Of course, I’m back.
Honestly- apologies to anyone who would like to faithfully follow this blog and my adventures because I am THE WORST at updating this thing. BUT, I have come to the conclusion that that is just how it’s got to be. So I’m proud of myself for sitting down and typing this all out here right now! Some things never change.
So! My last update was from Canada (had to check). From there I went to Paris for a week vacation before starting work as a camp counselor and English teacher for French children in the south of France for two weeks, back to Paris for a work meeting, and then to the northwest of France to work for another month after that. It was hard work, 16 hour days, little to no wifi… but I had a fun summer with the kids, went on some crazy adventures, and most of all- met some super amazing people (ya’ll know who you are).
The original plan was to apply for my Chinese visa while I was working in France and try to get it all set up and ready for me to move to China straight from France. That didn’t work out. I am currently writing you from my bed in Phoenix, Arizona. As my time in France was coming to an end and I still did not have any of paperwork finished and was becoming exhausted with the internet access situation in France, I decided to just book a ticket home as soon as my contract ended so I could go back to the states and visit my parents one last time in Seattle (thank you so much for having me and Erick!!!), catch up with some friends here, spend time with my partner, and do all of the paperwork myself.
So I said goodbye to my new friends and to France and flew home for what I thought would be two weeks. That was a month ago. Hahah. The paperwork has taken longer than I anticipated (many steps) but I am so grateful to have had this time at home before leaving. It is exactly what I needed.
Concerning paperwork: let me just dedicate this entire post (and my life) to Nick Cherng. Boy how I love you and need you in my life. Since he lives in Los Angeles, Nick has been receiving all of my paperwork and submitting my documents to the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles for me and saving me all of my time and money so thank you x infinity and when we organize your trip out to visit me I am getting you drunk and full of food. In all seriousness.. it is really nice to know that I can still count on our friendship after all of these years. Love you.
So I’ve shipped my final visa application and paperwork and my partner’s to Nick in Los Angeles to be submitted for the visa tomorrow. We did express service for another $20 each so they should be finished processing in 2-3 business days after tomorrow and Nick will mail them back to us and Erick and I will get on a flight to Shenzhen, China on September 13th, one week from tomorrow!
Apparently someone from the university will meet us at the airport and take us to my apartment but our flight gets in around midnight (their time) so we’ll see! I was meant to be at the Southern University of Science and Technology (where I’ll be working) sometime this week to participate in the training and meetings which I was nervous about missing but I’m not the only first-year teacher who is missing it because of visa paperwork (actually most of us are so I’m not sure why they’re having it to be honest) and I printed out all of the materials they will be covering in the meetings and will read up before I arrive.
I am very excited to have adult students. I will of course (obviously – no promises) update this when I find out more about the teaching, the content of the courses, and my students but for now I am excited for a new challenge, motivated students, and interesting coursework (teaching colors and numbers this summer got old very fast).
Erick will be flying out with me and spending my first week out there with me helping me set up my apartment and explore the city a bit and then he’s headed back to Arizona to his job. I Am nervous about spending a year apart but we both agree that this is what I’ve always wanted and I’ve never been the kind of girl to give up on that for a guy (even though he’s so much more than that to me). Anyway, we’re ready to see what this year brings for us and how much it will allow us to grow individually and as a couple. More updates to come on long-distance relationships and that aspect of my trip to come (again, no promises).
So a big shoutout to all of my new friends I made this summer, all of my old friends that still have my back, my parents, Erick, and all of you lovely humans who read this thing.
I am so excited!!!!!!!
Well since they never make it anywhere else on the internet, here’s some photos from this summer…