The practical side of running away

Well, as you all know I have quit my job and plan to travel for…quite a while.  Unfortunately, quitting in my profession doesn’t mean that I can immediately stop turning up to work.  Instead, I have to serve out my notice period and, on a practical note, get my life in order.  Here’s the current ‘To Do’ list that I’m working from:

  1. Quit job
  2. Serve out notice period, finalising cases and tying up loose ends
  3. Give notice on my apartment
  4. Empty my apartment (sell all furniture, pack anything I want to keep, make it super clean, cut off electricity etc)
  5. Give my bank a very long list of countries that I may visit, in the hope that my cards aren’t cancelled (again)
  6. Also make the arrangements with banks/various companies so that someone can talk to them on my behalf if needed (the bank lost my authorisation last time but hey, I live in hope)
  7. Organise travel insurance (I know I should have done this when I bought the ticket, but someone in my line of work tends to want to read ALL of the fine print and I haven’t yet had the chance.  Shout out if you have any recommendations!)
  8. Pack my backpack (a whole other post)
  9. Deal with my car (either sell it, organising a roadworthy (might be tough) or, the more likely option, donate it and make an appointment to hand in plates)
  10. See all the people I want to say toodles to
  11. Get on the plane!

So far I’ve found eBay the best way to get rid of furniture and the like.  I’ve given away most appliances, DVDs and things that can be fiddly to sell.  Also, I prefer to give some things away than sell them for way below their value – at least I know they’ve gone to a good home.

That’s the plan.

Have I forgotten anything?  Any recommendations for travel insurance or money cards?

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I wish I could do that…

If I only had a dollar for each time someone has told me recently that they wish that they could do what I am doing.  My response has generally been: so why don’t you?

Mortgages, careers, perceived security…all of the things that we seem to work so hard for, only to have them ultimately hold us back from doing the things that we actually want.  Of course, this is not the case for everyone; there are plenty of people who are actually content with what they have.  My issue is with those who say they want something different but will never actually take the steps to make it happen.  I believe that our choices reflect what it is that we actually want.

It’s fine to say that you can’t just walk away from your [mortgage/job/yoga class] but implicit in this is the reality that you actually want your [mortgage/job/yoga class] more than the alternative.  Again, there is nothing wrong with this, and ‘the alternative’ is generally not without its risks.  Too many people, however, act as though they are helpless passengers in their own existence.

If you are happy with your life, the way you spend your days, then you have my utmost respect.  If, however, you are in the same boat as the many people who have recently confided in me that they are not living the life they want, I urge you to ask yourself why that actually is.  What value do you place on your comforts, your things, your morning routine?  Then ask: what are they actually worth?

Is the CELTA course really worth it?

This year I completed the intensive CELTA course (and got myself a Pass A).  I’m not sure whether or not I will ever work as an English language teacher, but I had had my eye on on the CELTA for some time.  If nothing else, enrolling in the course allowed me to feel like I had a ‘safety net’ while I began my preparations to leave the real world.

Irrespective of whether or not I will ever teach, I will say this unreservedly: the CELTA course is undoubtedly worth it.

Leaving aside the fact that the skills learned on the course are clearly transferrable to other endeavours, I can’t imagine trying to teach with only an online TEFL course under my belt.  Before I enrolled in the course, I rather naively believed that I would be able to teach English effectively with minimal training.  After all, I have spent a long time teaching various skills in my other career, so how different could it really be?

I’m sure that anyone could muddle through as a teacher, but the course really opened my eyes to the difference between a teacher who speaks at a group of students, and one who has the skills to actually help students to learn.

As this blog continues, I’ll provide more detail about what the CELTA course covers, and give my tips for getting a good grade.

I have quit my job

I have quit my job and am leaving behind the supposed comfort of routine and a well-defined career path to float like a dandelion on the wind.

I don’t hate my job and I’m not running away from my life.  Instead, I feel like I am running towards something, even if I don’t yet know what it is.

I have not packed the proverbial parachute of a job overseas or return flight home.  The plan is that there is no plan.  I would be delusional if I didn’t find this somewhat scary, but truth be told I consider it less terrifying than the thought of spending the majority of my time in an office.

Too many people die wondering, living the life that is expected of them rather than following the path they truly want.  I have supportive people around me.  I have a job that I mostly love and that I’m also good at.  But life is short and so am I.  The time is now.

What would you rather be doing today?