Am I Making The Right Decision?

I have three weeks left at my sisters until I have to leave. She has been given notice by her landlord and has to disappear. So whether I’m mentally ready or not I have to get back out there and be completely independent again. Where that will be exactly; all bets are off…

I found a job locally working behind a bar again. This will be great for getting my confidence – and for some strange reason – my memory back (I have no idea why my memory is non existent. I hope it is a side effect of living in a foreign country for a long time because if it is that, then it will improve again over time…) and getting some stability into my life again. I had a trial there and although I knew I didn’t perform to the best of my abilities, they liked me and asked me to come back.

I took the job instantly, happy that the boss saw some potential in me. Unfortunately the downside is that the job is part time. I have zero hours this week and my first shift is next Friday, so I definitely won’t be able to afford to pay rent on a property unless my hours drastically go up.

Regardless of the anxiety I felt about not earning enough I started looking for rooms. I saw a single room in someone’s house being advertised for ¬£200 a month, which I thought was ideal because I would have my own place and it wouldn’t cost me a fortune if work did not pick up instantly. After agreeing to see the property they cancelled on me a few times before finally ringing me to say that the room had been taken. This was a sobering reminder that things aren’t as easy as they were abroad to sort out things like accommodation, and the fact that I have no credit history due to living abroad is going to make this ‘living back in England’ lark a lot harder than I thought it would be.

My first reaction was an obvious one: “Fuck it! I’m going travelling again! Everyone is telling me to get back on the saddle anyway!” But like I said before I’m not in the right mindset to go travelling again. So much so that I’ve had several friends contact me to try and help me out and I’ve just mentally switched off, which is a very scary thought considering that I need to get back on my feet sooner rather than later and I’m not absorbing any help that people are offering me…

So I’m still looking for a place here. If I don’t get a full time job within six months my savings will be gone just like that. All those years working 50-70 hours a week with very few days off a year would be for nothing. I’m choosing to stay here but I keep asking myself every hour if this is really what I want to do. The truth is for the first time in my life I don’t know what I want to do. I normally have that drive to pursue whatever it is I want, but at the moment I don’t have the desire to do anything. Which is the main reason why I’ve decided to stay in England in the hope that in six months I’ll get that desire and hunger back. But is it the right thing to do?

My mind changes every day as to what I feel I should do. Whatever happens, time is running out, so I need to play my hand soon. I wonder where I’ll be in two months time… Here? Portugal? China? Vietnam? Italy? I just hope that wherever I am in two months time I’m much happier than I am now, because even I’m getting sick of the person I’m becoming…

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Stowmarket, England

One of the best things about travelling is when you come back home you start to see your own country through the eyes of a tourist. I’m back and staying in a place called Stowmarket in Southern Suffolk until I can get my new passport sorted.

You’ve got 5 seconds before I close this page and start watching porn. So start making this interesting…

OK. Look at the pictures:

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Maybe that should be the town slogan;

Stowmarket: better than porn…

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It’s nice, but I still want to watch some Mia Khalifa before my parents come back from the shops…

It is nice. One of the nicest places I have been to in England to be fair.¬†Mind you that could be because like I said before now I’m seeing England in a different light, and it’s not a load of flourescent ones in case you think I’m on ecstasy…

Yawn…

Sorry… Anyway; it’s a beautiful little town which has a nice town centre to walk through. The people are very friendly as well. The kind of people that smile and say hello as you walk past and hold the door open for you if you are heading in that direction. I’ve heard the schools are good here too, which is good for my nephew.

Can’t you just talk about your students again? That was way more interesting…

Unfortunately I wont be teaching again any time soon mainly because of that. When you are teaching a seven year old how to read the word ‘sat’ by saying “buh-at…bat. cuh-at…cat. muh-at…mat. ruh-at…rat. suh-at…?” then asking him what he thinks the word is and he replies “helicopter”, you tend to lose your motivation after a while.

Fair point. So, Stowmarket, why else is it the schizzle?

I think that’s it really. It’s an old fashioned English town that has a vibrant energy about it. Something I suppose you truly miss once you leave the country for an extended period of time. When you are from a country you tend to take it for granted until you leave and you realize how beautiful your own country actually is. Having said that hopefully I wont be here much longer though. As much as I like it here I would like to get moving again and get some kind of income coming in sooner rather than later.

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Just to melt your hearts here’s a picture of my little nephew in his ‘pen-gee-quin’ outfit…

Job Search

Back to reality; I’m not a rich kid who can retire at the grand old age of 29, so now I’m back in England I have to bite the bullet and go and find a source of income. I have a few options:

  • Work on a farm on a volunteer basis in Portugal
  • Swallow my pride and find a job here in England, most likely something basic as I haven’t got the qualifications to walk into a well paid job
  • Go and teach in another country again

Option 1 was my first choice; working on my friends farm learning about… well… farming. Which would give me the time to write a book and learn a new life skill. A skill in my opinion that is seriously undervalued and something all people should have a basic education in. This would also expand my knowledge in terms of writing books with new, diverse characters with different back stories. However this is not a permanent thing; not only is it voluntary (so I will still be eating into what little savings I have left) but it depends on when they have friends/family/other volunteers over as to when I can stay there. I still like the idea of going there, it just seems far less secure than I anticipated…

So I went with option 2. I’ve got a place to stay for one more month. Then I have to be working full time and earning enough to sustain myself including rent and bills. This may seem very simple for most people but I have only ever rented outside of England. I’ve dealt with renting abroad with minimal fuss but in England I always had a job that came with some sort of lodgings so believe it or not I’ve never actually rented my own place here which means it feels pretty daunting for me to do for the first time…

I went to the job centre, said hi-de-ho, stole their computer and proceeded to write two CV’s, one for working in England and one for abroad aimed specifically at teaching. The people there were surprisingly helpful. I say surprisingly because I can imagine that kind of job can drain you seeing people down on their luck full of doom and gloom not knowing how they are going to get out of it. That kind of negative energy can linger in the air and its only a matter of time before it becomes contagious. In fact when I first went there they kept telling me in a monotonic voice that I wasn’t entitled to benefits because I’ve only just returned to the country, to which I kept replying I’m not LOOKING for benefits, I just want to know if there are any local jobs that would suit my skills and personality. So I guess once they realised I wasn’t just walking in with no intention of trying to find a job, sticking my hand out and hoping people would throw money at me like a half naked twenty year old girl in an American strip club they were more than happy to help.

The next day I printed off the English CV’s and started spreading them around to various shops and pubs (considering most of my experience in England is bar or restaurant work, I felt that would be the easiest place to start) then I ended up at Morrison’s talking to some woman behind the counter who was an absolute winner.

Me: Hi! I’m new in the area and was wondering whether I could drop off my CV?

Absolute Winner: <looking me up and down as if I’d just told her kids that Santa’s fingering the Easter bunny whilst maintaining eye contact with their father…> WE’RE CLOSED!!!

Me: <Looking confused, as they were clearly open> Erm… OK. Well shall I just hand in my CV online?

Absolute Winner: WHAT???

Me: <Repeats the question, but does a little twerk at the end to lighten up the situation>

Absolute Winner: We’re CLOSING!

Me: Well, can’t I just… Oh wait, you mean the branch is closing?

Absolute Winner: YES!!!

Me: Oh OK. Sorry to hear that. Thanks for your help…

Handing in CV’s isn’t fun nowadays. I know I’ve been away for a while but surely that isn’t the norm? I hope it gets easier the more you do it…

What about teaching? can’t you go back to that schizzle?

Well this evening I have been sending off CV’s to schools online hoping that I’ll get a bite. Sadly I don’t have a degree, which is meaningless unless (a) you want to go into a specific field i.e. Law. or (b) you want to teach English in a foreign country.

I have a TEFL degree, and I have four years experience teaching, mostly academic classes, so I’m hoping that common sense will prevail and the experience will outweigh a piece of paper (especially since I have my teaching qualifications, just not a random degree from a university) but we will see what happens. Some countries MUST have a degree to comply with their visa regulations.

I also have a friend who is now teaching in Northern China. He has recommended for me to go over there and work, as they are treating him and his wife very well. So that can be another option. I’m considering booking a flight over there as a tourist and seeing if I can find work out there, then converting my visa to a tourist one. Whatever happens I have a month to decide. By now I would have been in Northern China anyway on my round the world trip, or in Mongolia or Southern Russia on the Trans-Siberian train, so maybe that part of the world is calling me? Whatever happens, I’m sure it was meant to happen. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Wish me luck!

Taylor Outsmarted The Lot of Us!

Taylor (My six year old nephew) came home from school armed with a book claiming he could read it like an absolute boss, so I let him sit next to me and he read the book to me. Half way through the book Jamie (His dad) came home from work and we both listened to Taylor read the rest of his book.

When he finished I gave him 50p as a reward because of how well he read the book. Then Jamie, as a joke, pulled out a huge stack of notes (I guess from work) and casually said “There you go Taylor.”

“Thanks!” Taylor said with a massive grin on his face, seemingly oblivious as to how much money he had been given. Then ran towards the stairs with the money.

“N-no Taylor, I was only joking…” Jamie said nervously whilst reaching for the money. “Give it back please!”

“My teacher said that if you give someone something you shouldn’t ask for it back…” Taylor replied without missing a beat.

Me and Jamie burst out laughing as Taylor ran up the stairs with approximately a thousand pounds and fifty pence in his hand. Not bad for a days work! Looks like Jamie may need to find another job…