Like most people who are already doing what we’re about to do, we don’t have a huge wad of cash in the bank account to travel on. We’ve got a little bit to keep us going, but we want to be on the road for a few years at least. As such we’ll both need to work on the road and I’ve taken my first steps to be ready.
We have a few money making ideas that we want to explore, but they are risky and may take some time to start producing an income. I have an education degree that will come in handy, and I have completed a 140-hour i-to-I TEFL course, formally qualifying me to teach English abroad.
Why did I choose i-to-i? Firstly I’ve read a few travel blogs that recommended them. Secondly they’re a big organisation that is recognised right around the world. From researching online it seems every company looking for employees to teach English mentions i-to-i. Thirdly the course is very flexible which suits my needs. I work, have a young son, and lead a busy life. The course I’ve chosen allows me to do it online for the most part, and then attend one of a selection of weekend workshops to finish things off.
There were heaps of courses to choose from, ranging from 20 to 140 hour options. But I didn’t choose which course straight away. I spoke with a lovely young girl on the phone initially, asked a bunch of questions, then said I’d have a think about it. After a few days I called her back, asked her a heap of other questions then chose my course. I always think it’s important, when making important decisions, to ask as many questions as possible and take your time to make a decision. After all, making the wrong decision could cost you more than just a lot of money!
I chose the 140-hour course, it’s clearly the most expensive, but I figured it would be money well spent in the long run. The competition for teaching positions is going to be fierce, particularly in the regions where they pay really well such as Western Europe and the Middle East. If I apply for a job and my resume shows I have an Education degree, teaching experience and one of the most in-depth TEFL qualifications as well, I’d be reasonably confident of getting the job above anyone who doesn’t have at least an equivalent TEFL qualification.
The i-to-i website also has some fantastic resources. You can find out all about the best countries around the world to teach, how much you should get paid, the cost of living in those places, and what other benefits may be included. When choosing where to go, don’t just head for the highest paid, because it could just be that it’s also the place with the highest cost of living. For example, working in the Middle East may be lucrative, but would you rather earn less and live in Rio de Janeiro or Prague or Ho Chi Minh City? For us the most important consideration is where we’ll be most happy. I’ve made the mistake of leaving a job I thoroughly enjoyed for better pay, a job that turned out to really suck. I knew it would but thought the great salary would soften the pain. It didn’t!
What do you do to earn cash while travelling? Got any suggestions for us or our readers? Leave a comment below…
Please note i-to-i had nothing to do with me writing this blog, and there are plenty of other companies out there who provide TEFL courses. Do some research and pick the course and company that is right for you.