You might remember that I previously reflected on the realization that I’m a “Goer” among expats.
You might also recall me saying that travel is a good teacher. It changes you…
Which can be dangerous. This danger doesn’t target any one person, but everything comfortable you might be tempted to hold on to. It disrupts the definition of “normal.”
I’ve always seen things a little differently, but that only seems to increase the more I get out. Moving doesn’t seem like a such a great obstacle anymore, nor does going to a place where you know no one. It’s the process of creating a new normal. Oddly enough, in this way of life anything seems to be possible.
I write all of this because this last week I began seriously contemplating the idea of staying another five months in China. I’m finally at the point where I don’t feel homesick every day, and I’m noticing my language skills gaining momentum. To top it all off my dear mother sent me a box full of life’s essentials: vitamins, peanut butter, granola, and loads of leftover Halloween candy to share with friends. The day after receiving it, I noticed my overall mood improve substantially, and much of the homesickness I felt subsided. Considering I don’t care much for “it’s a coincidence” as an explanation, I’m quite convinced the care package had a lot to do with it.
However, it (along with the other factors mentioned above) has pushed me in a direction to consider staying longer.
I do not have intentions of staying at this university though, despite the fact that I am increasingly enjoying my students. In taking the time to plan lessons that will actually encourage them to learn by having fun, there has been great reward. It’s a simple reward though: their smiles.
I know, it’s a bit cheesy, but seeing them enjoy what we do in the classroom…it’s worth it. I won’t regret it.
On a related note, I haven’t read many books in the last several weeks, mainly because I finished everything I brought in the first month. However, over the weekend I was given a couple of books:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Forgotten Kingdom by Peter Goullart
One is about following what you are passionate about, and the other about a man’s travels through the exact part of China that I am living in. As you can see they just add fuel to the fire of staying.
Having said that…it will take a great toll on my family if I decide to stay longer. I am not ignorant to that fact. These are all things I must consider.
So now I ask the typical expat question: do I stay, or do I go?
Until next time.