4 glow with health from all that exercise and sly fruit eating. You’ll find loads of opportunities on www.payaway.co.uk

I Teach English in Russia TEFL is one of the most rewarding ways to spend your year out. and GAP Activity Projects run placements all over the world. One option is to live with a Russian family while assisting Russian teachers of English. Don't worry: they'll give you a ‘survival Russian' course at Moscow University before you're let loose. Six-month placements cost £1100. More info on 0118 959 4914, www.gap.org.uk

I Go hot air ballooning in France Work as ground crew, chef, guide or pilot for Bombard Balloon Adventures. To find out more about this and discover a huge variety of other jobs log onto www.payaway.co.uk

I Become the next Jane McDonald Well maybe not, but working on a cruise ship is one way to see the world. with catering, bar, fitness. entertainment and even office work on offer. There are lots of websites out there with advice and jobs (some want a fee), have a look at www.shipjobs.com and www.cruise-jobs.com for inspiration.

I Be a model scout in New York OK, you’re probably not qualified for this. If you’re looking for a career overseas rather than casual work you might have to wade through a lot of red tape. but opportunities are out there. One of the best sites to find the job of your dreams is www.international.monster.com

I Dig for dinosaurs Yes, really. Head to Hell Creek, North Dakota where the ‘terrible lizards’ lived until a meteor ended their fun. On this Earthwatch project you’ll dig for fossils to help discover exactly why the dinosaurs became extinct. Other options include exploring a shipwreck in Australia, helping conserve rain forests in Cameroon or studying endangered frogs in Ecuador. The dinosaur projects last two weeks and cost £1095. Info from 01865 318838, www.earthwatch.org

18 THE LIST 11-25 Apr 2002

. . . I’m taking my queue from

the locals . . .

orkig 0qu

h ld

Why stick with a dead-end job at home, when you could be selling your labour in global hotspots? Words: Caroline MacKechnie

ravel had been a dream of mine for a long

time before I finally took the plunge.

Various things had stopped me: jobs. boyfriends etc. But in l998 l was in a relationship that was fun but not serious and a job that should have had prospects but didn‘t. My friend Gail and I went to Tenerife on holiday and that‘s where the friendly travel bug popped up and bit me on my peely wally office bound bum.

Tenerife! I hear you cry: that's not a place for travellers. Surely you should be searching for the perfect beach in Thailand? You might be right. but it is a place to catch the sun and have some fun. After a week there. chatting to other travellers. I figured I could go back. I came home. took a second job to collect some pennies. talked a friend round and six weeks later we boarded a flight to a new life.

Work came easily. Within two days I was gainfully employed in a British bar. Not the nicest bar I‘ve worked in but the happy holiday atmosphere was infectious and we spent most days working hard and partying harder.

Finding an apartment was the biggest nightmare. It‘s really expensive as most apartments are for tourists. At one stage we found ourselves living free for a week courtesy of the sidekick of the island's biggest gangster (don‘t ask). That turned sour when he realised that we weren't up for 3am phone calls demanding our presence on his arm in the local nightclubs. Which in turn led to our first and only night sleeping on the beach. But luck turned in our favour with the help of a friendly Scottish estate agent and we got a great little apartment sorted.

Three months on and I became a single traveller when I returned home to find my friend gone and no explanation. What to do now‘.’ My answer came in the form of Mango Matt. a guy who spent ever winter picking mangoes in Northern Australia. He

The gangster realised we weren’t up for 3am calls demanding our presence

asked if I wanted to go. so off I went via Bangkok and Bali to ('aims. Australia.

I arrived there with a holiday visa for three months and £40 to my name. It was both terrifying and exciting. but with the experience and confidence l‘d gained in the last three months I felt I could make it work. Within 48 hours we had a car. jobs on the farm and a dirty old caravan to live in. If you don't ask. you don‘t get.

I loved that job. Hot. sweaty. physical and all day in the sun with some amazing local characters followed by a daily swim in the farm‘s heart shaped darn: it really was a change from the norm. It‘s a great way to make money if you’re a traveller. Moving around the country. working different seasons if you have the luxury of time. Be careful if you don’t have a work permit. Raids on farms are common and the authorities come down hard.

Following the season we moved to Cairns and I spent the last few weeks washing pots in a restaurant kitchen. Not exactly glamorous but when the sun shines like it does out there it doesn‘t seem to matter so much. Greasy plates versus mind blowing life experiences such as swimming with turtles at the (ireat Barrier Reef. That can make tip for most shitty jobs.

Leaving (‘airns was hard but the blow was softened by a week spent in Koh Samui on the way home. We found a remote beach with a few huts and did nothing more than eat. sleep and sunbathe. Do be careful if you decide to smoke the local weed. We were rudely awakened by the local police ransacking our beach htrt at seven in the morning. They took the guy next door and we never saw him again. If you absolutely have to. don't keep it in your hut.

(‘oming home was hard. but I would do it again if I had the opportunity. If you are thinking about it at all. I can only say you must. You won‘t regret it.