Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.
— Francis Bacon
Well hello there! Remember us?
Sorry it’s been forever since we’ve updated this blog (she said, unnecessarily using the universal “we” and referring to herself in the third person…). It’s been a combination of work, travel, friends in need … you know, the usual stuff. Excuses, it seems, are universal.
Kev, the Whuffler and I returned to Portland last month. The two-and-a-half-week trip zoomed by; even with packed social calendar, there remain several people who I really wanted to see — or see a second time — who slipped by. I’m sorry if I missed you. Really.
But perhaps more shocking than the ephemerality of our trip was the fact that we wanted to return to Hong Kong. I wasn’t counting down the days with dread; I actually wanted to return to China. I missed the routine; I missed my students. I missed egg tarts, and the ferry, and saying “Jósahn!” to people in the morning. I missed our little flat, with our mishmash of secondhand furniture and a map on the wall, and our marvelous expat friends, and our big loud stupid cicadas, and our overseas adventure (…so called). It seems we have doomed ourselves to be homesick no matter where we are.
I was struck by the Francis Bacon quote above, because it seems like perhaps we’ve made the transition into adulthood over this experience. At first it was all education — and hard lessons to learn at that. Do not trust landlords implicitly to do what they promise to do. Do not travel overseas without a good deal of cash. Do not land on the other side of the world without knowing someone, or having a contingency plan if everything goes wrong.
But now, by and large, we’re onto to the “experience” part of our traveling adventure. We’re happy, healthy (yes, we’ve put back on the 30-some pounds we’d lost) and right where we want to be. Kevin’s business is thriving; it seems like he’s always getting a new certification, attending a new seminar or recruiting new clients. The money is good — and the predictability of a paycheck is a welcome change from where we were half a year ago. I love that he loves his work again.
Meanwhile, I’ve jumped wholeheartedly into English teaching. I love it, I really do. As I was reviewing my résumé and cover letter the other night, it struck me that I don’t need to BS stuff about how “my unique set of skills, coupled with my working experience” blah blah blah. I just have to say “I’m new to this, but I love this teaching stuff, and I want to do more of it.” Boom. Job offers galore.
And, yeah: after months of watching our saving account dwindle, I’m saving money like a squirrel on amphetamines.
I currently have three rotating gigs across the area, in addition to my private student. It’s not a packed schedule by any means, but it’s enough to keep me occupied and happy — and the money, which for once we don’t direly need, is super nice. I’m currently taking TEFL course to get my certification (and a higher wage). I have to wonder: where were these high-paying, super-cushy jobs back in December? You know, when we were freaking out about how we were going to afford to stay in HK? I guess when it rains it pours.
And right now, in all ways, it’s pouring. Kevin’s working late tonight —Monday nights has him at the studio until 9 pm — so I’m enjoying a little candlelit yoga as the rain howls outside. When did my life get so sanguine, so cinematic?
I leave you with this image which captures the essence of “learning by doing” our modus operandi of the past 10 months: