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You’re lying awake at night trying to decide if moving to a foreign country to teach English is the right thing to do. There are so many unknowns. What if you make the wrong decision? In theory, it should be good based on all the information you have, but what about the unknowns?

A change of pace. A different island. An undiscovered part of the world with a familiar feel. This Indonesia is miles away from Bali - both literally and figuratively. A trip to Labuan Bajo in Flores to see the Komodo Dragons was the primary reason we made the trip from Bali to Flores.

What is a gig?

A temporary job. Usually void of benefits, such as health care, and pensions. They pay either hourly or as one lump sum. Some longer-term gigs may be salaried but they’re also void of restrictive bosses that have a certain quasi-ownership of their employees.

I’m back in the land of 10-pound papayas, 50 cent mangoes, big brilliant smiles, vagina whitening creams (thank goodness because who wants a pink pussy?!), primo surfer beaches, and rice fields so green you’d think the sky must be jealous.

It’s been five years since I experienced a Canadian fall. If not for a certain special somebody I would have been long gone, back to Asia, before autumn equinox. Before the temperature dropped, the leaves started to change, and proper close-toed shoes and jackets became necessary. I usually dread the idea of staying past August 31st.

NOTE: I’ve used the word nasty prolifically in this blog because no other synonym seems to suffice. I also made some huge culturally-specific generalizations here about hygiene as it pertains to gender. All are based on my experience as a woman who has travelled with boys (by boys I mean grown men who put their dirty backpack on the bed).

At any given time, there are thousands of international teaching jobs out there in this great big world. If you’re like most newly graduated teachers looking for work abroad, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Short term gigs in China and the UAE, part-time positions in South America, and longer term gigs at super-status international schools abound.

Insurance is one of those things we invest in with hope that we’ll never reap its benefits. Like Lord Krishna says to Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita, in effect, give all of yourself to your duty but expect nothing of the outcome. A statement quite easily applied to both child-raising, travelling, and when you really think about it, insurance.

An international teaching job was one of my best life experiences. I relocated to in Indonesia for two years and I struggled with the decision to teach abroad at first and whether that particular position was the best one for me at the time.

“The world begins where the road ends”: Realizations after a year abroad

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