Meet Roxanne. A warm and go-with-the-flow world traveler who has a strong affinity for service work and who regularly volunteers her time to serving communities in need across the globe through the WorkAway.org program. Learn about some of her incredible adventures below.
Places you’ve visited: Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Poland, Morocco, Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Australia, Spain, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Portugal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, USA, Turkey, France,
Last Trip: Grenada and Tobago
Favorite place(s): The Caribbean, all of the islands I have been to so far (Grenada is just taking over Tobago as I just came back from Spicemas carnival last week)
Dream destination: The Galapagos Islands I would love to go scuba diving there.
How often & with whom do you travel? Since 2011 I embarked on my first solo travel experience to Thailand, since then I have continued to travel alone. I cannot wait for others to make up their mind if they want to accompany me, I am too impatient. If I have an idea in my head I must pursue it immediately. On average I am travelling up to 3-4 times a year but this varies, as the majority of the time I live in the destination. I will either volunteer in a country for anything up to six months or I will pick up temporary work there. This year I have travelled to 5 countries, which included one month’s volunteer in Grenada and I will finish the year with two months volunteering in Ethiopia.
How do you decide where to travel next? My travel plans are very sporadic. My recent trip to Grenada and Tobago was spurred by my friend. She and
her now fiancé mentioned that they were going to Grenada for carnival, this is where her fiancé is from. I mentioned I would like to go but at the time I was studying for my Masters in Amsterdam so money was tight. After we spoke I immediately started looking at flight prices. As it was carnival time in Grenada in August, this obviously increased the flight prices beyond my scope. I then decided that I would volunteer in Grenada, similar to what I had previously done in Tobago in 2012. I searched the net and joined a website called Work Away where for a couple of hours volunteering a day the host provides free food and accommodation. This was perfect! I decided that I would do 3 weeks work of volunteering, which at this time was well before carnival so the flight prices were reasonable, then that would line up perfectly with the beginning of carnival. This was perfect for my student budget. If I find an opportunity and it is affordable for me to get there, then there is nothing that will stop me
The best thing about traveling is … The unknown. Often I land in a country with no place to stay, I am alone and have no idea what I am doing next. This is where my faith in humanity plays a big role. There are always people to help you, give you advice, and point you in the right direction. The absolute best part of travel and I must stress SOLO travel, is when absolute strangers become new found friends. When you travel solo you are forced to reach out to others and become trusting of people even when you have been taught your whole life to be cautious of strangers.
The hardest part of traveling is…Leaving the ones you love. I always say “oh no I do not miss people when I travel” but the reality is i do. Family that is left back home change, my nephew keeps growing and every time I see him he is older, wiser and taller. Grandparents are getting older and I often miss family birthdays and celebrations. Even those you meet on your travels, whom you quickly become close with you miss. But nothing in this life in permanent, everything is temporary and we must live life to the fullest.
Travel tips for others interested in budget world travel? Stop worrying and talking yourself out of it and just GO! My friends often say that I’m lucky, which really annoys me. Luck has nothing to do with it. I simply make it happen. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a big bank balance but I always somehow make it work. I will come back to the UK for a few months in between get a short temporary job, work my tail off and then book my next flight. Many a times I have arrived in a country with less than £100, knowing I have so little money I have no choice but to find a job quickly to make some money. You do not need a big balance to travel, you just need the travel bug spirit and determination to think “what’s the worse that can happen”. Reality is, if it all goes wrong you just return home and start again. But if you do not try, you will never know. I am a huge fan of sites such as WWOOFing and Work Away as these are great sites that provide free accommodation and free food for a few hours’ work a day. You meet great people, live in awesome locations and often make awesome connections that lead you to your next big adventure.