Escape routes work as a temporary solution. They relieve the immediate pain and quell some of the fears we had been grappling with previously. However, in my experience, without a bigger vision and purpose attached, where we end up because of our escape route will most likely not be a long-term solution.

While I met some incredible people in Villahermosa, Mexico and I learned a ton about teaching, and myself it ultimately was not a good fit for me. In addition to an intense workload, my living situation was tense, and the climate was challenging for a person who loves spending time outdoors. While I didn’t want to leave my students, I knew it was best for me to resign at the end of the semester.

Since I had rented my house for the entire year, I decided to travel from Mexico to Panama alone, something I had always wanted to do. I met incredible people, saw gorgeous landscapes, and had beautiful experiences. I also pursued my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica during that time.

I wasn’t sure returning to the U.S. to go back to working in the same field I had left a year before would be the best decision so I decided to take a job as a test preparation and college prep tutor in San Jose, Costa Rica.

While I loved the climate and I enjoyed working with my students, I felt very alone there. I discovered that while many of the people there are friendly, not many are willing to let you into their inner circle. This was challenging for me.

This experience of living in yet another country outside the U.S., not being fully satisfied with my work, and feeling isolated, forced me to get clear about what I wanted my life to look like. I had to stop running away and needed to start running towards something.

Part III (the conclusion) up next.

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