It’s your lucky day friends! I’ve had soooo many lovely messages, comments, questions and sooo much encouragement that I’ve decided to speed up my posts just a little bit.
Today I’m posting two blogs in one just for you!
Apparently I have many friends that are sitting waiting for me to continue my story, so … moving on …
** Please note: Although I am posting this on May 8th, it was written back in January … it is the continuation of a series of how my thought process has worked to get me to the decisions that I am about to announce. Please keep in mind that none of the ‘ideas’ are, or were ever carved in stone … simply thoughts and possibilities.
The What’s Done List – Jan 22nd, 2014
So, if you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been considering living abroad. I’ve been picking away at a to do list to try and make this a possibility. To date, here’s what I’ve accomplished:
Made appointment with a real estate investor to chat about selling vs renting.
Made an appointment with a real estate agent for her to view my condo and talk about options / pricing etc.
Found out the current balance on my SUV loan and did a little research that says my vehicle should be worth $17000 – $20000. This is excellent news as I thought I was going to lose a considerable amount of money on it if I sold it!
Contacted a friend in the car industry to see if there is anything she can suggest or assist with.
Sent a reminder to my upper management to get details on working while living abroad.
Contacted a TEFL provider for further information on certification. (Teaching English)
Looked into TEFL in Halifax and found that it is cheaper and can be done on Saturday’s and Sunday’s! This might be the perfect option for me … considering doing it locally in May.
Made an appointment with my financial advisor to discuss all of these plans.
Made a goal (although slightly flexible) to be debt free before embarking on a living abroad experience. Profit from my SUV sale and condo sale (if I sell) will go toward paying off my lines of credit with the remainder being invested … not to be used for travel.
Decision / realization and preparation for the fact that if I sell my vehicle I will need to begin using Metro transit for daily transportation. However, I can arrange some car pooling (especially for the winter), I’ll be away nearly all of April in Vietnam and then when I come home the weather should be much nicer. And, if I decide to work from home, transit won’t be needed as much. Using transit will also force me to get more exercise as I’ll either walk to where I need to go, or walk to the bus stop. Lots of people do it, why not me?!
If I go the route of selling my condo though, that is a bit of a different story as I’ll need to find a home for the next few months. hmmmm … I haven’t really thought about this one too much, but I’m sure I can make it work. A friend somewhere near a bus route must have a room they could rent me for a few months.
Next steps? Other than the meetings I already have set up?
Work on purging some things from my house. Any of the money from things I sell will go directly on my line of credit.
Start advertising for a few weddings (or assisting other photographers).
Signing up for CESO volunteer program
Begin cleaning up my computers / organizing files (a never ending, but much needed task)
The What’s Done List – Jan 25th, 2014
Had an appointment with one Real Estate Agent and learned some important things:
. Great time for me to sell because my mortgage renewal is due in August, so very little breakage fees
. Condos in my area have recently gone up in value and are selling for about $15 000 – $20 000 more than what I purchased for
. Rent for a 2 bedroom condo / apartment in Clayton Park area runs about $800 – $1000 which is not enough to cover mortgage and condo fees, let alone the hassle of renting while I am away. Looks like selling is the best option. Double checked the rental rates on kijiji and it appears to be correct.
. Average time a property is on the market is approximately 90 days.
Went to Hyundai to find out how much they would offer me for my vehicle as an outright sale, not a trade in.
. They said he would give me about $12000 and that it would be put on the lot for about $15999. Sadly this is nowhere near the $17000 – $20000 that I thought I might be lucky enough to get. I guess this is because it is not 4×4 and is not a V6.
Received email / blank contracts from my boss regarding how an outside sales agent job works and confirmation that I can work from abroad.
Emailed friends in UAE about their experiences in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and any knowledge they have of TEFL work. Two of the three friends wrote back very quickly telling me how much they love living in UAE. I learned the following:
. Very westernized
. Very safe (leave purse on table, leave house unlocked)
. Mostly foreigners, only 20 – 30 % of population are locals in Abu Dhabi
. Very expensive for housing and employers offer housing compensation or packages
. Public transport is questionable because the infrastructure isn’t fully developed
. People who live there tend to have high incomes and travel a lot.
. Teachers can save $10 000 – $15 000 per year while working in UAE
Found out that UAE REQUIRES a BA + TEFL for teachers, therefore I am not eligible to apply for jobs there. So much for that idea! It was fun to consider for a day or two, but in the end, I’m not really that disappointed over it. It would have been a money maker, but not necessarily my ideal travel situation.
My wonderful financial advisor, Emily Rae at Assante Wealth Management, told me that she knows someone who is currently traveling the world and working. She can put me in touch so that I can pick his brain about lots of things.
At this point, all I can really do is gather as much information as I can to try and make an informed decision.
The research continues …