Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do you have any secrets?

OK, I have to admit, I've been keeping a secret from you.

Don't hate me. It was honestly for the protection of my job, but now the cat is out of the bag, so I can tell you.

I'm moving. To Prague. In September.

Yep, it's time for me to make the journey to Europe. 

Why Prague, you ask? Because I've wanted to go there since I was 16; the country has a marginally lower cost of living (than much of the rest of Europe that is); and because that's where the program I got into is. I plan to do my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certification there. The school I will attend is also contractually obligated to give me a job if I make a particular grade in the course. 

I will be making that grade.

Now I realize that September is still a long way away, but it's not as long as some of you may think. Mostly because I will actually be leaving Taiwan at the beginning of August. My residency permit comes up at that time and I don't see the economic sense in paying to renew it and then leaving less than a month later. 

So instead, I'll spend something like 10-times that amount on a vacation that lasts nearly six weeks and takes me to six countries (maybe seven, I'm still working on that). In case you're wondering, I'll be spending the first few weeks of August in Vietnam and Cambodia (possibly Laos, that's the one I'm working on). Then I'm going to Bali, Indonesia (as well as Lombok and hopefully the Gili Islands). Then Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a couple of days. This particular destination is actual for logistics because that's where the cheapest price to my next destination — London — leaves from.

I'll spend a little less than a week in London and then head to Prague, making it there for three days of exploration before my course orientation the Friday before the course ends. Then I can do some sight seeing for the weekend before the course begins.

I understand this is incredibly exciting news and you probably don't understand how I — someone who can't keep her mouth shut for more than 10 seconds — could keep a secret like this. 

Honestly, I didn't. I told most of my close friends and family and even a couple of my co-teachers.

I just had to wait until I gave Gloria my notice before I went making it really public. My boss has been trying to drag out of me for a couple of weeks whether or not I would be renewing my contract and I wouldn't give her a straight answer. But tonight she said if I were staying she would give me the class I was subbing tonight. If I didn't then I might just sub it for a couple of weeks until they can find someone else to give it to.

I was planning to tell her tomorrow anyway, because if you give 60-days notice then you get an extra bonus of something like 60 percent of one week's pay paid upon your last day of work. An extra day doesn't hurt. 

Fine by me. I have a really full schedule these days.

Speaking of full schedules, I'm supposed to be starting a one-on-one tutoring with this 4-year-old girl next week. Apparently all her mom wants me to do is play with her and occasionally read her a book. She said we could even go to the park sometimes. She just wants me to talk to her and correct her grammar and pronunciation.
I seriously love my job sometimes.

Which is why I decided to do the TEFL Certification. I'm seriously considering making teaching my permanent job. I can do journalism as a freelancer and, of course, still work on my own writing projects. 

With the TEFL I will have the qualifications needed to teach in most countries giving me the ability to stay on the road. (Yes, I'm pretty sure my mom and dad are a tiny bit heartbroken I'm not coming home after a year in Taiwan.)

So yes, for now, I'll remain a traveling Texan. I'll be out and about in the world, learning new languages, seeing new things and meeting new people. 

I hope that even after I leave Taiwan you will stick around for the journey. I have a feeling it might get even more interesting.

1 comment:

  1. We are very excited for you. We knew you would be our little traveler. That's what you wanted to do at a very young age, but to combined it with your journalism, is even more exciting. Mom & Dad are beside you in spirit so please, take us for the ride of our lives baby girl!