As I faced my college graduation, my lack of a life plan became blatantly apparent. It seemed like everyone I knew had a plan, everyone knew where they were going. they were enrolled at some of the best law and medical schools in the nation, employed by important national companies. Their diplomas already had designated spaces on the walls of their new lives, a shiny accessory of those four years they had left behind.
But what did I want to do with the rest of my life? The truth was that I did not know. Maybe I wanted to be a lawyer. Maybe I wanted to work in communications. Maybe I wanted to work for the government. Before plunging head first into three years of further school with a $300,000 student loan parachute to bring me back to reality, I realized that I needed time to think about what I really wanted.
I wanted to travel, and I wanted to write.
Travel is an unfortunate passion for a penniless young adult. While I have been fortunate enough to channel these interests through study abroad opportunities, the real world regrettably does not offer study abroad. Oh, you need to find yourself, you want to see the world? That is called vacation, and it has a time limit. I obviously was not equipped to take on the real world.
So, I decided to take a gap year to teach English abroad.
By some miracle I was taken on as an English Foreign Language instructor at the Centro de Educación Continua de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (CEC-EPN) in Quito, Ecuador.
During my time with CEC-EPN I had the opportunity to teach everything from an intermediate and advanced level classes to advanced grammar and a few conversation clubs. I fell in love with life as a TEFL instructor as my students taught me about their culture and I shared mine.
I left with a love-hate relationship with Ecuador. Many days Murphys Law was the supreme law of the land as I struggled with safety concerns, cultural differences, and frustrations with a slower paced lifestyle. But when I would reach my breaking point, I would gaze out on the Amazon, the beach, the Galapagos islands, or the volcanic landscape of the highlands and fall right back in love with the country.
I hope that you enjoy my struggles and epiphanies in Life on the Equator.
Explore Life on the Equator here:
- A 7.8 Magnitude Tragedy
- On Returning Home
- The Machismo Endemic
- Semana Santa- Holy Week
- The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
- Cusco and the Sacred Valley
- 5 Resolutions for a World Traveler in 2015
- The Adventure Capital of Ecuador
- Bumps in the Road and Quilotoa
- Ovatalo Market
- The Ecuadorian Amazon- Yasuni National Park
- Visiting the Galapagos on a Backpacker’s Budget– How to Spend $1,000 and See Everything
- Paradise on Isabella
- San Cristóbal
- Santa Cruz
- Coming Soon: The Galapagos Adventures
- Entering the Cloud Forest
- Becoming TEFL/TESL/CCA Certified
- Loyalty Forever to the Green and White
- To the Land of the Blue Footed Boobies and Beaches
- Quito’s Summer of the Arts
- Pichincha Volcano
- Twenty Two
- The Keys to the Next 10 Months
- Historic Old Town
- Arriving in Quito
- A Few of my Favorite Things
- Making it Official with a Visa
- Post-Grad Opportunities
- Navigating My Twenties