Friday, July 28, 2017

a change of heart & big announcement

... in 338 days.

If you had asked me three months ago whether this was even in the realm of possibility, I would have said: no (rather emphatically). However, Ruby has proven to be a game changer, and, in the end, I guess it was a little naive for us to think this wasn't a very real immediate possibility. 

I mean-- we just had a kid. 

This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to us. Ever. Bigger than any job, move, adventure, or the like. 

She is a live, breathing human being we brought into this world, and, as it turns out, the world we want her to be a part of at the moment involves grandmas and uncles and cousins and clean air and mountains and forests and ferries and ocean and backyards and fire pits and BBQs and family holidays and old friends and things that are familiar and things that feel like home because they are home. 


That is the world we crave because, let's face it, we have a pretty amazing home. 

We came very close to leaving Taiwan this summer and breaking our school contracts-- because what is a piece of paper compared to a year of missed people and places and life? 

In the end, though, we decided that we could do this-- meaning parent our child-- half a world away and completely by ourselves for the next 11 months. 

Taiwan, our adopted home, has been good to us. 
Our school has been good to us. 
The past five years of our lives we have spent here were good to us. 

It felt wrong in some small yet significant way to flee from all of that. 

However, while Taiwan has undeniably done a lot of great things for us, we no longer feel like we belong here. Not for the work, which is really not bad work all things considered, and not for the money and benefits, which are truthfully great money and great benefits for the work we do. 

Life is opportunity cost: what do I give up to get ____________? Prior to Ruby, we could justify the opportunity cost of living in Taiwan, but not any longer. 

So what does this all mean? 

It means we are on a countdown. 

This will be our last year living in Hsinchu. 
It will be our last year working at our school. 

It means that come July 2018, the four of us will board an airplane with one way tickets back to the Pacific Northwest. 

We will likely live with my mother for a short period of time. Sean will likely roof again for a short period of time. I will likely substitute teach for a short period of time. We will likely rent a place in Poulsbo or Port Townsend and buy a beater car.

And we will spend a lot of time with family and friends and nature. 

We will also need to figure out: what next?

I very much doubt we will continue to teach in any capacity-- not in American public schools, at least. Perhaps I will freelance write. Perhaps Sean will sell his custom rock climbing holds.

Who knows what we will choose to do.

I am okay with not having answers because I can see the bigger picture: we will be coming home after six wonderful years away, 100% debt free, with quite an impressive savings, as the parents of a beautiful little girl and a silly fur dog, and as the owners of passports full of stamps from far off places.

Not to mention the fact that we will always have this card-- being a married teaching couple in the international teaching circuit-- in our back pocket if we ever want to or need to pull it out, dust if off, and use it again, which is akin to some of the best job security (not to mention adventure security) we could ever hope for. 

And at the end of the day, this is what we know to be true:

When we came to Taiwan, we had no answers and no idea what to expect, yet a beautiful story emerged from all of the uncertainty. We have no reason not to expect the same to be true moving forward and homeward.  


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, it is! It is time to say goodbye to Taiwan, which I am both happy and sad about.


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