Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All things me..and you and maybe someone else too

My TEFL course starts Monday. If you recall that was on my list of things to do this year and I am actually doing it. OOh yea thats right keeping up with my resolutions! Ok, well some of them. I have been taking photos every day except 2 days, but shit happens. Back to the school thing, I am so excited but nervous that the thought makes me feel like I have to pee. I think that is normal though. I just know that once the course starts it will be a whirlwind of ideas and paperwork, applying for jobs and trying to save every penny to move. I have to try and narrow down where to move and then start to apply for jobs. I would love to be able to go anywhere but I don't have the money to just pick a spot and go. I also don't have my bachelor's just yet so that is a determining factor. The countries that I like and can choose from(don't require a degree) are Spain, China, Peru, and Costa Rica. Obviously they were listed by preference even if I didn't mean to when I started typing.

I have a friend who is also taking the course and it would be amazing to live together in another country and get to explore places but I feel our ideas of where to go and how things could be might be different. that being said there are pros/cons to both...for every country except China I have to pay for my own housing, flight for interview ahead of time, pay is average at best, contracts are no less than 10 months. China offers housing, reimbursed airfare and interview over phone/email so I don't have to fly there ahead of time, contracts starting at 6 months. If you look at what I wrote it seems the choice would be obvious. Unfortunately, I have wanted to visit Spain for as long as I can remember and to live there would be an amazing experience. I would love to visit China but living there has never been on the top of my list of places to retire. Its a very hard decision to make and one I will have to start really weighing soon.

Deciding to move abroad for a year or year 1/2 is huge. I have wanted to do this since I was in high school, wanted to study abroad for a semester, or a year. It never happened for one reason or another. The travel bug hit me years ago but for plenty of reasons, money mainly, I never took advantage of it. Teaching English abroad  is not just about travel for me, its about being able to do the work I want to do here now. Right now, this year, instead of in another 4-6 years. I want to teach English/ESL courses here in the US but I am not done with my degrees yet. That being said I can travel across the world, work daily as a teacher with people who don't speak English as their native language. This is a very exciting and frightening opportunity for me. I am terrified to leave my family, my boyfriend, my friends behind to do something that seems so crazy to everyone. What if I miss something awesome here? How do you keep a relationship or friendship intact when you are 6/14 hours ahead of them, or can't talk on the phone like you do here? Is it possible to come back and fall back into step with all the people in your life? Will this opportunity help or hurt me in the future? There is a lot to think about, one thing is for sure I will be going somewhere outside of the US before the end of 2011. Chicago is a beautiful city but it is time for me to explore what is happening outside of it.

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