It wasn’t until my trip to London this January that I realized how amazing international travel is. I fell in love with seeing new places, meeting people from all over the world, and eating native food. After living the fast pace lifestyle in the Washington, DC area for 5 years, I was ready for a change. Once I came home from my trip, I started looking for opportunities to make a living while traveling the world. That is when my sister suggested I consider teaching English abroad. As a finance and IT professional of 7 years, never did I think my career would switch such directions to something I only dreamed of as a child. I remember staring at my computer screen at 11:55 PM one March evening debating if I should purchase the online TEFL class with a $400 discount expiring in only minutes. Using the advice my mother always told me, I made a pro and con list. With only two downsides, being far away from family and it being scary, I took the leap of faith and registered for the class. About a month later, I traveled across the globe to Thailand with two friends on an unforgettable trip. The views, food, and the people I met sealed the deal on my decision.
As soon as I returned from Thailand, my online class started, and the next chapter of my life began to unravel. During the months of May through October, I was working crazy hours on a demanding project at work, spending 10-12 hours a week on class work, teaching two night classes a week, jumping through hoops to gather all the documentation for my visa, preparing for my move, all while trying to maintain my composure at work. I was like a swan, calm on the surface but padding like hell underneath. I was extremely overwhelmed and hit a low that I could not get out of. It wasn’t until I submitted my visa application that I finally was able to take a sigh of relief. At that point, I knew that this was out of my control and if I got my visa, it was meant to be. Four weeks to that day, my visa arrived in the mail. When I was opening that package, I felt a range of emotions. That was the only thing that would hold me back and there it was in my hands. That following Monday, I gave my manager my notice. The last three weeks of work was very bittersweet. The company is truly a unique place and the best part is the people. I will cherish the memories and the friendships I made and hope to stay in touch.
After months of preparation and an emotional roller coaster, I can say I am ready for this adventure and cannot wait to see where life takes me. Join me on this journey of a lifetime.