Because this blog is not world famous (yet), not even famous (yet), I think that everyone will know where we are right now. If you don’t, however, we’re really glad to let you know that we are in a beautiful, amazing country called Guatemala. And I must say that, funnily enough, more people seem to be interested in how we got there than in why we are there. I am going to tell you both.
WHY WE DID IT
This one is easy: we just needed to do it. Actually, there are two different reasons why but they are intertwined and were so compatible that made it impossible for us to keep travelling in Europe as we had been doing for the past… months/years (it all depends on the perspective, I guess).
The Old Continent was getting old. I mean it. We both had been living in different European countries. Since we started our adventures together, we had been travelling around the south (Portugal/Spain in July), the west (England in December), the north (Norway in October) and the east (Poland/Ukraine in November). We still have lots to see there but we were starting to get the feeling that we were getting quite acquainted with Europe. Of course, some countries stay in our bucket list, but for the moment we were both just longing to get away from our home continent for a while and to see something actually different.
We wanted to help. We were growing worried about the world’s situation in general and didn’t know how to help. When you’re a travel addict, to volunteer abroad seems to be the obvious answer, but where to go, what to do? We did not want to go to a place in which they needed doctors or construction workers or clowns, as we knew we wouldn’t be of much help there, but there is one thing we have in common: we love teaching and we love kids. We are both teachers, so it just made sense to look for a place where we could actually help using our skills.
HOW WE DID IT
So how to travel across continents with a low budget? It took us a bit to figure it out but it’s not that hard, so we will very gladly share it with you!
Finding the lowest flight fares. As most travelers we know, we use Skyscanner. For us, it was worth it to look for flights from all over Europe and to all over Central America (South America was sadly way out of budget). We found out the cheapest airport to fly to was, by far, Cancun, so we started looking by country. In the end, in a Germany>Cancun search, bingo: there was a flight departing from Cologne in the exact desired dates costing 200€. It was just perfect. We found another flight from Valencia to Cologne for 17€ so this was the perfect chance to kill three birds with a stone: we got the chance to visit Valencia and Cologne and fly to Cancun. Just like that.
Flying on a one-way ticket. Let’s be honest. You need a proof of onward/return travel when you travel across continents. It is actually mandatory if you are travelling to Mexico. Did they ask us at the airport? They didn’t, but they could have. They did ask some of our friends flying from Madrid. They can even ask you before your flight takes off and force you to buy a flight right away before letting you board. We didn’t (still don’t) know when we wanted to come back home, and it was definitely not within the three month limit.
There are many ways of getting through the airport without proof of onward ticket. The first solution we found was to get a fake one: you just look for a real flight, fill up the questionnaire in this website and done. Many people have done that, and we think it’s safe enough unless you act really suspicious and they call the airline to check if it’s real. But we found an even better option! This airline allows you to reserve a flight for 48 hours before putting in your credit card number. You get an e-mail with the flight details but it will automatically be canceled if you don’t pay within 48 hours.
And that’s it. To travel to another continent might seem like a huge and expensive step, but as you can see it’s really not that hard.