It was a sentence something like “Faraway lands beckon to be discovered and adventures wait to be had” that caught my attention and started me thinking about teaching abroad. One extremely well-written article nestled amongst glorious pictures full of color and exotic beauties, breathtaking landscapes and laughing children captured my heart. So, my friend and I read on and it only took five minutes to stir me to action. I wanted to travel, experience new lands and get paid to do it.
Signing up for a TESOL Certificate was the first step to realizing my new life. I had never thought of being a teacher but was intimately familiar with the highs and lows of learning a new language and the thought of helping someone else appealed to me greatly. My contract was coming to an end and so if I was going to change my life then it was the time. Almost like it was fated.
The daydreams persisted and Google became my best friend with searches like “teach English abroad” fuelling my sense of adventure to desire to travel the globe. China or Italy? Vietnam or Israel? Which to choose? My daydreams deepened until I was actually envisioning myself on my days off standing before The David in Florence or walking on the narrow streets of Jerusalem. Yes, I would become a painter and capture the world famous Tuscan light during the holidays. Then I would fantasize about enjoying never-ending green tea and mouth-watering sushi in Japan. Or sitting by tranquil lakes in Guatemala watching glorious sunsets in the Central American land of color. How do you choose?
My heart soared and all I wanted was to travel. All of a sudden, my entire world opened up. It seemed so easy to live a life anywhere I wanted to go. Every country on earth needs teachers. Entire companies are built around just sourcing teachers and will send you emails daily with the newest jobs for you to choose from. It’s as easy as clicking a button.
The questions swirling in my mind were what I considered ‘big questions’ like: Do you live with a family or get an apartment? Because this is a viable option. Entire families will look for a ‘tutor’ who will live with them and in exchange for room and board, you teach the entire family an hour or two a day. This is fantastic as you live for free alongside having a lot of free time to explore and discover that country.
Plus, as a side effect, being immersed in the culture and surrounded by an entire family meant my love of language would be sated and surely some Hebrew would be bound to rub off. Although you’re there to teach English, you also learn another language as you interact with the family.
These ‘big questions’ are different for every person discovering the world of teaching and traveling. A world as big or small as you choose. Stay home and teach online and your world remains much the same but with an added little splash of color from around the globe. Or the other end of the spectrum is a jump in boots and all and move to another country, living with a family and truly experiencing another culture. The choice is yours. Any life you choose to lead is at your fingertips. Me, I looked at it as getting paid to travel and jumped in boots and all.
Overall the biggest perk is the travel. You see, it’s not just your country you are limited to. When there are holidays or long weekends, you are free to travel to the neighboring countries. For example: living in Central America you could stuff yourself full of Mexican food and explore Spanish Colonial towns or partake in colorful festivals during holidays, satisfying your need for culture.
Or imaging exploring Europe and getting paid for it! The possibilities are endless. Travel Asia, Central America or Europe, it doesn’t matter. Following my heart and getting paid to satisfy my thirst for knowledge, language and experiencing other cultures was the easiest and best choice I have ever made.