A TEFL teacher and traveler in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We asked Gayane to answer some questions about her TEFL adventure so far and here’s how she answered…
Why did you choose to apply to TEFL Heaven?
Everything started with a trip to India last year. After that trip, I decided I want to live in Asia for a year or so. Then it took almost 8 months for that decision to mature and I started looking for some options online so that I could both travel and earn enough money to support myself and my family back home. At that point it was a rather scary decision for me to consider quitting a very good job to go into complete uncertainty. And when I came across TEFL Heaven’s website and read through the options for teach abroad programs, it looked so easy and so perfect for exactly what I was looking for at that moment, that I applied immediately.
The whole application process was so smooth and easy with extremely friendly support from the TEFL Heaven team that I was feeling it was really the best thing to do, and I haven’t regretted for a minute after that!
What is one piece of advice you would give someone about going on this program?
Definitely go for it! One of my most favorite quotes is:
“Twenty years from now you will regret more the things that you didn’t do than the things that you did do.”
(-which coincidentally I found on TEFL Heaven’s website when I first clicked on it – maybe that coincidence also affected my decision, who knows?
If you are recent graduate looking to get some experience while travelling, or a mid-career professional looking to escape the corporate world for a while, or just an adventurous soul looking to explore the world – I would say definitely give teaching abroad a try as it is an amazing way of seeing a country from the inside by working there, interacting with locals, feeling extremely fulfilled because you can share your knowledge and skills with them, living a very fun lifestyle, and most importantly, doing all this while travelling.
What’s the best thing you have learnt on your TEFL journey so far?
The best and the most difficult thing for me to learn has been letting go off plans and controls and trusting the universe, if you will, that everything is going to be absolutely wonderful. I had always been a person who needs to have everything sorted, considered, planned and organized. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, when you have too much of it, you tend to become a control freak trying to take care of everything and make sure everything works correctly. When you travel in Asia, you cannot plan much, you have to learn to let go off things and let your journey just flow the way it will. With time you see that it always works out in the most perfect way possible, you just need to learn to trust that it will. This has been the best and most difficult thing I have learned so far
What’s your favourite story to tell about your time abroad?
My favorite story is how different my life is now from how I lived and what I was doing just three months ago. My whole life is now like a big experiment– I try new things in my work every day, I meet new people every day, I try new foods, go to new places. I suddenly have free time, a lot of it – this never was the case in the past 10 years I live in a country that is completely different from anywhere I had travelled before, I am so lucky to meet absolutely wonderful, kind and helping people every day, this makes the experience of living in a foreign country so much richer and nicer!
What do you tell your friends who are thinking of going abroad?
I tell them not to think too much but just do it The world is too big and too interesting to miss the opportunities for travelling. Thinking and planning and weighing all pros and cons is of course a good thing, but getting up and doing it is always better.
Sum up your TEFL experience in just 5 words
It’s an experiment every day