Travels and changes

How much can change in six years? Well, it turns out pretty much everything. Hair colour (used to be kind of brown-and-blonde, now obnoxious red over far too much grey), goals (didn’t really have anything specific in mind other than ‘travel’ and ‘have adventures’, now aiming for early retirement somewhere warm with a farm and a goat), hobbies (used to be dancing at every opportunity, now brewing tropical ciders in my broom cupboard and tropical compost in my garden) and a host of other superficial and more profound things.

A younger me in pursuit of adventures. Shortly pre-CELTA

Each September, on the anniversary of my departure from the “green fields of England” (*engage in post-Brexit sniffles and curse the nationalists who stole my forward-thinking, outward-looking homeland from me) I mark the passing of one more year of this glorious global TEFLing romp. A pattern of posts is developing that may be suspiciously familiar to anyone on the the standard two-year contracts common to the global TEFL industry: one year’s post is homely and settled, the next is turbulent and full of changes. It’s fun flicking through previous years and considering where I was, what I was up to, and what I predicted for the future.

This year has passed almost in a blur of frenetic activity: studying, travelling, moving, and settling in somewhere new. I feel like Dorothy after the tornado, except I keep going looking for the tornado.

Fish and chips sign and red phone box with Conwy Castle in the background

Quintessential UK, Conwy castle and harbour, Wales

Reflecting back to this time last year, it all seems to have shaken out almost exactly as expected. The bonuses: much more travel and time off than I anticipated – as I described recently whilst mid-cross-Europe adventure. This included an extended period at home catching up with friends and family. The hiccups: OK, I didn’t get all of the Delta under my belt by June as planned, but am working towards submitting my final assignment in December and hopefully, finally completing the intense course which I was about to embark upon this time last year. The developments: I’m finally starting to feel like a seasoned professional with something to offer the teaching and learning world, rather than a stumbling buffoon waving pretty English baubles at bemused students in the hope that some learning will occur. The surprises: who knew I’d end up living in the Middle East? Certainly not me!

Two month stack of Delta related papers

Uuuurgh, Delta. Will you ever be over?

Would I change a thing about my life? Well, I’d package up all of my family and friends and bring them with me – although they might object – or invent a handy teleporter to visit frequently (although again, they might object), but overall, not really. Bring on another year!

Rustaq fort facada, Oman

Rustaq fort, Rustaq, Oman


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