International Teaching and Travelling Overseas

So is it worth it, this whole travel-and-teach thing? Well, hell yeh! And here’s why…

Just 6 songs (and a bonus if you click the link) tell the whole caboodle of teaching and travelling abroad.

Teaching abroad has given me so many stories to tell that I made this website as a result.

Teaching abroad may make you feel like you have taken a huge leap away from your roots. But working overseas is always like a working holiday.

But in the end, you want to teach well, be it here in the UK or teaching overseas.

The buzz you get when teaching overseas makes you feel so, so free. You are an international, expat citizen. You are with other international teachers from all over the world. They become close friends. You learn so much about the local culture. So you may work in eastern Europe, or find yourself in some out-of-the-way place, but end up in a wedding in Italy. You may even find yourself in a hairy situation, or stranded, but it’s worth it. Or go on holiday from your working holiday together. And you’ve all got stories to tell of how you came here. Mostly they are people working overseas who chose to go their own way and somehow ended up here.

Steve Earle sums up the empathy one feels for the people involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that you cannot ignore if you are teaching or working in the Middle East.

By the Loch – a teacher travels to Scotland and in this song the wonderful Cosmic Hippos manage to put into music the feel of what it is like to sit by the loch in the beautiful country of Scotland. Forget teaching in the Middle East, teaching in Africa, teaching in Europe; I always love to come home to a Scottish loch.

This blog is a series of pieces based on my experiences of teaching abroad and travelling, just because I like to do that. But it is more than just a collection of travelogues and international teaching, although teaching internationally is a big part of it. It touches on history, culture, global issues and the nature of travel itself. I try to include the humour that is the consummate article of luggage for any serious traveller and any teacher who wants to thrive as an international teacher. Sometimes weird, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but always thought-provoking, it is supported by photographs taken at the time and aims to take you with me on my global journeys – from Devon to Damascus, from Henley-on-Thames to Hungary. Follow on the trail of a long lost relative, an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander killed in the second World War in Malaysia; get to know what it is like to live and work teaching in an Arabic country and learn how to survive Ramadan there; come to the Austria-Hungary border to meet the refugees; take a ride on crazy Zimbabwean buses; hitch a ride to Trinidad on a sponsored teaching abroad trip or drive through Europe in a campervan.  Peaches the campervan saw us through so many campervan adventures in Europe. It’s all here.  Now we are home, because that gives context to the whole travel-and-teach thing, however much it may draw you back. It can give you moments of intense beauty that you would be hard pushed to find elsewhere. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed the ride as much as I did, because I have enjoyed it enormously.  Happy travels!

Travels map

Although the captions don’t always mention it, credit for any quality photo, or photos of the author must go to Natasha.

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Stories of teaching and travelling. Mark Twain -Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Henry Miller – One's destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things.

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