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It’s been five years since I experienced a Canadian fall. If not for a certain special somebody I would have been long gone, back to Asia, before autumn equinox. Before the temperature dropped, the leaves started to change, and proper close-toed shoes and jackets became necessary. I usually dread the idea of staying past August 31st.

It’s strange to watch your parents age. I’m not around my mom and dad too often, just a once-per-year visit home for a few weeks to check in and enjoy each others’ company for a bit of time. To be reminded of the beautiful, natural fallibility of the people we love is a cyclical and progressive lesson in love and family dynamics.

NOTE: I’ve used the word nasty prolifically in this blog because no other synonym seems to suffice. I also made some huge culturally-specific generalizations here about hygiene as it pertains to gender. All are based on my experience as a woman who has travelled with boys (by boys I mean grown men who put their dirty backpack on the bed).

Think that because you are a native English speaker you have a ticket to teach anywhere in the world? Think again.

Most good and reputable educational academies, particularly international schools, are looking for more than just a native English speaking adult to teach their students.

OK - so you’ve spent 50K plus (actually - you spent 10K and borrowed 40K) to get a BA. You wrote a great resume and a heartfelt cover letter, you scrubbed those embarrassing photos from your social media feed and you set up a LinkedIn profile - adult style.

At any given time, there are thousands of international teaching jobs out there in this great big world. If you’re like most newly graduated teachers looking for work abroad, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Short term gigs in China and the UAE, part-time positions in South America, and longer term gigs at super-status international schools abound.

Not many people are as lucky as I’m. My name is Martin and I was born in Liberia which is located on the West Coast of Africa. In my country English is our first language but it isn’t like the one that is spoken in America; Liberians speak a type of English called Pidgin English. At the age of 7 my family and I moved to America and I believe that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I have always had a tremendous passion for helping others. I also have a tremendous desire to travel. Last summer, I combined my two ideas into one: I desperately wanted to volunteer abroad. However, I understood that my family's financial situation would not allow me that opportunity. I went to my small town's local organizations, presented them with my plan, and asked for support.

Insurance is one of those things we invest in with hope that we’ll never reap its benefits. Like Lord Krishna says to Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita, in effect, give all of yourself to your duty but expect nothing of the outcome. A statement quite easily applied to both child-raising, travelling, and when you really think about it, insurance.

An international teaching job was one of my best life experiences. I relocated to in Indonesia for two years and I struggled with the decision to teach abroad at first and whether that particular position was the best one for me at the time.

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