Well, that chapter of the story is over. The money making is done and the preparation is about to enter full swing. I’ve officially left my cubicle job of 9.5 years and plan to never look back. (At least not to the cubicle itself) I said my goodbyes at work and have made some really good friends over the last decade that I’m genuinely going to miss. The job itself had been a difficult grind for awhile, broken up only a few times by vacations and a six month “sabbatical” in 2007. I wouldn’t change any of it and truly feel that I “grew up,” with the company seeing as though I started in 2001 as a 20 year old confused kid not sure what he was going to do.
As the years went on I started really getting the travel itch and after my break in 2007 to to do some backpacking I decided I was going to come back part time and then grind out another 3.5 years of school and work so I can give myself new opportunities. I told myself I can teach, even though in my mind I was overwhelmed by the thought of it. I told myself to take the planning one day at a time and to never try to psyche myself out by thinking too far ahead. After taking a couple of classes where presentations were required and getting to research topics that were interesting to me, I started to build more and more confidence in my ability handle a classroom full of students.
I have quite a bit of items to take care of before I head off but I’ve left myself plenty of free time to do so. Most importantly, I get to spend quality time with family and friends before taking that leap and moving overseas. For those who haven’t been following along I’ll give a brief recap of the plan I have in place so far going forward:
I resigned from my job today, November 12th and will be spending the rest of the year at home here in Tampa. I have to sell my car and get rid of all of my personal belongings. I have to start preparing my documents and paperwork for interviews that I will be going on later in 2011. I’ll tie up all of my loose ends, spend time with family and friends and then…
On January 10, 2011, I will fly one-way from Tampa to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where I’ll begin an adventure in the Horn of Africa. I’ll spend a couple of weeks in northern Somalia (Somaliland). My route from here is still up in the air as I’m either going to travel south overland to Kenya or I’m going to fly from Addis Ababa to the Middle East. It all depends on how I feel at any given time. If I’m tired of the rigors of overland African travel or there are safety concerns in the region, then I’ll probably escape to the Middle East.
Either way, at the end of February I plan to make my way to South East Asia, either through Bangkok or Singapore where I’ll get myself settled in before being in the coastal Thai city of Ban Phe to start my training course to become certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). This course begins April 4th and concludes after four weeks. This is where the planning ends and I am at the will of the job market in Asia. In my prior post I talked about all the destinations I wanted to go to and where I hoped to end up, but if I’m being honest with myself, I may not have much of a choice and will probably go where the jobs are. Whether or not that is Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia or somewhere in China… I’ll be ready for it!