Teaching Traveling: Welcome to world traveler, teacher, and author, Donna Morang, who is here to prove that you can (and should!) travel at any age!
Take it away, Donna.
Donna: My background is a little bizarre due to my age: sixty-eight. I have had several professions and business adventures. Born and raised on a ranch in Montana, I was sort of a Tom-boy so many of my occupations were a little weird for a woman, but I loved them all. I began a career as a hair-stylist, became a farmer/rancher, house painter, boat painter, carpenter, sheet-rocker, potter, glass artist, and then the owner/artist of a couple of art galleries.
I also bought a one-hundred-year old house and restored it. Drawing on my past skills I was able to do the work myself.
When my old house was restored and my art gallery was finally making a profit, my daughter sent me a magazine aptly named Transition Abroad. I took one look at it and knew I had found my life calling. This magazine changed my life. It was filled with advertisements for ESL schools, and articles of teaching abroad. I immediately applied to an ESL school in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and was accepted. I closed my art gallery, rented my house, and left for Mexico, all done in six weeks.
This was in 2000, and I celebrated my fifty-seventh birthday the first week of class. I was definitely older than all the other students; in fact, I was older than all the teachers. I’m quite sure those students questioned what I was doing there, and I had a few doubts myself.
The second week of class, we were to use our newly learned teaching skills on real-live Mexican students. This group of fifty students was to choose their teacher. I was sure no one would want the older-lady instead of all the cute young girls, but shocking to me, many of these students chose me.
Later, when I knew my students better they told me, “You were older, so we knew you would be the best.”