As an adult, and a child, I had always envied people who could travel all over the globe. I had always thought, “I can’t do that, I’ve got to save money, and I make minimum wage.” There has always been some barrier that prevented me from traveling. Money, people, family, possessions, love, time, the list goes on.
Then my life changed. I broke up with my boyfriend and lost my job at the age of 27. What was stopping me from traveling? Money! Money has always been a problem for me. I was raised in poverty, took out student loans to attend college, and have always lived paycheck to paycheck. Actually, it wasn’t until I turned about 25 that this became a real problem. I was used to it. But I wanted more. Not necessarily things, but I wanted more experiences and could not do that on my budget.
After I completed my Bachelor’s degree, I got a great job teaching preschool. I would work 8-4 Monday through Thursday with a comfortable wage. This is the American dream right? But inside my mind, I always felt jealous of people who could and did travel. Soon after receiving the job, I got fired. I told myself, “GO!”
I got my passport with my very last paycheck. I thought I’d save or make some money to take a vacation. Well, when you don’t have a job, that’s not possible. First you have to buy the plane tickets, the hotel, transportation, food, entertainment, ect and that adds up faster than any job can pay. On top of that, you still have bills like rent, car, credit cards, student loans, phone, and everything else. Vacationing just isn’t that easy!
Time is all I had at the moment. Tons of time!
I had met a couple new people, one was a yoga instructor named Jules. Her and I hit it off quickly. I enjoyed her vibe and presence she gave to people she met. While talking at tea one evening, she told me she was going to Hawaii to continue learning yoga as well as teaching it. I thought this was amazing, but felt a bit jealous that she could travel to Hawaii and make money while there.
On the drive home, I thought to myself, “I have a skill, it’s teaching. I want to travel. Why am I not using my skill to travel?” From that moment, it clicked. I could travel the world. Teaching is an amazing profession! I had an acquaintance that had taught in Taiwan a couple years previously. I sent him a message asking for the agency’s information. As soon as I received the information, I applied, went through the hiring process, and got the job! I was headed to Taiwan to teach English!
One does not need to have a teaching background in order to teach English overseas. One must only have a degree and be a native English speaker.
From the time I applied for the job to the time I arrived in Taiwan was a little over one month. I got rid of most of my possessions, spent time with the people I care about the most, drove taxi for income, and basically rid my life of meaninglessness. I took two suitcases with me to Taiwan.
The pay is more than twice as much as the average Taiwanese person makes even though I only work four hours per day. The agency pays for housing. Food is much cheaper than in the states. One can buy a filling, healthy meal in Taiwan for less than $3 American.
As much as I need nothing materialistic, it can be tough. One thing I would recommend is to fix your bank by letting them know you are moving, get a cell phone plan as soon as you get off the plane, and download a translating app on your phone.
All in all, anyone can travel around the world and get paid for it if you have the gumption to leave everything you have ever known behind to start all over.