Four years ago, I did something kind of crazy. Despite a successful academic career and a rewarding tutoring position at the local middle school, something was decidedly not right with the way my life was panning out. At 19-years-old, I abandoned the hometown life to which I had grown accustomed and moved 4,000 miles to Great Britain. To be entirely honest, I did not look back once. I took a job with a family outside of London as an au pair and they treated me like family as I clumsily made the transition from naïve tourist to poised traveler. I met wonderful people from countries I didn’t even realize existed and created memories that would seem utterly unbelievable were it not for the photographs collected along the way. Of all the magical places explored, the bonds formed, and the moments that literally left me without words, there is no question that the single most significant thing I brought with me when I returned home was the fearless, life-loving person into whom those experiences had shaped me. I learned countless lessons about myself and how the world works and, most importantly, I learned that I have the power to make positive, remarkable things happen in my life.
Needless to say, after my great epiphany, it was difficult to find contentment within the familiarity of my hometown. I carried on my adventures to Ireland and, most recently, to Australia, where I’ve lived the past two years. Now at age 23, however, the allure of being on the opposite side of the planet from everything I know and love is starting to wane. I discovered that I will graduate next spring if I stay put long enough to do so, and I am genuinely thrilled to be finally making my childhood dream of becoming a teacher a reality. It is my opinion that the most invaluable trait for an educator to possess is passion. Passion is contagious; one cannot help but be moved by someone who is sincerely passionate about what they do. For me, my biggest passion is simply being alive. The idea that I may one day have the ability to inspire my students to do positive, remarkable things in their own lives, and help them to see beyond the boundaries of their own hometowns, makes my heart swell.