At the end of January I will be leaving the country for a month to live in Mexico. I am looking forward to this trip as so much more than simply a vacation. I have not lived outside the country since I was 20 and this is an opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and travel to a place where I do not speak the language, do not share the same culture, and have essentially no idea what I will encounter. This will be a learning experience. This kind of uncharted territory is the same thing that many of my students encounter each day. Many of the children I work with face learning disabilities and challenges that put them outside of their comfort zones each day at school and each time they are presented with a new skill to learn. But I think that the best way for an individual to grow is to take that step outside of what they are used to and try something new and difficult.
I am hoping that while I am there I will learn to speak Spanish with at least some fluency, make at least one new friend, eat many things I have not eaten before, and learn something about myself. It’s been almost 12 years since I have spent more than two weeks away from home. I’ve had a dream of one day spending time in another country teaching and I am hoping this trip will give me a little taste of what it’s like to be away from my home, family, friends, students, and all the things that give my life routine and consistency. I know that upon my return, nothing will make me happier than reuniting with my loved ones and the children that make me grateful for each day I get to teach, learn, and inspire.