One of the biggest benefits I have seen on a Work and Travel Programme was the possibility to spend more time in the country you have chosen, as an average tourist. It is straightforward how many new experiences, new skills and new friendships you can get during one summer. After spending a few months working, comes the best part of a Work and Travel program – Travelling!!!!
As I mentioned in my first article on the USA, I travelled by myself without any friends. What seemed to be a disadvantage at first, was actually the most significant benefit in the end. Because when you travel alone, you are more open to speaking with other people and making new friendships. I give thanks that I met amazing people, with who I vacationed with for two weeks at the end of the summer.
The plan was simple, spend ten days making memorable adventures across the West Coast and to collect as many memories as we could within a set budget.
Because all of us loved mountains, these fantastic guys planned the whole trip where we were surrounded by nature in different canyons almost all the time.
Washington – Monument Valley – Zion Canyon – Grand Canyon – Las Vegas – Death Valley – Yosemite Valley – San Francisco – Malibu – Los Angeles and then back to reality.
Yes, we planned a few more things but, you know how it is. Time was flying. However, we stayed in all canyons and cities mentioned above.
Our journey started in Washington DC, where we bought military food to make sure that we had balanced nutrition while camping far from civilisation and enough energy for hiking.
After landing in the West Coast, the first thing we did was to pick up a car, bought stuff for camping and start our journey.
Camping is an adventurous journey in which you never know what to expect. I could talk for hours how many times I wondered whether we would survive haha. As good adventurers, we still chose long walking tours that were quite remote where we met people only occasionally and just for a second.
Our longest walking tour was in the Grand Canyon where we completed the route which is recommended for two days in one day. I still remember the look of the sheriff when we told him that we did it in less than 8 hours (around 40 km). Of course, the last few kilometres we had to almost run because we were warned that if we didn’t want to be eaten by animals, we needed to be back before it got dark.
During the journey, we saw so many animals eye to eye that I can’t even count them. However, we were always alright and we never had a problem to fall asleep at the peak of the mountain.
So how I said in the start, it is impossible to tell you everything in a couple of sentences. However, whenever you decide to travel, think safety first. Don’t overrate your physical condition; pay attention to where you step – mainly in the mountains.
To sum it up in my opinion, a Work and Travel Programme provides so much such as learning about working, culture exchange, experiences and a fantastic time, but it’s also about finding lifelong friends.