Monday, September 9, 2019

How to Move Abroad in Four Days

On Tuesday, I found out I might be able to teach English for a year in Slovakia, but their school year had already started so I wanted to get there as quickly as possible. Turns out spending four days planning is what constitutes "as soon as possible:" I left home on Saturday morning, almost exactly 96 hours after getting that email on Tuesday. And you can too! (Theoretically.) Here's how:

1. Be flexible. It's best if you are self-employed or can work remotely (and not full time), or don't have a job back home at all.

2. Practice packing. Consider taking a couple three or four week vacations first. I found my packing time decreased significantly with each trip.

3. Find an opportunity. In my case, I knew of a Christian school in Slovakia through my Aunt; I got in touch, they said come any time, I said how about now, and they said sure! And off I went.

4. Have experience living abroad. I was an exchange student in Germany for a year in high school and taught English in China for a year after college. I also spent a month in Jordan and over seven months in Afghanistan. The idea of moving to Slovakia was not scary.

5. Pray about it. This is step five, but it actually takes place all through these other steps. Basically, I asked God for closed doors if it was a bad idea to go on such short notice, and open ones if it was acceptable or a good idea. In four days I was able to: get a doctor's appt, get a dental appt, go shopping for a few things I needed, hang out with local family, and, miracle of miracles, get a good flier mile ticket with a perfect-length layover in Newark. I was also able to check my roller carry-on plane-side for the express flight from Indianapolis, and check it again for the international flight - for free! Oh! And I got on an earlier flight to Newark that I was only able to grab because it was delayed, I got through security very fast and therefore was very early, and the plane was far from full. I even got aisle seats on both planes, despite not being able to choose my seat on the earlier flight or the international one. I'd call those open doors, wouldn't you?

And that's pretty much all there is to it. Easy, right? :) So jump right in and have an adventure! It'll be the experience of a lifetime.