Just fucking do it.

Studying, teaching, and/or living abroad are just a few things that inevitably scare most people. I think because they know for a short or long period of time they will have to step outside of their comfort zone and, they will be forced to be vulnerable in places and with people that are unfamiliar. This can be especially hard for those who have been sucked into certain ways of living and are scared to leave that behind.

I visited Thailand for the first time back in March 2017 and when I landed back in America my entire future plans had changed. I went from wanting to go straight into grad school to wanting to live and to teach in Thailand, just by being there for a week. Absolutely nothing about that scared me and I had no doubt in my mind that that was the right thing for me. And I do have family close by but nonetheless, my entire surroundings are unfamiliar. I also might not be the best teacher and it certainly is not something I ever saw myself doing before, but I cannot picture myself doing anything or being anywhere else in the world right now.

The other day I learned "What is this?" in Thai from my Filipino teacher and I went up to one of my students, asked him what something was, in Thai, and he replied back to me what the object was. In less than 10 seconds I had gathered a pile of toys to ask him what they were. Not only was I excited to be learning a new language but to be learning from a little person that I am responsible to teach. I was literally jumping around and telling everyone I passed that I was learning Thai. And it's funny, a few of the other teachers told me to do this when I started teaching but I didn't realize how rewarding it would feel. And like I said, I was never meant to be a teacher and this is still something I question if I am good at, but it's so rewarding. In the short period I have been teaching, it has taught me so much about patience and having to have a backbone (because if anyone knows me, knows I do not have a backbone and anyone can walk all over me). It has taught me how to work with others instead of trying to do everything myself and having to ask for help when I need it, two things I struggled with back home. It has also taught me a lot about myself and who I really am as a person and who I can be to others. Teaching abroad, or maybe teaching in general, really humbles you and reminds you that others see you in a different light than you see yourself sometimes.

So, to those who want to teach abroad or who have thought about it, just do it. Like traveling, it's one of those things that will come with regret if you just don't go through with it. But again, like traveling, if you are pushing it off because of other interests in your life or other things going off, then teaching too, will be pushed to the side. Besides what I have said, I don't have any inspiring words for why you should go through with it, but I know if I would have ignored the want to teach abroad, I'd be one unhappy person. And not many people feel they want or need, so listen to that feeling when it comes.