As nomadic expats, my wife and I love the variety of experiences that come from moving to a new place every few months.
The people we met taught us about cultures first-hand and became the most rewarding part of our travels. This was particularly true for the volunteer experiences in places like Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Recently we returned home and found that we missed the people and perspectives they brought to our lives. But there are things we can do anywhere – how about online teaching?
Online Teaching – Helps To Stay Connected and Pay the Bills
Throughout our travels, we taught English online, helping people improve language skills in a very personal way. With English becoming the language of global business, there is now a clear path to higher pay and career advancement for those with strong language skills.
Surprisingly, even though the pay is low (average US$10 – US$12/hour), our online work helped cover some, sometimes all, of our expenses. This is possible in many countries like Colombia and Vietnam where the quality of life is quite nice at a fraction of the cost back home.
Now that we’ve returned home, online teaching helps to fill our strong desire to remain connected globally. I teach on Cambly, an English online learning platform with students from all over the world.
As a former technology executive and design engineer, I draw mostly people who work in jobs requiring at least intermediate level Business English. I thoroughly enjoy hearing the stories of their professional goals and how they strive to work for the best possible company. In fact, many of the classes become career coaching sessions, like preparing for an important interview.
There is the electronic chip designer from Taipei who wants to work overseas for a global company, sharing stories about his daughter and their trips to a local park. A cancer researcher in Tokyo has a class daily, improving her speaking skills so she can present her results at an international conference. It was fascinating hearing from a Saudi engineer about his pending engagement and how the families were arranging their first meeting.
Some of my most rewarding experiences come from helping people fulfill their professional dreams. I had a Russian software development manager who interviewed with Google-Europe before we met.
He wasn’t selected and felt it was because he answered some questions in an inappropriate way because of his weak English speaking skills.
After working together for a couple of months, he was invited to Amsterdam to interview with Booking.com, the global hotel reservation app. He completely rocked the interview and is now living there with his wife.
This is just a small example of the hundreds of people I meet who share their lives and ambitions. It’s a great way to stay connected to the world while having a lasting impact on these people and their families.
The experience keeps us inspired for our next nomadic adventure and the opportunity to possibly meet some of the new friends we taught online along the way.
Let us know how you stay connected when you return home and what inspires you to return to your expat life!
by: Michael Wagner