I didn’t start helping people teach English abroad as part of some big life plan. In fact, I was never one of those people who knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I don’t even remember being a child who fantasized about becoming a doctor or a pilot or an astronaut. Back then, I only knew one thing for sure (or so I thought): I didn’t want to be a teacher.
So how the hell did I end up teaching English abroad?
Well, I knew that I wanted to explore the world, and that desire was constantly nagging at my heart, telling me there was so much more than my little bubble on the West Coast, USA.
I wanted to listen to that.
But I didn’t know how I could afford to.
Until I found teaching abroad.
A-ha! I thought. This must be my ticket to the world!
I signed up for a TEFL certification course.
I got a short-term job in Thailand (just in case I didn’t like it).
I bought a one-way ticket (just in case I did).
In the midst of all of that, I started a blog where I told about my journey as a solo female traveler traversing the world one classroom at a time (I went on to teach in China after Thailand).
That blog grew all on its own, I swear. I had no idea what I was doing as a blogger.
Eventually, one of my current partners reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in becoming an authorized reseller of their TEFL certification courses.
That’s a thing? I responded.
I’d already been helping people teach in Thailand and China as a result of the experience and know-how I’d gained through trial and error. People reached out to me on my blog with all kinds of questions about how I got started, how I faced my fear and left everything behind (including my sweet Puggle, Elvis :(), what it was like to teach when I didn’t speak the language, etc. and it was so rewarding to have a part in another person’s life-changing decision to move abroad.
I’m a huge advocate that travel is the best education. We learn so much about ourselves, the world, and our place in it by opening our hearts and our minds to different cultures, different perspectives, different ways of life. It changes us. Always for the better.
So I said yes. Absolutely. I’d like to continue helping others teach abroad.
That was four years ago, and Teach English: ESL is going strong today. I’ve personally helped hundreds of people change their lives by teaching English abroad, and it makes me all teary-eyed when they write to tell me just how much they’ve grown/changed/overcome. To know that they are subsequently making a positive impact on their students, inspiring those who know them to chase their dreams, and doing their part to make the world a more welcoming and understanding place, renews my hope that, together, we really can blur the lines of the globe.
We learn so much about ourselves, the world, and our place in it by opening our hearts and our minds to different cultures, different perspectives, different ways of life. It changes us. Always for the better.