A year can seem like a really long time before it actually starts, but as I approach my one-year mark, it feels as though no time has passed at all. The past year has been such an amazing adventure with its euphoric highs and despondent lows. I’ve met so many wonderful people, I’ve grown as a teacher, I’ve experienced life as an expat, and I’m moving forward in both life and career.
A few months ago, I made the decision not to renew my contract at my current school in Malaysia. I dreaded the thought of having to go through the job search and application process again, but I felt that it was the right move despite feeling somewhat settled down and comfortable. I think that was the problem — I don’t want to settle yet. Right now, the opportunities are out there and I’d like to take advantage of it while I still can. There is a demand for ESL teachers, but the competition is tough, which makes it tempting to stay where you’re wanted, because the only way to get a foot in the door in many places now is to have a wide range of teaching experience and qualifications that I don’t really have yet. However, I decided to take a risk along with the stress it comes hand-in-hand with and hoped for the best.
After months of sending out my CV and filling out applications, I finally got a door to open and I’ll be relocating to another part of Asia in a few weeks’ time to start a new adventure. As always, it’s exciting and scary at the same time. It will be completely different. I’m trading in the university for a language centre, the adults for young learners, and the set schedule and time table for an irregular schedule and split-shifts. It will be a big change, but I’m ready for it. It’s the logical next step to advancing in my career.
Packing up and getting ready to move is the next challenge. I’ve acquired a lot of things in my year here and I’m not proud of it. I’m serious about cutting down to a minimalist lifestyle until such a time that I’ve actually settled down and am sure that moving to another country will not be likely. I feel I am too sentimental and would like to be less so, especially when it comes to material possessions. So tomorrow, I tackle this challenge. Wish me luck.