Sunday, May 29, 2016

What To Do, What To Do?

A Mexican magician said he would do a magic trick on the count of three.
Uno...Dos...**poof** He disappeared without a "tres"

I have a decision to make in the next couple of months. This may sound insane but I need to decide on where to go and what to do next. Here are my recent options that may be subject to change.

1. Teach English for a year in the Dominican Republic in September.
2. Teach English for a year in Mexico City or Puebla. No job offer but easy enough to get.
3. Volunteer as an English Teacher and working with the Peace Corps for 3 months in Malawi starting in September
4. Volunteer at a Monkey and Manatee sanctuary in Belize with someone really interesting starting Jan 2017
5. Teach English in China for a year in September.
6. I also just applied to a position in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. The Caribbean Coast of Honduras is spectacular, and this town is located just a short hop to Utila and Roatan. I would consider learning to Scuba (finally). I found it on, an impressive website if you are looking for international job/volunteer opportunities.

Yes, these are the choices in my life now. Without being random and heading where the winds blow there needs to be a method to my madness. Flying to Malawi then back to Belize works but is it realistic? To be honest if I put the effort into flying to Malawi and being in Africa, well I am staying in Africa. A trip to Malawi would then include trips or working contract in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Madagascar and Namibia to start. It would also include Cage Diving with Great Whites in South Africa, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the pristine white beaches of Namibia, the lemurs and baobab trees of Madagascar and the Serengeti Plains. This is just touching on the treasures of Africa and it is a full and well thought out commitment. I am down for it and realistically I should do what I do and get out of my comfort zone. Yes, Latin America has become my new comfort zone.

Via México! Although I am not living and working in an exciting city at the moment, Tehuacán does have it's charms and we all know its not the place it's the people. Last night we went to Parrillas where I devoured an impressive burger which was followed up with a short walk to McCarthy's Irish Pub where all beer was 2 for 1. It was Happy Day instead of Happy Hour. Happiness can be seen here. Teaching jobs in Mexico are plentiful. Mexico City and it's 25 million people and it high on my list. Puebla is another busy town but as I said there are jobs in Cancun, Merida, Telum, San Cristobal and so many places in between. Thinking long and hard makes me realize that there is a reason so many people over 60 are teaching here. It's easy and safe. Maybe Mexico needs to be pushed down the list and I can return in a few years. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” -  Neale Donald Walsch and with that in mind it is time to leave my new comfort zone. It is time to scare myself a bit.

Now take what I just said and DO NOT apply it to the Dominican Republic. I can say with clarity that this little gem would be a quality challenge. I know quite a few people who have gone to "Resort Dominican Republic" but how many have ventured outside of their resort walls, with the exception of some overpriced "excursion"? I am not judging I am just asking. I think DR would supply me with just enough of an "edge and challenge" plus there are direct flights to Cuba, where I am going to visit before It gets all "Americanized".  DR you are tops on my list. Now I just need to blow the directors of the school away with a decent Skype Interview. Stay tuned.

There is something special about Honduras and the Honduran Caribbean Coast. Yes Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are shit holes but once out of the major cities it is a whole new world. Honduras ranks 2nd for me after Nicaragua as places I have lived, worked and traveled in Latin America. With that being said a teaching position in Puerto Cortez has really grabbed me by my limited attention span. Another position I have just applied for and am waiting to hear back. It begins August 16th so that means when my current contract ends on August 13th I would head directly there. The Latin American teaching market is slowly evolving as people are heading back from well paying Asian Jobs to discover the gems that are located here. I would not hesitate to spend time here as my comfort zone would be challenged by finally learning to Scuba Dive. If I am going to be devoured by a Great White, aside from South Africa this is where I would want it to happen. Hot sauce optional.

Would I want to back to Belize after just having been there? The short answer is not really but the real answer is yes. You may be saying to yourself "Ken like usual you are not making any sense". Well welcome to the world that is my thought process, come on in the water is turbulent.
There are two reasons I would go back to Belize for a month. The first is the volunteer position is with Wild Tracks Conservation where I would help to rehabilitate monkeys and manatees. How brilliant would that be? The work would be tough and challenging but rewarding none the less. The second and most important reason I would go back to Belize is that one of my favorite people is thinking of going there to start her new life's journey and has asked me to join her. That tops everything! Shoveling monkey poo at 5 am sounds like a great way to start my day.

Who does not want to spend a year in China? The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Huangshan, Nanjing, Tienanmen Square and so much more. However like Malawi and Africa if I head to Asia I am staying a while, possibly a long while. China holds so much plus would have new challenges for me to tackle and I would welcome those challenges. I do not have any desire to learn Cantonese or Mandarin but those negative thoughts face when you can not buy a bowl of soup at a local small town shop. Aside from Eastern Europe (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) Asia has been calling out to me for a long time. I have been to Japan twice and that was a great safe introduction to the insanity that can be Asia. I would move from China over to Cambodia where ESL jobs are plentiful then onto Vietnam because, well it's freaking Vietnam! My interview is next month as they do not want to talk to me until I half way through my current contract which I respect.

These are all theoretically realistic so to speak and I will have to make a decision within the next month. There is a trip back to Canada (possibly) in the middle of August to regroup. I need to update my passport as it is about to expire and nobody will let me into their country if my passport has less then 6 months to live (remember that for future travels). I have to do the dance with the CRA and get my taxes taken care of plus I need some of Mom's home cooking.

I adore Theoretically Realistic.

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