Saturday, July 30, 2016

On to Our Next Adventure

It's been about six weeks since my last post and that post was written while Red and I were in Turkey. If you been watching the news, you know that Turkey has had some turmoil recently. Several bombings over the last few months (one happened while we were there), and most recently there was a failed coup to overthrow the government. I swear I had nothing to do with it. I was back in Indiana when everything went down.

Just narrowly missing the economic and military implosion of a Middle East country has given us a renewed sense of adventure and we are ready to leave the Midwest to see what else is out there for us. After a few drinks much consideration, we have decided on our next adventure.



Less than a week before we left for Turkey, we accepted teaching jobs in Beijing, China and plan to leave Indiana sometime in late September. We would go sooner, but the paperwork and legalities involved with moving and working overseas are very complicated and take some time to arrange. 

Almost exactly two years ago, I completed my Master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Since then, I have applied for over 100 different positions all over the country and have had no luck. Every college wants someone with at least 5 years experience and every public school requires a degree in education in addition to my current degree. Therefore, unless I just get lucky and find a place that will take me, I just can't seem to find a job in my field.  

When I first moved to Indianapolis almost three years ago, part of my motivation was to be in a bigger city with more language teaching opportunities. I needed to be teaching in a classroom to meet the practicum requirements for my degree and small town Mount Vernon, Illinois just didn't have that. As I was settling into my new Indianapolis apartment, I posted on Facebook about my move and need to find a place to teach in order to graduate. Within hours, I was contacted by a school and offered a job on the spot. This was more than an opportunity to get class credit. It was a real teaching job. Before I even had my degree. But it was in China. 

A friend of mine from college had moved to China after graduating and eventually started an international school in Beijing. It has been quite successful and he has since expanded into more schools and has partnered with many of the local schools there. He was in the need of an English teacher and wanted me to come. I really didn't have any reservations about moving overseas, but I didn't feel that my life was in a place where I could leave the country yet. I had just moved to Indianapolis less than a week before this offer. My daughter had one semester left before graduating high school and I had been dating Red for several months and really felt like this relationship was going somewhere. I couldn't even consider leaving the country at that point. My friend tried to convince me, but it didn't work. I turned him down, but he did check back with me a few months later to see if I would reconsider. I denied him again. He said he would quit calling me about it.

Kirsten's graduation picture
Fast forward to this year and my life has settled in. I married Red and my kids are grown and living their adult lives. However, I still don't work in the field I went to school for and built up all the student loan debt for. In the midst of a conversation about this, Red asked me about my friend in China and if that job offer still stood. I thought about it for a couple of minutes and realized that leaving the country is a workable possibility now and I called him. He was very excited to hear from me and offered a job immediately. After a few minutes of questions about Red, he offered a job to her as well. It was an exciting phone call.

We were leaving for Turkey in a couple of days, so I told him we would start to hammer out the details as soon as we got back into the country. Since then, we have started exchanging paperwork back and forth and selling off our furniture. It's been a whirlwind of activity and a mountain of regulations and paperwork, but this is happening.