A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

What possessions should I sell?

Which should I store?

If you think you are only going overseas to teach English for one year, I'd suggest keeping and storing almost everything you own.  Though even after one year, you'll be surprised how little some things mean, that were so important to you before you left.

Going for many years?

If you are thinking of spending a long time overseas - sell everything except those of the most sentimental value.  About five years into my TEFL career, I went through the boxes I had stored at my mom's house - and got rid of 90% of the stuff.  Not only did I no longer value what was there, but before I looked in the boxes I couldn't even recall what was in them. 

So much for all the "stuff" we value so much!

Stored Stuff . . .

My wife  used to have about 26 boxes(!) of stuff stored at her sister's house and we had NO IDEA what all that stuff was!  She had a list - and some of the stuff is junk we bought the first few years we were overseas - but we couldn't even recall what most of that stuff was. 

It's not as if we abandon our old habits of acquiring "stuff" - you will continue.  I like to buy things when traveling to new countries - souvenirs, I guess you would call them.

A Tip

When you travel, if you want to acquire a memento of your visit to a special country or place - buy just one thing.  About ten years ago I quit buying junk and decided to just buy one thing in each country - whether it cost a lot or a little.  Usually a lot.  But, now, I do have a good collection of quality art, fabrics, carpets, and other very special things - from many countries.  Not just a collection of trinkets and knick knacks.  Mostly I picked up things that would furnish my house.  Great art - fine carpets - tapestries - etc.


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