Onwards and Forwards

In a few days, April 2nd will bring the six-month mark in my journey and move abroad to Asia. It is crazy to think it has been half a year already and it feels a bit like life is moving as fast as the motorbikes like whizz by here in Ho Chi Minh City. But like all passages of time, my departure day in October still seems like a world away.

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While I set out on this journey with the idea of being abroad in Vietnam for the full year, life sometimes throws a curve ball, changing the original plan of action. Of course there is comfort in knowing a plan but sometimes, and most times, with such a drastic change as to moving from America to Asia, things may not always add up as you reckoned. Despite double-checking your work, it may just be that the “right” answer just isn’t for you.

Let’s get to the point. In the next few days I will be traveling to Shanghai, China. I have made the decision to venture onwards and forwards. It has been in the works for  a while but despite traveling abroad together with my best friend from home, we want different things. While we were both open to going somewhere new at some point, she is happy here and really dedicated to her students, applaud-able really, killing it with test scores and class improvements. If anything, I think it makes us even more awesome (toot toot) that we are able to let each other do what we want to do, splitting up if it means so. That is just me tooting our own horns, though.

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 During my time here in Vietnam, I have embraced a new interest for magazine writing. And while it isn’t something I may want to do for life, it’s something I want to do for now and that’s worth pursing. I have been growing a bit restless in Vietnam, not based on the city or my situation, but based on my personality and my need to see as much as I can in my time abroad here in Asia. I searched for a while and explored possible opportunities and landed an internship with a magazine in Shanghai and the chance to continue teaching English there.

For all those who are worried about the status of Mary and mines friendship, we are okay. In fact, its stronger than ever I’d say. When we explain the situation to our friends here, or strangers, we sometimes find ourselves meet with weird or unexpected glances. We may need to work on rephrasing our story – it tends to sound a bit like we are dating. “She is going to China” “I’m staying here for a while” “We will meet again though I’m sure” “You promise you’re not mad?” “You said you were okay with this!”

 For us, the ESL Gods were never in our favor. Since the days we took our CELTA courses in NYC, Mary had the 2-10pm class and I had the 9-5pm class. When we moved here, she got a 9-5 job and I found myself working weekends and evenings. It seems almost natural that we would add a twist to this epic story of two best friends abroad. It is nerve-racking in everyway to leave behind the life I’ve made here so far in Ho Chi Minh City and I’ll miss all the friends I have made. But it is also so exciting to start a new experience somewhere else.

Don’t’ worry I’ll be sure to continue updates of life abroad, everything from settling in, finding housing, teaching English, food, drink, and nightlife. This time, it will just be from China! Who would have thought last year I would be in Vietnam and then China. That’s the beauty of it all. You really never know what you’re going to get.

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Six months later but again, wish us me luck!