lishesquex: (voyager - only slightly lost)
I'll be leaving for Europe in exactly a month. Here's my itinerary in brief:

8 June Flying
9 June - 14 June Prague
14 June - 18 June Berlin
18 June - 24 June Lyon
24 June - 26 June Paris
26 June - 4th July London
4th July - 7th July Rome
7th July - 10th July Florence
10th July - 12th July Venice
13th July Dubrovnik
14th July Corfu
15th July Katakolon
16th July Santorini
17th July Ephesus
18th July - 24th July Istanbul
25th July - Flying

All the connections, hostels/hotels and such have been booked now so it's all very real.  I found that as I planned each section of the trip, I got super excited about that part.  I'm excited about Prague because I'll be by myself in a brand new city, and the hostel I booked seems really cool/interesting and I look forward to meeting fellow travellers and being brave and spontaneous and outgoing for a while.  I'm excited about Berlin because it'll be nice to see Daria again and I've booked an apartment, so, in a way, it'll be a little experiment in living by myself in a foreign city for a few days.  I'm excited about Lyon because I'll get to hang out with Ingrid and we'll enjoy each other's company regardless of what we do. I'm excited about Paris because it'll be Rianna's first time in a European city and I'll enjoy her amazement, and we'll both enjoy the pastries. I'm excited about London because I remember falling in love with the city when I was there all too briefly two years ago; it felt like the centre of the world. And I'm doubly excited because I'll get to see Ruth and Xin again, two of my favourite people. Italy - I won't lie - right now I'm mainly excited about Italy because I'm dreaming of all the food, especially the gelato, that I'm going to eat. And I'm excited about the cruise because it'll be nice to relax after all the overland travelling, and mum will be there and I want to share in her amazement because it'll be her first time in Europe too. And I'm excited about Istanbul because it's Constantinople and it's Byzantine and it'll be spectacularly different from any other city I've been to, I think.

After all of this, I'll be coming back home for a month and then, in late August, I will very likely be heading back to Europe - this time to stay for a year.  ANZUK contacted me after I sent them my CV and they're very keen for me to work in London as either a Supply Teacher (British-speak for Casual Relief Teacher) or in a long term position. Apparently my five years experience is rare and in high demand over there.  I'm still not 100% certain what I want to do.  A part of me still wants to go with the original plan of teaching in a language centre in a non-English speaking European country like Berlin, which has the benefit of being fairly cheap and central.  But I feel like London would be a much less lonely experience because I already have friends there, and I can make more because I'll speak the language, and there's so much of the UK I haven't been to that would be easy to get to on weekends.

I suppose if I hate CRTing in London schools, I can always try to find work at a language centre there instead, or make the move to Berlin or Prague.  I'll earn a lot less CRTing than I would in a long term position, but it gives me the flexibility to travel as much as I want. I suppose the only way a school could tempt me with a long term position like a 1 year contract would be if the salary could at least match what I'm getting at YVG, which would have to make it close to £45K. I'm not sure many schools can offer that much, unless they were an independent school, and then there would be a lot of pressure.  Another option is to take one of those CRT positions which are for a term - this would give me the initial stability of working in a single place while I get set up in London, and after that I could take it week by week or day by day. So many options. Charlotte (the ANZUK rep) is calling me back on Monday so I'll have to read over all the forms and documents she's sent me and make some kind of decision. 

I started writing this entry without knowing what I'd decide, but I think it's helped clear up a few things in my head. I will probably head for London in September and CRT in the schools.  If I like it, great. If I don't like it, I can always do something different/go somewhere else.  A year-long position isn't worth it because I'd get paid more here anyway, and the whole point is to travel and experience new things. I'll just have to be brave.

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lishesquex

September 2016

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