Call it a quarter life crisis, or an epiphany, or whatever other label you’d like to call it but in August 2015 I decided I needed a major change in my life. I was not sure what the change would be at that moment but over time, I kept coming back to teaching English abroad.
Up until this point I had done everything, “right.” I graduated high school and got accepted into Ohio State University. From there I worked throughout college part time, had two internships, studied abroad, received cum laude and business honors with two majors upon graduation and went off to my first “real” job.
For a long time I was really satisfied. Achieving financial stability was probably of the utmost importance to me based on my upbringing and I checked that box within a few years of graduating college. I worked with great people in a field I excelled at and with interesting products. My college recruitment rotational program allowed me to live in four different cities across three states in a matter of 5 years time. All great experiences for me that I cherish.
But then at some point, I started to become dissatisfied. I had great work colleagues, a supportive manager and had formed fantastic relationships with a huge network of people who I trusted. Deep down though, I knew I wanted an opportunity to live and work abroad. Specifically in a Spanish speaking country. I studied Spanish in high school and college and studied abroad in Ecuador. Unfortunately that opportunity was not coming fast enough at my job. After some time, I decided I did not want to wait anymore.
I was 28 years old with no mortgage, no kids, no serious relationship that was preventing me from moving abroad. What better time than now?
So after 6 months of hemming and hawing and saying, “I might be moving to Chile…,” I decided to make the leap. I had been in contact with an old friend from college who joined a teach English volunteer program right after graduating through the Chilean Ministry of Education. She highly recommended the program to me. After doing some research, it was a great fit for me and a reputable program.
All it took was a couple of months of working up the courage to ACTUALLY QUIT MY JOB.
Here is a synopsis of my timeline:
Aug 2015 – Feeling a bit disgruntled with life. Questioning my purpose. Am I impacting the world? Am I gathering life experiences to reflect on when I grow old some day? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?! Also worth noting I had a “come to Jesus” conversation with my good friend who was prepping to teach English in China the upcoming year. She sowed some big seeds in my brain about possibly doing the same and I was never able to get those thoughts out of my head…
Sept/Oct 2015 – Starting to research the volunteer program my friend recommended to me. Begin to say, “I mayyyyyyyybe quitting my job to do this volunteer program next year to my friends.” Also during this time I had a major death in my family which further emphasized the importance of not waiting for the, “right time.” It had never hit so close to home up until this point.
Jan 2016 – Now beginning to say, “I am 72.345% sure I am applying to this program in Chile.” Friends roll their eyes at me as I have said varying degrees of this statement for the past few weeks now.
Feb 2016 – Application submitted for the program. Interviews commenced shortly after.
Within several weeks of applying, I was accepted. Hooray! Reality starts to set in. Oh $hit!
May 2016 – Officially give my notice to my boss. It was one of the most liberating, exciting yet unnerving experiences I have ever had. For so many months I anticipated what it would feel like to QUIT MY JOB. Especially since (I am pretty sure) nobody saw it coming. In the moments before, during and after though I had a confidence about my decision like never before which let me know I was doing the right thing.
Thank you gut for always reminding me that I am on the right path. What would I do without you?
July 22nd, 2016 – Last day at work!
July 23rd, 2016 – Pack up the rest of my apartment and prep for moving!
July 24th, 2016 – Move out of my apartment and into my grandpa’s house where my Mom also lives. My grandpa looks so happy to see me moving my stuff into his house! Even if I will only be there a few more days until I depart. This makes me smile. 🙂
July 24th – 26th, 2016 – Drop my cat off at my brother’s house. This is probably one of the toughest moments for me! I am confident that this is the best place for him to be though because: A) Both my brother and his girlfriend love cats B) He has a big house to run around and C) My brother’s girlfriend already has two cats so now he has friends! That still doesn’t keep me from crying when I leave him. 😥
July 26th – 27th, 2016 – A blur of saying, “See you later’s,” to friends, packing and trying to calm the F down. I had a lot of last minute anxiety which I WAS NOT expecting. Apparently it’s all normal though.
July 28th, 2016 – Departure time! Starting my blog as well to chronicle my adventures.
Hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I do!