I Taught in Thailand – Varshini Kumar

The decision to momentarily leave Corporate America was not an easy one. For years, I had been hurdling down a path, so fast that I couldn’t stop for a breath. There was a clear path in sight of what success was, and I had never dared to stray away from it. I was rapidly approaching the two year mark of my first job out of college, and I had the overwhelming feeling that there was so much more out there that I needed to explore. At first, I thought looking for a new job may jolt me out of the funk I was feeling, but I quickly realized what I was truly searching for was an unconventional, out of body experience.

Teaching English abroad had been a long term goal of mine, and so it became clear that this was the perfect time to do it. I found a reputable program that would allow me to go teach in Thailand, so I jumped at the chance! Everything came together pretty quickly – within a few weeks I was able to interview and get accepted to the program while getting ready to travel internationally. There were a lot of forms to fill out, and bags to pack but I couldn’t wait to hop on that plane. The first month after I landed would be focused on becoming certified to teach along with 30 of my peers from all over the globe. Then, we would all be scattered across different parts of Thailand. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be placed in a more rural town or an urban city, but I was definitely okay with both. I ended up getting matched to a private school in Bangkok and spent the next semester teaching the best group of kindergartners that I so dearly miss! After the school year was over, I decided to ship my belongings back to the US and backpack around Asia. Over the course of the next few months, I met some of the most incredible travelers and gathered some of the best memories I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.

I was slowly making my way back West, when I found a yoga teacher training in northern India. This felt like the perfect way to end my adventure and put a bow on the incredible year. For 30 days we woke up at 5 am, meditated for 2 hours and then enjoyed meals between our 8 hour yoga blocks. Some days I think back to how fast paced my life felt before this experience, so fast that I couldn’t catch my breath – and now pausing for a breath tops the list of my favorite things to do. My biggest realization was that some of the best career paths are the ones that are windy and long, the ones that take multiple turns and detours – the straight and narrow ones will always be there – but for the now I’m happy taking the scenic route.