Haiti is becoming less and less tangible now with the current events going on, and helping out in East Africa may not be tangible because of ticket prices. Oh, did I mention it’s dangerous? Danger never bothered me, but money, professionalism, and certainty do all concern me.
Money is something I don’t want to waste, and a few organizations aren’t replying to me for weeks at a time, and it leaves me extremely uncertain about everything. So I figured if I’m going to go somewhere, I’ll head over to Southeast Asia instead, and this looks like a very good opportunity to help human trafficking victims in Thailand: http://www.kayavolunteer.com/projects/Provide-Support-to-Victims-of-Human-Trafficking.html.
But regardless of where I go, the big cost is the ticket. Thankfully, a couple travel hacks came up. This first one came from my program colleague who is going this December after finals from San Diego to Chicago, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Amman, Jordan, Chicago, and back to San Diego–all for $350. Yes, $350, three-hundred and fifty U.S. dollars. How did he do it? He went to this site, The Points Guy for traveling with frequent flier miles or points from credit cards, because his philosophy is nobody should be ripped off or intimidated from traveling because tickets are expensive, and there are many ways to travel cheaply. Rock on, man. This is gold for those volunteering and interning abroad, especially other international relations people in my program and others.
This other article coincidentally came from Lifehacker moments before I saw my colleague’s Facebook status update and jumped out of my chair: http://lifehacker.com/5841147/the-ultimate-travel-hacking-guide. Even with points, you still want to find the cheapest ticket available and keep dates flexible.
Also, I’m just going to throw out an NGO my friend and future collaboration partner in Cambodia, Kent Truog, shared with me recently, LICADHO. Keep your eyes and ears open, because opportunities are all out there, and those who take action usually are the ones who keep informed.
Lastly, a bit of advice from one of my professors here who basically said what I announced last week: this blog will not be quantity, but quality, and if I’ve got finals, midterms, am traveling, or sick, I will be disappearing for a bit so that I can focus on my priorities. Besides, if I’m not pursuing my goals, what the heck am I blogging about? This is here just to track what I do and let people know how I’m doing it.