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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Moving To Europe and Teaching Abroad

MissDirection. What a perfect name for me/my blog. What am I doing? Where am I going? I can’t believe I’m actually taking the leap and moving abroad. I enrolled in a TEFL class, so in 11 weeks I will be a certified ESL Teacher deciding where to apply for jobs. I will be leaving in August to go to Florence for 6 weeks to be an au pair for the family I lived with a couple of summers ago. I’m so happy they’ve decided to have me because this will be a great transition into figuring out where to live and getting my shit together before I jump into the job market. I’ll be in a comfortable, familiar place like the calm before the storm.

Florence is my happy place. My soul feels whole and my heart becomes giddy. I can’t help but smile walking through the city. I must look like a lunatic, but that is the one place where I am just genuinely, truly happy. I can’t wait to be there and just enjoy being present.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy 

Loving San Gimignano, tucked away in the Tuscan Hills.
September/October is the hiring season for teachers, which is when I will have interviews. I am probably going to apply in Spain and some cities around Italy. Since most language schools in Europe don’t offer contracts to their teachers, I can stay for as long or as short as I want. I’m thinking I’ll stay at my first job for at least 6 months, enjoy Spain or Italy, then see how I feel. Who knows, I may want to stay! It’s hard to make plans this early, though. I can guess and “plan” all I want, but I don’t know what is going to happen. I prefer to have a loose idea of what I want, then to wing it after that. It always works out better that way for me…ok, well, not always. I guess I just enjoy the freedom of choice.

I am a college graduate with no savings (thanks to rent and my TEFL course), student loans due in a few months and I’m planning this move to Europe. It sounds crazy, right? Well, it is. If you're feeling generous or believe in my dream, you can donate to my GoFundMe campaign. I would be forever grateful! I honestly don’t know what I’m doing, but my heart is telling me I have to. Corny, I know, but despite my lack of funds, I do have a plan, which I will talk about in another post. 

Before I even thought of starting a blog of my own, I remember looking for a travel blog with advice and a real story of the struggle other people had to go through in order to get to where they were. I hated reading all the awesome stuff without mention of the hard work it took to make enough money for their trip or figuring out logistics or worrying about having enough savings before their departure. I wanted to hear about those things because that’s what makes it real. That’s what I want to give to those of you out there who want to know what it really takes, which is why I’ve decided to document my pre-departure. It’s not going to be easy, and that’s ok. Hard work is what makes the payoff even sweeter. I can’t wait to get started.