Las Estacas, Mexico. 2018
A year ago today, I wrote a blog post about traveling the world with Remote Year, and I wondered how far I’d go. After month seven, I decided to depart from the program, making Buenos Aires, Argentina my last stop. My decision came about because it felt like the right thing for me to do. At that point of the journey, it was becoming important to me to return home to Brooklyn, NY to be with my family. I also simply felt fulfilled with the overall structure of the program and the experiences that came from it. Amazingly enough, as I reflect, I’d seen so many new places that I once only ever dreamed of visiting. Travel is a major part of my life, and I always look forward to the next time I make myself comfortable in the window seat on an airplane.
My journey with Remote Year also allowed me the flexibility to volunteer as an English teacher in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Argentina, and I developed great basic teaching experience. During my last month with the Remote Year, I decided to take a course to become a certified teacher of English as a Foreign Language. As a writer and travel enthusiast, I realized firsthand the significant amount of people around the world who are eager to communicate in English. Originally, I became interested in the idea of teaching while sharing my children’s book with groups of students in foreign countries. As much as I wanted children around the world to read the story I wrote, the fact is that it’s only available in English – so either they’d be unable to read and understand it, or, on the contrary, it can be used as an English learning tool! My goal shifted, to not only sharing the story, but bridging the gap of teaching English all while sharing the story! So, one of the amazing outcomes from my travel experiences with the program is the fact that I am now officially a certified teacher of English as a foreign language.
The people I met, many whom I’ve become great friends with, were the icing on the cake. A year ago we were all strangers, and we’ve since then become family. It’s amazing to think about the universe’s role in all of this, and that we all decided at the same time to be courageous and stop everything we were doing to join Remote Year, becoming a part of a particular group called Mangata. I can speak for a majority of them by saying it was one of the best decisions we’ve made in our lives, and it was silly of us to think that when the year was over, that would be the end. To put it simply, cliche and all, with all that took place, we’ve realized that the end of the remote year is turning out to be just the beginning. We of course plan to remain connected, and in some cases, randomly meet up around the world. Some people have transitioned from working for companies to becoming full-time freelancers, entrepreneurs, authors, and successfully pursuing personal passion projects. The travel experience was an epiphany for many of us; we became awakened by the depths of the world; its hidden beauties, multi-cultures, social issues, and all that we can do to embrace and contribute to this fascinating place.
October 2017 (top); September 2018 (bottom).
Although I left the group after seven months of traveling together, I decided to re-join them for the final farewell event in Mexico. We spent a wonderful time in the magic of Las Estacas water resort for a weekend of reflections, projections, and fun in the sun. As part of the farewell, each member of the group was presented with a superlative, unique to their personality, and I was voted “Most likely to inspire the next generation.” My focus is on bridging the gaps between English literacy, resources, and world exploration, and I can only hope to inspire anyone to simply live the life they dream about.
I have a special project in the works, as a result of my experience with Remote Year, and I look forward to sharing it within the coming months.
Happy is the girl, who travels the world, crossing and building bridges, one step at a time!