Teach Your Way Around the World

WRITTEN BY BETH CARROLL

Teaching in certain countries can leave you feeling drained and beaten down by the system. If you’re unhappy, consider going international. It’s easy to do and will enrich your life beyond measure! Beth has taught in South Korea, India, and the Dominican Republic. See what she thinks of using her teaching skills to take her around the globe…

Hiking the Annapurnas in Nepal

Hiking the Annapurnas in Nepal – my favourite travel experience thus far!

I LOVE MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!

My life right now is teaching sweet kids at a gorgeous little school in the rainforest in the Dominican Republic. I surf and paddleboard on the weekends. I go to professional development conferences in Mexico. And I take vacations in places like Guatemala.

You could say that I’m living the life I want. Definitely! I’m happy, healthy, completely stress-free, and balanced. It wasn’t always this way though. It took getting through a difficult divorce and getting out of my country to make it to where I am today.

Happy me, living the life I want

WHY NOT?

After my husband and I split up at the age of 26, it took a couple of months to warm up to the idea of moving abroad. But, with nothing to lose, I finally just said, ‘Why not?’ to a Korean man who was asking me to come teach at his school in Incheon.

It seems like a huge decision, but it’s not as scary as you think. What’s a year or two? If you don’t like it, you can come back. But if you do like it…

If you do like it, then life feels like this!

If you do like it, then life feels like this!

So, I stored a few boxes at Mom and Dad’s, got on the plane in Moncton, Canada, and off the plane in South Korea. I’d planned on staying a year, and ended up staying three. Yes, it was a culture shock at first and wasn’t always easy. But after a few months, I started having more fun and amazing experiences than I’d ever had before.

Those years were instrumental in shaping the life I have now. I did a lot of self-discovery, traveling, and made the best friends of my life!

Some of the special friends I’ve made along the way

INDIA 

After my three years (during which time I paid off all my debts and traveled to amazing places like Tibet and Australia), my friend and I went on a three-month backpack/hiking trip through Nepal and India. To this day, nothing has truly rivaled the time I spent in the Himalayas!

Hiking in India

I decided to continue teaching abroad. I joined TIEonline to start my international teaching life. TIE stands for ‘The International Educator.’ I took a job in Bangalore in India for a year. Then I moved to the Dominican Republic, where I remain, going into my third year.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

I have a peaceful, happy, and very fulfilling life. The idea of going back home to the rat race, doing a lot of substitute or short-term jobs I don’t want for years before I can get my own classroom again – and then dealing with the education cuts that have resulted in more stress for teachers – just doesn’t appeal to me right now.

Life inside my classroom 

Yes, I’ve given up some measure of stability, and sometimes it does feel strange to be living such a different life from my friends back home, who are on retirement paths in more-or-less secure jobs. But, in my mind, it’s a small price to pay to live a happy life.

I’ll be dead one day. I want to enjoy my time on this planet as much as possible. I love everything in my life right now, and how many people can say that?

I love my life!

If you are thinking of making a change, ask yourself:

‘If fear were not a factor, would I do it?’

Ask yourself that question. Fear is always a factor. It’s the thing that stops us from truly living. Ask yourself that question. Then feel the fear and do it anyway!

FURTHER INFORMATION

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6 responses to “Teach Your Way Around the World

  1. Beth,
    What a lovely article. Nice to see how well taking that first big step has turned out for you 🙂
    Linda (Krista’s mom)

  2. Beth,

    Well done! You are an inspiration to many. It’s great to see a local gal do so well, and the strength to do it solo is amazing. Cheers to many, many happy years ahead!

    Leah Belding

  3. thanks you guys! i appreciate the kind words so much! if any reader out there has any questions at all, i’d be happy to answer them! just leave a comment. 🙂 happy life!

  4. Hey Beth, I have a few friends who are interested in teaching abroad, but they are unsure whether or not to secure jobs while living in the U.S. or rather to get one when they arrive somewhere. Do you have any advice about this?

  5. i would totally try to secure a job before leaving the country. although possible, it’s really hard to find jobs once you’re in the country. also the visa requirements are easier to obtain from your home country. what kind of jobs are they looking for? for esl jobs in asia, they can start with dave’s esl cafe: eslcafe.com for teaching jobs, they can start with sites like tieonline.com ($40/year membership). good luck! 🙂

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