When I wrote the post on Part 1, I had yet to bike across the country. Now, I have and soon I’ll be on my way to Eastern Europe. I am thoroughly excited for this adventure ahead. My plan is something new and different for me. I plan on traveling around for a bit, visiting old friends, then taking TEFL classes in Prague. That’s just to start.

TEFL is Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is a certification process that allows me to teach English anywhere in the world. It is a means of traveling and earning money at the same time. Now, I don’t believe I will be making enough money to retire on, but it is a means to travel. I have yet to pick a school to attend, but I plan on going to Prague a week or so beforehand to look at some and then decide. They all look great online!

The countries I look forward to visiting for now are Hungary, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. There are other countries in Eastern Europe that I would like to see as well, I mean, there are places all over the world, but since I will be in that section of the globe for at least several months, I’m focusing my travel eye to those countries. Anyways, I hope that while I am there, I will be able to see more countries. I have not seen my friends in this area in several years…about 5 and I am so excited to see them again.

In terms of time, I just bought one way tickets. I plan to stay several months at least, but I have no real time limit. The only thing I am stressing about right now is packing. As we get closer to winter, packing is getting harder. Winter clothes are thicker and, therefore, take up more space in a tight travel backpack. A big thing is layering. I have set aside some clothes that I think will be good to pack, but once I finalize my bag then I will post on what I’m bringing. It will definitely be different than what I brought on the bike trip!

This next year is so open and full of opportunities, it is amazing to think about. Unlike why I did the bike trip, or the lack of why, I know why I am going on this adventure. Though, I see all the benefits I received and enjoyed while doing the bike trip, this trip is more obvious from the start: I get to see parts of the world, experience different cultures and languages, and work abroad. I spent most of my travel time in countries that have a romance language and now it will be interesting to go to some that don’t have the same base.

Now that I think about it, maybe unconsciously that is why I went on the bike ride. To see parts of the United States I had yet to see, to experience different cultures in the same country as well as differences in the English language, and when all else fails, at least I got a work out and great tan J

Some have asked about job hunting and paying my dues. I understand that I will have to do that, but this journey can only help me. In such a global economy, how can earning cultural experience and language skills not help my job hunt in the future? Traveling involves organizational and planning skills that the majority, if not all, companies want in an employee. It also shows independence and creative thinking, I mean, if you travel for a long time, how are you not using creative thinking?

And, many people have told me now is that best time to travel because I am not tied down with different things- house payment, children, etc. So, to those hesitating or waiting to “pause” their life and travel, I say by traveling, you are hitting the play button on your life. Don’t make excuses not to do it- because there are always those. Find the reasons to do it! Even if it’s a “why not?” approach like I had on my bike trip. I encourage everyone to take some sort of gap year: between schools, between jobs, etc. Encourage your college friends and family to study abroad in any form- summer, semester, winter, etc. And traveling does not have to mean international. It can be in your own country. Have yet to go to the opposite coast? Have yet to go to a National Park? There’s plenty of adventure to do in your own backyard.

I look forward to continuing to share my adventures with you!