Musings on Africa and China: What Is a Swashbuckler to Do?

November 11, 2011

For the past several month, I have been attempting to find a teaching job overseas. I even obtained my Advanced TESOL certification. At first, it seemed like Africa would be the place to go. I received a couple of informal offers there, and I accepted them. However, as tends to be the way of things in this world, the situations changed, and now I am waiting again to hear from Africa.

However, I was officially offered a teaching position in Beijing, China. It is a full-time job, five days per week, with weekends off. The salary is very good for Beijing, and I will be provided a free apartment by the school. I will not be rich by any means, but the salary is enough to afford me to experience the real China, which is my goal anyway, and to spend the weekends traveling or touring a bit. I have been to Beijing before, and it really is a fabulous, cosmopolitan city. And, as a former, professionally trained chef, I can say that the food I had in China was among the best in the world.

If I accept this Chinese offer, I will need to learn some Mandarin quickly. As my specialty is languages, this is not a problem, but it will require hard work. Also, it is a bit daunting to fly across the world to live a year in a city and a country that is the polar opposite of the western ways that I am accustomed to. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. The Chinese are very friendly and hospitable, and their food and culture is vibrant, ancient, and colorful. I really see no downside, aside from the inevitable culture shock, and the language barrier.

So, in consideration, I am inclined to take the offer in Beijing. After all, if I really want to be a swashbuckling, international adventurer, I have to take some big risks! Stay tuned for more details on this saga, and be sure to stay adventurous!


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