At present, I’m finding my millennial brethren life-crisising all over the place. Words like: manifest, envision, vision board, freedom, financial freedom, dreams, passion, unpack, travel, enlightment, peace, etc. are recirculating through conversations between us with as much frequency as “um”, “uh” and “like” when we were teens.

What’s got me all riled up today over my cuppa peppermint tea is some early morning contemplation on historical trends in black history with white-supremacist beat-downs back into the sunken place. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but William Lynch and Jim Crow did conspire to make us the permanent underclass in America.

I’m weaving my literacy of historical propagandist ploys at manipulating the masses, and especially black people and youth, and I’m getting wafts of a stew that smells something like a rude awakening for us all. I’m suspicious about how Wakanda Forever, Black Lives Matter, the Bitcoin craze, soring numbers in black sole proprietorship businesses a’ bustling, and black middle-class flight from America (I’m for all of this by the way) all pans out for Black America when things inevitably get hard again.

I’m fucking scared. Too many of my black friends are quitting their pension yielding jobs in exchange for dream chasing, private business ventures, all to explore freedom and self -fulfillment. Black millennials, are still millennials. We are equally bombarded with the same level of propaganda that is telling us, the future is uncertain, live for now, life has no purpose so go find it kittens. We are all made to suckle at the pursuit of happiness, dig deep into our yogic selves and fill our hearts with light, as we embrace up-cycling our old clothes and living with our parents until it’s just ridiculous.

Here’s a broadly accepted theory about the millennial generation: We are projected to be less happier, and less fulfilled, because we are relentlessly in search of instant gratification. And since the air we pump back into our own feeding tubes on a daily basis to pursue the fill-in-the-blank of our dreams, nobody dare say to us, look guys:

 You’re getting older.

 

Let’s examine what it means to get older.

-You wrinkle.

-Your parents get old, need your help, and die.

-You start a family, who needs you to provide time, energy, and money.

-You need money for retirement because most of you will not be physically able to work through health complications or until you die.

 

So I acknowledge today:

Happiness does not come without tests of boredom, pain, suffering, discomfort, even anxiety. In other words, freedom ain’t free. And if you ain’t happy now with yourself, there is no “out there” that will MAKE you happy. If it’s the journey you crave, hop to it. But the journey still won’t make you happy. Feeling happy comes with contentment with ones own accomplishments, which literally could be ANYTHING. I’ve met too many travelers collecting visas like rings, never to learn much, never to gain any new substantive insight on life, love, culture, etc. What their unhappy asses get instead is a different variety of the same old shiny new thing to floss, meriting them coveted Instagram and Facebook attention.

In other words, today I say, Self:

Be honest with yourself, set a goal, ANY GOAL, and then work your pants off to achieve it. = Happy!

Fill yourself with the endorphins, serotonin, and adrenaline by feeling the gains of achievement. Then, oh Impatient One, watch your ego glow. Endure the wear and tear of perseverance.

I’m not 100% sold on capitalistic notions of success. I do not subscribe to the belief that we must work hard every second of the day, or even every hour in order to feel accomplished. However, I’ve noticed a few patterns of behavior across cultures. Without social purpose, which requires individuals to be regularly challenged with responsibility, individual humans don’t do so well. Look at my students out here in the Gulf who don’t have a worry in the world and can afford themselves with modern day slaves. By their own idle hands, they are killing themselves with sugar addiction and crashing their cars for the sport of it. Human existence without the arduous trials of obstacles= “Hmmmm, how do I turn up the Will I die if I… dial just a little bit?”

Furthermore, purchasing a new pair of red-bottoms or a new watch is the equivalent of eating glazed donuts in the morning to start your day off feeling right. That high doesn’t last very long if you’re goal is substantive nutrition, and before you know it, you need a new sugar fix.

Me. I’m ruminating:

At least three times we’ve seen Black America thrive and then have had the carpet snatched out from under us. First, Emancipation. We thought we was free until white wrath employed KKK bands to relentlessly terrorize us without penalty. Second, Black Artistic Renaissance of the 1920s. Heck! Everyone was Renaissancing. The Great Depression wiped that out. Third, the Civil Rights Movement. The narcotic infestation era of the 70s and 80s annihilated us by flooding black and urban neighborhoods with drugs, which ultimately authorized America to legally incarnate nearly our whole race. Too many of us are slaves all over again.

Thanks to Black Excellence boosterism, it feels like we are finally free. Free to come on up to the Penthouse, as John Legend sings it. But, because we are young, of course it feels like FINALLY we are free. We don’t have the longevity on earth nor the hindsight to see that: Nah, we’ve been free before. That we, once upon a few times, have been led to believe that we were all finally free to do, create, believe, dream, imagine ourselves able and entitled to live unencumbered lives. Then… many blacks and poor people were suddenly not! Pensions, Social Security, unions, welfare, job security, all those safe guards for which our parents fought were inspired on the way up out of living through and beating back the blues of a being stuck between a rock and broke ass place.

So what do we do? What does the millennial do? What does the black millennial do?

We foreit our packages, our way into the great white world (THERE IS NO ESCAPE! ALL OF IT WHITE YALL!!!!) on the hypothesis of being financially free.

Huh?!?

Can we at least agree that freedom is subjective…an illusion? My homie driving Uber speaks about being free to do what he pleases, but he drives all day while he believes himself the captain of his own ship. He’s free. He’s free! He’s free?

Even the business owner needs to kiss the behinds of investors, customers and sometimes employees. Think there’s no business owner gallivanting without worries? Yes, they may exist but they’re certainly the unicorns of business owners.

We take our degrees and make bold attempts to do right for our selves, drinking the individualist attitude Koolaid. We say no to job security or career paths, and expand our minds with more education. Black women hold the most degrees by ratio of any ethnic group in the USA. Have we noticed at all how that educational status is becoming less important with the rise of power yielded by social capital? And by the way, we have racked in quite a bit of debt paying for expanding our minds and not lining our actual pockets with cash rendering investments too. Who would’ve seen that a’coming? Sounds like another trip through Slavery Lane, don’t it???

Also, we talk big ideas about aligning ourselves and building the bond we’ve envied in immigrant groups. Why can’t we be like the Jews of New York City, we say? Here’s some facts:

  1. We’re not immigrants! We’ve never had the systemic institution of relying on each other (beyond our families—whatever was left of it post being sold away from each other once, plucked off for slaughter for generations, experimented on, sent to war, shot down, feed drugs, and incarcerated) to support a greater community of people black like us. Hell, we can’t even figure out who is “us” since we’ve also inherited white-supremacist thought patterns that has divided us by skin color, dialect, class-status, and now curl-pattern and nutritional classism. (I went there! I see a future where black vegan children aren’t allowed to play with the black neighbors who serve collard greens flavored with smoked neck bones. Do you?) Yes! We can build together. We can employ each other. We can work together. However, we can’t expect this to be easy, and need to develop a culture of loyalty. And that shit ain’t built in a day. Between Amazon Prime, Upwork and the countless other few-click agencies we can exhaust to fulfill our instant-gratification proclivities, building loyalty in the black community is fighting up hill, with no gloves and weights on. We need to activate patience! This means hold fast to hope, hold each other accountable and lift up our brothers and sisters WHEN they fall short, and have faith in our basic humanness to improve over time.
  1. For those of us who are immigrants, all it apparently takes is one American born generation for the homeland culture to take a back-seat to the individualistic thinking that’s got America’s children lost and on antidepressants. When your kids lose the village, what they pick up instead is the imposed white-supremacist projections of what they should be and how they should act. And you can try to keep your kids away from Black Americans all you want. I’ll advise you then to not send them to school or let them consume media at all. Black Americans haven’t found a means to escape being fed hostility about ourselves after 400 hundred years, and neither will you. Yes, I’m hype. Wakanda Forever! But Wakanda is a fictional place, and Trump America is REAL!
  2. Without a long-lived cultural institution that has effectively stood the test of time (like the Jewish experience of being persecuted and tried for 10,000 years) to teach us how to rely on each other, how to trust each other, how to be loyal to each other, we must acknowledge that while we are building, we are not there YET? Our families and communities did not all have the means to build itself up from poverty, and to develop a systemic netting to buffer losses experienced by the individual household. This means we do not have the trust funds our white millennial friends have (because it was a trendy status item for all the families in the neighborhood back then) to fall back on when they wake up to a chaotic adult reality. This also means that when my white friends say “So What?” when we talk about the responsibilities of taking care of elders, they can rest assured that their elders will be just fine, and I can’t. Black elders still need us to be well enough to take care of them in old age and ourselves and provide for our next generation.

How do we end the crisising? What comfort can be offered to the black millennial soul?

Let’s acknowledge that crisising is part of the human experience. Studies of adolescent development will confirm this. And since we can’t agree when adolescence ends, what we do believe right now is that the frontal lobe, presumably the part of the brain that allows us to grasp who we are beyond our own self-gratifying needs, starts to finish up the development process closer to our 30’s than when we turned age 20. No surprise that when we live in a society that doesn’t have clear roles or purpose for the individual, humans tussle in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Just compare the dependency of western-modeled societies on drugs and pharmaceuticals to nonwestern-modeled societies.

And for goodness sake, drop the “happiness” talk. Happiness is relative and experienced differently by all. We can’t prevent crisising. What we can do is accept that it is not avoidable and at best manageable while we live in constant pursuit of the happy experiences we seek out and collect along our life journey.

Black millennials, we need to start with the end in mind. And not just the feel-good end, but a serious look at the end of our lives and the lives of all those who count on us. We are a diverse bunch, and many of us are privileged to have families with legacies of success and wealth. My rant pertains to those of us who don’t have the provisions of an Aunt Oprah or Uncle Tyler to pick up the slack if ever needed.

For me, I’m realizing that some variance of “struggle” finds me everywhere I go. So why do I intimidate so easily at the thought of jumping out of the pan and into the fire? With all of my miles, and merit badges, how is fear still part of my story? Can I relish in my confidence to take care of myself no matter what direction I go from here yet?

 

 

 

I tap into my spirituality when kite-surfing. For those of you who know me, the ocean and I are not the best of friends. Stereotype me an urban black girl, but growing up, I ran from water for fear of what it would do to my hair. Furthermore, I distinctly remember my mother bringing me to the beach one day when I was small, brought me to the shore, and had me gaze at the water.

Ma: Can you drink all this water?

Me: No!

Ma: So stay out of it!

 

Dred-loc’d and ocean drawn now as an adult, (Moana I know your heart) I’ve developed an appreciation for ocean water, though I’m still weary of her as a moving, breathing, willful being. I learned to boogie board because that was safe enough, and kept me close to the shore. I took a few surf lessons through Chica Brava, an all girls surf school in Nicaragua, just to get a feel for riding manageable waves. But this appreciation in recent years has transformed into something I can not yet name. In October 2014, I nearly drowned attempting to scuba dive in the open stormy water of the Sodwana Bay in South Africa. I’ve taken private swim lessons since then, yet that doesn’t change the apprehension I have about swimming in the ocean. I am resolved to respect her as she lays right over there, with all her appeal and might. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered the joys of kite-surfing.

 

I arrived in Zanzibar shortly after a two week long venture about northern Tanzania. I was “supposed” to stay for only a few days, just to recuperate from summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. I had booked a return flight from Lilongwe, Milawi in a few weeks because my intention was to continue backpacking south in Africa as soon as I felt well rested enough to carry on.

 

In Zanzibar, I frequently sauntered along the ocean side as a pastime between napping and talking with strangers about the peculiarities of life. The south-eastern coastal sky was littered with what appeared to be massive colorful floating contraptions. I didn’t even know the name for the sport before I wrote it off as some more crazy shit white people do. “No way! I’m not trying that.” I distinctly remember muttering this to myself as I strolled closer and closer to Paje, the major kite-surfing hub on the island.

 

It wasn’t until a new friend, Aziz from Oman, said that he wanted to give it a try that I opened myself to the experience. Aziz and I had been volunteering at the Bwejuu Charity School together, and I had come to respect him as my personal Swahili teacher. “Well, if you try it, I’ll try it too,” I said one evening over a thermos of Zanzibar spiced tea. Maybe I was seduced by the aromatic blend of the wafting vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom from our teacups. I’m such a sucker for communal experiences anyway, so clearly the universe had conspired to get me on a surf board. But Aziz never came to the kite training center. And since I had already psyched myself up to give it a try, I took a deep breath, and told instructor Jesus from España to strap me in. I was as ready as I’d ever be. I kept thinking: I’ll do it, and when I don’t like it, I can at least say I tried. It just wasn’t for me. (WHEN I don’t like it! Catch that pessimism?)

 

Four years later, three trips back to Zanzibar for a minimum of four weeks at a time, one sting-ray bite, countless sea urchin spiney encounters, a sprained foot, scraps, cuts and all, kite-surfing is one of the best things that has every happened to me. Am I a great kitesurfer, or even a good one? No way. But every time I’m out there with a kite and a board, I feel every cell in body vibrate with life and I lust for more. I catch myself screaming sometimes out in the water. This may be because it has taken me so long, what feels like an unreasonably unfair and brutal length of time, to finally kite solo. I’m an independent kite surfer. I no longer need to look back at an instructor to tell me if I should go further left or further right. It’s like getting your driver’s license and taking the high way by yourself the first few times with the music on at last. But the thrill of kite-surfing doesn’t seem to wane as does driving solo.

 

There’s a desperation that comes over us all, from novice to professional, as we sit on the sand and will the wind to beat strong enough to float our kites. I dream about it in my sleep. I catch myself on my bed with my arms raised, practicing the timing and proper positioning to motion the kite. I just want to get it right. Kite-surfing like standard surfing is an unrelenting and cyclical waiting game for enthusiasts; the ride comes and goes, and then you wait. All this over and over again. Comparatively, kite-surfers wait on the wind while standard surfers wait on the water. But I find that it teaches patience in a way that working with children never achieved. Before leaving the kite center, the instructors commonly say, “See you tomorrow. Hey…but we must pray for the wind.” I utter to myself and to others, “God willing, there will be wind tomorrow.”

 

When I’m actually gliding across the water, I am grateful to God, her in all her grace, for giving me that glorious ride each time. I have found more spirituality, more connectedness to nature, in kite-surfing than in anything I’ve ever experienced before. The wind and her will, has humbled me, and I am in love with every breath of her. The ocean, on the other hand, well…she knows that I awfully respect her. I’m just grateful for life jackets, nah mean?

 

Naomi, a kickass nomad from Australia, and I have become an excellent pair of kite junkies. As I sit here and type, I am relying on her to alert me to come and catch the “good enough” wind if she finally blows. Lately, we’ve been spending hours staring out at the water, resolved to drink up the sheer beauty of the scenery. I scream with exhilaration a lot these days. “This water looks like glass! My god! I can’t get bored of it!” She nods in blissful agreement with me. It doesn’t matter that there’s not enough wind for which our bones ache. Our hearts are amply full.

Naomi, Mohamed, Me, Saleem

 

Message from Viv, August 7th, 2016, 8:51am

How about once a week, at least, we write each other 3 words that have been a theme for the week…

The week can start today.

 

Message to Viv, 8:52am

No toilet! Twelve! Toe!

 

Saleem, is one of the kite instructors at Kashiba Kite, and perhaps one of the first local Zanzibarians to teach kite-surfing. He has been coaching me on how to seamlessly turn my kite from one side to the other. His words have become my spiritual mantra. “No toilet!” “Twelve!” “Toe!”

 

No toilet!

I stand in the toilet position too long, so I sink into the water before I can change the direction of the kite. My legs bend outward, my shoulders cower, and my rear-end faint-heartedly prepares for impact. This translates to Life Lesson #1. When scared, don’t we want to shit ourselves? Isn’t our natural reaction to recoil? Instead, we should be strong, and remember that we are able. We can’t own success if we at first concede. From the shore, Saleem yells out at me, “No toilet!” And this reminds me to be confident. To rely on all the knowledge and skill I know that I’ve obtained. So believe in myself!

 

Twelve!

It’s the kite position I need to return to in order to switch direction. The kite must go back to the starting position. Life Lesson #2. When changing paths, we struggle at times and need to restart and start again. We forget that every new venture must start somewhere because it is new, fresh, and untried. The experienced and spoiled human part of us wants everything to be easy, to flow from jump. But resiliency demands we buck up and go back to START.

 

Toe!

My body follows my toe. I forget to position myself in such a way that allows me to glide in the direction I want to proceed. So, instead I get dragged by the kite like fish on a line. Pointing my toe means that my body is ready to seize what’s to come. My toe tells my body to be ready to motion out of start and into the wind. Lesson #3. Intention achieves nothing without action. Move! Move! Move in the direction you want to go. Don’t just talk about it. Get that ass red’ to go!

 

The profession of teaching is wonderful, especially when you believe that you’ve been called to serve in the role of transforming minds and busting up social inequality. There’s a special place in heaven for you. And sometimes this task can exhaust you of the heart with which you started. It’s okay soldier.

So treat yourself to an adventure—a self-defining life journey. Sharpen your edges again by expanding your skill set. Don’t worry about being a “sell-out”. Le struggle will be there for you when and if you decide to return.

If interested, here are some suggested steps to getting an overseas teaching position:

 

Steps for Overseas Teaching

  1. Get your papers in order.

Many folks are out here telling y’all that it’s easy to go overseas and land a teaching gig. And if you want to teach English in anybody’s language school, than there’s plenty of truth in that. But if you want a quality academic school post offering one of those sweet (near) all expense-paid contract, then you need a piece of paper from an accredited American/western institution. I don’t know what you’re incentive is for going overseas, but my priorities were in this order: first, adventure; second, make money, and; third, improve the quality of my life. If you’re certified with a degree in education at the BA level at least, you can land a job at any academic or exclusively language. Get copies of your diploma, and all other documents pertaining to your trainings scanned and uploaded to Google Docs or DropBox. Be sure to include any documentation of attended workshops on bullying, autism, CPR, abuse awareness, and even your practicum review forms if you can find them. Professional development records, even better. Tidy up and modernize your resume for sure, and get a new passport if you have less than five blank pages.

 

2. Let go of the location fixation!

Open your mind to the world. When I first looked to teach overseas, there was only one place in the world I wanted to go. Brazil…oh, how you enchanted my heart. It is my god’s honest truth that I still believe I received a message from the divine telling me that my spirit was created in Brazil. And despite every effort I made, all Brazilian doors slammed hard in my face. My resume caught no ones attention, and the few interviews I landed yielded cold hard rejections. After a month of depression and self-pity, I divorced my location fixation, shelved my dreams of Brazil, and cast my net out into the world. I applied for positions in 18 different countries. And after 30 interviews, I got offers from two schools. My choice: South Africa. And I haven’t looked back since.

 

  1. Register with an international teaching recruitment agency.

Lots of the upper tier internationals schools rely on Search Associates, International School Search or Association of American Schools in South America to staff their schools. They trust these organizations to filter out illegitimate teacher picks. For you, these organizations do the favor of systematizing your school search. On their databases, you can search for schools by position availability, region, etc. and can get a preview of salary and benefits packages. They also host hiring fairs all over the world. Furthermore, if you’re new to international teaching, attendance of a fair is a rite of passage. After you’re in, you’re in. Yes, these recruitment organizations cost money and the service is certainly worth it. But what’s great is that they store your records so that you want have to go through that record entry stage again when looking for your next gig.

Also, below are links to recruitment services for language school job placement, in case you don’t want to go the academic school route.

Teach Away

Teach to Travel

Teach English Abroad

The International Educator

 

  1. Find cheerleaders.

Recruit colleagues, admin, and parents to fill out recommendations on your behalf. Before you can actually start navigating the job search sites, you’ll need to complete your profile with confidential references.

 

  1. Be aggressive.

Send an email to the HR department directly introducing yourself and your interest to fill in a posted or potential position at the school. Mention if you’ll be in attendance at a hiring fair and express interest in scheduling a conversation before or during the fair. Make phone calls if you get no response, especially if the school is not attending a fair or was your random find from a Google search.

 

  1. Have endurance.

This process can be tedious, especially if you have particular goals. Heck–even after you get the job, you’ll need to begin the visa requirement gathering process, which may or may not be a marathon. I broke down in deep open mouth sobs in the Qatar Consulate in NYC because they told me that I had three more steps to go before I could get my last stamp of approval this past June.  Just assume you’ll never be finished until you’ve crossed the finish line.

Got a teaching degree or biting travel bug? Consider teaching overseas for the following advantages:

  1. Tax FREE Income!

This has to be the number one perk for overseas teachering. Just to be clear, the income you earn overseas is free of US income tax up until you gross upwards of $90,000 a year as stipulated by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (readjusted by later legislation). This means that you take home everything you earn, unless you decide to make investments for retirement. I earned one-third more in salary working as a certified NYC public school teacher with a master’s degree than I currently do now as an international teacher in South Africa, but I save almost three times a much per year despite travelling like an wanderlust nomad over school breaks. Look up Foreign Earned Income Exclusion on the IRS website for more information.

Retention Incentives

Some schools choose to express appreciation for the teacher who stays past the end of their contracted time for another year in the form of retention incentives. These schools are usually in countries that are considered hardship posts (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraqi, etc.). Incentives bonuses are tacked on around contract renewal time and may vary, ranging between $1,000-$2,000 US.

Settling In Stipend

Here’s a lovely way to get settled in to your new home. Some schools may offer you a lovely stash of cash to settle in, as it may be the case that accessing your US bank account might present a challenge with theft alerts and foreign withdrawal blocks, and le struggle to simply finding a non-sketchy ATM. Stipends may vary, ranging between $1,000-$4,000 US.

 

  1. Meet Dynamic People

Expatriates, by sheer virtue of being bold enough to venture from their homebase for an extended period of time, are dynamic human beings. Before I decided to leave NYC, I was feeling suffocated by the routine of hanging out with the same people. And though I loved and adored my NYC family and friend circle, I couldn’t manage another conversation that started with: “You remember when we…” What’s different about being an expatriate amongst expatriates is that we all eagerly seek to build new relationships. Expats make friends a LOT faster than folks back home. Some say this is because we know we’re short on time and don’t approach people we meet out in the world with the same defenses we activate when we meet strangers on the homefront. Others theorize that expats live with social vulnerability that comes with the territory of being foreign, humbling us to be more accepting, inviting, and even entertaining. We empathize with each other: dishing humorous stories about the frustrations of being lost, confused, and misled. We enthusiastically want to build a community to supplement for the support systems we surrendered by leaving home. Furthermore, expats are exceptional people who live dynamic lives. Everyone has a story to share, bejewelled with rare life finds, and a thirst for the unexplored. And for some of us who just want to let our social fears go, the rejection and shame that sometimes come with not conforming to the fit of the communities we call home, it’s nice to invite new inspiring people (sometimes also nonconformists) in to our lives.

 

  1. Shipping Allowances

When living the transient teacher lifestyle, you may find that you can’t let go of your pretty little things as easily as you could the first time you packed your bags. Fortunately, as your collection of worldly possessions accumulate, your next school may offer a shipping allowance. Shipping allowances vary depending on the school and location. The best I’ve heard come from schools in the Middle East, India & Indonesia. A set dollar amount may be offered, averaging $3,500 US per teaching adult, and range up to $15,000 US for a family of 4. Pretty cool!

 

  1. Travel Opportunities

Overseas teaching comes with the advantages of being a foreigner in a new land. Obviously, you went overseas to discover a new world. Expect that your travel inertia will accelerate with each conversation. You’ll be burning to venture off to local cities, towns, sites as well as nearby and accessible neighboring countries. Vacations are typically frequent and may vary depending on the home country you work in. Keep in mind that American International Schools follow the American academic calendar year. This means that you typically get off for every American national holiday and the national holidays of your host country.

 

  1. Access to Professional Development

Since overseas schools, private schools namely, do not have to worry so much about the high stakes testing that dominates professional talk in the US, teachers can focus on craft. International schools serve transient multinational expatriate family communities. These schools want to keep curriculums aligned and student performance expectations at a similar standard from school to school, country to country. Moreover, diplomatic, embassadorial and business families want quality and consistent education for their children. International teachers at top tier schools are expected to be up on the latest research and practices employed in the world that are highly acclaimed as effective and meaninful. Teachers, as the top priority, are encouraged to teach well, and receive access to all the world’s teaching resources.

 

  1. Learn a New Language

I don’t think I understood the importance of a greeting until I travelled Tanzania. And it wasn’t until I studied poetry in Spanish that I discovered the my inner romantic.

Living in a new environment usually comes with the need to acquire a new language or a new dialect at least. Enjoy the challenge of expanding your communication skills by picking up a new language, perhaps even to discover a new you.

 

  1. Reinvent Yourself

Enough said. Chances are that if you are reading this, you’re looking for a big change. Nothing changes life like new scenery. Relocating to a different world allows you all the exploratory space to try new things, learn new perspectives, be creative with your look and expand your interests. Even if the world you pick to move to isn’t so different from the one you currently live in, you still need to figure out where to find a reliable source for…everything. You have to find a new favorite spot for breakfast on Saturdays, and new go-to for Friday Happy Hour. Maybe you discover that highwaist pants aren’t as comfortable or as necessary as full length skirts from Big Blue, like I did.

 

  1. Good-bye High Stakes Testing

This may not apply to you if you teach International Baccalaureate or Advance Place courses for transparent reasons. Teaching in the international academic school setting generally means that you are free from the pressures of teaching to the test. Instead, units of study are generally based on school designed curriculum, and usually this leaves room for you to explore your craft and learn from the expertise of your colleagues.