My thoughts on my move out of America to travel the world and what I did to get here!
My worst nightmare is that I stop learning, get lost in someone else, or have my intuition dulled. By the time death takes me, I’m full of regrets and what if’s, I haven’t seen the world, I don’t know myself, my purpose, or my desires. At the same time, I’m afraid I won’t find love when I find myself.ME
I’ve officially been living in Vietnam now for about three months.
I left America because I felt like coming here would allow me to find myself. It sounds super cliché, but I know I wouldn’t have continued to grow if I didn’t leave. I never would have discovered the strength inside of myself to become more of myself. These profound capabilities I have disinterred would have remained dormant for far too long. If I hadn’t decided to do this, I would have felt stuck and trapped in a life I didn’t long for, and I probably would have settled for it. Moving out of the country alone is hands down the scariest, yet best thing I have ever done… and I’m only 3 months deep.
I won’t lie to you and say it’s everything I have ever wanted and I’ll never leave, because I will leave. I told myself I would stay here for at least 1 year, and that’s what I’ll do, but I won’t be coming home anytime soon.
After I finish my time here in Vietnam, it’s on to the next country, and I am ecstatic for the journey that lies in front of me…the journey that I myself am creating, with nobody else, just me. SO PRIME, I fucking love saying that. As I type it, I am grinning ear to ear. No compromises, no permission needed, only my decisions and my choices only. I think it’s so badass and its proven to of been the only way to really discover myself and show me my worth.
I chose Vietnam because it’s one of the the cheapest countries to live in while making the most money. I am able to live in a different country, meet new people, save a shit ton of money, explore, travel…. all while taking on a new career path thats dedicated to traveling the world.
It’s been a long process settling in and finding a set schedule and new routine. However, I am conditioned to always find the good in everything, to be invincible, and to know that hard situations are just exceptional life lessons.
Finally, about 3 months into being here, I can see the light that all of my hard work is bringing about. Here’s my work schedule:
M 7:30 – 10:30 cover teaching, 2:00 – 4:00 cover teaching, 4:45 – 6:45 private tutoring
T 7:30 – 10:30 cover teaching, 2:00 – 4:00 cover teaching, 6:00 – 9:00 online teaching
W 7:30 – 10:30 cover teaching, 2:00 – 4:00 cover teaching, 5:30 – 6:30 arts and crafts, 8:00 – 11:00 online teaching
TH 7:30 – 10:30 cover teaching, 2:00 – 4:00 cover teaching, 4:45 – 6:45 private tutoring, 8:00 – 11:00 online teaching
F 7:30 – 10:30 cover teaching, 2:00 – 4:00 cover teaching, 5:30 – 6:30 phonics, 6:30 – 7:30 storytelling
S 8:00 – 10:00 am phonics, 10:00 – 11:00 reading, 3:00 – 4:00 p, cooking class
SU off day
Looks crazy because it is crazy, haha. That’s what happens when you’re getting settled in, I guess. However, I decided to take on such a work load so I can learn as much as possible. I want to be a great teacher, and the best way to do that is to teach. I teach whenever I possibly can, so I will know it like the back of my hand. My goal is to be as good at teaching as I am at training.
THE PLAN IS if I can teach as much as possible in person, I will have created lesson plans over time that I can use again and again. I have made it a point to teach phonics because that is the basis of learning the English language. After I am done teaching my 6 month phonics courses, I can teach phonics anywhere and will know exactly what to do. By creating a stable base like this, I can confidently travel anywhere and present myself confidently as a great teacher.
My line of thinking was the first country I would move to would be a “sacrifice.” By this, I mean that it wasn’t going to be my first country of choice. I originally wanted to go to Nicaragua, Mexico or Costa Rica (any Latin American country where I could get tan and go swimming, duh).
It’s crazy to think that I am finally building the life I’ve always dreamed of. I have had the settled down life with a home, pets, and a relationship, and while all of it was nice, I still dreamed of doing what I am doing now…that was always the real me knocking. It took massive heartbreak and a lot of hard work, but I took the first step and now I’m here. Everyday as I ride my moped to work I can’t help it — I have a smile plastered to my face as I realize this is just the beginning, and I’m already this happy. (By the way, you haven’t lived until you have driven a moped in Vietnam listening to your favorite song.)
I meet a lot of other teachers and expats that say they only want to do this for a little while, and then go back to a ‘real’ life, and I just laugh (in my head, because I’m a polite ass bitch). What is a ‘real’ life, anyways? If a real life to you is getting buying a home with a mortgage and being married with a 9 -5 job, that’s cool, as long as it makes you happy. I can tell you right now though, there is no such thing as a ‘real’ job. Your real job is whatever you want it to be, whatever makes you happy. I’m not out here for a time being only to go back to a mundane life that I hate, I am out here making something of myself. I have already had a mundane life with my own house, living the “American Dream,” and it sucks.
What I did/what I am doing:
I signed up with International TEFL Academy January 2018 and paid around $1,700 to take the TEFL course in person in Hanoi, Vietnam.
- I have no idea what the online course is like, but I highly recommend doing the course in person. I am beyond words. I have learned so much being here amongst other people with the same outlook on life as me. Being immersed in the culture, teaching practices in an actual classroom, feedback from my peers, and having a trainer was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Not only did I learn how to teach, but I learned so much about myself and have made life long friends and connections.
I teach at English Centers and Schools. Both are very different when it comes to curriculum, but I wanted to learn both so I would be more well rounded.
I teach phonics. Phonics is often overlooked but it is the most important step when learning english. I do a lot of extra work preparing for my phonics lessons, but I keep all of my lesson plans and powerpoints, so eventually, I can use my course designs over and over again with little to no work.
I am teaching online. I refuse to teach children online. I am around kids all fucking day, I am not about to sit in front of a computer and teach more of them when I get home. Lucky for me, I ran into a fellow expat at the gym one day and we met up for lunch. He told me about an online teaching company called Likeshuo, its basically conversation practice for adults! It was a long process and a bitch to et the job (haha) but I finally started. I’ll let you know in another blogpost how it goes…
With the schedule I posted above, I make about $3,000 per month and my cost of living is around $800 (includes rent, gas, moped, fun, food, extras…)
I used to look at people who are doing what I’m doing and think “FUCK I wish that was me… I wish I was doing that.” Then one day, I just did it, and you can, too.