Recently, life has dealt me a series of blows. Some of them others can see, some others can’t. The end result of everything is this: I need a change. I have never been one to sit still and I know in my heart when its time to go. There will be many things I miss about Florida, but all signs point to a new adventure.
I knew that God, the Universe, the World, Mother Nature, intuition, The Rock, whatever you want to call it was not so subtlely telling me to get a move on. I wondered though if this door was being closed, which one of the many would be opened. For a month there, I felt like the room was dark. I could not see the door I had just excited, and I could not yet see what was before me. It was an overheard conversation in a teacher’s lounge and an hour long talk with a co-worker that led me to my present direction. Someone, somewhere had turned on a light and I saw an open door before me.
To enter through this door, I would have to take a giant leap outside of my comfort zone. This would be it. My adventure started with an application on Teach Away, a site that recruits international teachers. Now, if you’re expecting to see the typical touristy places like England, France, Spain, etc. you’re in the wrong place. This site is for people seeking a higher level of adventure. The application was simple and with a click of a button, you could view the benefits of any job listed and apply within seconds. You’re already taking a pretty big leap. No need to make the process hard. I applied all over: China, Malaysia, Colombia, Chile, Kuwait, the UAE, Japan, Turkey, and even Kazakhstan. Schools have the choice of communicating with you directly or through a Teach Away recruiter. I experienced both.
I ended up narrowing down my search to the Middle East. I had already been to Turkey and so I narrowed down further to the UAE, specifically Dubai or Abu Dhabi. I set up a call with the recruiter and she informed me that the school in Dubai was only currently filling Kindergarten positions. Now, anyone that knows me knows that this would be my personal nightmare. I would be moving far outside my comfort zone already, no need to complicate things by taking a position I didn’t like. I told the recruiter that the lowest grade level I was interested in was second grade. I was disappointed though, that the UAE wouldn’t work out after all. The recruiter asked me if I would be interested in other areas. Honestly, I was thinking no but said yes anyway. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. She was encouraged me to look into two schools in Kuwait that were hiring for the grade levels I was more comfortable in. I knew a friend and coworker who returned two years ago from teaching in Kuwait. I talked to her and asked her for the honest scoop. That conversation propelled my interest forward. It would be a world different than my own, a definite culture shock, but a culture that was open to the presence of ex-patriots.
Ultimately, I made a decision. I would move to Kuwait. I would teach and travel for the next two years of my life. Everyone says now is the time. No kids or spouse to consider. I could be a little bit selfish.
This, then, signals the beginning of a new journey. A journey that I will document here. I will have the next couple months to sort a lot out a lot of stuff and say some hard to say ‘see ya laters.” The sun is setting on Florida living and rising on the other side of the world.
See ya in the Middle East.