About The Czech List
I originally created this blog to discover the details and organize the information that I needed to prepare, and shared it with y’all as I got ready for my new life abroad.
Now that I eat, sleep and breathe Prague daily, I am sharing my experiences and insights about how to successfully transition to life here. From teaching English to the visa process, I hope my experiences and observations can help others who are going through the same processes, or considering it.
All photos, opinions, and typos on the blog are my own.
Doubly employed as a online English teacher & city tour guide in Prague, I like to keep busy! I have lived in Prague since November 2015, and enjoy exploring the city and sharing my experiences. If you have questions feel free to contact me.
I was born and grew up in California, but lived in Texas for ten years prior to my move to Czech Republic. I am 29 years old, love my fluffy brown cat Mishka terribly, and enjoy reading, writing fiction and poetry, and drawing and painting in my free time.
About Czechlister – The Old Version
I got the travel bug at an early age from my father, a sailor, and spent a year studying abroad just out of high school in Campo Grande, MS, Brazil. I learned to speak Portuguese, how to wear heels and that there is such a thing as too much cachaça, and that there is nothing I love more than diving headfirst into a new culture, language, and circle of friends.
After Brazil, I returned to Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Anthropology with a minor in French. Here I learned that I wasn’t so great at collegiate socializing, despite the fact that my studies focused in primate social behavior. Instead, I spent most of my time curled up in my apartment reading and making up stories in my head. I learned decent enough French though, and I have to admit I was a pretty damn good barista, slinging drinks over the counter at Starbucks to pay the bills while I got my degree (not to mention the much needed free coffee).
Post-degree I found myself not ready to leave the Austin area, and in search for a primate-related career. I got a job working in a colony of several hundred squirrel monkeys – at first as a care taker, but most recently in the position most ubiquitous to the sciences – the Research Assistant. Need someone to run 3,920 trials of a behavioral test for you in three months? No problem. Are you avoiding phone calls from needy collaborating researchers across the country? Don’t worry – I gotcha covered. Monkeys not getting along, need someone to supervise a social introduction? I wouldn’t miss it!
However, despite all the things that were great about my job, it turns out that a love of animals (and especially adorable squirrel monkeys) doesn’t necessarily translate into a life fulfilled by cleaning up after them – or collecting data on them. The further I moved up in my field, the further I was from the animals and the more time I spent drowning in data entry, analysis, and meetings. But there’s no satisfaction staying at the bottom either. And all the while, the travel bug in me had been scratching just below the surface, anxious to get out and fly free after being cooped up the last eight years.
Teaching English seemed like the clearest path to seeing the world, for me at least. The past few years I’d found a lot of satisfaction in my interests outside work – writing poetry and short fiction. I was confident that my love of writing in my native language will help me find my legs as an English teacher – although I’d never taught before, I loved to share things I’d learned with people, especially sharing the things I myself was interested in. And what is teaching but a kind of structured sharing? Regardless, I figured once I had a TEFL course under my belt, I’d make strides into finding my niche as an English teacher.
So I decided to make the big move. And in March of 2015, I committed to take my degree, all the funds I could scrimp together, and an old hand-me-down suitcase that would probably be full of too many books, not enough warm clothes, and my favorite coffee mug – and head out to see what kind of life was waiting for me in the Czech Republic.
…to be continued 🙂