Travel made me do this
This week is reading week which means I’ve survived the first five weeks of university. It has been a very long and tough five weeks or six if you count freshers week. Five weeks in which I have had to rethink everything. I mean I call myself a travel blogger yet I’m studying at university for the next three years. You could say I’ve been having an identity crisis.
This week has had me thinking, a lot: I met with my personal tutor and had to talk about why I wanted to be a teacher. Then as part of an essay on my course, I’ve had to write a self reflection on why I chose to specialise in special and inclusive education. It made me realise I haven’t really sat down and told you guys as my ‘travel blog’ readers why I’ve actually decided to go to university. The closest I came was when I blogged about making the decision to go or not.
Lately I’ve been struggling with what I should do: should I follow my heart or my head. I know in my head and heart I want to be a teacher and I want to be able to teach abroad but to get there with any decent opportunities I have to do a three year degree. This is something I have mentioned several times on the blog and at the end of last year I accepted an offer to study at Roehampton University in London this coming September. Since accepting that offer my heart has moved on…
So I’m going to start from the beginning. My first travelling experience was volunteering in South Africa for six weeks. I helped in an orphanage, assisted at teaching and coached sports to disadvantaged children. I saw things I had never seen before, I had my eyes opened to the world and I fell in love with travel – this was the start of my four year ‘gapyear’. But that wasn’t all I got from my trip to South Africa, I also learnt that I liked working with children, I wanted to help and I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives. I liked working with children so much that I began to make a career out of it, first getting experience as a camp counsellor in America before becoming a nanny. I’m good with children, I’m not stuck in a boring office from 9-5 and technically I could work all over the world with it.
Yet that wasn’t enough, every month I would find myself researching TEFL. I wanted to be able to teach English abroad but I wasn’t educated to a degree level because I didn’t know what degree I wanted to do and ended up travelling instead. Yes you can teach TEFL without a degree but your options are limited and someone with a degree level of education is likely to be picked over you. That wasn’t what fully swung me though, it was during my time living and working in Melbourne when I realised that working behind a bar in another country is just as boring as working behind the bar in the UK. I wasn’t changing anyone’s life from behind the bar and despite being in another country I still wasn’t travelling much. I was lost in a world I had wished for and it was then I realised it was up to me to change something and so I did. After one rejected application and a second nightmare application I was accepted in to Roehampton University a week before the course enrolled.
I am now struggling to adjust to my life in London of being a poor student, studying lots and working rubbish jobs just to earn some money. But there is a bigger picture to all of this, in three years time I will be graduating as a primary school teacher – because I thought I might as well go all out with this degree and actually get fully qualified as a teacher. I will then have to do a years placement in an English school (not necessarily in the UK) to approve my qualified teaching status. I will then be able to teach around the world either in English schools or teaching English as a foreign language.
I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud lately calling myself a travel blogger and basically what I wanted to say is the reason I have ended up at university is because travel made me realise what I wanted to do with my life. These three years at university are just a stepping stone to a much bigger part of my life, a life where I can teach around the world and carry on travelling.
Because of travel I went back to university to become a teacher.
I promise I am not a fraud, I chose do this so I can lead a sustainable life of travel in the future.
There is however a tiny bit of me that thinks if I hadn’t of gone down this path then I would be in Rio right now.