I Quit My Job to Teach Abroad and Travel the World Today

Well, today was the day. I knew I was handing in my resignation letter to my work to follow my dreams to teach abroad and travel the world. My last day of work would be August 29th, the end of the month. It was a little longer than the typical two weeks notice because I wanted to help with transition of me leaving my position. While I knew it had to be today, I was still nervously doing busy work at my computer and anxiously sitting through meetings in the morning before I had a chance to talk with my boss.

Over the last few weeks, I had envisioned myself nervously approaching my boss’s door over and over throughout the day, while making awkward conversation with him instead of just spitting out that I was accepting a new position and would be leaving the country. That scenario played out in my head over and over.

(Source)

(Source)

I figured that I wouldn’t have the confidence to march in there and tell him I was leaving. Being a habitual people pleaser, this sort of conflict and potential letting down of another person/people/company was not something I was looking forward to. Fortunately or unfortunately, thank you for the characteristic Mom!

Aside from the fear of feeling guilty of letting people down, the fear of failure was ever looming in my mind. I was set up in a wonderful, successful position within my company. I was respected, knew just about everything that was going on, and loved all my co-workers. Heck, the salary and benefits didn’t hurt either. Leaving all of this behind for a 9-month teaching contract in a foreign country would be a big risk. It could take me years to find a workplace that I liked as much as the one I would be leaving and even more years to make up the salary I was giving up.

I thought about all of this potential failure for a long time, and ultimately it didn’t stop me because I was the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. This is an opportunity of a lifetime that I didn’t want to pass up. I wouldn’t get this adventure again…

So, when my boss was off his phone, I got up, walked in there, and calmly and confidently told him that I had accepted another position and that I would be teaching English in Spain. Not at all like my worrisome thoughts had led me to believe!

Much to my surprise, he was not all too surprised. In fact, he had lots and lots of questions about what i was doing, where I was going, and other questions about all things Spain. He knew that I was probably looking based on the instability with our company’s contract, and he said that he completely understood my desire to teach and live abroad as it’s truly an opportunity of a lifetime. His reaction was actually very similar to when I told my other co-worker and mentor at work.

After discussing the whole transition with my boss and answering all his questions about Spain, I confidently strolled out of his office and into his boss’s office, my department head, and proceeded to tell him. Surprisingly, the same reaction! He completely understood as one of his kids did Teach for America and ended up moving to London and never returning. It was incredibly nice to have someone who could relate to why I want to take this leap of faith and head out on this new adventure.

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Word quickly spread throughout the office as I told some of my close friends and others heard through the grapevine. Soon I had plenty of co-workers congratulating me. Many were telling me that they wished they would have had this opportunity and that they were jealous. Others were congratulatory, but not necessarily jealous of my decision because moving and teaching abroad was something that never really interested them, which is perfectly fine! We all have our own passions, dreams, and desires that we need to follow to have our own adventures.

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla

I was also given ideas about lessons plans from some and even the opportunity to be taught “Ebonics” so I could teach it in Spain from one. No offense, but I’m not planning on taking any of them up on their offers after hearing their brief ideas. You’re welcome, Spain!

Now that my resignation from work has been turned in, this adventure is getting real. I’m not 100% sure what the future holds for me, but I am excited to make the most of what is in store for me.

The official countdown is now down to 35 days! If you’re counting like I am.

Have you ever left a safe, stable, steady job to follow your passions and dreams? Do you have any recommendations to those who may be considering doing it?

 

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20 responses to “I Quit My Job to Teach Abroad and Travel the World Today

  1. You’ll always be able to find another job & if you’re determined enough, it’ll be a better position than your previous one anyway unless you currently work for Boeing or NASA or something! What you should be worried about is whether or not you’re even going to want a “regular” job after this experience!

    • Thank you! I’m extremely confident in my decision to quit my job and teach abroad. There’s nothing that can dissuade me from that. Oh, and my job wasn’t at NASA or anything, but I will miss all my co-workers who I have become close friends with over the past 3 years.

    • Thanks, Trevor! It was more of a 3-week notice because I wanted to give work a little extra transition time and aid in a good recommendation/reference in the future. It’s ALL real now!!

  2. At times I am truly amazed at how life works. I quit my job to do the Teach in Spain program. Some people thought I was nuts, hell at times I questioned myself. Who gives up a job with an amazing salary and benefits beyond belief in NYC none the less?! I went in with the mindset of taking a 1 year leave and if they said no I was quitting. I just knew they would say no… A funny thing happened, the Administrative Judge had always wanted to do such a thing and was excited for me. I was told to think about it and to let them know if I wanted to return. I went and had the most amazing time, sure things weren’t always rosey…it wasn’t vacation but the chance to do something I dreamed of made the down times not so bad. I’m back in NYC (at my old job)now but I am actively pursuing a career in teaching. Taking that chance was the best decision and now I look forward to Chapter 2. Good luck, I hear the passion through your words, so I know you made the right decision. Can’t wait to hear all about your time there.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Christine! It’s really funny how things work out when you follow your heart. It’s great to hear that you can hear the passion through my words as it only further fuels me to keep following my heart, writing, and exploring. I’m glad to hear that everything has worked out for you 🙂

    • It went better than expected! I’m glad your’s went well. So many people at work are excited for me and jealous of this adventure.

  3. Reblogged this on Selling My Life… and commented:
    MIke, I look forward to reading about your adventure. I have been putting my life in order to follow a similar dream. I wish you the best of luck. If you ever need any advice on teaching English to Spanish speakers I am a guru of sorts. I have taught English to primarily spanish speaking students for 8 years.

    Love your quotes. May your journey fulfill your dreams.
    Amy

    • Thank you, Amy, and thank you for reblogging this. I will definitely make sure to ask you if I have any questions regarding teaching English to Spanish speakers. Glad you liked the quotes!

  4. Wow. This looks like something written by my own hand… I had the exact same experience, almost word for word. I had commented on one of your articles before and now I recently got a blog of my own!

    Cheers,
    Jolene

    • Thanks, Jolene! I’m glad you started your own blog. I’ll be following along. It’s interested how both our bosses reacted in similar ways, both of which we were not expecting. We’ll be in Spain pretty soon now!

  5. Great read Mike! So glad to hear that all went well! You’ll be here in the land of siestas, tapas, and vino soon! Enjoy your last few weeks at your job and get ready for this next amazing experience we are about to embark on as teachers!

    • Thanks, Kirstie! I’ve been done with my job for a week now and know that I made the right decision, even though I haven’t set foot in Spain yet.

  6. Pingback: Musings with Only 7 Days Left | Mapless Mike·

  7. Pingback: Musings with Only 7 Days Left·

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