The Beauty of the Second Year
Like most others in the international teaching world, I got into teaching abroad because I love adventure, change, and experiencing new things. I live for the excitement of starting over in a new place. There are the months of anticipation and preparation before arrival. To learn more about your new host country you may study the language, read up on the history, or check out a few films. There’s also learning about your new school, new role, and new colleagues. When you finally arrive in-country the real fun begins: exploring the city from a tourist perspective, discovering the little cultural quirks, learning where to shop and where to eat, setting up a new home, making new friends, and of course the professional challenges that await. There’s never a dull moment when you take a new job in a new country (on perhaps a new continent). I’m only one year in here in Budapest and already I anticipate the excitement of what it would be like to start over in Asia or South America.
BUT, as exciting as the first year is, there really is something to be said about the second year. The second year is almost as exciting as the first, but in a completely different way.
Instead of house hunting and multiple trips to IKEA to stock up on the essentials, I came back from summer vacation this year to a familiar home. There was cleaning and organizing and even a few more decorative items purchased. (Only ONE trip to IKEA this August.)
Instead of trying to navigate the Hungarian supermarket and all of its oddities, this year I made a trip to the fancy import store to stock up on some essentials and then filled in the gaps at the local grocery store. Healthy eating plan was in effect from day one back from vacation.
Instead of spending those pre-school weeks trying to figure out the city and set up house, I spent the end of summer getting back into good routines and getting organized for the return to work.
Instead of spending a lot of energy meeting new people and building social contacts it was catching up with friends.
Instead of trying to figure out the curriculum and how the school runs and what exactly I was supposed to be teaching, I hit the ground running and the first weeks back were all about putting things into place to have an awesome second year.
Yes, the wanderlust will always be there lurking in the background, but I have to say, the start of the second year is a pretty great place to be.