040 | Interim Expat with Scott Barrett

Learn how to create a plan for international travel, teaching abroad or a sabbatical year.

The concept of “exposure therapy” can help expose you to blindspots of what is possible.  Sometimes that means practicing being uncomfortable.  Two examples this week were having her kids run in the rain, and getting out of the comfortable passenger seat and be a little uncomfortable in the driver seat of the 30+ foot RV.  If you want to practice simple ways to experience adventure and get a little uncomfortable you might want to join the 60-day Everyday Adventure Challenge.  Registration closes September 4, 2021.

Participate in an online challenge to create 60-day everyday adventure habits.  Participants are supported with inspiration, action-able adventure lists, and accountability to make simple adventures happen.  

Registration opens January, May and August each year.  

Contact us if you are interested and be the first to know when this is launched!

I was first exposed to my guest today through his brother Brad Barrett on the Choose FI podcast, where he spoke about the adventure of teaching abroad.  It sparked my curiosity. As a former teacher and student who studied abroad in high school, I never considered teaching abroad as an option.  That episode also introduced me to the concept of geo-arbitrage.  Scott Barrett taught for 10 years in the United States before moving to Chile to teach internationally and later took a year-long sabbatical at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, unfortunately ended a bit early due to covid. When I learned he was living in Madison, WI I had hoped we would be able to meet-up, however he is currently in his final year of teaching as he will retire in June at the age of 40 and be moving back out east. Scott intends to start a financial coaching business, volunteer and add on to the 50+ countries he has previously traveled to.  Scott Barrett, it is such an honor to have you as a guest today, Welcome to Ordinary Sherpa.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Exposure to something that isn’t “normal” can open up so many opportunities. Scott’s simple curiosity led him to learn about and challenge assumptions related to international teaching.  
  2. Most international teaching schools are taught in English and based on a western style of education. Speaking another language is not required but an added benefit you bring to the experience.
  3. Resources like International School Services and Search Associates have websites and job fairs to help explore International Teaching opportunities.  
  4. A sabbatical is an intentional time away from work.  Scott and his wife decided to say yes to a year of travel rather than falling victim to the one more year syndrome.  They created a basic skeleton of a plan and filled in the details as they went.  
  5. They optimized their resources by establishing bookmarks where they had friends and contacts.  Then they purchased the big flights mostly with travel rewards they stockpiled the year prior (using flexible points like Chase Ultimate Rewards, and co-branded travel currencies through British Airways, United Airlines and Hilton.  
  6. In addition to hotels and long term Airbnb rentals they utilized Trusted House Sitters to give a local experience and create more of a homey experience after significant time on the go.  
  7. Things that don’t always go according to plan sometimes make the best memories.  Keeping the mindset “we are intelligent people, we will figure this out” and not being afraid to ask for help through local expat groups or Choose FI local groups were great resources.
  8. Shared experiences don’t require everyone to speak the same language.  A smile is universal sign language.  
  9. People are genuinely helpful.  Travel has renewed their faith in humanity.
  10. Exposure to something different allows you to see what is possible and also helps you appreciate what is familiar.  After many years away, coming home is a welcome feeling.  

To connect with Scott:
Instagram: internationalteacherslife
Website:  www.mindfulmoneymentor.com
Facebook: @ScottBarrett

Where to Listen

Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher,  Google Podcast, anywhere podcasts are played