Total Pageviews

Sunday, 15 April 2012

My first post!

In the past four or five years I have been incredibly fortunate and have had the opportunity to not only travel to some of my dream vacation places, but to also live in a few of these spots!

Traveling and learning about other countries, cultures, climates, etc is definitely my passion! Growing up in a Military family where on several occasions we had to pack up our house and move to a totally unfamiliar area is most likely where my eagerness to be on the move stems from. Not to mention, I also grew up with parents who spent five years living in Europe. Growing up listening to their stories about skiing in the Alps, shopping in Italy, crossing the border to eat dinner in France, walking through snowy German villages, and soaking up the sun in Portugal definitely had an influence on my desire to travel and see the world.

In my Grade 12 year of High School I went on my first trip to Europe with roughly 40 other students. This journey included a 12 day whirlwind of traveling through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy (... where I fell in love)! While it wasn't exactly 5 star hotels and restaurants, it was certainly a magical trip where I absolutely fell in love with the culture, food, architecture and shopping within Italy. I knew I had to return someday!

Five years later while in my final year of University I had the opportunity to do a teaching placement for one month at an International School in Milan. It was my goal to somehow get a job at this school or any other school in the country that would hire me! The month spent in Milan was wonderful. However, I did not get a job. At first I was disappointed, but as fate would have it, something even more exciting was in store as less than four months after returning from Italy I moved to Grand Bahama Island. I spent two absolutely incredible years living on a small Island and teaching Grade 2 at a Private Anglican School in Freeport.

The decision to leave the Island life certainly wasn't an easy one, but I knew there was so much more world to be seen, and it wasn't easy (or cheap) to do this while living on a tiny island in the Caribbean. After leaving the Island I really didn't have any job lined up or any plans set in stone. I quickly thought maybe I shouldn't have been so fast to leave. On a somewhat last minute whim I decided to try teaching in London, England. As it was last minute I had no choice but to go through a teaching agency (which personally I am not a fan of).

After getting my UK Visa sorted, trading my pretty Caribbean sundresses for some raincoats and umbrellas, I eventually landed at Heathrow. I had absolutely no place to live, no guaranteed job lined up, and knew no one. As I traveled on the train into the city where I had booked a hostel I couldn't help but feel like a brave modern day gypsy. However, after lugging all of my luggage and spending two weeks in a hostel with roommates snoring, farting, coming in and out of the room at all hours of the night, etc. the thought of me being brave quickly turned to me thinking maybe this was a stupid plan. After seeing some (and by some I mean about 15) incredibly disgusting flats, I finally found my new home! I was extremely lucky and moved into a beautiful place, met some wonderful friends, lined up work fairly quickly.... and then... 6 months later, I got the itch to leave. The whole working through an agency just wasn't cutting it for me (even though I did enjoy the school I was at).

I decided if I wanted to fulfill my desire to travel the world, working through an agency and living in a pretty expensive city just wasn't going to work. In February I moved back home to Canada and right away began looking into International Posts for this coming School year. Again luck was on my side. I was offered a position with a new Private International School in Jakarta, Indonesia. The school sounds absolutely fantastic. I have not yet been assigned a grade, but I know I will be teaching somewhere between Grades 1 and 6. I have been told that each class has an expat teacher as well as an Indonesian teacher, so the concept of team teaching should be pretty neat!

Jakarta is the 12th biggest city in the world and one of the worst (if not, THE worst) city for traffic. Luckily, I am being provided with accommodations in a high rise that is attached to the school. This means I will not have to deal with sitting in traffic on polluted streets to commute to work (which also means I get to sleep in a bit longer!!).

While I anticipate Jakarta may be my first real culture shock, and I do anticipate there will be things that may be hard to adjust to (such as the over crowdedness, language barrier, pollution, etc) I am extremely excited to explore an area of the world I have never been to. Jakarta sits on the Island of Java which is home to volcanoes, rainforest, beaches, temples, etc. I cannot wait to begin exploring my new city and country as well as the neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, etc. Oh, and did I mention Bali is only an hour away???

In the next 12 weeks as I prepare for my big move I plan to do some posts on my previous travels and post some pictures of my favourite places!

Stay tuned... :)

No comments:

Post a Comment