Transitions Abroad Magazine September/October 2006 Vol. XXX, NO.2
Working Abroad Resources
Living, Working, and Volunteering Abroad
Back Door Travel
International Career Advisor
The Resourceful Traveler
The Independent Traveler
Living Abroad in Costa Rica
Abroad at Home
From The Editor
Our regional focus in this issue is typically on the Balkans, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, but notably absent from the current lineup are articles about traveling to the Middle East (with the exception of an excellent piece on joining an archaeological dig in Jordan). Sadly, this is not surprising, as the region was already a tinderbox before the summer’s tragic flare-up of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The peace President Clinton worked toward in the Middle East now seems as remote as ever. Yet, from the content of this issue I see rays of hope. Articles on the post-war resurgence of countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina remind me that even in the wake of the most cruel ethnic cleansings humanity has the ability to restore itself.
The volunteer experiences throughout this issue also illustrate the tremendous power of individuals to make a difference: You need no better example than Matt Bolton and Emily Welty’s article on the tireless dedication, resilience, and optimism of aid workers to help improve the world’s most desperate situations. Other articles, such as Steve Cook’s account of starting a small community-based nonprofit to help improve children’s lives in Albania, illustrate anthropologist Margaret Mead’s famous quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
To empower us with the information we need on our paths to making the world a better place, contributing editor Volker Poelzl has added "Resources for a Global Consciousness" to his living abroad guide. In the introduction to the guide, he writes, “Taking time to learn about other cultures and seeking common ground amid all the differences are among the best steps we can take in building … a more peaceful future.”
For further useful information on how to make your international transition successful, I recommend you visit the recently expanded Living Abroad section of TransitionsAbroad.com. You’ll find a comprehensive offering of country-specific content, resources, and links.
If you are planning to uproot anytime soon to join the approximately 8 million Americans currently living and working abroad (according to The New American Expat by William Russell Melton, Intercultural Press, and excluding military personnel), you’ll find no better preparatory resources than those compiled and annotated by work abroad editor William Nolting. In this resource section, and in the articles throughout this issue, you’ll also find information on long-term volunteering (a month or more) as an alternative to work or as a stepping-stone along your career path. In the next issue, Transitions Abroad November/December, we’ll turn our attention to short-term volunteer vacations and in Transitions Abroad January/February to short-term jobs.