It was our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday and we’ve been looking back on all of the things we’ve achieved over the last year or so. It’s been a bit mental and looking back no wonder we’re exhausted but we’ve achieved so much. We still haven’t taken our foot off the accelerator though as we’re busy planning the next steps and we’re full of exciting ideas for how to further our careers as TEFL teachers and see more of the world.
Here’s what we’ve achieved in 2013-2014:
March 2013 – Jack proposes and we begin planning a wedding for July.
April – We sign up for a TEFL internship in Thailand and begin the 120hr online course whilst planning the wedding and working full-time at banks.
July– We complete the TEFL course and pass the interview stage of the Thailand internship confirming we’ll be jetting off in October. We then get married and go to Rome on honeymoon.
September – We quit our jobs at the bank; sell all of our worldly possessions and book plane tickets to Thailand.
October – We begin the Thai internship in Bangkok with an intensive 20hr course where we get our first taste of teaching and some positive feedback. We then relocate to Loei and begin work at Muang Loei school.
December – We put together a Christmas special with the other teachers and I prepare a speech for the school Director. We begin private tuition classes and decide that we’re happy continuing being TEFL teachers for the foreseeable future.
February – We begin Skype interviews for jobs in China and after 7 days, 3 missteps with companies and 5 hours of interviews later we get a solid job offer from Shane school, Kunming.
March – We leave Muang Loei having completed the internship and travel to Bangkok to begin the China Z-visa process but things take too long and after a stint in Pattaya we need to leave the country before our Thai visas expire.
April – We travel around South-East Asia seeing sights such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Halong Bay in Vietnam. We then fly back to Bangkok the last week of April to complete the visa process.
May – We fly from Bangkok and arrive in Kunming and are immediately put to work at Shane who are understaffed and love training. We go a little mad at the weirdness of China and trying to negotiate our new lives.
June – We get paid something more than a living allowance (for the first time since leaving the UK) and things get a little easier for us, we pick up some Chinese, have a nice apartment and get into a rhythm with teaching.
July 2014 – We get a cat! We get paid again and this makes us and the bank very happy and we now have a reasonably solid plan for what we will do for the next few years after Kunming.
So as you can see we’ve done quite a bit recently, but as usual we’ve also been thinking about what happens next so here’s what we’re thinking…
Future plans: After China we relocate to Europe for one year working in a Central/Eastern European country whilst we travel around a bit and see what we like and don’t like for future relocation purposes.
At the end of the contract we relocate to a better paid gig possibly in Dubai or Western Europe. During this time we will be saving money towards a teaching qualification that we will need to obtain in the UK before heading off again for an even better gig most likely at an international school in central Europe at which point we’ll be looking to start a family.
This plan isn’t set in stone but it’s already been re-hashed a few dozen times and this is our best plan yet. At the end of the day we want to settle in Europe, not Asia, especially when it comes to having kids. So we need to up-skill over the next couple of years whilst still putting in the time to teach to gain experience so we’re in the best possible position when the time comes.