Yes, everyone says they’re different. And long-term travel programs are everywhere these days, all promising to have you “living like locals” and “working anywhere”. These programs, like ours, typically cover your lodging, coworking space, a few activities, transportation, and pull together a group of dope individuals for you to travel with. They all seem fun, practical, exotic and overwhelmingly… similar.
So, how are you supposed to choose?
Well, that’s a toughie. You’ll just have to do your homework and trust your gut. And if your gut is tingling right about now, keep reading. Our program is one of a kind.
We’re real grownups, the kind with life insurance and accountants.
For most travel programs, the average age of the participants is 24. Oh, to be young enough to party 6 nights a week on the seedy side of some foreign city without a care in the world! Our average age is 33. And while we have a damn good time, our experience is a little bit… different. We do a great job of catering to individuals who are somewhat more established in their lifestyle and on a different type of journey.
We have a no-hostel policy.
Over the age of 30, the tolerance for the hostel lifestyle becomes minimal to nonexistent. You’re just too used to sleeping in comfortable beds, being able to close a door, and not having to chain your backpack to your bed...or not carrying a backpack. We rent actual apartments for our participants. Those apartments have a kitchen or kitchenette, an HDMI-enabled television and, even if you have a housemate, you at least have your own bedroom.
We cover all of your flights.
Other programs cover and don’t cover transportation to varying degrees. For our Wander Year participants, all of your flights are covered, including your flight to our first city and your return flight to your home country. You don’t have to worry about booking, you just need to figure out what to leave behind... which is much more difficult than figuring out what to pack.
We don’t move around every month.
In order to live like a local, you have to stay in one place long enough to know how to get around like a local and to make real friends with locals. Being in a city for 3 months really gives us time to get to know these locales – find our favorite coffee shop, have bartenders learn our names, get adopted into a local family. In each place we visit on Wander Year and Recess, we’re there long enough for it to feel like home.
Diversity. Real actual diversity.
One of the things we love the most about our experiences is how people from all different backgrounds can travel together and build relationships. We’ve even had people leave other programs for a month or two in order to spend time with our group just because they were tired of being “the only” and wanted to experience some diversity. It’s really something to be able to live around the world and spend a year with people you may have never had the opportunity to spend more than an hour with otherwise. It truly enhances the experience.
You get your deposit back at the end.
Part of your upfront fee is a deposit. You’ll get that back at the end of your 3-month or year-long experience so long as you don’t break any chairs throw your mattress from a roof (which we doubt will happen because you’re a real grown-up). We use those funds to cover any costs incurred on your behalf.
We won’t force you to work.
A lot of programs are designed specifically for remote workers, and we think that’s great. Ours is designed for people who want to live completely different lives for 3 months or a year. Maybe you work remotely, maybe you’re starting a business, maybe you just need a damn break. It’s really up to you what you do with your experience so long as you’re able to cover your fees. We aren’t here to design your life for you. We want to help you design it for yourself. On our last year abroad, 60% of the participants worked and 40% of them didn’t. Half of the ones who didn’t work ended up starting businesses during their year abroad, which is pretty cool. Everyone, working or not working, chipped in to help launch these businesses, provide ideas, and give feedback.
We protect our community.
Everyone who goes on our 3-month and 1-year experiences is subject to a background check. Our community is very important to us, and we just want to make sure we aren’t pairing you up to live with a murderer or felon for 3 months. I mean, that would be super awkward, right? Also, we always want our communities to feel like a family, so we don’t take more than 30 people with us. Anything more than that, and it becomes difficult to really connect. It starts feeling more like a mob than a community.
We support you before you arrive.
Preparing to travel for a full year or three months is DAUNTING! We have an entire training program designed to help you prepare for your year abroad. We cover topics like what to pack, what to do with your worldly possessions, what travel and health insurance to purchase, how to deal with homesickness, etc. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your experience is one of the best experiences of your life, and that starts with preparation.
Told you we were different!
If you’ve made it so far but you’re still not 100% convinced that Wanderist Life is the way to go, you might want to read more of our blog content for answers to the questions that are just starting to take shape in your mind.
For anything and everything else, get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!