I have a ticket, a guide-book and my passport. I will leave next Monday for an adventure in Malaysia. I should be able to fill 20 days with rest, relaxation and a few adventures. Getting along vacation is one of the perks for teaching in a ‘real’ high school over a private tutoring academy. I was talking to two of the women who replaced me at my old school, we were talking about the advantages and disadvantages of the academy and the public schools.
Now before I go on, I have to mention that many of the private tutoring academies here (hagwons) are not great places to work. Some are excellent, but some are…. let’s say, less than ideal. A lot depends on the management and one of the risks you take is that the chemistry or the situation doesn’t suit you. And then you are stuck because you have a one year contract. It pays to do research and talk to teachers that are working there and past teachers; but even then you never know until you actually get there.
However, the academy I worked in last year “Reading Town” in Incheon was excellent. When I was offered this job in the public schools I had a hard time making the decision to leave. The management is kind, and the kids are awesome. One of the advantages is that the classes are small, so there is a lot of interaction, and you really get to know your students and really get to see their progress. It is very rewarding as a teacher. But. Most contracts only have 10 days of vacation, and unless you are in a huge academy that has a lot of teachers, the holidays are taken when the school is closed. So getting 10 days in row is difficult to impossible.
The 28 day vacation is what made me decide to leave. I wanted to travel more here in Asia, because after this I want to explore another region of the world ( I’m still deciding between Turkey and Russia, but I will probably stay one more year after this contract)
Anyway, so I have 16 days of vacation in Feb, and because they don’t count the weekends it winds up being 20 days. I am going to Malaysia. I will arrive in Singapore, then depart from Kuala Lumpur. I want to wend my way up the coast, and perhaps see some jungles and some hiking. I can’t wait. This week is going to be hard to keep my concentration on my school. Fortunately we just have some ceremonies and then on Friday we will go camping with the other teachers in the school. I’m not sure where we are going, but I’m sure it will be interesting no matter what.
This is the first day of the second month of the new year, I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I’ve been thinking of the nature of home and what is and is not a friend. I love my lifestyle as a nomad gypsy living in different countries. However lately I’ve been thinking about what it is I want from my life. I know I’m not ready to settle down ( by all the forgotten gods, I hate that term– to settle and not only to settle but to go down with your settling- it just seems so negative)- however I’m also wanting to have something that is like a home. I am also working on the kinds of people I want in my life. I’m doing a lot of cleaning up so to speak. I’m trying to find my happy place. I’m not unhappy, I’m just re-evaluating my priorities and my goals. I want people in my life that are positive and supportive. It sounds a bit more ‘woo’ and Oprahish than I’m usually wont to be, but it seems that this is the year that the universe has chosen for me to deal with these things. I’m needing to replace the bad habits I’ve acquired, but I’m not sure what I want to replace them with. So I’ve been thinking.