By Alyce Collins
THIS SCHOOL teacher aims to visit thirty countries before she turns thirty as she says travel makes her a better teacher after spending £15K on exploring the world.
Teacher, Meghan Ramsey (29) from Washington, USA, has travelled to 27 countries around the world so far and is aiming to have reached 30 countries by the time she turns 30 years old, in eleven months.
With having six weeks off a year as well as weekends, Meghan says that travelling has made her a better teacher because she can learn about new cultures and help her reflect on herself.
To fund her exotic travel lifestyle, Meghan also babysits and is a part-time professor as well as being a full-time teacher. Meghan earns approximately £64K a year and is able to plan her trips in advance as she knows exactly when her school holidays will be.
As well as visiting 27 countries so far, Meghan has also made weekend trips to 44 of America’s 50 states.
“I have pretty much always known I wanted to be a teacher,” said Meghan.
“My first job was at an afterschool program. I loved helping children and knew it was something that I wanted to continue to do for the rest of my life.
“I teach primary school children and I cover all subjects including maths, reading and writing. I also taught during summers spent in Zambia and China.
“While I was in university I volunteered at a shelter for homeless children and students taken into foster care, and I saw major disparities between the education I received and what they were receiving. This gave me a huge passion for helping children of all backgrounds and that’s why I continue to teach to this day.
“I believe that education is the way to a brighter and better future, no matter who or where you come from, an education can make all the difference.
“As a child, my family did a lot of trips to states like Colorado and Arkansas, which made me love exploring and getting outside. It’s always stuck with me as something I love.
“In school, I used money from my job to go on a trip to Italy and to Mexico twice. Then in university I worked over 40 hours a week while studying so I could go to England, France and Uganda. Once I got my full-time job, paying for trips became much easier and I could travel more often.
“Travelling has always been a priority for me, that’s why I’ve been able to go to so many places.
“I have a few favourite destinations, but my absolute favourite trip was probably my trip to Peru because it’s such a diverse and wonderful country.
“Another personal favourite is Italy. I know it sounds cliché because that’s what everyone says about Italy, but it’s such a beautiful country with so much to offer.
“As a teacher I actually think it’s fairly easy to find the time to travel. Yes, you work extremely long hours as I do 50 hours a week, but we do get holidays off and at least six weeks for them.
“All our breaks are planned out, so we can prepare for them. By June, I know what days off I have in December.
“If you plan it, you’re able to find some amazing deals for when you’ve got a week off. There are a few government holidays we get off as well, so I use those to plan trips within the U.S.
“Travelling has definitely helped me become a better teacher. Understanding different perspectives and different people helps us gain perspective on what we do and who we are.
“The better you know yourself as a teacher, the better you’re able to help your students. Teaching in Zambia and China also helped me understand the profession of teaching better and I brought back new practices for my own classroom.”
Meghan wants to encourage others, of any profession, to travel more and to reap the rewards of travelling, as she hopes to travel to 30 countries by her thirtieth birthday in August 2019.
Meghan has previously been stranded abroad and had to miss a day of work until she could get a flight back to teach her class of 25 pupils.
Before becoming a full-time teacher, Meghan would take one or two trips a year after saving up, but now she manages a trip most months, including weekend trips within the U.S.
“Travelling has taught me a lot about myself, the world and how we as humans operate in general,” said Meghan.
“I have gotten stuck in different places and missed a day of work because of flight delays before. But I wouldn’t say travelling interfered with teaching much. I would say the opposite is true.
“Teaching interferes with your ability to travel because there is so little flexibility. Yes, I get a lot of time off, but it’s completely dictated by someone else.
“You’ve got no freedom in asking for days off, I get one personal day a year which means I can’t ask for time off to travel. Travel is really dictated by the school schedule, so it’s not all easy.
“Of course, everyone has something to complain about with their job. This is my complaint.
“Travelling is always worth your time and the experiences you have will leave you wanting more time in a place or with the people you meet. I’ve never felt like travelling was a waste of time and I always leave a trip feeling like it was well worth it.
“If you make travel a priority in your life you’ll stop talking about where you dream of going and you’ll gain some amazing experiences.
“I feel like so many people make excuses for why they don’t travel when what you’ve got to do is make it a priority and a budget for it.
“You can find a way; your best moments are those in which you take a chance and so you should just go for it.”
You can visit Meghan’s Instagram account @meghan_elise_