Teaching Traveling: Welcome to Eric Gonzalez who has spent nearly a decade doing a combination of traveling and working around the world. Eric, tell us about your background!
Eric: I’ve been roaming around the world for about seven years now. At first I was a student, than an NGO worker, and finally I became a teacher. I guess I didn’t realize for a long time that finding a teaching job anywhere in the world was amazingly easy! The luckily thing is that I have, and now I know I can anywhere in the world with ease.
TT: Yes! Tell us more about your travels.
E: One time, I hitchhiked around the world. I spent 12 months hitchhiking from Cambodia to France, then through the United States, and finally back to Cambodia. The total trip cost me about $2000: $1000 for a few flights and $1000 for everything else. I have a video for it here.
TT: Wowza! How did you find your teaching jobs abroad?
E: There are a lot of jobs you can get abroad, here is a post I did on the most popular 14 jobs abroad, and as you might guess, teaching covers several of them. I always find my jobs the same way. I go to a country, and I talk to people and find a job. Right now I teach Economics in China. It took me four days to go from unemployed to a top teacher in an international program.
TT: What an inspiring statistic! So, how do you find the money to fund your travels?
E: Traveling is cheap– really, really cheap; a few dollars a day is all I need to have a great time. I plan on traveling the rest of my life, but you’re never going to do it with hotels. Instead, I love living with the locals. They teach their culture and their language and let me become part of the family. When I do run low on money, I just find a job with local NGOs or I teach. There are always plenty of jobs available.
TT: Love it. Tell us a story from your travels that was particularly interesting.
E: When I was hitchhiking through Thailand, I would stay in villages. Inside the village an old man, a grandfather, would come up to me and asked me a few questions. Are you married? How old are you? Do you want to marry a Thai woman? These questions themselves are harmless; everyone asked me these questions in Southeast Asia. But in the village it was different. Without fail the old man would come back and he would bring with him his niece, his granddaughter, or some other beautiful woman in his family. She would come, dazzled in makeup, her gown flowing to the ground and he would introduce her and try his best to convince me to to get me to marry her. I wrote about one of the experiences here.
TT: Hah! Good job resisting temptation. Now, how has teaching and traveling changed your career goals?
E: Teaching has made me want to change my career goals. I once wanted to work only for NGOs, but now I want to teach and work for NGOs. Perhaps after a few more years teaching and working for NGOs, I will be able to get a high level job with an international education NGO.
TT: How has travel changed your life?
E: I don’t know who I used to be, but everyone tells me I am very different. The one thing the traveling has taught me that has profoundly affected my life is the notion that everyone, every single person in the world, is absolutely amazing. Everyone is full of knowledge that I can learn from; everyone can be my friend, and everyone is safe to know. By the time I was almost done hitchhiking the world, this philosophy had embedded itself into me and I did something the old me never would have: I spent the night on skid row with crackheads. And I have to say, wow… what a great night. I am so glad I got to meet such sweet insightful people!
TT: Amazing. What advice do you have for people reading this?
E: If you want to travel the world, then travel. The only thing that is stopping you from adventuring is your fear. If you want to work around the world, then go out there, go to where your heart sings about. There you will find a job. It’s easy! Just try.
TT: Thanks so much, Eric! Readers, what questions or comments do you have?
The author, Lillie Marshall, is National Board Certified Teacher from Boston who has been a full-time public school educator since 2003. She launched Teaching Traveling in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following on social media with the links below!