No? Then you must be an English teacher.
So it seems these are the careers du jour of the extranejeros (foreigners) I’ve met so far in Medellin.
In my clase de Espanol, amongst our small group of 5, there are three English teachers. B & J are an English couple, teaching English to Chinese kids, via the web. They have classes usually from 5am – 8am, to coincide with timezones in China. Then, there is B, an older senora from North Carolina, who’s also teaching English online, but to adults all over the world.
English teaching via the web is a phenomenon that’s exploded. I first heard about it in Taiwan in June, whilst visiting my brother. Carlee, his temporary flatmate, had just moved back to Taiwan after deciding life back in the UK was not for her afterall, and was teaching kids in China. I could often hear her speaking in slow, animated tones to the kids online. Though Carlee is a qualified teacher, most of the time, you don’t need to have teaching qualifications. It pays decent, from what I’ve heard, and if you’re living in a low-cost country, the money could go a long way.
The other majority of long term travellers are “digital nomads” which increasingly can mean any number of things. Usually, bloggers or freelance programmers/designers, these nomads can work anywhere with decent internet connection, and have taken advantage of the opportunity to work remotely by planting themselves somewhere exotic, fun, and low-cost. Medellin ticks all those boxes. M, from my Spanish class, is from San Francisco, and is doing digital marketing whilst living here. Then there are two other girls I’ve met, both working in some form of marketing/communications for companies back home (USA and UK), whilst living here.
Already fairly mainstream, this lifestyle, career choice, and way of doing business is only going to grow in the future.