It was official! My freshly issued passport got its first tatoo! It was truly a time of firsts: first time ever on a plane, first time out of my tucked family nest, first time to live abroad and take care of myself and definitely a first jump out of my comfort zone. I was going to spend four months in the United States on a Work & Travel program. My four girlfriends and I got a summer job in a well-known fast-food chain in Toms River, NJ. Needless to say that my grandmother was horrified when she learned that I was going to flip burgers in the middle of a highway. My parents were much more supportive since my mother had a similar Work & Travel experience in London, UK back in the seventies, and she was aware of the many good sides of such travels.
I believe the best way to get to know a country and its culture is by spending some time living there. I have been blessed to have lived and worked in five countries on two continents. My first such experience was in 2009 on a Work & Travel program in the United States. After working for three months, I have spent all my hard-earned dollars to travel throughout the States for more than a month.