Teaching Traveling: Want inspiration for how to combine full-time teaching with summer travel around the world? Meet Michelle Weigold, who is doing just that! Michelle, tell us about your background.
Michelle: I was born and raised in northern Kentucky, and growing up I always had the travel bug. My family allowed me to go on a few international trips in my younger years, and after a study abroad trip in college I was hooked! After graduating from the University of Kentucky, I worked in real estate for two years. During that time, I realized that I wanted to do one final stint of long-term traveling before I could really settle into a career path — so I picked up and moved to Valencia, Spain. While I was there, I spent time exploring Europe, practicing the language, and participating in bilingual language exchanges.
Upon my return to the US I realized I needed to have a career more aligned to my passions, and so I enrolled in a Master’s program at Xavier University, where I earned my Master of Arts in Spanish Education. I am now 29 years old, married, and a high-school Spanish teacher in Cincinnati, and I plan to use my summers to travel! My hope is to reach 30 countries by age 30, which I should hopefully achieve by this August!
TT: Love it! Tell us more about your travels.
M: While I was working in corporate America prior to my teaching career, I was able to combine vacation days and travel over the Christmas holidays for 17 days. I backpacked around 5 countries in South East Asia (with my now husband), beginning in Beijing, China and ending in Bali.
The experience was incredibly eye-opening — especially being able to witness isolated Khmer temples in Cambodia. The fact that visitors can enter without buying a ticket, and can freely climb around on ancient ruins just show how “undiscovered” parts of that country are — and I love it!
TT: Nice! How did you find this travel opportunity?
M: I did my research. I have a slew of websites I always use to plan and research my trips to find the cheapest options possible. I also don’t have an issue with using public transit and staying in cheap hostels when I am in the country, so this makes it quite affordable! The initial idea for this trip came from my goal of seeing the Great Wall of China, and the trip expanded from there!