I didn’t start working abroad until my thirties. Before moving overseas, I worked in a Washington DC Public Charter school and was frustrated and burning out because of the caseload, the expectations, and the limited work-life balance.
Initially, I chose to move to the Dominican Republic (DR) because it was close to the US, and I only planned to stay for a year. But in that year, I found a way to have a better work-life balance, and I enjoyed working in a school with more resources and the freedom to create mental health lessons through Advisory (a dedicated time in the school schedule for lessons). I also realized that I could combine my work as School Counselor with my desire to travel while working internationally. After deciding to stay a second year in the DR, I accepted a job in Jamaica, and the rest is history. Eleven years later, I plan to continue working in international education, and I’m on a quest to find the right school and country that fits me long-term.
If I could turn back time and give advice to my younger self, I’d say – Trust Yourself! I would say find the time to travel and focus on building memories, not just working and making ends meet. Create a life based on your dreams despite what others think or expect from you.