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If you could live anywhere, where would you go? Vacations are incredible. You get to experience a different culture, try exotic foods, relax and explore a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Imagine if that vacation didn’t have to end? Seems too good to be true? This is the reality for many people living a life of travel. This post will explore some ways in which you can continue to teach and travel!
Location independence has become increasingly more common over the past few years. In the age of the internet it is much easier to work from home, or anywhere. Research how to be location independent and you will see lists of ideas such as blogging, copywriting and freelancing. However, I’m a teacher. My job doesn’t allow me to work from anywhere. I have students in an actual classroom, waiting for me to show up and dazzle them with my super-engaging lessons… Well, at least my principal is waiting for me to show up!
Teach and Travel
So, if you are like us and would love to travel the world (during cheaper seasons!!) but you have that teaching contract with the benefits and pension and great salary… then read on to find out how it is possible to continue to teach and travel! Over the coming months, we will be adding more in-depth posts about each option so you can begin to plan that life you’ve always dreamed of.
Take a Leave of Absence
Our Ontario board allows us to take a leave of absence for up to two years and still have our jobs to return to. An amazing perk! We did this to teach in Mexico for two years and again a year ago when we moved to Trinidad for a teaching job. This allows time to travel and explore parts of the world in depth, with an income, but also with the security of knowing our jobs are still there. Combine your leave of absence with any of the following ideas to bring in an income while traveling. This is a perfect option to teach and travel without the risk of giving up a great job.
International Teaching Jobs
In our opinion, this is probably the best option for someone wanting to teach and travel. If you search teaching overseas, most results will be about teaching English. This is definitely an option but, with a teaching degree, you should be able to get a better paying job. School administrators attend International teaching recruitment fairs during the winter months and hire for the upcoming school year. You are almost guaranteed a job if you are open to options.
Another option is to search specific school websites for job postings and send them your resume directly. If you have an idea of what countries you are interested in this can be a good option. You will save the fee for the recruitment fair as well as the likely hotel costs associated. Be prepared to spend some quality time with your laptop!
Teacher Exchange Programs
Commonwealth countries have excellent exchange programs. Teachers can apply and be matched with someone in a country of their choice where they take over each others jobs and homes for a year. Canada, England, Australia and, to a lesser extent, New Zealand are the most common that we are aware of but I’m sure there are other programs out there in different countries! While we haven’t personally done this (yet), we do know at least three people who have switched places and all had amazing experiences!
If you move somewhere with private schools, tutors are always in high demand. Of course you are not guaranteed an income and it may take a little while to get started. However, we know many people who were able to get multiple students and charge a pretty sweet hourly rate. One friend was charging $100 an hour in Indonesia and taking multiple students at once! Contacting the local private schools and asking to put up a flyer will help, as well as making sure to mention your qualifications. Similarly, many international schools are desperate for supply or substitute teachers. This is what I was doing in Trinidad as Terry was the only one of us with a full-time contract at the school.
Teach English Overseas
A lot of people choose to teach English overseas as a means to live and work in a foreign country. However, you don’t need teacher qualifications and salary reflects this. It is a fairly easy job to get as there are many companies hiring all the time, particularly in Asia. As a qualified teacher you may find it easier to get hired but it would probably still be a good idea to get a TEFL course on your resume. While this job isn’t going to pay the same as a classroom teaching job in an international school, it may be easier to get a job so it depends on your priorities.
Want to teach and travel more? This is becoming increasingly popular. Usually teaching English again, all it requires is a solid internet connection, a computer and headphones/microphone. As above, you wouldn’t need to be a qualified teacher and so won’t make as much money but it does allow for a huge amount of freedom! There would be no restrictions in location at all. You could teach from a different country every week if you wanted.
Teachers Pay Teachers
This is just one, albeit the largest, marketplace for teachers to sell their hard work. The idea is that instead of teachers spending their hard-earned money on resources created by big companies, they buy resources created by other teachers. I know I have spent a lot of money over the years on store-bought resources that had very little useful content!
Of course, this one takes a while to build up enough products, followers and ratings to make good money. However, plan ahead and begin building your store before you leave home. Working on it full-time and living somewhere with a lower cost of living will help to offset any loss in income until you really hit the big time!
Blogs aren’t just for digital nomads! There are a number of highly successful teaching blogs out there. Again, this will take a lot of time and work before you see any financial gains from a blog, and it’s never guaranteed… I wouldn’t recommend this option unless you have already established a blog with a solid readership. From there, it would be easier to work on monetizing it.
Deferred Salary Voluntary Leave
Again our board gives us an amazing option if you want to travel without having to work. There are a number of time options with this, all ending with a one year leave. For example, a “2 over 3” means you work for two years then take the third year off. Your two years’ salary is spread across the three years. Therefore, you will still be receiving an income for the year you are not working. Depending on how much money you can afford to live with, you can work for 1, 2, 3, or 4 before taking your leave. This is an excellent option to teach and travel. During the leave you could choose one of the options above for additional income or simply live travel. Find out if your school board has a similar program and let us know below in the comments!
As you can see, there are a number of ways you can teach and travel! You don’t have to choose between your dream job and your dream of seeing the world, and you’re not restricted to short holidays paying high season prices!
Unexpected bonus: it may just make you a better teacher! We definitely returned from Mexico with fresh ideas and a new attitude.
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Are you a teacher who loves to travel? What have you done to make both happen? What else should be on this list? Comment below!