After months of preparation, doubts and a thousand questions, the departure day has finaly arrived!
Even though the biggest part of our planning was to decide on the itinerary and chose the flights, those past weeks were very busy. We had to do a lot of researches and we learned quite a lot. Here are our main pieces of advice:
- First you have to decide wich type of trip you want to do. Our first idea was to work some 3 months in a few countries around the globe…. so find a company, likely a hotel chain to hire us in advance. We quickly changed our mind when we saw the amazing possibilities and the flexibility of traveling by volunteering
- Once you decided how you wanna travel, you need to have a global idea of where you wanna go and to be sure to have the cheapest deals on flights, to define your main destinations.
- We advice you to have this at least 1 month before leaving. It’s important to have a little time to apply for visas (if needed) and to get the right vaccines for each destination (if any are required – mainly tropical countries).
- It is important to establish a budget for your trip (even if you know it will be flexible), just to have an idea of how many countries you can visit, how long you can stay in each place and how you will stay there
- We are leaving with the 2 first volunteering places defined, but as we will also do some sightseeing, the possibilities to have confirmations of people in need too far in advance are not great. We are leaving with a little of suspense for the future…
- Once you have all this, you need to start working on your flights, we find the air companies alliances to be the best of solutions (we are having 15 flights each through 5 continents for 3600€, not at bad deal at all). We planned our trip in order to get only summer everywhere, starting by South America in January, so for us the flights with OneWorld were the best option.
- It is also very important to subscribe to an international health insurance. Depending on where you go, the insurance can be quite expensive (USA usually gets an extra charge). We hope everything will go well but as they say, better safe than sorry.
- Once you have it all, how you wanna travel, itinerary, flights, health insurance, it is time to start packing. We found a backpack that has wheels…. very nice option for when you are tired of carrying it around on your back. Try to pack as light as you can but also to have all the little things you might need (first aid kit, flashlights, swiss knife, sleeping bag, etc…)We finished our planning with a little advance and we finally took our plane yesterday from Paris Orly to São Paulo Guarulhos (with a stopover in Madrid).
Our first flight was with Iberia and even if the seats were comfortable and the service fairly ok, we had the bad surprise when finding out one of our luggages was forgotten during our stopover in Madrid and will be sent to us tomorrow. For now we are not looking forward to flight with Iberia again, quite frustrating.
The important thing is we arrived to the gigantic city that is São Paulo. Although we have been there many times (Karol grew up there), arriving in São Paulo by plane is always amazing. It is this huge concrete jungle (7th biggest city in the world!)
Shortly after arriving at the airport we were ‘home’ to quickly see our family and then leave again to the beach! Afterall, it has been a cold winter in Europe! We might have taken a little time to relax after our 15h flight…
As expected, the summer heat brought down a storm at the end of the day, so we enjoyed a beer in a little beach bar in front of the beach to then enjoy a magnificent sunset sky!
In a few days we will hit the road again to start our long adventure in Chile, where we will do woofing and Teach english to children in need… stay tuned! 😉