It seems like our plans are ever changing. We know what we are going to do once we reach our countdown, our South American adventure is pretty much set minus the specifics and exact dates. However, it is for what happens afterwards that has us scrambling for ideas and opportunities. Do we continue traveling? do I look for a teaching job overseas? What about applying for a PhD program? I heard working on a cruise line is a great way to build up your savings.
I know we plan on working and rebuilding our savings in Peru for a little while but then what. My parent-in-laws want us to pick a future plan, settle down and get to…well they may see it as living but to my wife and I it is anything but. To us, unless it is something that has purpose and that we love to do, it seems like we would just be getting ready to keep our nose to the grind until the day we die, and that just doesn’t settle right with us.
Now I know that we need to plan ahead, which is why teaching overseas was an attractive option. It would be great experience for me and finally put me into a classroom. The problem is that it is a great opportunity for me but does nothing for my wife’s professional experience. She knows that she wants to do something with humanitarian aid, someplace where she feels like she is helping people. Me, I am on the same boat, and have thought about joining Peace Corps for years. Only now we have the perfect opportunity.
Who knows if we will get accepted, and the 27 month commitment is a big one but not so much that we couldn’t plan for our next big adventure afterwards. The application process takes 9-12 months, more towards the 12 month time frame for married couples. This means we could travel for a year, go on to the Peace Corps for 2, then plan out our next adventure.
We do have a decent savings, but it isn’t enough to travel forever. Plus there is that whole college loans thing, that we kind of have to pay off. Which brings us back to Peace Corps – 15% of our Federal Perkins loans can be forgiven each year served. Ultimately though, I agree with my in-laws in that while we don’t have to rush to settle down for some misconceived purpose, we can better prepare ourselves for when we do find it by being in that mind set and preparing for it today. Additional, what better resume booster is there for working in humanitarian aid then Peace Corps experience. I know that statement has a shallowness to it but it all circles back to working to help people, so I am OK with that.
I know we can’t travel forever, for more than financial reasons too. We will eventually tire of not being active – of doing something purposeful. This may be a great way to have our bananas and eat them too.
I signed up for the application, after discussions with a friend who is now serving, but my application has to wait. They will be switching over to a new application process in a few days – and if you haven’t completed your application you must start over with the new one. The whole process will shut down until mid August, so until then we wait and contemplate a little more about the possibilities the future has in store.
Have you ever thought about joining the Peace Corps? What’s your take about our plans?