Best Decision Ever-Moving Abroad

so thankful you suggested the trip

It all started in my first year of teaching when my friend suggested we backpack through Europe in the summer (she is also a teacher and had the summers off too).....actually her wonderful mom suggested the trip for us.

At that time of my life, I honestly hadn't given much thought to traveling, or going overseas. I thought it was too expensive for someone like me ( I was teaching .5 kindergarten and tutoring the rest of the time).  Anyway, we made a tentative plan, but due to circumstances, we postponed it to the following summer.

I had no idea what to expect............the only thing I can say is that is EXCEEDED my expectations times 100. I felt free, I met all these people from all over the world, saw for the first time what other cultures thought of Americans, and of course we got to visit places that we'd only read about. It made so much history come alive.  (no pictures because it was before I had a digital camera and those pics are back in AZ).......but here's KC and I.

To make a long story was amazing........I loved it. We went to England, Scotland, France and Spain. I met a special South African boy there (literally-I think he was 21!....I was 24). When I got back home, I met a teacher at new teacher meetings that had just returned from teaching for a couple years in England. We luckily exchanged email addresses and she gave me lots of great tips and advice to go about teaching there.

On the last day of school, I flew to England for 2 weeks to go to interviews set up by a teaching agency. The first day I arrived, my boy from the Europe trip was waiting for me. Everything felt completely right. I took a job and moved there in August 2005.

I stayed for a year, but it was a tough teaching year (rough area, 3 principals quit!), and although my personal life was great with a sweet boyfriend and great flatmates, I was exhausted from that job. So, back to Arizona.

I moved back to England 6 months later, via South Africa to see my dear boyfriend and meet his family!! Who am I??!! I would have never imagined my life would go down this amazing path!

Visa only good for 6 months-England was much better this time around as I was able to substitute and not get stuck at a tough school! I also got to do some more traveling! As I went back to Arizona, my cutie went to Iraq : (

2 years later, a situation presented itself and I had the itch to move again (my sweetie was in
Afghanistan at this point). So off to Melbourne, Australia I went!! I had never been there before and I bought a one-way ticket! How could Australia be anything but heaven??! (I was totally right by the way!)

I stumbled across the most amazing teaching job ever in this amazing place: English Language School for New Arrivals!! Public school for 6-12 months for new arrivals, class size around 10. Yes please! Sweetest children I have ever met. An experience I will cherish forever.

Back to Arizona, newly engaged to my South African sweetie, with a third deployment to wait through. I finished my Masters degree, enjoyed amazing long-term teaching positions, and soaked up time with family and friends for a year. There were highs and lows through that period, but I made it through!!

Back to England in February 2012 to get married with my now out-of-the-army husband!! Who knows how long we'll be here, but I'm trying to make the most of these gifts and blessings! Enjoy every moment right?! (Especially summer moments in England with the rare sunny days-haha!)

Lots of love and thanks for reading! I hope to have this record when my memory declines in the future!

Kelli xx


Katie C said...

Great blog and huge cheers to you taking a leap of faith.

Tammy said...

I love your story. What a brave spirit you have. It's brought you lots of joy and blessings I see.
❀ Tammy
Forever in First

Jacqui said...

What an interesting story! I'm from Phoenix and lived in London as well. I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures.


Musings from the Foreign Teacher said...

Kelli -
I'm so glad that you had found me through the Pinterest linky. I was just reading through your blog and am gobsmacked at how similar our stories our. I love that you met your South African hubby in a London hostel.
I met me English fiance in a South African hostel...
How are you enjoying teaching? I've been teaching here for about 3.5 years, but am only will be considered fully qualified at the end of the term.
That is so cool you went to Australia. We have been discussing doing this too.

Dave Borrell said...

I just love your journey! Looks like taking that one Euro trip one summer turned out to be a start off point for your journey around the world and through a new phase in life. I am so happy for you! You seem really happy getting all those beautiful teaching jobs, seeing all those scenic places, and of course, falling in love. It really is one great trip!

Dave Borrell

Gabe Stirling said...

Wow, that is quite a journey right there. Fate really does work in mysterious ways as you’d never know when you’ll find love. Imagine, if you did not decide to go on a vacation abroad you would not have met your destined one. Moving really is a good step in starting a new life.

Gabe Stirling

Stephanie Smith said...

Hi Kelli,

I came across your blog looking for math journals and I discovered your blogging about moving abroad.

I am a recently graduated teacher and I have been contemplating trying to go overseas to teach....but I just don't know where to start.

I would love any advice!


Graham Copsey said...

Congratulations! It's amazing that you found your happy ending in England! It really is taking the first step, despite the risks and uncertainties that opens you to a whole new world of possibilities. And it literally did for you. It is also a great thing that you were able to travel to some parts of the world before you settled down and started a family. I’m so happy for you.

Graham Copsey

Kelli said...

Stephanie-how do I contact you?! Would love to talk to you about teaching overseas!


n. harv said...

hi kelli...i taught engkish in south korea and I'm looking to go to australia or london to teach...can you give me any information of the agencies you've used?

Kylee Lewis said...

Hi Kelli!

I will be graduating this spring with a degree in Elementary Education. I am eager to find information about teaching overseas and was curious if you had any pointers on how to begin the search. Thank you.