Today we talk with Candace from Traveling Strange who shares her experience with Online English Teaching – she is now a digital nomad, using her teaching work to fund her travels! There are lots of ways you can travel and teach, whether you choose to teach online, at international schools like myself, private organisations or tutoring.
Welcome, please tell us about your experience as a digital nomad?
Hello, everyone! I’ve been working as a fulltime digital nomad for about a month now. (I’m a fledging.) But I’ve been teaching English abroad for about three years now. I’ve been teaching online for about two. Two months ago, I quit my job as a teacher in a brick and mortar school and decided to take this show on the road! And even though it has been a relatively short amount of time, I’ve been loving every minute of it!
What made you decide to travel and work abroad?
I wanted to feel like I was really living. I think that so many people, or at least the people I knew, seem like they had fallen into lives. Like life had happened to them, instead of the other way around. I know that there are many reasons for this, so I am not judgmental. However, I want to take advantage of the privileged position that I’m in and explore as much as I can.
Tell us why you decided to teach English Online?
I had been living in Spain and working as an English teacher for about a year when summertime hit. I needed to find a way to make money until the following September. I began by working in an English summer camp. But that only lasted for a month. After that I was on my own. So, as I was frantically checking Craigslist for any type of remote job, I saw a listing for an online English teacher. The rest is history!
How easy has it been to find work teaching English online?
I am in quite a few forums online for teachers. They are great for passing around information about different jobs and companies. I also feel like the market for it is growing as people gain greater access to the internet worldwide. Every year, there seem to be more and more companies. So, keep your eyes and ears open to more opportunities.
Where have you travelled to whilst working online?
I returned from Italy a few weeks ago and I worked the entire time that I was there. It was such a fun experience! It was also pretty surreal. I would work in the morning and then spend the afternoon walking down the streets of Florence and Rome.
I even took a day trip to Pisa – it was incredible! It is a beautiful little city and the tower and cathedral are far more beautiful than people give it credit for. They are made of this beautiful pink/white marble and in the sunlight they just sing! I recommend a trip there to anyone. It was literally, one of the best experiences of my life.
Two weeks later, I moved to Granada, Spain! And that’s where I am writing from now. Granada is also incredible, but in a very different way. The landscape here is gorgeous and the city itself keeps surprising me. There is always a new neighborhood to explore or discover. And when you get tired of that, you can go take a hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Exploring this city has been an incredible ride so far! I’m lovin’ it!
Can you describe a typical day teaching online and travelling?
I teach almost every day and I am usually done by 3pm. After that, I usually wander around the city or head out to some kind of activity. There is always something to do: visit a museum, take a dance class, or attend a concert.
I’ve also been surprised by the cities I’ve visited. My second day in Granada, there was a huge festival. It was a wonderful surprise. People were dancing Sevillanas; a type of folk dance in the streets and were dressed in traditional dress. It was an amazing thing to stumble upon. I took so many photos!
But generally, I tend to play it by ear. You never know what can happened. I just try to stay open.
Are you able to fund your travels with your work?
I am, but I tend to stick to inexpensive countries. I’m heading to Portugal next. Southern Europe is generally a lot cheaper than the North, so it is a good place to stay while I am figuring it out!
Are you able to save much whilst working and travelling?
Yes and no. I overspent a little in Italy, but that was my own fault. I got a little overexcited in a local boutique. But once I came back to my senses, I easily recouped it.
Where has been the most expensive place you have travelled to?
Rome. The accommodations were a little steep, but luckily the food was really cheap. You can buy a few slices of pizza for less than five Euros and because it is Italy, everything tastes amazing!
Where is the cheapest place you have visited?
Granada is pretty cheap. They also have a really cool tradition here of serving a small plate of food (tapas) when you order a drink. So, you can eat a full meal and drink your fill for less than ten Euros. It is pretty sweet!
Which country is your favourite to spend time in?
France. Paris specifically. Paris feels like a second home. I’ve been there about four times in the past 2 years. In fact, I am heading there in July for a music festival. I can’t wait!
What are your best memories and experiences of teaching online?
I have one regular student from China named Cindy. She literally, lights up my day! And over the years, she has improved so much that I can just have a conversation with her. It is amazing to watch the progress that she has made.
I also teach adults in Turkey. They have also taught me a lot about their history and culture. One student gave me the rundown on the history of the Ottoman Empire. Another told me about the history of the transportation in Turkey. It wasn’t as out of the blue is it seems. All of my students complain about the traffic in Istanbul and he happened to be in charge of public transportation. I’m a huge history buff, so I find the whole thing fascinating.
What must pack items would you recommend?
A water bottle with an attached natural filtration system is a must have. It is a surefire way to always have clean water on hand. Also, anyone who takes on this lifestyle has to adapt to some minimalist qualities or techniques.
You just can’t live a lifestyle that requires mobility if you have a bunch of stuff weighing you down. So, try to pack a wardrobe that is as versatile as possible. And leave a little space in your suitcase so that you can pick up a few things along the way!
What advise would you give those who want to travel and work abroad?
Plan as much as you can, then let it go. This journey Is full of ups and downs and for many of us, it will be the hardest thing that we ever do. However, it will also be one of the most rewarding. So, gather your strength for this leap of faith and take off. Your life is waiting for you!
Thank you Candace for sharing your experience with Online English Teaching. Living in Italy has always been a dream of mine.
Any questions, experiences and comments – leave them below! 🙂
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