Every year I plan to leave Taiwan, and every year it doesn’t happen. It almost seems like comfort is ruining my life. I have looked at airplane tickets every day for the past month now and watched them slowly increase in price, always too scared to pull the trigger and book the dammed thing.
It’s always the same story — just another year; just one more contract; now is not the right time. I’ve been singing this tune for almost eight years now FFS!
My life here is so comfortable and I have (what I consider to be) an amazing lifestyle). I own my own home with a manageable mortgage, I travel regularly, I have finished paying off my car, I enjoy good food, life is cheap;easy; and convenient. The weather is amazing. My family back home in the UK are always envious when they come to visit me. Why would I want to give all this up?
But career-wise I’m going nowhere. I go through short-term stages of feast and famine with different schools that start classes for me when they have recruited enough students. There is no progression or development in any of my jobs and I want so much more out of life.
Comfort is ruining my life!! I am so scared of giving all this up to head into the unknown. What if I can’t find a job? What if I have to live in a shitty one-bed flat and pay through the nose for the privilege? What if my wife and kid can’t adapt? What about all the violence and safety issues in the UK? No, no, no, no, no! Surely it’s much better just to stay here where everything is just okay (not perfect, not terrible, just okay.) and get on with life. Work isn’t everything, is it?
Does anyone else feel like this? How did the posters on here who have actually managed to pluck up the courage to leave do it? Why do I feel like I can’t leave?
i think before you leave everything behind in taiwan and heading into the unknown, you should have at least those few questions cleared. at least, get a job contract and a place for the first few months. i’m sure it’ll be easier to leave then.
I left Taiwan to return to the UK after four years away for similar reasons to yours, except I was working in IT and felt like my career and salary would progress beyond a certain point if I stayed out there. Immediately after returning to the UK, I planned and schemed ways to return to Taiwan, but over time I became more complacent and now I’ve just signed a contract to start a new job in London. My situation is almost like the reverse of yours. Because I have a reasonably good salary here (something I once thought would be impossible for me to achieve in a city as notoriously expensive as this), London is to me comfortable and familiar, while returning to Taiwan would represent “the great unknown”, where I would struggle to re-adjust to the low salary and horrible work culture. But I’m still telling myself I’ll return after “just one more year” of saving money. I miss Taiwan so much, far more than I ever missed the UK while I was away…
If the only reason you want to leave is because you’re concerned that your career will stagnate, have you considered ways of improving yourself as a teacher in Taiwan? For starters, you could get out of the buxiban world. I found that there are quite a few university teaching positions going in Taiwan, but what many English teachers don’t realise is that you have to go to the university page directly to see the vacancies (which are often advertised in Chinese, even if Chinese isn’t required for the role). You could also consider going back to the UK to get a PGCE, then go back to Taiwan and teach at an international school and make crazy money. That’s what my brother is doing. I envy him a lot. And if it comes to it, I may just get a PGCE and go to Taiwan to teach IT or computing.
I’ve got my own school in NTC. If you have 8 years experience teaching I could certainly use your help running the school. It can be tough to find a good work/life balance in the teaching field here but I imagine going back to the UK would present it’s own hurdles. It’s my understanding that TESOL isn’t a terribly marketable skill in England.
Comfort? Hah! Wait until you’re married with a child in daycare, with a wife who also has a tenured teaching position, and stuck living in an apartment that has a long term mortgage to pay off. Then you’ll know what it means to be “hard to leave.”
Perhaps it’s not taiwan that is the issue, but you ? Stop working in cram schools and look for a better position. Or perhaps do some online courses and acquire some more skills. Or perhaps try to find some freelance work on the side? For example write seo content.
When you try new stuff some will work, some won’t. When you find something that works run with it
All places have opportunities, including Taiwan, if you look for them