One of my biggest faults has always been that while I enjoy myself in-the-moment, I’m always looking ahead to the next step. Living in Spain taught me the importance of simply appreciating each day rather than waiting for the next great thing to happen. However, since I’ve returned from Madrid, I’ve constantly asked myself, “what’s next?”.
Although it would seem that the opportunities are endless, I’m not in the same position I was in 2 years ago. As a recent graduate, I was ready to go anywhere, and while discouraged to move abroad by some, most people understood my desire to travel. Now, the inevitability of “adulthood” is no longer some distant fantasy. This is adulthood.
Option 1: Teach English Abroad
When I mention my desire to continue traveling despite also wanting a career, I sometimes hear, “why don’t you continue teaching?”. This suggestion never comes from family members, though, as anyone who’s lived abroad knows that family often tries to keep you as close as possible. Rather, this question usually arises from those who haven’t taught English abroad.
Would I consider this again? Possibly. Depending on the location, the benefits, and the potential for longevity, this is something I could consider. Although I’ve mentioned that teaching isn’t necessarily my primary passion, it’s something that I do enjoy and excel at. I also still desire a life of travel, although my idea of this has shifted towards one with greater stability than that of a backpacker.
Why might I be opposed to this? At this stage, I feel as though if I teach English abroad again, I’ll have to consider staying for a longer period of time. I’ve been blessed with amazingly supportive parents, but I wouldn’t expect them to help me in this way 5 years from now. While I’ve been told not to worry about this too much, I believe parental support can’t last forever, particularly for an independent person. In addition, it would mean that I’d have to deal with a more long-term life completely away from familial ties.
Verdict: If I go down this route, I’ll stick to this career for a little while longer. My goal would be to obtain more credentials in this, and continue traveling for the foreseeable future. The idea of going abroad for one more year, only to be back in an uncertain position, isn’t a great one.
Option 2: “Wait it out” (Job Search)
While it has been less than a week since I’ve returned to my “home”, I began applying for positions a few weeks ago. The tricky part has been that although I’ve been traveling through North America during these past two months, I’ve been looking for a position in specific metropolitan areas. There are namely two that I’m mainly interested in, although I don’t live in either of them.
Should I consider making this a reality for a while? When people say, “it takes a while” [in regards to finding a job], nothing is exaggerated. When searching for good – and suitable – employment, one needs to be patient. That is especially true when your searching has mostly been conducted online, rather than meeting people face-to-face. As someone who thrives off of face-to-face interviews, it’s been difficult for me to deal with how passive this approach is.
Why might I be opposed to this? I would never be opposed to finding a job I feel strongly about, particularly if it’s for a company I align with. However, for someone as impatient as I am, it’s not fun to play the waiting-game.
Option 3: Move… Anywhere
This is the most unstable option of the three, but the most gratifying in the short-term. While I’m currently planning for a slightly more long-term future, I also have the freedom to pick up and go anywhere I want. This option would imply that I pick a place, take my stuff, and go. Although this requires some much-needed funds, an adventurous (and slightly insane?) person can make it work.
Should I consider this? This is the one I would choose if I was willing to take extreme risks. It would be an interesting way to get to any random location I would want to be in, and make it work. It’s also the most adventurous. It’s possible to do this in a slightly-more-stable way by applying for work-travel visas, considering I still have quite a few years to go before my “youth” status expires.
Why might I be opposed to this? Because despite being an adventurous, curious, and bold person, I’m also strategic. I’m not interested in pursuing a very short-term type of employment, because despite my exploratory nature, it’s unwise for anyone to have little-to-no financial support.
Verdict: Sometimes, I think I might still at least apply to do this, considering I’ve always wanted to experience places like Australia (which are otherwise difficult to get to). However, the first two options might be better to bet on for now.
Regardless of which option I decide to pursue, it appears as though I’m in a fortunate – yet also difficult – position. This might be acceptable for some people, but as a person with a daily-type-B/long-term-type-A personality, it’s sometimes hard to accept certain things and situations while also attempting to rationalize the normalcy of this life. Although I don’t constantly worry about this, I believe the writing-it-out process can be helpful. In the near future, I could be reading this as some hilariously erratic entry. For now, this is my reality.
Have you ever been in a similar position – whether that be making a decision in regards to travel, or dealing with the job search?