After returning from my travels in Europe earlier this spring, I was on a search to find a new adventure. I tossed around the idea of moving to New Zealand, where I have a friend currently living. New Zealand - and Australia, for that matter - offers young Americans the chance to live and travel the country for a year with a holiday working visa. The visa would allow me to work and I'd get to see one of the most beautiful countries in the world, also the lush location where The Lord of the Rings was filmed.
Pretty tempting, but how much would traveling New Zealand for a year really help to further my future - undecided - career? I kept looking for other options that could broaden my horizons.
I searched for English teaching jobs in France at universities and even spent hundreds of euros getting my birth certificate and university diploma and transcripts translated into French. With strict visa regulations in France, however, it's really difficult to find employers who are willing to hire Americans - it's much cheaper and easier to hire English teachers from the UK, which is already part of the European Union. No biggie, after two years in France, I was ready to move onto greener pastures, anyway.
After spending much time contemplating my options, the answer came when I was least expecting it.
One evening in late May, my mom and I settled down in the living room to watch a House Hunters International (a traveler's favorite show) on HGTV. This episode focused on a young couple who were moving to San Juan, Puerto Rico in the Caribbean to escape the harsh New Jersey winters. As Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, their move was relatively seamless - no visa restrictions, currency exchanges, or bank changes. Best of all, the show displayed how beautiful Puerto Rico is, with white, sandy beaches, and an average year-round temperature of 82 degrees.
I whipped out my laptop and delved into research. I quickly decided that Puerto Rico would be a perfect move - I've already stayed in the nearby Dominican Republic while building schools several summers ago and loved the weather, people, and Spanish language. Moving to Puerto Rico would give me the chance to improve my rusty Spanish and broaden my career options, experience a new culture, and write more Travel Tales for the enjoyment of my beloved family, friends, and readers.
With my wanderlust spiked, I'm off to beautiful San Juan. The next time you hear from me I'll have my toes in the sand and my eyes on the water - hasta la vista!