The school year will quickly be coming to a close soon. In less than two weeks will be our "spring" break, after which May will soon follow, and that will pretty much be it. The first half of the year and of this semester seemed to go by in slow motion, but now everything is suddenly speeding up and drawing to a close.
The end of the first semester and beginning of this semester were marked by chatter about everyone's plans for next year and by a flurry of job fairs in December, January, and February. Now, everything has calmed down, and everyone leaving pretty much know where they're off to next. For the number of people leaving, though, I'm a little surprised the list isn't longer.
There are a group of us heading back to the U.S.: our family; a family of four from Oregon (came in with us); a young couple also from Oregon (came in with us); the school psychologist, who only signed a one-year contract; and one of the high-school counselors and her husband. who have been here for three years.
The rest of those leaving are moving on to other parts of the world:
The location that drew the most excitement was Moscow. Not only does it seem the most exotic (relatively speaking, of course) of the list, but the school where the teaching couple will be working is also very well-known and one of the best international schools in the world.
There are also two people who are taking a year off to travel before deciding what to do next. One of them, our current head of school, is closer to retirement age than not, so he is thinking about doing something else altogether.
The other one is the young (early 30s or younger) high-school choir teacher who is taking a year off to travel and research her options prior to returning to graduate school to obtain her doctorate degree. She will keep her apartment here in Bangkok and use it as her home base.
The choir teacher's plan is something we would love to do, if we were younger. If we stayed in Asia, we could live very comfortably just on our savings, but we are not such big risk-takers that we would abandon our livelihoods with no source of income. In Asia, though, the idea of quitting one's job and traveling seems very doable and normal, and a lot of people seem to create their own virtual careers and sources of income while traveling, even those with families and children. Life seems so fluid here. Maybe in a few years, we will be brave enough and ready to take a break to do something crazy like that.