I’m sitting here writing this on the eve of travelling to South Korea for 10 days, wondering how I got so lucky as to be able to do all of this.
The last time I wrote a blog post, we were living in smoggy, tier three, Xiangyang. Now, that living experience didn’t come without its benefits; we became really appreciative of the western luxuries that we took for granted, and being thrown into a city where they spoke next to no English really forced us to immerse ourselves in the culture.
We used all of our holidays and breaks to travel all around China, and managed to travel to over 20 different cities in just 9 months, alongside our teaching job.
Fast forward a few months, and you’ll find us living happily on an island just off China, in a coastal city called Sanya. We’ve been here for almost five months so far, through winter, and I don’t think the temperature has dropped below 20°C. We’ve changed jobs; last year we were teaching in a language school on weekends and evenings, and this year we’ve moved to more stable weekday kindergarten work. In terms of where we could be living, I don’t think we could be happier – the weather is great, the beach is right here, and we’ve met so many lovely people! Not to mention that the use of English is far more common than most other cities we’ve encountered.
I’m sitting here writing this on the eve of travelling to South Korea for 10 days, wondering how I got so lucky as to be able to do all of this. I’ve been able to save money, travel around, immerse myself in a new language (or try to!), and none of it has been that difficult – it just took a leap of faith a year and a half ago to get ourselves to the visa centre and book a flight. The biggest downfall of this whole experience has been missing family, and there have been plenty of moments where I’ve wanted to go home, especially last year whilst living in Xiangyang. Nonetheless, this experience isn’t something I’m willing to let go of quite yet – and in the meantime i’m counting down the months until friends visit, or I get to fly home for the summer.
So that’s our updated living situation, we lived a harder first year and gained some valuable and necessary teaching experience, but ultimately we’ve managed to move somewhere that we now enjoy living and can confidently say is going to be our last place before we move back home and rejoin British life.