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Spiff is on! See Europe by train
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:25 PM   #1
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Okay, I just bought my ticket so it's starting to feel final. My plans keep changing, but I have a better and better idea.

Here's what I'm doing for sure:
1) My big bro bought me a ticket to NYC, so I'm going there on Sept. 14-19. Great way to start a trip
2) I fly to Manchester on the 19 and I may or may not spend a few days in England.
3) I will either go from there to Spain or Italy for a week+ (this depends on what I do at the tail end of the trip).
4) I'm meeting 3 friends at Oktoberfest in Munich on Sept 27-Oct 1.
5) They really want to go to Prague, so since they only have limited time, that's where we are headed next
6) From here on I'm on my own. I plan to spend the rest of Oct and first half of Nov bouncing around Eastern Europe working my way from Poland to Greece. Def plan to see Slv, Slk, Hungary, and Croatia. I'll see what else I have time for

Here's where I have to options that I haven't decided on for sure.

Option 1:
Get TEFL certification in Budapest. Month long class starting mid Nov. This would give me enough time and money to look for work from mid Dec through end of Jan (maybe longer).
Pros: I love to travel and a career in TEFL would be cool way to do just that.
Cons: Less of a vacation and more of a school/job thing. Plus this isn't really what I want for my future in the long term way.

Option 2: From mid Nov to mid Jan
1) From Greece, hop a plane to Turkey
2) Turkey to Egypt
3) Tunisia
4) Morrocco
5) back to Europe to Portugal and Spain (in this case I would go to Italy after Manchester)

Pros: Never been to mideast or Africa. This would be the trip of a lifetime. I will have about $9,000 US by the time I leave after plane ticket and supplies. This means plenty of dough to travel for 4 months (that's $75/day). I'm so close and I have the funds so I might as well do it. I would then come home and work on the next phase of my life (probably grad school).
Cons: Rules out travelling for a living for next few years, but I'm not getting any younger and I would like to have a concrete future.

Overall, like my good friend said today, he doesn't exactly feel bad for me that I have to make this choice. Either way I think I'm gonna come out ahead.
Treat your mind like a bad neighborhood - don't go there alone. Anonymous

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Old 05-10-2006, 09:46 PM   #2
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Yeah, those kind of dilemmas are not the worst in the world...

Can't help you much, I know people who've taken the TEFL route, and are still living/working overseas and loving it, more than 10 years later. They also didn't see it as a career move, but...

Course, I loved Morocco, and hope to get to some other parts of the region before too long - that is also an extraordinary chance.

One thing to consider though - even TEFL teachers get holidays, and when we were in Vilnius, there were incredible deals to places like Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia throughout the year, so, while it wouldn't give you time to wander aimlessly for months, you could still take two week trips and spend the time in one place - and really, that's not a bad length of time to explore a single country...

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Old 05-11-2006, 02:17 AM   #3
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I'd go for the TEFL option...LIVING in another country is the best way to really see it, IMO. And like Tumblezeedz said, you get a few days off and you've got a "weekend trip" on one of the discount airlines to someplace else you've wanted to go. Besides, if things work out with teaching English, it could open all kinds of new doors for you...

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Old 05-11-2006, 06:29 AM   #4
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I'd have to go for TEFL option as well for the reasons WWM and TW said. Good luck on your choice!
~~ Jamie ~~
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:05 AM   #5
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^ditto on what they said.

Sounds awesome Mo - very exciting!

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Old 05-11-2006, 09:20 AM   #6
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I sort of had the same option come up in February. I had to decide between a 2 month backpcking trip in Europe or getting my TESL certificate and going to Taiwan. After researching as much as possible I chose the TESL course. Living on the other side of the world will be an insane adventure. So thats what I'm suggesting.

To really know what you'd be getting into, do yourself a favour and get in contact with someone already teaching in the area you would be heading to. It's the BEST source of correct information there is. I used MySpace search function to find people in Asia and they have provided a wealth of knowledge. Ask every question you can think of.

if more Tpunks start going the TEFL/TESL route maybe there'll be some type of section dedicated to it on the boards some day.....just a thought.
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys. I've actually done an insane amount of research on TEFL in Eastern Europe for the last year. I've talked to several people doing it. That's one reason I'm leaning away from it right now. There is still work available, but it is getting scarcer and the money is pretty awful. That's not such a huge deal because I could still get by, and like all of you said it would be an incredible experience. The beauty of this decision is that I don't have to make it until I get there.
Treat your mind like a bad neighborhood - don't go there alone. Anonymous

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