Thanks everyone for nominating me as Blogger of the year! I was pleasantly surprised when Nick told me that “teachmewhatever” was nominated as Blogger of the Year, one of the categories of the Jimmies 2015. Thanks to all your votes, I won, appreciate it. 2014 has been absolutely amazing to me, but I never found the right words (or time) to write down how this adventure has impacted my life. I still can’t, but I’ll give it my best shot.
a sketchy ass subway
A couple of weeks ago I bumped into a high school friend that I hadn’t seen … well, since high school. He reminded me of something I told him at age 16: “I just want to do something different, I want to do something, but I haven’t figured out what exactly”. A common quote nowadays, as it feels like that’s what everyone says. “Getting out of your comfort zone” is the new “thinking outside of the box”, it’s been said that many times (even by myself) that it loses its value. Yet getting out of a sketchy ass subway at 4AM accompanied by one other person, your backpack and a whole lot of fear, walking through areas with mentally ill drug users or deciding to follow people to their house after meeting them on an airplane … those experiences give meaning to the term ‘comfort zone’.
Are you Dutch?
Throughout my adventure I’ve learned way more than the actual “skills” I recorded. I overcame my fear of speaking English on camera, which didn’t happen overnight. Gradually the way people approached me changed, from “Are you Dutch?” to “Where in Europe are you from?” to “I can’t seem to figure out what state you’re living in”. Totally hugged that last person, haha!
it never hurts to just reach out!
I also noticed I was getting more confident to just ask people for what I wanted. Not only ‘potential teachers’ but also brands that reached out. Once you realise that a lot of brands are really excited to be ‘connected to something new’ and always looking for the next ‘hip thing’ to share with their fans, you can just tell them how they could help you. Advice to anyone out here with a personal project: It never hurts to just reach out. I remember saying I didn’t want to be “a promo tool”, so the companies that contacted me because they wanted to post banners on my website, or were not genuinely interested in the message I was trying to share, well… I didn’t accept the offers even though it would have saved me a lot of money. The brands that did help me out, were not just companies but people I had a great personal connection with from the very start. It was great to feel supported, out there on my own.
“If you don’t know what to do, do whatever”
This quote got me from a free couch in Lisbon to winning 3 free nights at a hostel in Barcelona to a full week in a stranger’s house in Rome to ending up in a sketchy hostel in Prague but fortunately finding another place to crash to one random night in Rotterdam to discovering you have a cousin in London and visiting her to ending up at Facebook’s Headquarters close to San Francisco. Do whatever and you’ll get places.
Let me know if you want to do teach me whatever: firstname.lastname@example.org