10 Reasons You Should Join The Peace Corps

This May marks the one year anniversary and halfway mark into my two-year Peace Corps service (whoo!).

As I reflect on the ups and downs of my service I feel like now, more than ever, is the time to encourage my friends, family, and blog readers to consider serving in the Peace Corps.

Today Americans are needed abroad.

We are needed abroad to represent the America that believes in equality, cultural acceptance, diversity, and a better future for all.

We are needed abroad to combat the messages of hate, violence, and intolerance that seem to consistently shadow our country in the news and media.

And today, more than ever, Americans are needed abroad to promote world peace and friendship and send a message of love and acceptance to our neighbors, and countries and people around the world.

So today, I give you 10 reasons why you should join The Peace Corps.

1. You want to make a lil’ difference in the world.

Screenshot 2017-03-23 at 17.06.49
Working with a local women’s group in my community.

Someone recently told me “it’s impossible to make a change in the life of another or a community. You can however, make a difference.” Continue reading

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What’s It like Living on a Peace Corps Volunteer Budget?

Let’s talk about that chedda.

No, I’m not talking about cheese, even though you know I’d like to be (since I’m from Wisconsin and all), I’m talking about money.

Or as we say here in Costa Rica, la plata. The silver. That cash money monaayyyy.  

You could probably guess with a title like “volunteer” that PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers) don’t make a ton of money. It’s true. We’re all broke. Continue reading

Peace Corps Packing List

Below is a list of everything I packed in my suitcases for the next two years!

UPDATE (after being here for almost 4 months here’s what I wish I would have brought):

  • 1 more sweatshirt (I’m in the mountains)
  • 1-2 more pairs of loose-fitting jeans
  • 1-3 more pair of running shorts (if you run a lot) and running/yoga leggings
  • I wear skirts a lot
  • (5) Less dress shirts
  • Quick drying shirts and pants are wonderful
  • Travel coffee mug

As a Peace Corps volunteer, you are allowed:

  • 2 checked bags (each cannot weigh over 50 pounds)
  • 1 carry-on bag
  • 1 personal item

Luggage I brought:

  • 1 North Face 36” Rolling Thunder – 48 lbs
    • This bag is huge. The 30” or a smaller option would have been perfect. Highly recommend the rolling duffelbag style.
  • 1 55-liter backpacking bag – 46 lbs
  • 1 carry-on bag (a Marmot Granite backpack)
  • 1 personal item – my ukulele (and a clip-on tuner)

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.01.51 PM

My Peace Corps Packing List:

CLOTHING:IMG_8946

  • (6) business casual/casual shirts
  • (6) casual tank tops
  • (6) workout tops
  • (8) dresses
  • (6) skirts (mostly knee length and maxi skirts)
  • (8) shorts (2 for hiking, 2 for running)
  • (3) yoga/running pants
  • (6) bras (1 neutral, 1 black, 2 others and 2 sports bras)
  • (?) lots of underwear
  • (15) pairs of socks
  • (4) swimsuit tops
  • (3) swimsuit bottoms
  • (3) coats (1 jean jacket, 1 gortex raincoat, 1 lightweight raincoat)
  • (2) hats (1 sunhat, 1 running hat)

TOILETRIES:
**a lot of this you can buy in-country but I figured it would be cheaper to buy in the US and just take as much down as I could.

  • (4) tubes of toothpaste (I’m picky. Here’s what I’m into:
  • (3) tubes of face specific sunscreenIMG_8942
  • (5) essential oils
  • (1) bottle of face wash
  • (6) toothbrushes (I bought this pack off Amazon)
  • (1) dental flosser + replacement heads (this is the bomb)
  • (3) sticks of deodorant
  • (1) tube of shaving cream
  • (2) nail files
  •  (5) workout headbands
  • (1) big thing of conditioner
  • (1) big thing of shampoo
  • (1) bar of soap
  • (1) travel size hairspray
  • (1) DivaCup (being a woman really did just get easier)
  • ponytails, BB creme, mascara, and a few more other light items

SHOES:Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 6.37.15 AM

  • (1) low-rise lightweight hiking boots (love these from Salomon)
  • (1) TOMS
  • (1) cheap black flats
  • (1) Chacos
  • (1) dress sandal
  • (1) dressy flip flops
  • (1) beach-style flip flops
  • (1) strappy casual sandal

SHTUFF:

  • (1) eye mask (in case I need to sleep on a long bus ride :))
  • (1) headlight
  • (1) super intense flashlight
  • (2) pairs of sunglasses
  • (1) expandable bagIMG_8943
  • (1) yoga strap
  • (1) tripod for taking photos with my phone
  • (1) hammock
  • (1) small globe
  • (1) quick dry towel
  • (1) Vapur water bottle (water bag. I love this thing)
  • (1) small bag of pens and pencils
  • (3) reusable travel zip bags
  • (3) adult coloring books
  • (1) set of watercolor coloring pencils
  • (2) sets of normal colored pencils
  • (1) resistant bag for working out
  • (1) Braza Secret Stash for carrying extra emergency cash
  • (2) journals
  • a few pieces of jewelry
  • a few cards from friends and family to read when I’m feeling sad