How a Passion for Travel and Photography Led to Teaching English in Spain!
The truth goes well beyond that headline. Too many dynamics to explain here, but y, after 9/11 my main business in New York was destroyed. There was little choice, but to look for other opportunities. In the middle of this oscillating process, (if you ever had to make a sea change decision, you know what I mean), I received a phone call from Europe. It was a good friend whom I met in Majorca asking me how I was and what I was doing. After the typical formalities about family and friends, he reminded me of an idea we shared during my trip to that beautiful island.
The idea was to set up a bar in Europe and live my golden years in semi-retirement.
On the surface, this sounded glamorous and oh so perfect for someone in need of change and inspiration. A Done deal! Within 4, months, the bar was set up and rocking.
But here’s the thing, during the build out of the bar, I chose to spend my time traveling Europe. I am not sure if this was a conscious decision, but my bags were always packed. Call this another passion, because the seed and the need for travel were there well before this.
Owning a travel agency certainly contributed, but having an old, funky Minolta was also to blame. Photography and travel are inexorably linked. You can only do so many things technically (learn) with your camera. You need subjects, content and freshness to fan the flames for both these passions.
Where does teaching English abroad come into the picture? It is pretty simple. Running a bar full-time is fabulous and a great way to meet people. However, it is time-consuming and leaves little time to pursue one’s passions. Ironically and comically the decision to teach English came directly from patrons (drunk and sober) of the bar. They would compliment me on the expertise of the language. Imagine that! Here I was in a foreign country where very little English was spoken, getting compliments on the command of my own native language! Enough said. If patrons of the bar, (the sober ones), paid me compliments, I could teach English to the rest of the community.
After some research, I made the decision to sell the bar and move on to teaching English. I have now gone full cycle. I have made a full-time commitment with the idea of having free time for travel and photography. Teaching English abroad is a great solution.
The trick for me was finding a central country or city (like Madrid, Spain) where transportation to other countries is reasonable and then having the ability to set up a flexible schedule. All that’s left is to keep a bag packed and to never forget your camera.
Finally as an added benefit, I discovered I have yet another passion… teaching English.
Thanks for reading this.
Check out my books on Teaching English Abroad:
And for more info on setting up a bar, a travel agency or other small businesses, Click here for my new Book.
By Eric Kelly – English teacher in Madrid, Spain
Acerca de eric
American Native English and Business Teacher and Coach. Over ten years experience teaching Native and American Business English. I am also a writer and have 7 books which are self published. Two books are on the subject of teaching English. I offer classes at my house or at your domain depending on the distance.