A Very Merry Peace Corps Christmas

A Very Merry Peace Corps Christmas

It's always a little difficult to be away from home during the holidays.
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In my opinion, the hardest part about being in the Peace Corps is being away for the holidays. The biggest reason for this is being away from family. Don’t get me wrong it is amazing experience another cultures Christmas traditions but it’s hard being away from your family. Christmas has to be my favorite holiday. I love the lights, the music, the decorations, and the giving spirit. Living in Uganda doesn’t have as many decorations or Christmas trees. It has the music and the giving spirit though down pat. I am also able to get Christmas movies to watch each night. Now, all this Christmas spirit cannot happen until after Thanksgiving. Even living in Uganda where they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

So the day after Thanksgiving it all began for me. I watched Christmas movies and began listening to Christmas music. Now each night I watch a Christmas movie before going to bed. If I were at home the day after Thanksgiving we would have decorated our house and our Christmas tree. I didn’t decorate my house here which is a bummer than I didn’t. However, I really don’t mind. I will take the Christmas movies and Christmas music and that feels my heart with the Christmas Spirit.

Honestly, to me Christmas is much more than just decorate the house and watching Christmas music, even though without it, it honestly doesn’t feel like Christmas. Although, Christmas is all about Jesus being born and the sacrifice he was destined to make. Through this journey I have gotten a bit lost, but I know where I come from and I know where my beliefs lie, and that is in Jesus and the reason he was born. It’s been hard being here, I have been struggling a lot with my faith, but Christmas helps put my faith together and brings me to my knees in thanksgiving and praise.

However, back to Peace Corps Christmas, it is hard, but you can honestly make the best of it. Getting to know how the locals celebrate, and how they spend their holidays. It’s a great way to experience a new culture, but also share your own culture and traditions with your community and the family you have built here. It makes being away from your family for the holidays a little bit easier. I have an interesting living situation because during holidays I don’t really have any neighbors because they all go home for the holidays, but I have a Peace Corps family and that makes up for it. I also got a lot of opportunity to spend time with my neighbors and teachers during the school year and that was incredible and I have loved building this community.

Despite all that I cannot help how much I miss my family and how much I wish that I was with them during this time. It truly has been a hard year without them, but I wouldn’t have grown as much as I have without this experience. I honestly wouldn’t trade any of this. I will continue to listen to my Christmas music and watch my Christmas movies and experience Christmas this way. I don’t know how other Peace Corps Volunteers experience Christmas but this is how I have experienced mine. I spent Christmas here last year, and I feasted and danced with my host family and it was incredible. Christmas is about love and family, family you create and are born into.

Let me know how you celebrate Christmas, Peace Corps or not.

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30 Places Every Millennial Girl Needs To Travel To BEFORE She Turns 30

Live your best life, all around the world.
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I am a travel enthusiast. There is nowhere I do not want to go.

Traveling the world is one of my biggest goals in life and I am determined to make it happen. The world is so big and I would love to see every inch of it at some point or another.

However, if I can travel to these 30 places before I turn 30, I will feel as though I have accomplished more than enough.

1. New York City, New York

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. San Francisco, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Nashville, Tennessee

8. Honolulu, Hawaii

9. Walt Disney World, Florida

10. Chicago, Illinois

11. Nassau, Bahamas

12. Cozumel, Mexico

13. Cancún, Mexico

14. Bridgetown, Barbados

15. Basseterre, St. Kitts

16. Philipsburg, St. Maarten

17. Montego Bay, Jamacia

18. Christiansted, St. Croix

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

20. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

21. Tortola Baths, Tortola

22. San Juan, Puerto Rico

23. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

24. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

25. Oranjestad, Aruba

26. Mykonos, Greece

27. London, England

28. Paris, France

29. Barcelona, Spain

30. Rome, Italy

Okay, so these are 30 places I want to go out of like, a million. I have traveled to some of these places and would not hesitate one second to go back.

Every new place is like a new adventure, and traveling will forever be so exciting and intruiging to me.

Cover Image Credit: Maisa Teat

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8 Ways You Can Pursue An International Job After College

Working in a foreign country is something that so many people dream of, but no one really knows where to start.

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You're extraordinary, not ordinary — so why settle for a bland, typical career? Those who have the traveling bug can find work easily all over the globe. But, how do you decide where to go and what to do?

Those with the wanderlust can look to the ideas below to find a gig enabling them to live anywhere on the planet they may like. Whether you dream of summer days spent on an Australian beach or meditating on a mountain peak in Nepal, it's so much easier to start living your dream sooner than you think!

1. Help children learn English.

To those with a bachelor's degree, the world truly is their oyster. Even if you earned your degree in something like underwater basket weaving (I swear it's a thing), you can enjoy a career overseas teaching English.

In order to receive permission to teach English overseas, you'll need to complete a training program to obtain your Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification. Some organizations will sponsor you to obtain said certification in exchange for offering to teach overseas for at least a year. Of course, if you find working abroad suits you, you can stay longer.

2. Put your typing skills to work and transcribe conversations.

Enjoy nothing better than listening to conversations and transcribing them? Consider heading overseas by landing a transcription job allowing work-from-home scheduling. In the age of the internet, the opportunity is so much closer to you than you'd think.

Didn't get enough training to type quickly by pulling those undergrad essay all-nighters? No problem. You can learn how to type quicker online for free.

3. Flex your entrepreneurial muscles and join a global team.

Not the sort who enjoys listening to their boss all day? Why not strike out on your own while traveling the globe? Sure, you may not have much capital state-side but moving to a nation with a less pricey cost-of-living can help you grow your business endeavors quickly.

Furthermore, hiring international team players makes solid business sense. 72% of people like working on global teams, but they like them even more when they feel listened to and treated fairly. Getting an outside perspective can help business owners find innovative solutions to common problems.

4. Become the live-in help, and enjoy a homestay while you're at it.

Have wanderlust and love the little ones? Consider traveling overseas as an au pair. Being an au pair is similar to becoming a nanny but the job description includes caring for basic cleaning tasks, homework help and dinner preparation as well as changing diapers.

Many of those wanting to explore Europe become au pairs in order to fund the journey. Even though said positions pay relatively little, you get free room and board as part of the bargain. Given how European trains travel great distances in little time, you can reserve many weekends for excursions to nearby nations in the region for super cheap.

5. Or, you can take care of pets abroad.

Who said traveling the world meant needing a huge bankroll? Those who adore our four-legged friends can fund their international escapades by pet sitting for those overseas.

Many people treat their fur babies like family and they demand nothing but the utmost quality of care for their puppies and kitties. Getting started can prove somewhat tricky but once you learn the ropes, you can explore foreign cities to your heart's content for little more than the cost of a big bag of kibble.

6. Use your medical skills for even more good.

Did you do your undergraduate work in nursing or another health-related field? Consider joining an international organization such as Doctors Without Borders to quench your thirst for adventure.

Nothing feels more rewarding than putting your skills to good use to help others. Depending on where you envision your career going, having such experience on your resume stands out to future employers and will help you in the long-run.

7. Join the circus (no, really).

When you were a young child, did you dream of growing up only to run away and join the circus? Believe it or not, this can make for an interesting, if unusual, career path!

If you trained as a gymnast or dancer as a child, you'll have an easier job of finding a troupe of performers with whom to travel the globe. Only got fit in your teen years or early 20s? No problem! Consider getting your group fitness instructors' license and teach classes aboard a cruise ship (only steer clear of the all-night buffet to keep fitting into your leggings).

8. Perform acts of kindness for others around the globe through volunteering.

Are you one of those lucky devils born with a trust fund in hand? If money is no object, consider joining the Peace Corps. As a volunteer with the Peace Corps, you'll receive housing and stipends in exchange for help with their projects around the globe. While competition makes finding roles challenging, anything giving you the opportunity to travel for free comes with some strings.

The Peace Corps isn't only for young people leaving school for the first time. Many retirees wishing to give back after a rewarding career also flock to sign up and begin their journeys.

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