Living, learning and moving on

img_1956It’s hard to believe it has been less than three weeks since I earned my TEFL certificate. So much has happened in such a short period of time — and there have been some important life shifts to share, too.

Returning to Prague this year was a dream come true. Still I often wonder if I’m awake as I walk the streets here. It’s such a real-life fairy land between the castle, squares, parks, and bridges. I know it’s often referred to as a magical city, and it is.

But reality also exists even in a place like this, and sometimes dreams can turn into short-term circumstances. This is one of those times.

I love Prague. I think you all know that. But yesterday I had a moment of intense realization: This is not the right time for me to live here.

My student loan bills are excessive, and my back pain is often extreme. Pay for English teachers is not enough to cover such bills, and lots of mobile transport around the city is necessary. I obviously knew both of these facts before I moved here and during the TEFL course, yes, but knowing and accepting aren’t always the same.

Without going into a bunch of details, I’ll say that I was hired and quit a teaching job within a 9-day period. This has been a hassle for all parties involved and I absolutely regret my part. But at the same time, I do think there’s something to say for transparency and about coming to terms with your own limitations.

I’m not someone who can stand in place for long. My back locks up and I’ll start limping around. I’m not able to commit to traveling all around a city to clients for lessons. If I decide to pursue teaching in the future (likely is awesome!), it needs to be in a specific school with easy transportation options.

As much as I’d love to stick with my original plan to live here for a full year, I just simply can’t right now. I need to go home and get back to regular physical therapy. I need to find a more lucrative position elsewhere, whether in the States or abroad. I know that could take awhile. I’ve been in this place before.

But I’d like to believe I’ve learned a bit more about myself in the past two years (and especially the last three months!) and won’t let myself spiral into depression and hopelessness again. It just won’t be an easy feat.

At the same time, I’m excited to reconnect with my friends from home, see my mom, have some Magpie pie (eeeeee!), and begin down a new path again in December.

Since my tourist visa doesn’t expire for another month and I’ve already paid for my accommodation, I’ll be doing some light budget travel around Europe before I leave while continuing to update this blog.

I’m heading to Vienna solo tomorrow for a night. My trip coincides with the Yelp Wien Halloween Party and I can’t wait to meet some euro yelpers! On Saturday, my roommate and I are taking a day trip to Cesky Krumlov. I’m also planning single night stays in Brno and Bratislava before I leave.

Finally, I want to see as much of Prague as I possibly can before departure. I expected to have many more months here. It’s a huge bummer, but I also don’t think this is goodbye forever.

Prague holds a special place in my heart and I know I’ll be back one day when the time is right.