When I was little, like many kids, my brother and I tried to dig a hole to China in the backyard, turns out it was easier to fly here…

Like many new Canadian teachers, finding a job in an urban part of Canada was unlikely and time consuming. The longing for a new adventure was also captivating and so I looked elsewhere and landed myself a job, teaching drama and art in China. I came here for the first time a year ago, saying “see you later” to my family and friends in Canada.

Why China? Well, There’s the delicious food, the sites to see, both ancient and modern, not to mention the warm subtropical climate. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s the challenge of living away far away from home in a place with a culture and a language very different than my own. But honestly, all that is just icing on the cake, my main reason for being here is to work and everything else is a plus. This job just seemed like the best move as a new teacher my age. The people at home will tell you that this kind of experience is important to have, “do it while your young and not tied down.” Well, I’m young- check, I’m not tied down- check.

My motivations for being here are many, and I have an unwritten list of these things to remind myself why I’m doing what I do, because I do get lonely and I do miss “home” occasionally. First, I am here, to work. I gain valuable experience teaching my own classes every day, fresh out of teachers college, which will follow me back to Canada…someday. I am also building valuable connections to other teachers at my school, other foreign expats in my city, and locals. I am becoming part of a community that welcomes you “home” after a long vacation or a short weekend trip. And like anyone who comes to China, I am experiencing the culture and a different way of life to that which I grew up in.

Actually, this list of reasons why I’m here could go on forever, travel, experience, food… It’s actually hard for me to think of a handful of reasons not to be here. I did mention that I miss home sometimes; I miss my family, my friends, the way things work in Canada, or donair subs… so I send a quick text to someone I love, smile with the reply, and I remember why I am here.

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