I have recently been looking back through my old blogs and realised my last one was 2 years ago! It’s been really interesting to reflect on how I have grown and how much my life has changed. One of the first blogs I wrote was called ‘Will I Ever Stop Sweating?’ In case you are wondering what the answer is… No! In fact, I might even sweat more now? I guess you just get used to it and learn to live with it (and shower, a lot!).
Something that stood out to me having read through my old blogs, is how alien teaching life was to me and how every day was a conscious effort to look like I knew what I was doing. Feeling like a fraud who shouldn’t be there and was (successfully) winging it everyday. How different things are now; I have since moved to a small Kindergarten where I have learnt so much and have such an amazing support system. Having taught nursery for 2 years, I then moved to K1 and now I’m going to be teaching K2! I have gained so much confidence teaching and it feels so natural to me now. In summary, it’s more like 80% knowing what I am doing and 20% winging it! I absolutely love teaching and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. For those of you who don’t know me, I used to work in costume for film & TV. As much as I loved this and worked very hard to get where I did, I found that the longer I worked in the industry, the less fulfilled I became; I gained a strong longing to do something that would help people. Never at that time did I ever plan, want, nor certainly dream of becoming a teacher!
It’s really crazy to think how moving to Bangkok has changed my life so much. So much, in fact, that I will be starting my PGCEi in September so I will be a qualified teacher who 100% knows what they are doing! If someone said to me 3 years ago that I was going to become a teacher, fall in love with it, and want to do it for the rest of my life, I would have called you crazy!
The other thing that stood out to me was how long it took me to settle into this foreign land. From getting my head around the language, adjusting to the weather, making friends and figuring out what and where to eat! Nothing was easy and my first year was extremely up and down emotionally. I had many days of feeling extremely lonely, lost and homesick. Fortunately, I have adapted well to all of these things and Bangkok now feels like home! Adopting 2 dogs, moving to the center of Bangkok and changing schools have all contributed strongly to helping me settle here. I have since made some wonderful friends, Rob and I have got engaged and we’ve been able to travel much of Asia, including India and Indonesia.
Railay beach, where we were due to get married in May!
Not everything is sunshine and roses though, as we are currently in the middle of a global pandemic which has really affected our lives and changed a lot of our future plans. Bangkok went into lock down and schools were closed for several months.(teaching 3 & 4 year old’s online was not easy!). We were due to get married this May, with family and friends due to fly out but unfortunately this all got cancelled and we have had to postpone it until February 2022. We were also going to relocate to St Petersburg, Russia; as you can imagine, this also did not happen. We haven’t been able to see our family for a year now and It’s not looking likely we will be able to at Christmas either.
Unfortunately, Rob and I have both lost loved ones since we have been away and haven’t been able to travel home for the funerals. It’s quite a surreal thing to go through when living abroad. It is hard because In that moment you want to spend it with family and grieve with them. Instead, you find a way to mark the occasion in a personal way that has meaning for both of you. When I think about the people we have lost, it’s a strange feeling because although my heart fills with sadness, and i often still think about and long to see them again, the grieving process feels different. Living so far away, creates a natural distance and you are already used to not speaking and seeing each other often. For me, I didn’t fully grieve or find closure until I was back in the place where I last saw them. This is when it really hit me hard. It was also hard to be at a family gathering where they would have been, this was when it felt real and very obvious that person was missing.
Fortunately, Rob and I are both very positive people and can always find a silver lining and make the best of a bad situation. I am so lucky to have him in my life, I could not imagine going through this journey without him. We have succeeded beyond what I ever imagined and can’t wait to see what adventure our life brings us next.