I got a crazy idea yesterday. An idea I didn’t think would have again…
I want to live abroad.
The realization came as I began to plan out my life over the next few years. In my day dream I saw apartments filled with fluffy couches and pretty curtains, I saw a new car, I saw a job where I worked regular 8-5 hours, and I saw weekends with friends. I saw Texas.
And while all of this sounds perfectly fine, it’s just that. Fine. It’s not exciting, or amazing, or a can’t-fall-asleep-because-my-life-is-so-awesome feeling. It’s just fine.
I don’t want to settle for “fine”. I want my life to be all those other adjectives, but not “fine”.
When I graduated from college I participated in a program where I taught English in France for seven months. I was terrified and wasn’t quite set on the idea, but I went, I did it, and I loved every second. I loved living in a different culture. I loved being able to practice my French. I loved being able to travel across Europe on school holidays. Of course there were times when I was homesick and lonely, but overall, the experience was amazing.
I want to have a similar experience, one where I’m exploring the world and learning about cultures, people, and places, before I’m too set in my ways. I want to experience this before I have a job, before I have a boyfriend or husband, and before I have children. I’m afraid if I wait too long, I won’t want to leave my life here for something unknown across the world. I’m afraid that if I don’t go now, I’ll miss my chance and will never go.
So yesterday I began researching programs to teach English abroad. I could go to China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Brazil… there are endless choices.
Most of the programs offer benefits including free airfare, housing, health insurance, and paid vacation. Who wouldn’t want to go with incentives like that?
My mom thinks I’m being irresponsible. She says I should wait to hear about my job offer. She says I should work for a year to pay off some of my loans. But I don’t want to do that. Like I said, I’m afraid that if I don’t go now, I’ll never go. Once I have a job, I’ll be too comfortable with a steady income to want to give it up. Now seems like the perfect time. I don’t have a job. I don’t have a car. I don’t have a boyfriend. I wouldn’t be giving anything up.
But if I don’t go I’ll be giving up on an adventure. I’ll be giving up on life experiences.
I know I seem so undecided about everything on my blog right now. Honestly, that’s how I feel. One day I want to be a substitute teacher living at home with my mom. The next I want to move to Korea for a year. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I had gotten a job offer right out of grad school. I would have been working for 3 months now. My life wouldn’t be filled with so much indecision, but I also wouldn’t be considering this amazing opportunity to travel and see the world. Nothing is set in stone yet. I’m still researching programs online. I’m still talking to friends who teaching abroad. I’m still trying to convince you to go with me. I’m still brainstorming. But really, this might happen!
And while it may a bit irresponsible to get up and try something like this out of the blue, I also think this is what they call living.
What do you call living?