Most of the articles on my blog focus on traveling for the purposes of seeing the sites and attractions of a particular destination. However, there are many other reasons to travel. Often these other reasons allow you to see a different side of a country, experience a locals perspective, or simply take advantage of destinations affordable prices.
Medical Tourism is the practice of traveling internationally for the purpose of undergoing a medical procedure or surgery (read this old cnn article). In many cases, these medical procedures are elective cosmetic surgeries such as nose job or a tummy tuck.
The main benefit of medical tourism is that the cost of treatment is often a lot less than a similar procedure in the United States. The other benefit is that after your surgery is over, you are often able to recuperate in a nice warm tropical location. You can turn your recovery into a vacation.
Keep in mind that with surgery, especially something like a tummy tuck (read the prices at tummytuckcost.com), there will be scarring, so you might not be able to hit the beach immediately.
Another great opportunity when traveling is volunteering. All over the world, there are organization set up where you can donate your time and energy towards helping various causes. Many places allow you to choose the length of your volunteer stint- anywhere form a week to several months so that you can best fit your schedule.
The type of organizations varies widely. Some common focuses include working with children, helping to clean up trash, and teaching English. Other groups work with animals or help to build infrastructure for communities.
Work/ Study Abroad
Working or Studying abroad is a great way to live like a local. You spend a long time in one city or area and get to know the less touristy side of things. Often you get a chance to study or work in an industry that is specific to your new international location. What better place to study Italian Art than in Italy? Where better to work in the wine industry than France?
Setting up a work or study abroad gig can be tricky. Make sure to check the visa rules and regulations and ensure that you have all your paperwork in order before you make a financial investment.
Many countries are known for their spiritual and health specialties. A great way to really immerse yourself in these cultural traditions is to spend a week or more at a special retreat. Often these retreats take place in beautiful, secluded locals that can add a lot to the experience.
The most popular retreats are yoga or spiritual meditation, but if these sound a little to relaxing, others offer more active retreats for things like martial arts or surfing.