This month, I should be in Madrid, Spain, starting my career as a Language & Cultural Assistant in the city's school system. However, as it has for many around the globe, COVID upended my life and sent me off in a new direction.
In June, I was supposed to get my school assignment in Madrid, but alas, that wasn't to be. The Ministry of Education restricted the program to specific age groups. I was crushed as this was a lifelong dream to live abroad and had prepared for several months to live in Spain. However, I didn't let this news distract me for long. Within weeks, I found another program in Europe that may be a better fit for me. Plus, just this month, the city of Madrid went into another lockdown because of the virus, which no one is a fan of especially freedom-loving me.
I have discovered that the Universe does know what it's doing. When one door closes, or you are redirected in some fashion or another there's something better awaiting you. After considering English teaching opportunities in Thailand and China, I have been accepted into an English teaching program in Poland. I probably wouldn't have chosen to teach English in Poland, nor did I want to teach adults. I was looking forward to exploring Spain and Western Europe while teaching young children. After being in the corporate world for most of my career, I welcomed the change of working in an elementary school setting. But God had other plans for my life apparently.
I will be leaving for Krakow, Poland, in January 2021 to be a Business English instructor. I may be instructing a Business English class at a language school or teaching executives in a business setting.
With a three-year contract, I will be able to work part-time and travel throughout Europe and meet some interesting people, which I have the few times I traveled abroad. I'll have a retirement income, so I won't have to work full-time! Plus, the school helps with placement and does the invoicing to my clients, and handles the taxes in-country. English Wizards, the firm I will be working for, is also expanding to other Eastern European countries, so I may move to Prague after a year or two in Poland.
In Krakow, where I hope I end up living first (there are several cities in Poland you can work and live in), you can get a fully furnished apartment for less than $500 per month. There is no need for a car as mass transit takes you everywhere. Plus, I can always rent a car if I want to explore other countries by car. But flights and Eurail are dirt cheap compared to traveling in the US. The cost of living in the US is utterly ridiculous. From healthcare to travel, the US is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, let alone retire.
I've already got my Polish Work Visa and am now applying for my Temporary Residence Permit. I just started learning Polish, as I had already started learning Spanish. I hope to say basic phrases before I go, but man, this language learning is not my forte. Once I am there, hopefully having to use it and hearing it, will make it easier.
So, on this adventure...I already have income from retirement and clients in the US, am guaranteed a job once there, the cost of living is reasonable, you don't have to have a car, which eliminates the cost of car insurance and maintenance, and healthcare insurance is much cheaper as the cost of healthcare is much less expensive in Eastern Europe. And Poland hasn't been struck as hard or is handling the COVID restrictions in a less extreme way than Spain or Italy.
The remainder of the year, I am concentrating on working out, tying up loose ends in the states, visiting with dear friends, and having fun. Hopefully, there will be a cure or at least therapeutics available to treat COVID soon, so the world will again welcome travelers.