I love January and resolutions and the start of the new year –though I suppose it helps that there isn’t snow to be shoveled outside my door! January means new beginnings, a time to recharge and make changes for the year ahead. I have my resolutions written and I am off to a good start. 2012 was a pretty decent year all in all, I can’t complain. We got over our massive culture shock and settled in to life here in the Philippines; we traveled a lot, paid off tons of debt and met some personal goals. I suppose you could say we are in a groove but I am looking forward to a change so we are leaving Manila.
Yes, I resigned from my job. We are moving in June. I don’t know where we are going yet though I have narrowed it down to 14 countries. Okay, that’s not entirely true. If a great opportunity came through in a country I hadn’t considered I would consider it at that time but for now I am focusing on a specific fourteen, including returning to our home in the States. I am excited at the prospect of going somewhere new and though it does add an additional layer of questions when you uproot a child, I know it’s for the best. Yes, she likes her school and her yaya and this feels like home but I know there is more out there for both of us. Bilingualism? A more active outdoor social life? Family get togethers? Chilly weather? A husband for me/dad for her? She would welcome all of those things–we both would– and maybe we will find those things in our next home.
So where are we considering? Well, aside from returning home I am most interested in Singapore, China, Oman, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Morocco, South Africa, Venezuela, Brazil, France and Spain. But this is not to say that I wouldn’t consider Italy, UK, Brussels, Germany, UAE, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala or a host of other places if the package is good! LOL I just need to move to a place that is a good fit for us academically, professionally, financially, socially, physically, and spiritually. I’m not asking for too much am I?! Yeah, okay, I know no place has everything but I am looking for places that have what Manila lacks, especially outdoor green space and datable men! Can I please average more than one date a year? That would be a good start!!
One thing I realized in our recent trip to Paris is how alive I felt. I woke up happy and energized and ready to take on the day. Sure I was on vacation, but it was more than that. I was excited about all the city had to offer; I loved the crisp,cool weather; I was inspired by the architecture, the people, the food and the general buzz and energy of the place. I walked everywhere and was out and about exploring. I want that in my new home. I ate pastries and bread and tons of chocolate every day in Paris yet I lost weight! My pants were falling off me on the plane ride home and the yaya, too, commented on my weight loss. Imagine that! Indulging to my heart’s content yet still losing weight? I walked a lot, yes, but I also was eating good, healthy foods that were accessible everywhere. I felt like I was really living and being in a large, vibrant city has a lot to do with that. I am keeping this in mind.
So, I have started to apply to places and am curious to know how it pans out. Bottom line for me though is it has to be really, really good or I will return home. I am not going to accept a mediocre offer just to remain abroad. I prefer to remain abroad but I also have a very compelling reason to return: my parents. Coco loves them and it would be wonderful for her to have more regular contact and create more memories. (And if I’m honest I would also add my friends and my house. I miss them both so much!!) So, a job in Bali sounds lovely but family trumps that.. though a job at the American School of Paris would be impossible to say no to! 🙂 In the end it will all come down to the package and if it living there offers more pros than spending time with family.
Sounds fairly simple until you consider this other important factor.. an overseas offer would be extended in the next month or two –way in advance of the start date but jobs back home are offered just weeks before you are expected to begin. This means I could be turning down offers abroad and returning home unemployed in a tight job market and struggling economy. That’s a pretty big risk because I also don’t want to be forced to take some mediocre position in the States just to be closer to family… or worse yet be unemployed and put myself back into debt! Overseas jobs offer housing, travel benefits (they paid for Paris!) and free tuition for Coco.. these are fantastic benefits I can’t ignore!
So, it’s all up in the air at the moment but to me this is way more exciting that worrisome. It’s clear I am leaning towards Africa and Europe but home is find, too. I look forward to seeing how things turn out !!