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12 posts categorized "Kamala Alcantara"

Top 5 Excuses NOT to Travel

Hi friends!

I wanted to talk about a pet peeve and arch-nemesis of mine: EXCUSES. We hear them all the time and even make them all the time, mentally or to anyone around us. They can be the chains we put on ourselves; they hinder progress and stop us from having fun or stepping outside of our box! I wanted to remind anyone who reads this that only YOU can stop you. I've been bombarded with so many stories of how "lucky I am", and how "impossible" it is to travel abroad. It's so overwhelming, yes, but it is certainly not impossible. I always say, "Do it!" I can't tell you how many times I'm met with, "I'm SO jealous!" or "I wish I could do that TOO!" or "I can't imagine!" and EXCUSES. I wanted to counter the top 5 I've heard:

"I can't travel I'm broke!"
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Don't let money stop you! You HAVE TO BUDGET! From my own experience as someone who grew up in low to middle class, I've found that exploring the world does not have to be expensive. You can even enjoy some cities and check off your travel-specific bucket list items for cheap or even for free. There are a lot of creative ways to save money! For example, with my regular paychecks at work before moving to Spain, I had 80% directly deposited to my checking and the remaining 20% directly deposited to my savings. This little trick allowed me to save more than I ever have in my lifetime. If I don't have the money in my checking, I can't spend it! You have to know where your money is going. Maybe you DON'T need that extra $13 cocktail or the $3.00 guac. I took a HARD look at EVERYTHING I spent my money on in the last 6 months and noticed I was spending $80 on mani/pedis per month which is $480.00 in 6 months That's 1-2 roundtrip plane tickets in the U.S. and like 5-10 roundtrip plane tickets in Europe. I started painting my own nails... but I digress... Check out these awesome budgeting templates from the Huffington Post here!

"An investment in travel is an investment in yourself!" - Matthew Karsten

"It will be hard to find a job in the U.S. when I come back!"
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Did you know that 75% of the CEOs leading Fortune 100 companies have international experience? You'll find that most employers value leadership, organization, self-starters, and people with excellent problem solving and communication skills! The challenge and experience of living abroad will certainly inject or increase these soft skills in you! Check out Forbes' Six Myths to Ignore About Working Overseas! UC Merced also released info on the benefits of having experience abroad. International experience doubled the chances of securing a job, imparted valuable job skills and secured higher salaries!

“So much of who we are is where we have been.” – William Langewiesche

"I'm too scared to fly!"
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Did you know that you're actually more likely to be STRUCK BY LIGHTNING than to die in an airline accident? It's true! There's only a 1 in 8 million chance to die from a plane crash vs. a 1 in 6.3 million chance to get struck by lightning! Not to be bleak, but you're also more likely to die from drowning, a gunshot wound, a car accident, or heart disease...

“Man [and women] cannot discover new oceans unless he [or she] has courage to lose sight of the shore.” - Andre Gide

" I have children...and a house...I can't!"

Sure you can! This is not my situation, but I've ran into so many families who are traveling and living abroad with their children. When I ask for their "why" I hear: "because I just had to, so I did it!", "I wanted something transformative for my family", and honestly you're a MOM or a DAD--I educate 6 to 14 years old children 16 hours a week--I CANNOT imagine birthing another human and then raising them almost 24/7. You literally have the most wonderful magic already. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. And you can always rent out your house for extra money abroad, or Airbnb your house...?

For more inspiration check out this blog of a family abroad and ALL about traveling with children: Suitcases & Sippy Cups

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” –Susan Sontag

 

"I can't just leave everyone/thing behind!"
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Hey! Don't think about it like that, but...YES YOU CAN. You will most certainly be missed. And you will also miss them...well maybe not the ones that never text back... But consider all of the experiences, growth, and knowledge you will obtain from taking the challenge of living in another country. Every single minute, $1.8 million is spent on travel, you are not alone! But you'll have WhatsApp where you can communicate with all your family and friends for free wherever you have data or Wifi on your phone. There's Skype, Netflix.... Plus, maybe you can bring a friend or (existing) significant other with you! The opportunity of a lifetime awaits you, and your community will welcome you home with open arms!

A wise anonymous human once said, "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

Abrazos,

Kamalía

Instagram: @KamalaAlcantara

 

 

 

 

ACCEPTED! The CIEE Application & Me

Holaaa!

     Thanks for stopping by to read my very first post! I'm Kamalía, like Kah-mah-lee-yah. I wanted to talk to you about the CIEE application process.

    A few quick things about myself: I was honored with the role of an Official Blogger for CIEE! I am a proud alumna of Harvard University and Arizona State University. I’ve served as a university advisor for the TRIO programs and I love to teach others and learn. I’m 27, with 3 degrees and a craving to explore the world!

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My maltipoo baby, Jacob and I

On to other important things, I was recently accepted to the Teach in Spain + 4 Week Immersion program and I’m extremely excited!

    If you haven't started yet, the CIEE application system is easy to navigate. You can conveniently save and submit one item at a time, and log out and come back and complete it later! So no excuses that you don’t have the time! 

    The resume part might trip you up--but no fear, I always gave my students this awesome easy-to-follow Harvard Resume guide here:

http://ocs.fas.harvard.edu/files/ocs/files/undergrad_resumes_and_cover_letters.pdf

    One more tip for scanning your degree or your passport photo, you can easily download the free app iScanner to your phone and just take pictures, send them to your email and instantly upload them from your computer. 

The personal statement took me the longest because it is asking WHO you are, WHY this path, and WHAT motivates you, PLUS it's PERSONAL! The CIEE personal statement asks you to answer certain questions and they're flexible on what format you use. I like essay-style, so I wrote the questions in Microsoft Word, answered them individually in paragraph form, then deleted the questions and wove the paragraphs together.

Personal-statement

For help on personal statement writing, I love this site: http://college.usatoday.com/2012/10/12/10-tips-for-writing-a-grad-school-personal-statement/.

 It briefly explains a grad school statement; but it can easily be catered to creating your CIEE personal statement. Plus it’s great practice for gap-year students who may eventually go on to graduate school! I know it can be hard to share about yourself, but do get a pair of eyes to look over your essay, someone you trust. Don't change it too much, just have them look out for grammatical errors, remember, the personal statement is about you! 

Now, I would love to share with you some reasons why I want to go to Spain!

Here is an excerpt from my CIEE personal statement:

    “I have a heart, mind and spirit that aches to consume knowledge, explore the world, taste different foods, live in the moment, educate, explore and to be exposed to all the beauties of culture. Spain innately offers the treasures and opportunities to satiate the pangs of this hunger. There is much to discover about the history of Spain through the Catholic churches, to housing the oldest operating restaurant in the world, to living a completely different lifestyle than I’m accustomed to. The very first savory appetizer that drew me into this country was served upon my very first day of 4th grade in one of my favorite classes appropriately named “Spanish”. My teacher had been inspired by the art and language of the country over her entire summer vacation and was now imparting that energy, insight and music into the ears of her students. I went home with a masterpiece of 64 different crayon colors on a sheet of paper, slightly crinkled at my fist, with the shape of Spain on it; with the city of Madrid in bold at its center. For Christmas, when most little girls asked for a Barbie Dream House and Game Boys, I wrote to Santa Clause for a globe. The world seemed so small on my globe. I could trace my finger a couple inches to the left across the ocean from North America to Europe, then just a couple inches more to the Philippines, my mother’s home country.

[…]

    ‘Learn to Change the World’ emblazoned every entrance and website of my Masters program at Harvard. These were the very words that initially inspired me to apply to the program to quell my intrinsic urge to create positive multicultural environments, fight social injustice, and to bridge the gap in health and educational disparities on a domestic and global scale. If I am truly to change the world, shouldn’t I have at least experienced the world?”

    Thank you for reading the first two paragraphs of my personal statement! 

    Aside from my craving for culture, I am most excited about experiencing Spain and other countries in Europe, becoming fluent in Spanish, crossing off a lot of items on my “bucket list”, blogging, making new friends and trying new foods and drinks! I’m nervous to leave my family, friends and dog children behind; but adventure calls to me, and I refuse to ignore it!

    Look out for more of my future posts on the VISA process, placement and adventures in Europe!

Abrazos,

Kamalía

Follow me on Instagram for more adventure and travel tips...or just to say hi! @KamalaAlcantara

 

Kamala Alcantara - I Want To Teach in SPAIN to...
South Mountain, Phoenix, AZ | Photo by: Carlitos Hernandez | March 2017

 

 

 

 

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