Well, let’s start with the basics:
I’m 27, single, and teaching 3rd grade near Atlanta, Georgia. In three short months I will be moving far, far away to Abu Dhabi, UAE. There, I will be teaching 4th grade at an international school.
Why would I do such a thing? Because I have always been a traveler and fascinated by other cultures. Because I am bored of the suburban, relatively homogenous lifestyle I currently live. Because I spent a few days in the UAE last summer on a layover and wanted to stay forever. Because if I don’t do this now, I would always wonder what it would have been like. Because I have no mortgage, husband, or kids, and I might never again be this free to live and work almost anywhere I want.
This is not the first time I have been abroad. I taught EFL in Korea about five years ago, and I spent last summer volunteering at an orphanage in Ethiopia. Compared to some people I have barely been anywhere, but relatively speaking I think I am much better-traveled than most Americans. This is my first journey into the world of international school teaching (in Korea I was at a private language academy) and I’m sure I’ll learn some difficult lessons along the way. That’s scary, but also part of the fun.
I am excited and nervous. I’ve done my homework; I know the basics about the culture, I’ve been in touch with several current teachers at my future school, and I’ve read the reviews, both good and bad, of the school. I know it won’t be paradise. I also know I have to try it anyway.