I Stopped Thinking and Just Moved
By guest writer Jessi Blanarik
Recently I was video chatting with my friend who lives back in The States and she said something that really stuck in my mind. We were chatting about careers and how she currently doesn’t love her job and feels stuck in a rut. At the end of last year I could totally relate to her feelings. This ultimately led me to decide to move abroad to Prague to teach English at the start of 2017. I asked her if she would ever consider looking in to options abroad since she loves traveling and exploring and has a job that can be done in so many different countries.
“I don’t know Jessi. I have a lot of student loans to pay off still and I think it would be really hard for my parents if I was so far away.”
Both of her points were very practical reasons to take into consideration for any big life change and I could totally empathize with her thought process. For months before I even got to the point of being confident in quitting my job, let alone moving to another country, I wrestled with similar questions. The problem with this question mentality though, is that there will always be some reason to question that will cause you to not do what you want to do.
In college I considered studying abroad, but during my sophomore year my dad passed away. For the rest of college whenever I considered spending a semester abroad questions I wrestled with were “what if something happened to my mom while I was away?” or “what if I miss my family too much?” After college I got a job offer to work in Germany that did not pay very well and all I could think about was “how will I pay off my student loans” or “if I live at home I can save money on rent so is it financially stupid to move abroad now?”
December 2016 I finally reached my limit. I wrote down a list of what I wanted for my life and in a job. I wanted flexibility in my schedule, I wanted to travel and learn about new cultures, I wanted it to feel like I was positively impacting something, etc. In the current place I was at in life I was not measuring up to what I wanted for myself so I looked up options online and quickly found a program that would get me certified to teach English abroad. (Side note: I had gone to under grad originally to study Opera and had switched to Business Management after a severe injury so while I was initially not qualified to teach English abroad once I found an option that worked for me I adjusted my life to obtain my new goal.) The main catch to this once in a life time opportunity though was that I would need to fly out the first week of January leaving me with one month to tie up loose ends at home and say my goodbyes.
Immediately I knew this decision was what I had to do for myself but the initial excitement wore off after a few days when I fully realized what I was about to do. I believe reality hit when I was in the middle of boxing up my old kitchenware I had posted for sale on Craigslist and had a buyer coming for. Thoughts of “what was I thinking? Am I really the type of girl who can just drop everything and go?” or “what if I hate it or it is a huge flop?” raced through my mind as I wrapped up mason jars and plates. Yet somewhere in the middle of the stress I quieted my mind and reminded myself of why I was doing what I was doing.
The list I had made of what I wanted in my life and career covered so many different areas and I had found an opportunity that would cover the majority of my wish list. Sometimes doing the best thing for yourself is scary. After all, the phrase is “taking a LEAP of faith” not just a small jump or side step. Leaps require a blind trust that you will land where you need to be and sometimes you won’t land a leap perfectly and will stumble and need to dust yourself off but that is all part of the process. If I was going to lead the fulfilling and adventurous life I wanted I would have to stop holding myself back with questions.
There is always going to be a reason not to do something. Maybe right now it is student loans, relationships, a career. In the future it might be a mortgage, a marriage or kids, etc. I chose then and there to stop letting my circumstances dictate my decisions and decided to stop thinking and just go – and so far I would not change a minute of my journey!
Learn more about Jessi's Jorneys on her VLOG
If you're interested in getting certified to teach abroad we recommend International TEFL Academy, one of the world’s largest TEFL certification schools to become professionally trained as an English teacher. ITA trains more than 5,000 English teachers annually and offers internationally accredited TEFL-TESOL certification courses online and in 25 locations around the world. All students and graduates receive lifetime job search guidance, and alumni are currently employed as teachers in more than 80 nations in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
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The most fun, exciting, educational, and craziest weekend I had during my semester abroad. You definitely get the maximum bang for your buck with WSA. WSA provided me with an unbelieveable weekend in Budapest. After hearing from my friends about their amazing experiences on WSA trips, I had to see what all the hype was about. I chose to take part in a WSA weekend in Budapest, and I loved every minute of it. The guide, Bogi, was the best! WSA is the perfect blend of an educational/tourist expereince while also allowing for sites off the beaten path as well as kickass nightlife. You won't regret a trip with WSA.Cooper Cohen, University of Notre Dame ~ University of Notre Dame, London, Spring 2015
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