When February 2016 rolled around, I knew something needed to change. I just turned 31, living a redundant life, trying to work hard and be the best mom I could. I haven’t grown. My life, stagnant. Ever since I left home at 18, I’ve been busy and not making the best decisions either. I went to college, dropped out and moved in with a boyfriend (we’ll call him M). From there, I became a young alcoholic. After my boyfriend M and I broke up, I later met my future fiance “C” and father of my child.
We were together for 5 years. The love of my life. We lived in California, he worked in the veterinary field while I worked 2 sometimes 3 jobs. I loved it. I kept myself occupied while working at places that I loved and had lots of perks. When my daughter was born we moved from California to Washington where my mom, aunt and grandmother had moved just a year prior. They insisted on helping us with the baby. Just before my daughters 2nd birthday, I broke up with “C”. He was an alcoholic and I was no longer one. I had learned responsibility and new perspective on life and did not want my daughter to be around a person who was unfit to even take care of himself. It was one of the hardest decisions I had ever made, but I had to do what’s best for the kiddo.
I have been a mother since I was 23. I haven’t had the chance to live the life I wanted. That’s my own fault for my actions and decisions. My daughter did save me though. I went from drinking a fifth of vodka just about every night to about 2 years sober after she was born. Then when her father and I broke up I started drinking again but only socially about once a week . I had always dreamed of traveling and seeing the world but I knew it wasn’t completely possible with a small child.
True we did take road trips and flights around the country with her. She’s probably seen more of the country than most adults I know. Hell, at this point she’s seen more than me. With that said, my domestic travel was not enough for me. Like I said, life had been stagnant. Without going into too much detail to make a long story short, “C” has grown up over the years.
I had made every effort I could for our daughter to see him and communicate with him. He is now financially responsible and hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in years. With his success and my growing unhappiness I asked if he could do me a solid and care for her while I can figure myself out and try to grow as a person. After several months and trips visiting each other, we agreed it was the best for the kiddo to live with him and he was open to helping me out in any way possible. Now she gets the chance to see what it’s like living with daddy!
Believe me, this THIS was the hardest decision I have ever made. A majority of my adult life has been being a mom, what do I do now? Travel of course.
I spent months researching different continents to travel to and places to see all over the United States. I wanted to see and do everything. It was overwhelming the possibilities. I researched back packing through the USA and heading in to South America going along border towns and countries. Seeing places like Peru and Chile and even going a bit further inland and seeing La Paz, Bolivia. The intention was to make my way around the entire continent while staying as close to the water as possible. But then I had more ideas.
What’s in Australia? Or Africa? How about Asia or Europe? Asia and Europe have always been a top priority traveling. I started researching on travel options to each place before remembering the Trans-Siberian Railway. It goes through several time zones, countries and crosses over 6,000 miles depending on which trains you take. It seemed perfect since I can travel from Singapore up to Shanghai and take a ferry to Japan. Then from Japan, take a few ferries back to the mainland in Beijing to catch the train into St. Petersburg or Moscow Russia before deciding where to head next. The possibilities are endless. After thinking about budget and time, I knew there is no way I could do this on savings alone. That’s how I came across teaching english as a foreign language, or TEFL.
I researched and researched and found a nice school in Prague, Czech Republic. They help with networking, the skills you need and job placement. So it was decided. I booked my trip to Prague and over last 10 months of 2016 I have been planning and saving for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m scared shitless but am excited to do something completely new and on my own. Now the course is 4 weeks long to be certified as a TEFL teacher, so once that’s done I will figure out what to do next. There’s a good chance I will stay in the Czech Republic, but there is so much opportunity to travel and see more. So I may go off and Couchsurf for awhile, do some Workaway type stuff or even WWOOF it for a bit.
So here we are… I have just over 100 days left until I leave the country. Between now and then I’ll be blogging about my upcoming trips to Tennesse, California, New York and any local trips I may do. I’ll probably also be posting information on some of the research I’ve done to cut costs, saving money, how to travel on a budget and everything in between.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my first post! I look forward to writing many more.