When I set out to move to the Marshall Islands (accepting the job nearly a year ago now), my plan was to live here for two years teaching, as my contract stated. I had no plans to leave early or find a new job for next year, as I am not one to break contract casually. I wasn’t prepared for the way my life was to be changed drastically by merely moving here.
Within a week of moving here, I met a man who ended up changing my life in ways I cannot even explain. I have never known anyone more selfless, patient, and just overall incredible, as the man who would end up sweeping me off my feet in my first few weeks of living here. All I had to do was move to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to find a man who is exactly what any girl could want. I won’t get into all the reasons that he is incredible, as I want to save some things as being just between us. I will give away one cute thing though… every morning I wake up to a message from him with a lovely song, and his reasons for sending that song to me. I start every day knowing that I am loved and with a smile on my face, what more could you ask for?
Flash forward to present time, we have been dating for however long I have been here (I am not one for anniversaries or keeping track of that nonsense) and the plan would be that he would stay another year teaching here. Side note: this is his third year teaching here and he was ready to leave at the end of this year. This man was willing to spend another year on this island, just to be with me. Why would he leave without me? His line of thinking early on in the relationship. After falling in love with this incredible man, I decided that if he is willing to stay for me, I am willing to leave for him. And so I expressed this to him sometime before the Christmas holidays…
Well that lit a spark in him and we have decided that it is time to leave this beautiful island for a new adventure. We started the job search, applying to schools in many countries all over the world. We discussed what places we would really love to go to, which places are not as appealing and for me, more than him, which places we wouldn’t go. We had interviews with schools, we got offers, turned down offers, and finally have accepted an offer.
After being offered a position, on Monday morning, to work at a school in Niamey, Niger, Africa, we have decided to accept the offer. And those reading this, especially ones at home who don’t understand the life of a traveling teacher, I know you are already skeptical and worried at the mere mention of Africa. And I get it. And like my mother, some of you will be quick to google and learn that it is ‘not safe’ or whatever else you may find. And for this I tell you, what country is safe? There will always be reasons not to go places, and do things. There will always be people worried about you, jealous of you, or confused by your actions. But we are two intelligent adults, who have weighed our options, looked into the place we will be going and have made a decision that works best for the both of us. Luckily for me, one of the reasons we are so sure about it, is that my good friend Megan (whom I met in Thailand) already lives and teaches there. So I have the inside scoop about life there, and I have a friend there already.
There are so many perks to this job that it was hard to pass up. First, Nick has dreamed of living in Africa for a very long time. As for me, I want to teach in every continent at some point in my life, so this will check one off the list. Second, Nick will be able to do his schooling to become a fully certified teacher and they will help with the cost. Third, I will have time to complete a Masters program online, hopefully in International Education. Fourth, all our holidays from school will be spent in Europe! The school even flies us to Paris next summer for an R&R vacation, but there will be Christmas and Spring Break trips as well. I am all about that travel.
I am really excited to start planning our summer holidays before we move to Africa! So far on the list, we are probably going to stop in Hawaii on our way home (well my home, not his) to Canada. Spend some time in Toronto and Whitehorse, then we shall see what else we can get up to.
I am sad to leave the Marshall Islands, as it has been home to me for 6 months and I love so many things about it. I will miss my students, and the ability to watch the sunrise over the ocean every morning. But I am excited for what the next adventure will bring us. I am looking forward to making a new place my home.