One of the hardest things that I have found moving to another country to teach English was not the flight, the language barrier, the food, the money, the training, the courses...in fact it was having to say goodbye!
I spent most of my last 2 months in Britain saying goodbye to Friends. It was quite difficult when my last week of work was fast approaching and then BAM!!! My last day was over and my leaving party was the following night. This wasn't the first time i had left a job to move on else where but it was the longest job i had which lasted 3 years. I thought I was doing great and holding back my emotion because, to be honest, it didnt feel like i was leaving because i still had 2 month before moving to japan AND i had been in the job a long time. But everyone else new me better and had said how quiet i had become and it wasnt until people were having to go home at the end of the party that tears began to fall because this was goodbye, not just from the job but also from the city i lived in and eventually the country. 2 days later i left the City that i had spent my student life in and moved back home.
At home it seemed more like a summer break from uni and what was 2 months at home only seemed like2 weeks. I began packing more or less a month in advance making sure i had what i need and had sorted all my paperwork out. It also gave me time to re-pack several times so i could decide on what i actually needed, what i would like but could manage without and wont i dont really need but taking because its mine. Now i thought this would be the hardest thing i would have to do...packing your whole life into a 30kg weight limit.
Songs were sung in jest, such as "all my bags are packed"
Then i would annoy everyone by saying "just think, this time in 2 weeks i will be in Japan"...this went on more or less up to the day before i left.
In my last 2 weeks because everything was ready i actually spent a lot of my time preoccupying myself building the Titanic (it was a magazine collection from about 10years ago that i never really did). I also met up with friends who I used to go to college with who i hadnt seen in a long time only to have to say goodbye. It was a great day though as we caught up, had pizza and went bowling.
Then eventually it was the final week. To me i will still in the mod of thinking that I'm just going away on holiday or im just visiting a long distant friend. My parents new otherwise because my mum went quiet and wanted me to be happy about leaving but was worried about me being on the opposite side of the world and my dad became more helpful and lent a hand on building the titanic.
Finally the day of departure came. I was pretty busy getting last min things together, loading up the car ready to leave at 830am. We go to the station and waiting for the train, my parents had come with me and my sister met us there. We had small talk and then the train was arriving, I hugged my mum and then my sister. As I pulled away my sister was crying, i looked over at my mum and she was beginning to cry...we hugged again as I began to cry knowing that this was for real, i was actually moving to the other side of the world not knowing when i would next see my family in person. I hugged my dad as i boarded the train who also broke out in tears after holding them back all morning.
And then the hardest part...waving as the train moves away from you family that are in tears.
The reason I write this blog is to show the realisation of what maybe the hardest thing you'll ever have to do BUT even though it may bring great sadness remember that where ever you are in the world youre friends and family are only a phone call away. You also have the internet to keep in touch and if you really miss your friends and family then they can always come for a holiday or you can go home during the summer and winter months.
I only hope that it does gets easier from here!
Let me know what was the hardest thing for to do when you became a ALT?
If youre thinking of becoming an ALT what do you think the hardest thing will be?