Tag Archives: www.tefl.com

An Open Letter

Dear Friends,

I’ve told my parents, so now I can tell all of you that I’m pregnant. Come on, let’s get real. I’ve told them, and now I’m telling you that I’m leaving Paris at the end of the month, because I’ve accepted a job in Tokyo. A lot less dramatic, right?

France, my other heart, has failed me on the job front, but Japan has beckoned and delivered. To be honest, I applied for teaching jobs on http://www.tefl.com/  on a lark. I never intended to live in Asia, as I’d always considered it just “too far away.” After applying and being contacted for interviews from multiple schools in Japan and one in Singapore, I asked my eldest brother’s advice (that never happens) on Japan vs. Singapore. He had much to say (he gets paid to talk I think). He’s been an expat in Hong Kong for seventeen years, and not only is he familiar with the region, but he can spout wisdom sometimes. Rare, but it happens.

He gave me facts and opinions, research from the internet, and even opinions of friends that he has living in both places. He could’ve done more… but I digress. One thing in particular struck me, he said that if he were making the choice, he’d do something that challenged him, that helped him grow, that opened up new windows in the mind (paraphrasing a bit). His words were a lightning rod, because that’s exactly what I want in my life: challenges. I want to be tested. I want to move freely in countries where I don’t speak the language (and have done so in Brazil and France); I want to learn and see new things everyday; I want to live and dream with new lenses.

(* The top photo is my brothers and me, after Thanksgiving dinner, looking so high that I now believe my mother drugged the turkey).

What else tipped me, besides the chance for development both personally and professionally? The chance to save for “the future” that my father keeps talking about, the fact that I appreciate Japanese culture, and the repetition from many that I wouldn’t really like it. It’s amazing how quickly a year passes, so why worry about such things?

So, here I am with just over three weeks left in Paris. My love. My greatest wish realized. What I’ll do besides get my food on, last minute sightseeing (all the things I thought I had so much time to do), and bidding farewell to my lovely neighborhood of Jourdain? Well, first things first, I must visit Amsterdam while still in Europe. My mother’s great advice was “forget shoes, forget clothes; you’re in Europe, travel. Go now!” And so, I went straight to www.eurolines.com and booked myself a four day trip to Amsterdam for next week. I will go now.

Take care,

Val

p.s I forgot to tell you– the onsite TEFL course that I’d registered for for the month of September, I transferred to an online course (in November). Better, no?