. . . must come to an end. (You knew that’s where the title was going, didn’t you? So clever.) Today was my last full day in Rochester, which means that tomorrow I will put myself on a plane and begin the trek to Singapore. I’m more excited than apprehensive (famous last words) and I feel more prepared to move abroad now than I was a year ago.
It’s true that experience is the best teacher. I’ve had a lot of experiences and I know so much more now than I did before spending nearly a year in Malaysia. Ironically, I’m worried (okay, there we go – the truth comes out) about different things than I was before my first big move. Rather than panicking about teaching a new age group, I spent time figuring out areas where I can afford to live, which type of phone plan to buy, which bank to use, where to buy basics like sheets and towels, and which grocery stores and shops are near the hotel where I’ll be staying for a week or so. Mitch helped me map out different restaurants, hawker centers, and bars that we’ve frequented in the past so that I can find them on my own. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve done as much school prep as I can right now.
Most importantly, I’ve decided it’s all going to be okay. One of the biggest challenges that I faced on arrival in Malaysia was uncertainty about how I was going to stay in touch with my family. Topping up cell phone data and FaceTime Audio are old hat now, so that’s all set. I love Singapore and I’m more familiar with it than I was with Malaysia when I first landed, so that’s a huge plus. I know it’ll work out, I know I’ll love living there, and I know I’ll love teaching high school social studies again. It’s kinda fun, this optimism thing.
Spending six weeks at home this summer has definitely recharged my battery. I have been relaxing, seeing friends, spending time with family, making a bit of money on the boat, and enjoying the calm that both summer and home bring. I know that I’m not the easiest person to be friends with right now because I’m so transient, and I really appreciate the efforts of those who have travelled this summer to see me during my short time at home.
Finally, I’m looking forward to returning to a part of the world I have grown to love. If you ever find yourself in Southeast Asia and want to chat, or if you’d like travel suggestions in more detail than I post on this blog, let me know! It’s a big world out there and I’m fortunate to have a job that allows me to explore it.