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My Traveling Job: Foreign Service Specialist

The very first time I walked through an international terminal, boarded an airplane, and ended up on the opposite side of the world, I didn’t realize it would be the beginning of a lifestyle. My first experience with traveling out of the US was in 1999 on a trip to Poland.

After coming to my senses after 2 to 3 days of traveling (airport strike in Brussels), I woke up my first morning in Zielona Gora, Poland experiencing uncertainty and a little anxiety. As I looked out the window of the hostel at the Soviet era apartment buildings, it dawned on me that things were very different here than in rural Georgia.

I distinctly remember coming to a crossroads and giving myself a decision. I could either stay nervous, cautious, and withdrawn throughout the next three weeks or I could approach this new, strange experience in a different manner.  I had the option to open my arms wide, drink in the differences, and trust God to take care of every uncertainty. I chose the later and began an adventure that hasn’t stopped for 13 years.

Kabul, Afghanistan

For the last 9 years my travel has been subsidized by the US Department of State via the Foreign Service.  Most people think that to join the Foreign Service, you have to be a stuffy diplomat at a large, oak table bargaining deals with other countries, however there are other options. Enter the Foreign Service Specialist.

Baker Street, London, England

In order to accomplish its main purpose of diplomacy, the Department of State needs people to support embassies and missions with specialized skills. Foreign Service Specialists provide a number of auxiliary services at missions abroad: medical care, clerical work, computer support, radio and telephone support, security, etc…

If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and are looking for a great way to get around the world, I would highly recommend checking out:

http://careers.state.gov

For specialist vacancy announcements:

http://careers.state.gov/specialist/vacancy-announcements

Check the above link regularly as openings become available from month to month.

2 Comments

  1. heather yarbrough heather yarbrough

    Very informative, although I must admit my favorite part was the dance at the end! 🙂

    • That’s the main part of my second job.

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