I've been thinking today, as I quite often do, about applying for jobs teaching English in other countries, packing a suitcase and heading off to make a new life for myself.
If you could move to a different country, which would you choose?
Apart from moving back to Australia, New Zealand or Canada would be my choices 'cause I'm too old and lazy to learn a new language. Specifically, the Pacific coast of Canada or Dunedin in the South Island. I'd like to live near mountains. Australia and the UK don't really have proper mountains.
I'd like to see Mexico, but I couldn't take the heat, so that's out. My advice, however, is to pick a country that has the same alphabet as we do. I spent a month teaching in Taiwan once upon a time, and it was stressful trying to get out and do anything, because I could not read a street sign or a shop name. I had to try to memorize landmarks and wasn't always successful at it. If you go to a country with our alphabet, you can look at a sign and check your little pocket or electronic dictionary for the meaning. If you are in China or Japan or someplace that uses the Russian alphabet, you're SOL.
I want to go to Cuenca, Ecuador. It is close to the Equator, you experience all four seasons in one day. It is in a very beautiful area, and last time I checked was very friendly to immigrants (AKA expatriates). I have a FB friend from England who taught English in China for several years. He eventually married a Chinese woman. He is older than I am and has an adorable very young daughter, and they are all in the UK.
My daughter and I are both TEFL teachers and it is a comforting thought that you can go anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. The last time I was looking at jobs there was one on offer in the Galapagos Islands which appealed a lot. Iceland appeals, too, though I think they mostly already speak English there!
If cost were no object, Bali or Hokkaido would be my preferences. If I want to do it on the cheap, I've heard from a good friend Oaxaca is wonderful.
I'd also like to visit Amsterdam because reasons.
I toyed with the idea of saying England (for the irony), but it's (wait for it) really not my cup of tea.
I had a friend who did that in China, and another in Vanatuu, the China gig lasted 5 years for him, the Vanatuu job lasted for 1 year for my other friend. Both really enjoyed it. I just had another friend leave for Spain last month, she is still trying to get her bearings, but i think she's going to enjoy it once she get her feet wet. If I were younger, I would entertain the idea.
I've thought aboout doing the exact same thing: there are lots of opportunities in Japan and China (and I have never been to Asia). I would love to teach English in Portugal, Spain, or Greece, but it's hard for U.S. citizens to get hired in those countries. I'd also love to teach in Argentina, Chile, or Uruguay.