I want to thank Nomadic Matt (Mathew Kepnes) for the awesome interview that he did on Oneika (pronounced oh-KNEE-kah) the Traveler. She is a Canadian Expat from Jamaican descent that grew up in Toronto and have been over 68 countries and counting. Oneika is a gal in her early thirties who has an intense passion for travel, culture, and language.
She is an English Literature and French teacher which at the moment is teaching middle-school English at a private school in Hong Kong. She is an aspiring polyglot who speaks English and French fluently, some intermediate-level Spanish, and knows about three to five words of German (according to her own count).
How Do You Find Work?
In the article with Matt she said, “I have found it pretty easy to get work in my field; there are an abundance of recruiting agencies that are geared to help both international school and ESL teachers find work abroad. For ESL teachers, organisations like Teach Away and online job boards like Dave’s ESL Cafe are great places to start looking for jobs. I got my ESL teaching assistant job in France through CIEP. For certified teachers looking to teach in top international schools, recruiters like Search Associates and ISS are an excellent resource.
How Did Traveling Started?
Her long treks started when in her second year of university, she found out that French literature majors like her could study abroad in Nantes, France for two semesters once in their third year. She put her application and was accepted.
While in in Nantes she took trips to Spain, Portugal, England, and Morocco. She loved the experience so much that upon her return to Canada a year after, she realized that she wanted to get back to Europe. Soon found an English teaching assistant program that offered 6 to 9-month teaching posts to native English speakers in public schools in mainland France. Put her application and once again was accepted and off she went! This time to Nice in the French Riviera.
In her blog bio she says that “the next 12 months were spent loving life on the Riviera and getting more stamps in my passport. I started this blog (Oneika the Traveller which used to be called “Oneika does France…Again”) detailing my experiences. I got used to the expat life and began to like teaching. I realized that this teaching and travelling thing was a pretty awesome thing to do, and once I discovered the existence of international schools knew that this was a career path that I’d like to pursue. Upon my return to Canada, I attended teacher’s college and got my Bachelor of Education, which certifies me to teach English Literature and French to students in Grades 7 through to 12.”
Funding The Treks
As a university student she worked odd jobs at a call centre and a bank to fund her travels during school breaks. When she had the opportunity to travel abroad and make money teaching, that’s when her real traveling started. As she explained in Nomadic Matts interview “I try to put aside a set amount of money every month for my travel expenses. I try to cut out unnecessary spending (difficult because I love to shop!) and prioritize travel instead.”
“I usually plan a trip with a set budget in mind. When I was planning my recent trip to Tokyo, I did a bit of research to get a feel for how much things like transportation, food, and accommodation would cost. I used this information to decide how much money I would need to spend on the whole trip. I attempt to set a daily budget and try to use only cash or debit when paying for things– I avoid using my credit card at all times.”
“I try to walk or use the cheapest forms of public transportation once at a destination. Also, I’m at the point where I’ll pick and choose which tourist attractions provide the best value: I realise I don’t need to see everything, and am not interested in spending money on a random museum/shrine/temple just because it’s listed in my guidebook! If money is an issue, I always advise people to only pay to see the things they truly care about.”
These are great tips, specially for the novice traveler.
by Vagabond Elmer, founder and curator of the Vagabond Lifestyles blog, a community for those people interested in living a simple, economically sustainable, and nomadic lifestyle.
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