Koh Panghan 2017
Moving abroad on my own was one of the most challenging journeys. But it also proved to be one of the most rewarding. What started off as “just a break after finishing my degree” turned into 3 years in Asia, lead me to see and experience things I couldn’t imagine before I undertook this path.
As I waded through that turquoise sea, looked around me at the deep blue sky, the puffy clouds, the golden light, I felt so at one with everything in the universe. I swam as far as I could go, feeling elated. I knew that everything I ever went through brought me to that moment.
This moment was a massive milestone for me, and a memory I keep close to my heart. I thought to myself “I did this. I brought myself here. I have picked up the paintbrush of my own life and coloured it in”. All the challenges I faced up until that point didn’t matter. Or rather, they did. I was GRATEFUL for them.
Teachers, in general, derive intrinsic joy from intangible rewards. It’s what keeps them going. This happened seldomly, such as when learners suddenly understood a concept, or when they thanked me for my guidance. Teaching and living abroad was often tough work and involved its own particular set of stressors.
I knew I wanted to work with children and make a difference in their lives. On the tough days, I remembered my reason for embarking on the journey. Those moments still get me through. All those moments of connection with children whose lives I touched in a small, but impactful way.
Seeing parts of the world only previously seen through television ads, and magazine articles, was an irreplaceable and invaluable experience that teaching abroad easily gave me the means to do.
I never, in my wildest dreams, could’ve imagined that I’d end up living in Singapore, meeting the love of my life and making Asia my permanent home. I cannot really imagine who I’d be if I didn’t. I most certainly don’t regret that I did. 🙂