I’ve been doing lots of soul-searching trying to figure out myself and what I want in life. Looking back at the last several years, I’ve seemingly accomplished a lot–work and academic-wise–yet I feel a sense of emptiness. My full-time job in finance keeps me busy, but is not the rewarding type of career I seek.
The last several years have really been a time of self-discovery. Besides enrolling in a Chinese-language school to further my Chinese studies and hold on to my Chinese identity, I’ve utilized the various junior colleges in San Diego to dabble in acting, music, dance, various sports, film-making, creative writing, and teaching–all to find myself. At the heart of these endeavors lies a key concept: I enjoy learning. To be able to share my knowledge with others and positively influence them, would truly be special indeed.
In the fall of 2010 the idea of teaching as a career came to me as an educator-friend planted the idea in my head. Since then, I’ve been accumulating experience in the teaching profession, preparing me for a career switch into education. Now, I am seriously considering it as a possible long-term career, one that is rewarding, meaningful, and provides a sense of accomplishment I can feel proud of.
This is where Hong Kong comes into play. I was born in Hong Kong but raised in San Diego, California. I’ve always wanted to live in Hong Kong for an extended period of time–as opposed to visiting for 1-2 weeks–to really get to know the region. I put Hong Kong and teaching together and came up with the perfect solution to my dilemma. Here’s a list of three reasons why I’m planning to move abroad to Hong Kong to teach English in 2012:
- To get teaching experience. I plan on obtaining a position teaching English to experience first-hand whether teaching is a viable long-term career option. I will be classified as an English teacher, receiving immediate feedback on the intrinsic rewards of teaching and whether it’s the right fit.
- To re-connect with my roots. Hong Kong will always hold a special place in my heart as it is my birthplace. Having been raised in San Diego, I feel a sense of disconnect with Hong Kong and with Chinese culture in general. I’d like to fully immerse myself in the Hong Kong lifestyle to better know my culture and become even more fluent in Cantonese as well as Mandarin.
- To find my significant other. I only just added this third reason, but living in Hong Kong presents a very unique opportunity.
There’s also the food, music, hiking trails, and proximity to China, all opening a vast range of possibilities.
Ideally, I’d like to teach in Hong Kong for 2 years, teach in China for another year, and then come back to San Diego to get my teaching credential to teach Kindergarten. I wouldn’t mind staying abroad for even longer though, depending on how things go.
In the meantime, some things are still up in the air about leaving San Diego and moving to Hong Kong, but will sort themselves out in the coming months.
Have you ever moved or considered moving abroad to pursue a career–or even a significant other? What was the experience like? Do you have any suggestions, advice, or words of wisdom to share?