One of my best friends is home after a six-month stint abroad. You name it, she’s ticked it off: international romance, meeting new friends, hitchhiking even. How did she afford it? She taught English, and while she was based in Turkey, she had the opportunity to see tons of other places while in Europe.
Another just finished winding her way across the US, and has now landed in the UK hoping to find work in the journalism field…and I will most definitely be watching with interest to see how she fares. Because I don’t want the “traditional” OE – quite frankly, I don’t think I could hack working any old service type job. I’ve been there, done that; I like my cushy desk job. In an office, the worst I can do is spill food onto my keyboard or fall off my chair (true story). I couldn’t be on my feet all day, especially when there’s so much potential to break glasses or spill wine on customers (the tipping point at which I quit waitressing).
Now I’ve nearly dealt to the emergency fund, it’s time to start seriously thinking about saving for a) a car someday and b) some real travel.
When I finally get to travel, I’m happy to do some backpacking and stay in hostels, but I want to be able to fully enjoy and experience the surroundings. Not interested in slumming it. Increasingly, I’m wondering if getting TESOL certified might be one way to do it – especially if we’re talking Europe. Or simply remaining based here, and taking, say, a one or two-week trip abroad every other year or so. I mean, I know they say visiting a place is not the same as living there, but I think the holiday experience would sate me just fine.
BF doesn’t have the travel bug like I do – and it didn’t really help hearing tales of how two friends ran out of money while overseas. He’s reasonably keen to visit Europe, but has no burning interest in seeing the States. Unless, of course, he gets to go see a live wrestling show. Or Letterman. I’ve promised we will. (Nor is he particularly keen on working overseas. If he’d decided to go down the teaching path after all, the UK would probably be a relatively easy option. But he didn’t, and instead, he’ll be staying put for a while to hopefully build a career.)
Ah, but the food! I’ve reminded him of all the amazing cuisines that we’re dying to experience firsthand. As I told Revanche, we would love to do a foodie tour of the US (Mexican! Cajun! IHOP! Seafood! Cheese steak! Bagels! Er….pizza?). And all the flavours of Malaysia. France. Spain. Italy. Surely even the UK has something to offer in that department. And then he concedes that yes, that would be nothing short of astounding.
Who’s lived and worked in a foreign country? What was your experience like?