Teaching English Abroad - It Will Be Far Greater Than Imagined…

By:  Ashley Strong

Teaching English in Costa Rica
Those are the words written on a card.
A card that sits prominently on my alter.
Gifted by a dear friend before leaving the States.
Here I am.
Four months into my journey in Costa Rica.
Where is the time going?
Some days seem as if they fly.
Others feel as if they linger around far more than desirable.
Either way.
I feel so incredibly blessed
and beyond happy everyday.
 
Just days ago,
I opened my email to a beautiful surprise.
The International TEFL Academy Alumni monthly newsletter!
I had been featured as the alumni spotlight.
Sprinkled in a short bio, my cheesy photo from my first weekend in Costa Rica and some links to my personal blog along with a few articles I’ve written for International TEFL Academy.
 
Since then,
I have been excitedly receiving emails
with questions upon questions.
How did I get here?
What made me take the leap of faith?
What advice do you have for someone wanting to make the decision?
 
Ashley Strong ITA Alumni Costa Rica flowerYou’ve asked,
I will write.
Here, I will attempt
to shed some light,
to share my truth.
 

  • Are you thinking about taking that leap of faith?

  • Are you ready to explore a reality completely unknown?

  • Are you ready to go to a country far different than that of your own?

  • Are these thoughts consistent?

  • Do you spend your spare time (or what you can find) researching travel blogs?

  • Reading expat articles? 

  • Connecting with people in those desired countries?

 
If you answered, “yes” to any of the above questions, you most definitely want to keep reading.
If you answered, “no” to them or even thought “are you crazy?”
Then you really should keep reading!           
 

Teach English Costa ricaLife.
Life happens.
And it happens quickly.
Your actions and choices of today directly affect that of tomorrow.
And a year from now.
Because truth is,
that year from now
is going to be today
and when it is today,
chances are you’ll find yourself asking, “How is it already (insert your date of choice here)? Where did the time go? What have I been doing with myself?”
 
Those answers,
only you truly know.
Those answers are designed specifically for you,
about you,
of you.
Because you
have the very power to make your life,
your reality
exactly what you want.
You are capable of making all your dreams realities.
 
We,
us,
you
thankfully live in a world of abundance
where anything is possible.
 
I challenge you this very moment
to think,
what is the worst that could happen?
 
Ashley Strong ITA Alumni Costa Rica elephant (3)Stop.
Pause.
Think.
Okay.
Pause a little more.
 
Now, what is the best that could happen?
Stop.
Pause.
Think.
Pause a little more.
 
Because both answers,
all your answers
will lead you to the point of it being better than you could ever imagine,
 
Back to all the emails and questions:
How did I get here?
What made me take the leap of faith?
What advice do you have for someone wanting to make the decision?
What advice do you have?
Please, tell me what advice you have.
 
Although,
what spoke to me may not speak to you
the lines below give you some insight,
a look into my soul,
the reality of my thoughts
and the flood of sensations
and emotions that came with those thoughts.
 
This is how I knew it was meant to be.
How I knew it was time to venture.

 
1. I thought about living in another country on a daily basis.
 
2. The research needed for my country of choice was limited, as I knew the few places I needed to be.
 
3. Once decided on a country, I began making connections.
Yoga connections.
Photography connections.
Teaching connections.
A community abroad was essential.
 
4. I accepted that I would be leaving a life I had spent years building in the States, but remained positive and sure of two things: the universe would provide as long as I continued to do my part and that the path I had already laid for myself was a foundation in which I could expand upon. It was only positive thoughts and realities from there.
 
5. I created a dream and vision board making all those internal thoughts, dreams and visions come to life in front of my eyes. I hung this in a prominent place, one in which I could see everyday as a constant reminder of the bigger picture at hand. That in which I was ultimately working towards. The vision of teaching and living abroad.
 
6. I communicated what I wanted. Costa Rica teach englishWhat I needed.
What I envisioned doing.
And kept communicating this with everyone I knew.
Reality is, everyone knows someone or something.
With this, an abundance of information fled into my life.
 
7. I trusted my abilities to get a job and create a “home” away from my “home.”
 
8. I let go of expectations and accepted that the once vision no longer needed to be the reality and what was to become my reality was meant to be.
 
9. I expanded on the suggestions from the incredible advisors at International TEFL Academy. I introduced myself to schools as soon as I felt I had all my information organized and my “ducks in a row.” What that looked like was connecting to all schools of interest a little over two months prior to my expected arrival in country. And with that, immediately for skype conversation!
 
10. I spoke my truth. I surrounded myself by like-minded individuals and always kept my vision at the forefront of my realities. I knew there was a greater plan at hand. I knew there was so much out there for me to learn and experience.

 
Within each of these insights
lies layers upon layers of thoughts
accompanied by actions.
 
As you may have read in my last blog post (Q & A with Ashley Strong),
before arriving in Costa Rica,
I not only had a job
but also a place to live.

My vision had become my reality
before stepping foot onto the land.
The actuality of this reality was not felt,
experienced,
nor lived fully until I arrived.
 
It is my hopes that these words
making up these lines
translate to some form of insight,
advice,
or maybe just entertainment.
And that they help push you into that next step,
that next phase of your existence.
Because after all,
you are a powerful you,
capable of anything you put your mind to.
And in the end,
It will be far greater than imagined.

Ashley Strong ITA Alumni Costa Rica elephant smilesAshley on one of her journeys in South Africa


Want to read more about Ashley Strong:

 Check out Ashley's Personal Blog

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Tags:

Teaching English Abroad, TEFL certification, Costa Rica English teaching, Costa Rica, TEFL, TEFL job search


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