Wednesday, March 28, 2012

8363.5 miles

That's right. 8363.5 miles. 13459.7 kilometers. 7267.6 nautical miles. That's how far Stephen and I are moving away for a year from our hometown of Stevensville, Michigan. We are moving to Khon Kaen in northeastern Thailand to work as English teachers. If it is about 24,000 miles around the world, then we will be a little over a third of our way around. Simply put: we'll be pretty far away.

Stephen is both my boyfriend and my best friend and we are elated. Since I graduated last Spring, we have spent the last year putting our efforts into numerous endeavors (jobs in locations from Pennsylvania to South Carolina to California) only to find ourselves discouraged and lost. We were able to easily find jobs in our hometown, but we had bigger dreams. We like to take advantage of our youth and use this time in our lives to explore, adventure, and challenge ourselves. Stevensville, Michigan (the town I have lived in all 22 years of my life...23 next month) just does not have that to offer for two aspiring, adventurous, star-reaching lovebirds. We were coming to a breaking point--feeling aimless and stifled by our unchanging, over-familiar environment--so we started to rethink our options. We heard about a program from two of our best friends from Philly through CIEE, which sends people abroad to multiple locations to teach English. So, after long consideration, Stephen and I decided to apply. We applied for the full Thai academic year, starting this May, which goes for 10 months until March. We were each accepted into the program on February 6th and placed in the Anuban Khon Kaen School on February 29th. Ever since, we have just been preparing for our departure on April 30th!

There are so many things to consider when moving to a different country. Factor in the length of time you will be gone and the fact that this is Thailand...and your list becomes longer. However, we have made a lot of progress. Our round-trip tickets are bought, vaccinations done, program paid for...the next item on our agenda is to start working on our VISA. These are all rational and obvious preparatory objectives, though. How about the emotional preparations? Consider family, friends, or--if you're me--pets. I will have to part ways with my beloved Charlie dog.

Regardless of any obstacles, setbacks, or difficulties...Stephen and I are so excited to start this journey together. We want to share our experiences--the highs and the lows--with you, so we will try our best to keep up with this blog. We know that this will be an experience of a lifetime and hope to learn, grow, and gain new perspectives from it.

We also hope to sing lots of karaoke!


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