further notice, and all other savings goals are taking top priority over changing that. Getting rid of my student loans in 10 years instead of 15 doesn’t get me to calgary to visit my best friend any time soon ;P

    • November 25 2010

      Yeah, I’m seriously tempted to just quit the EI support so I can get a crappy service job and get motivated to do something, hahaha. On the other hand, I’d have a crappy service job…

  • November 24 2010

    Ummm, wow – 5 months free accommodation in Crete?! So first, there’s that whole pesky expensive airfare thing. Maybe check out Chris Guillebeau’s e-books on nabbing cheap airfares. Then, do whatever it takes to save – live with your parents if you have to!

    I think Greece is calling :)

    • November 25 2010

      You have no idea how badly I need to get to Greece, it’s physically killing me. Ungh. Just worried this volunteer stint is a scam.

  • November 24 2010

    When I first taught ESL right out of undergrad, I had no intention of being a teacher. Even after a year of doing the stuff, I still wasn’t sold on this teaching thing. But after going back to the States & working underpaid non-profit gigs & not having any time or money to travel, I eventually went back to teaching, got my degree and found I really enjoyed it. Mostly because I found a niche that I liked — teaching adults & college students. That being said, I would say don’t teach if you don’t want to. Honestly, I’ve met so many people who teach ESL who hate it and are crappy teachers as a result.
    There are other things you can do — they’re just a lot harder to come by & take a lot of research and networking (which is hard to do when you’re exhausted… trust me, I know. I’m looking for a job now and it’s freaking exhausting). I’ve met a lot of people in Thailand working for NGOs and other organizations (check out Idealist.org for job listings). I’ve also seen advertisements for random jobs like telemarketers and telephone customer service reps. So, yeah, other stuff besides teaching exists… it’s just a matter of finding it… which is a matter of getting a kick in the pants (which, frankly, I’m not capable of giving as I could use my own kick in the pants these days!).

    • November 25 2010

      Thanks, Sally! I hadn’t heard of idealist.org before. Yeah, motivation is the kicker. I sorta feel like I should at least give ESL a chance. I think I’d be a good teacher, actually, but I might prefer the older age group like you.

      Let’s start a business. Doing…something.

      Thanks for your input!

  • November 24 2010

    Chin up, girl!! You say you’re scared, but you’re SO brave. When I lost my job, I sat at home for six months. I wasn’t on Twitter yet, didn’t even think to search on-line for others in the same boat. Would I have blogged about it? I don’t know. I admire you so much! I was just as broke. I ended up finding a house-sitting gig in Costa Rica for $80/month. (All I paid for was air con.) By shedding all of my expensive bills at home, I saved sooo much money. I can’t wait to see where you end up!

    • November 25 2010

      Hehe, thanks Abby! You’re one of my biggest inspirations, actually. House sitting sounds like a pretty ideal set-up.

  • November 24 2010

    After reading these comments, this sounds sorta-kinda like a plan to me…

    1) Go to Thailand, any way you can, maybe by selling family members, auctioning Canadian landmarks to gullible Europeans, *anything*.

    2) Live in Thailand on next to nothing, earning money, surrounded by folk you know and love.

    3) Save up cash while using opportunity to make Teh Awesum Ritin-Moneyz and also partying wildly, but not to the point that your liver shrivels and explodes.

    4) Take your savings and use them to twat your debts in the face until they fall over and die.

    5) Take savings and sustainable, debt-free writing income to Greece, to live there.

    As everyone is saying above, setting your sights on getting a Greek-employer job in Greece is a bad call at the moment. Possibly for a while yet. Not impossible, but much more difficult that elsewhere. So the best bet is to do the location-independent income thing, somehow…

    I say this because as you know, that’s what I want too. Greece calls to me. If it calls any louder, I’ll have to strap myself to the mast or I’ll be lured to my financial doom before I’m ready.

    But right now, you’re obsessed with Greece. (Can’t blame you). And an unexplored obsession is a ticket to misery.

    So – *indulge* your obsession. Learn the language. Watching the absolutely fucking dreadful Greek daytime TV over the Web. Cook Greek food. Read Sofka Zinovieff’s “Eurydice Street” and Patricia Storace’s “Dinner with Persephone” and Lawrence Durrell’s “The Greek Islands” and pick up LP’s guide to Greece and absolutely sink into its pages. Make yourself an expert before you even arrive. It’ll make you happy AND it’ll make it less daunting a prospect AND it’ll make you more employable by any Greek-themed employers.

    That’s my 10 drachmas. ;)

    • November 25 2010

      Hahahah Mike, I’m so glad you share my Greek obsession. I’m not kidding when I say thinking about Greece makes me physically ill because I want to be there so badly. I look at pictures and I want to cry. It’s consuming. But I like your strategy. I may have to pick your brain some more on a few things…like this volunteer position.

      Ahh, Thailand. There IS sunshine there.

  • November 24 2010

    Unless things are very different up in Canadia (which they very well could be), you should still be able to get loans as long as you are a student. I was able to get student loans for grad school after being out of undergrad for a couple years.

    • November 25 2010

      Oh I’d get loans, but not great ones…and I’m not sure I can handle anymore of those anyway. :(

  • November 24 2010


    Email me.

  • November 24 2010

    Mike’s advice is spot-on. And Maddy sounds like a Korean recruiter; the phrasing “you would fit in very well over here in Korea” is recruiter/Korean-speak.

    ESL in Korea is a tempting option. I did it, for a year and a half, planning to save up for a little house in Morocco [ended up buying a little studio in Sicily instead with $$ from teaching art and illustrating in Hong Kong]. In Korea I met the guy I later married. He was the best thing to happen to me over there, in a pretty dismal time. Teaching ESL wasn’t for me, particularly in a Confucian society. Of course the beer’s cheap, and so is the lifestyle, but if you’re craving Greece you’ll be wanting a whole lot more out of life.

    I’ve been based in Bangkok and Sydney for the past 2 years. In Bangkok you meet all sorts – on party islands you meet different sorts of people. Travel infrastructure here is good – you can head out of town on a whim and it won’t cost you much. The homestay I escaped to last week in a floating village was just $5/night, and it cost just a couple dollars to get there: http://elizabethbriel.com/blog/thefloatingvillage/

    Food and sun here are amazing. The politics and underlying tensions and locals’ justified fears of the future with royalty and redshirts, not so much. It’s a place where there are a lot of problems, often easy to ignore on a party island. But there are many ways to give back too. Teaching here isn’t a way to save $$, but it’ll get you by; teaching work’s mostly in Bangkok. Freelance writing – and being based in a location from which it’s easy to travel to places – will get you the cash and the connections better for your long-term goals.

    I live in Sydney 50% of the time because my husband works there [we’re far out of town in a western suburb, it’s taken some work to like it http://elizabethbriel.com/blog/love-the-one-youre-with/ Sydney’s a beautiful town, the country has amazing landscapes, but for me is too far from the pulse of the world, which is Asia. Yes it’s expensive, but plenty of students get by on shag-all. They do it, you can too, if you’re driven enough. But again Oz doesn’t sound like where your heart is.

    Location independence rocks! Sounds like you’re ready for it, and if you’ve got some Greek and some connections before you move there, you’ll have a head start

    • November 25 2010

      Thank you, Elizabeth! So glad to see so much support here. And so glad to hear you’re another huge supporter behind Asia. Looks like Thailand might be the place for me.

      Like any place, I guess, there are disadvantages…but I could certainly use a change of pace. I feel a lot more inspired now, thanks again!

  • November 24 2010

    Unfortunately I know nothing about living abroad. But it seems like a lot of people here do. My completely unprofessional opinion: get a job, even a waitressing one like Kate suggested. Give yourself a time limit (say 6 months) or a savings goal (like $1500) and then go to Greece. Even if it’s only for a month. If it’s calling to you, then you should go.

    • November 25 2010

      I still have EI support until May. :) Which I almost feel is giving me too many excuses, hmm….

      MAYBE I could stop in at Greece along the way to Thailand, hehe.

  • November 25 2010

    My “roomates” are going away for the whole month of January if not longer…. come here work a bit then fly away, its cheaper to fly from here! and you can hitch a ride here with Jo!!!
    then do all of the above :)

    • November 25 2010

      I’LL BE THERE! If I move to Thailand or Greece, you better come visit.

  • November 26 2010

    Everyone has already given great advice. I don’t have anything to add, but I do hope you figure it out. You are way too fabulous not to!

  • November 29 2010

    Hey Candice,

    If there’s anything I hate more in life it is NOT having a plan or knowing what I’m supposed to do. God. I think the first year of Australia was like a nightmare as my future was just like “maybe we’ll apply for a partner visa” or… or…. I couldn’t even think of what I’d do.

    It’s not easy to make big life changes like this, and while I really want you to come to Australia and hang out — it is an expensive place to live. I haven’t done half the things I want to do here bc I’m constantly strapped for cash. However, i’m sure you would have the benefit of a nice network of people here to help you out if you did decide to come.

    I would say that if you really want to go to Greece.. .just do it! DO it! You’ll figure it out somehow when you’re there, and when you do, you’ll feel amazing — like a superhero! And it would give me a good excuse to go myself!!! :)

    • December 02 2010

      Thanks, Brooke! :) That option is becoming more and more likely to me, it seems. Australia will be on my list when I can afford the ticket, first of all! Haha.

  • November 30 2010

    So I don’t know how old you are and I know you’re not American, BUT, I’m still going to recommend you check out the Teaching Fellow program at Athens College in Greece: http://www.haef.gr/gr/fellowship/index.php.

    I was a Teaching Fellow in 2003-2004, and it was one of the best years of my life so far. (And I’m not a teacher, don’t want to be a teacher, etc. etc.) The teaching load is very minimal in comparison to any other program I’ve heard of, and the experience is just awesome. I met two of my very best friends as a Teaching Fellow. The pay is not hot, but all your expenses are taken care of — housing, free lunch every day, medical insurance (and when I was there, a travel stipend every 3 months) — and you can make serious money tutoring on the side. (I played pirates with a 3-year-old for 50 euros an hour.)

    Anyhow, if you’re interested in Greece, it’s worth checking out. I know the application says that the program is for Americans, but seriously, I don’t know why they wouldn’t want a Canadian (a lot of their students apply to McGill for university). When I was there, the program was uber-flexible, so it might be at least worth emailing them to see if they’d consider an application from you.

    Good luck regardless!

    • December 02 2010

      How awesome is this, Theresa?! Thanks so much. You’re a godsend, I’ll check it out.

  • December 01 2010

    Hey Candice! I’ll hit you up via email. There’s so much solid advice coming in that it can be difficult to process which path to follow.


  • December 01 2010

    Not too long ago I was unemployed for almost a year, and a friend got me a volunteer gig 2 days after I got let go at a non profit fixing their computers, phones, etc. to pass the time while looking for work. The job I got eventually was a direct result of the volunteer gig…not because of a referral, but because the company that hired me said I was the only one who volunteered his time while out, instead of sitting on his ass collecting unemployment. I was thankful to get the unpaid gig pretty much because it kept me sane.

    Good luck with your search….

    Bob in NYC

    • December 02 2010

      Thanks, Bob! I do have some volunteer stints. Couldn’t hurt to try a few different places, though.

  • December 07 2010

    Can you cook? I’m serious here. I made really good money in my 20’s working as a geologist in bush camps. Saved every penny I made. Mining camps need cooks and they pay really well – $175-$200 per day plus all expenses are covered. (my daughter made about $17K one summer after university) Yes you’re in the boonies. Yes it’s hard work. But there are many mining-forestry companies in Newfoundland and often they’re looking for people. Don’t stop at Newfoundland – think of all of Canada (sometimes airfare is paid). Start calling. In 6 months you’ll be out of debt, have a whack of cash in hand and then you can go anywhere.

    I also would like to thank you for being the blog that over the past year has sent me the most hits – by a long shot I might add. Thank you Candice.

    My elderly traveling companion on my recent trip to Uganda taught me a Buddhist chant. I will chant for you today and ask for a job to appear.Good luck.

    PS I miss your comments.

    • December 07 2010

      Leigh, I can cook if I have a recipe, does that count? I’m seriously considering any sort of job that will get me out of debt quickly. Thanks for the info, I’ll definitely keep looking!

      And thanks for your kind words, as always! Sorry I haven’t commented much lately, but I’m always reading. :)

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