When people ask me, “What do you do?” I struggle to answer succinctly. I know they’re asking how I make a living, but what I do is so much more than just the thing that brings me an income. It’s a lifestyle and path I chose not for the money, but to do something that would inspire and excite me and take me anywhere in the world I wanted to go.
In short, I’m a language lover, an English teacher, a Cambridge CELTA Teacher Trainer, a writer, a marketer, a traveler, an adventurer and the co-owner of Teaching House, a TEFL/TESOL certification school Ryan and I founded in New York City in 2007 when we moved to the U.S. from Spain. It was meant to be a short, two-year stint in the States so I could get my MA in English Education at Columbia University Teachers College, but because of our schools, that two years quickly became six.
Teaching House is now the largest Cambridge CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) Center in the world, having grown from the one little school we built in New York City, with courses taught by me and Ryan at the start, to 14 schools across the United States in Manhattan, Boston, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, L.A., Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland and Washington D.C.
When I took off for Russia at the age of 22 and Ryan took off for Thailand at the age of 19, I think both our parents hoped we’d quickly exhaust our wanderlust then settle down into a sensible life working at a desk and looking forward to the two weeks of vacation a year in which we could be free to travel where we wanted.
But that didn’t happen.
What did happen was both Ryan and I became English teachers, taking jobs abroad in countries that excited our imagination until we got tired of sitting still too long and picked up and took a job in another country. And though people told us eventually we’d have to give it up and get a “real job,” that path led us to becoming successful teacher trainers and opening a school that certifies teachers and encourages them to do exactly as we did – travel the world teaching, learning and experiencing cultures while supporting themselves with an income that provides a comfortable life.
To learn more about what Ryan and I do and Teaching House, this interview with TeachingTraveling.com offers some insight.
Create Your Own Work/Life Balance
If you’re looking for inspiration on to merge your love for travel and still maintain your income stream, you can check out my blog posts on working abroad. You can also take a peak inside the lives of some of the other people we have met on our travels who are out there living (and thriving) on their own terms in my Inspirational Nomads Series, where I interview travelers around the world about working abroad and living their dreams.
It doesn’t just have to be a dream. You, too, can make this your reality!