The Start of an Adventure
For many people the lure of this employment and/or lifestyle choice (depending how you look at it) brings you one of the most affordable ways to travel and see the world. With the abundance of job positions out there to prospective candidates, it is fairly certain that when asked “Where would you like to go?” is met with a slight pause and an unclear answer. It’s quite mind boggling how open the world becomes to you. Even without a degree there are a plethora of countries out there that would want to use your services for a fee.
When posed this question to myself at the start of my TEFL course – for the reason of targeting us with specific help and job offers – it did make me a little unstuck when expected to write a list of countries I would like to go to. Having previously travelled in Europe only I didn’t know where to start, as follows I wrote a list of about twenty countries. For the majority I can only imagine this as a rather vague question. The more adventurous might be looking at the less appealing countries I suppose – and I’m sure the most popular countries are within the hotter climates of South-West Europe, but I really had no idea where to start.
Narrowing it Down
I applied to approximately fifty or so job vacancies during the first five weeks of my course ending and I had primarily targeted Asia, not that this reduced the number of possibilities. Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore… the list seemed endless and this is just the tip of the iceberg, because then you get to almost pick and choose exactly what city you would like to work in if you so wish. For me personally, it didn’t matter as much, but I know for some, they might have key targets.
A Year in Fuzhou and Beyond
In the end I settled for Fuzhou, China. A city I have never heard of before but one that has ultimately become my home for the last year. It only dawned on me two weeks ago and the approaching of the Labour Day celebrations in China that I realized that I would have been here exactly one annum. It has been a magnificent decision to come here. If I had been told eighteen months previously that I would have a years experience of teaching under my belt, as well as travelling all over China to some of the best historical sites in the world, saved more money than I would have in the same period in England AND also travelled to neighbouring countries, I’d of cried “Phony” at the top of my voice.
As it came to the end of my contract here I decided to extend for an extra six months and see if I could sharpen up my Mandarin, save some extra money and see some more countries, as well as increase my level of experience. The longer I stay here, the more I learn. It’s been a great decision so far and I’m looking forward to the next few years and other unexpected opportunities.