If you have an exotic landscape as your background, read more maps than books, research new destinations in your free time, and get weekly e-mails with discounted flight rates, then you might be a traveler in workforce clothing. Chances are that you find your daily work grind to be the shackles of your existence and it’s only until you’re on the road or in the sky that you finally feel free.
There are two sides to the spectrum: those who shrink away from long-term career offers that they know would hinder their travel days and those who are so involved in their day-to-day tasks that traveling is something they only dream about. If you’re unwilling to commit to the vagabond life or the die-hard career life, then the answer lies in the middleground.
Travel While You Work
For some careers, traveling can enhance your work productivity. Freelance artists (writers, photographers, etc.) can easily work away from home, as well as most businessmen, and scientists. Whether you are doing field work, gathering materials, or attending a relevant seminar, you can create the opportunity to have a “working vacation.” If you’re a student, then PLEASE study abroad or take the summer off and explore. Whatever the case, if you’ve got the kind of job that would let you do it, then find the place and go!
Work Hard Travel Harder
If you don’t have the kind of job that would let you travel while you work, then seize every opportunity to travel! Take a trip on holidays, save up your sick days for an epic month-long trip, and make weekends into mini-adventures. I know this means that you have to work extra hard for a bit, but that saying didn’t come out of nowhere. Trust me, it’s worth the rush of fresh air. If you’re not someone with a career or obligations then work extremely hard for 3-5 months during high-season, blow it off for the rest of the year, and do it all over again!
Make Time Not Excuses
I know that the grind can get the best of you. The appointments, deadlines, parties, hobbies, and oh my gosh why are there always dishes in the sink!?! But that’s when you need to slow down and ask yourself what you really want. If your priority is your career, or to have a hoppin’ social life, or to have your house featured on HGTV, then that’s okay! But you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. You’re here because traveling is your priority now and you’re ready to get some perspective- far away from the routine of your life. So when you say you don’t “have time” to travel, then it’s time to make some. You’re more in control than you think.
On the Cheap
Is economics the only thing holding you back from your adventure? All you need is a traveler’s credit card, an e-mail price check alert with Kayak, and the resolve to go through with it. Credit cards always have a bunch of promotional sign-up offers just to get you going and airlines have a new sale every week. Get your mind to it, pool your resources, pick a place, and once that price drops then make it happen! Don’t let your bank account dictate what you can and can’t do, you’re better than that I promise.
Eyes on the Prize
You’re in a travel drought, stuck in a whirlwind of obligations, and your inspiration feels like it’s being sucked out of you. It’s gotten to the point where you wish there was a “resent” button for all of the nature pictures on your Instagram feed. This is not the time to give up and accept your fate. This is the time to dig deep and pull your passions up for the world to see. Spin the globe around and see where your finger lands, go to the bookstore and run through the travel aisles, become absorbed with a new place and let your daydreams run their course. You have to feel it first.
So, sometimes life is pretty overbearing, but it’s all about finding the balance. How do YOU cope with your travel urges? Shed some light on us!
Top 5 Latin American Countries To Teach English In
Sprawling, untouched landscapes, with affordable delicacies, and a relaxing atmosphere: the essence of Paradise. Whenever we think about Latin America, that’s what comes to mind. Latin America is an alluring destination to teach English due to its laid back culture, where the students are eager to learn and the processing logistics are simple. You might not leave with much savings, but you’ll get paid enough to live comfortably and to experience the bounties of each country. With beaches, rivers, mountains, jungles, and a population yearning for the English language, there are a lot of Latin American countries that have the perfect balance of practicality and adventure. Here are our favorites:
As the neighbor of The United States, Mexico offers endless opportunities for English teachers. It is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, with one of the largest and most diversified economies. With a booming industry in tourism, global trade, and natural resources, learning English is a necessary asset from business executives to waiters and to doctors alike. Because of its high demand for English, Mexico is the only Latin country where you can find an English teaching job year round. Teaching English as a Specific Purpose (ESP) is also utilized greatly as well as plenty of Language Centers and high schools. Not to mention, the vastness of Mexico offers outdoor activities from dune bugging in the desert to scuba diving in the World’s Aquarium and exploring the numerous “Magic Towns.” There will never be a dull moment!
Consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, and a gem of the Latin world, Costa Rica is one of the best places to teach English. With high human development, a rapidly growing economy, and a progressive environmental policy, heck, who wouldn’t want to live there? With lush rainforests, pristine beaches for surfing, and arguably the juiciest fruit in the world, Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Ecotourism is a hot market there right now, so locals are ravenous to learn English. Leave the tie and power suits at home, teachers! You’re in Paradise now.
Affectionately known as the California of South America, Chile is an extremely diverse landscape, with a long coastline, high mountains in the North, and Patagonia to the south, with a world class wine producing region in the middle. In Chile there is a steady, stable, thriving economy and the demand for English grows with it. It is probably one of the only Latin countries where obtaining a legal work visa is the norm, and where the salary for teachers will make you feel like middle class. Cities like Santiago, Valparaiso, or Concepción are where you can find a majority of jobs. No matter what you’re into, there is something for everyone.
Colombia has been on the up-and-up for two decades now after suffering from drug violence and political turmoil (see: Netflix’s Narcos). Upon eradicating the world’s biggest drug lord and all of his bannermen, Colombia has been able to stabilize politically and reform economically to become one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. And where there is money, there is English. Bogota and Medellin have become centers of commerce and culture, known for their colorful markets and hoppin’ nightlife. Colombia has beautiful beaches, the best coffee ever, and a fascinating history (see: Netflix’s Narcos (seriously).
Peru is a wondrous place to live, from the soaring beauty of the Andes and the legendary rain forests of the Amazon to the enchanting mystery of Machu Picchu and the colonial charm of Cusco. Since the 2000s, Peru has experienced an economic boom from improving trade terms with the United States, meaning, you guessed it, English is becoming more and more necessary to ensure good business. You can find most jobs in Peru’s capital city of Lima, the largest and most economically centralized city.
If your skin is aching for Vitamin D, your soul yearns for the fresh air in the mountains, and your muscles need recovering in the relaxing ocean currents, then you need the Latin American treatment. For teachers, Spanish-speaking students will always make you feel like a friend as well as a respected member of society without all of the stuffiness. Here, you’re practically required not to take things too seriously; instead, it’s high-time to take it easy and have fun while you teach. So, readers! What else do you want to know about teaching in Latin America before buying your ticket?
The best way to keep me going is to look toward the future. Putting one foot in front of another just so I don’t sink into the appealing yet dreadful quicksand of a stagnant, complacent, albeit comfortable life. While I scramble trying to prioritize my life, I realize that traveling is a necessary component to a well-rounded mindset. But there are still so many things that I think about before I set my plans to stone. These are some factors I consider during my thought process:
Which Country Is Hoppin’ Right Now
Economic stability, political goings-on, major social events, the weather, there’s so much happening everywhere all the time that it makes it seem impossible to just pick a place! So I’ll write down the first 5 countries that pop into my head and research until my head explodes. Wikipedia, BBC Country Profile, and Google Maps become verbs at this point as I become a sponge for all pertinent information. Each country has so much to offer but in the end there can only be one, and from there I can decide on other, more personal, directions.
What Lifestyle Do I Want
I’m a pretty adaptable person and I want to feel all variations and shades of life, so figuring out what I want to embody on my next adventure is a biggie. Do I want a job and an apartment? Or a couchsurfing, vagabond life? Maybe just a quick and comfy touristy visit at an Air BnB? How about a volunteering gig at a local’s with room and board? It basically comes down to where I want to sleep, how much money I’m willing to work with, and what I want to pack. This also determines how long I’m going to stay. Mostly, though, it’s about immersing yourself fully into the culture, no matter how you want to approach it.
What Do I Want To Take Away From The Experience
I know that traveling will teach me things that books can’t, but why am I really doing this? Am I doing this to improve my resume, enrich my cultural perspective, or to push myself to the extremes to see what I’m made of? This is when I realize my priorities and what I want to make of them. Right now, I’m a teacher, writer, and avid explorer, so which one of these am I going to enhance? In the end, I’m one big whole encompassing it all, and strengthening one aspect of myself will inevitably shape another.
Where Will I Go From There
Life is like a chess game, at least to me, and I always want to stay 6 steps ahead. Even though I know, from experience, that nothing ever goes as planned and that I should just renounce all control to save myself the headache. However, I still need to make a logical sequence of things for my own sake. It’s good to exhibit some self-evaluation, right? If I know what I want to come next, then I know how to steer situations so I can start making my dreams come true. If I don’t know my dreams, then I won’t make anything happen for myself. Keep dreaming, y’all!
Am I Ready?