I’m Going to Taiwan!
July 16th I will be traveling to Taiwan where I will be living there for a little over a year. It feels unreal and there is a mixture of emotions going through me. I am sad because I will miss my family and friends, but I am very excited for the new adventure ahead of me, and I am also anxious about all the newness that comes with being in a new home and at a new job.
So many people have asked me “why Taiwan?” or “why do you want to do this?”. Frankly, I just want to reply, “Why NOT!?”.
But the real answer is that it has always been my dream to live abroad for a least a year. Due to personal choices that I made in college I did not study abroad for a year, but I did study abroad in Southeast Asia during a winter break session. So in March 2013, after a nasty life change, I decided I could no longer put my dreams on hold and that when I graduated from college I was going to go abroad to teach English. This lead to a lot of catching up that needed to be done. I needed to make sure all my paperwork was up-to-date and I needed to finish some kind of TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) course and get some sort of experience before I could apply for teaching jobs abroad. Thus started my crazy senior year where I seemed to be busy alllllllll the time. Fall semester I would spend my Fridays on a computer in the library working on my TESOL course, and then other days of the week I would be tutoring a student or two from the intensive English course department at St. Cloud State University. I worked like crazy and was able to finish the course by October and receive my certification. Spring semester I obtained an internship at Casa Guadalupe Multicultural Communities in Cold Spring, MN, where I was the coordinator for their English Language Learner class they offer to the Latino community. With all this under my belt I started applying for jobs in December/January.
Soon HESS started corresponding with me and just when I thought the paperwork had slowed down it only got worse. By the middle of February I had received a job offer from HESS (a school located in Taiwan) and was sucked into a whirlwind of paperwork, plane tickets, and emails, emails, emails.
A little side story here:
I almost did not receive the contract offer email from HESS. For some reason my email account does not like the person that is in charge of sending them out. Instead of these important emails going into my inbox they go into some imaginary part of my email that I still haven’t figured out. Anyways, I received this email that said I had missed the first contract opportunity, please let HESS know if I was still interested in the offer or if I was going to decline. I immediately started screaming at my computer asking it “Where did you take my email?? What first job offer?? 3 days??”. My poor laptop, it didn’t even ask to be yelled at. Poor thing didn’t even see it coming.
So here I am! Through a support system of family, friends, and my Women Center co-workers I am so close to starting my dream of living abroad.
At the beginning of July I relocated myself back to South Dakota with the help of my mom and sister. If you ever want to know how much stuff (crap) you have just decide to move to another country.
At one point I was so frustrated I just wanted to move to Taiwan with the clothes on my back and just get rid of everything else. I could just figure it out later, right?
It was a bittersweet moment leaving St. Cloud, MN. That area had been my home for six years between finishing up high school at St. John’s Preparatory School and going to college at St. Cloud State University. Dang, I sure am going to miss their Chipotle. Just Kidding! I am definitely going to miss all the friends, wonderful connections, and great memories that I made there.
It took a lot of hard work, long nights, and a few tears, but I am finally here. The packing has been completed and I am almost ready to leave. I really do have the best support system.
Now it is just Goodbye America, Nǐ hǎo Taiwan!