Friday, September 9, 2016

A long overdue update

I apologize to all those who keep up with us through this blog. I have been woefully neglectful of this little project of ours and I wish I could say we have a good excuse like fabulous globe trotting or a ridiculously packed social life to keep us away from our writing.

Nope. We've pretty much been living a regular life here in Australia. We've been really focused on paying the rent and keeping ourselves fed. Australia has proven to be an interesting challenge for us and not quite the fun-in-the-sun time we had dreamed of.

So here is what we've been up to for the past few months:

1. I graduated from the University of Melbourne. Yay! I'm done with my masters and can now call myself an alum of the University of Melbourne. I didn't attend my graduation ceremony because I was working, so the whole thing was a little anticlimactic. It's an appropriate way to end my lackluster experience with the University. I'll get into the whole story of my experience as an international graduate student in another post.

2. I got a full time teaching job. Yay! I did a few weeks of subbing at various schools around the city and I am not a fan of subbing in Melbourne! (I'll get into the whole story of why subbing here has not been a great experience in another blog post) Thankfully, I got hired to teach English full time at a college in one of the western suburbs, which means I have an hour and a half commute to and from work each day. The school is really great, the students are WAY more respectful that most of the other students I have worked with here so far, and the other teachers at the school are friendly and helpful so I am happy to make the trek. The contract is only until December, since that is when the school year ends here, so I'll have to go back into the trenches of subbing in the new year, but that's a problem for Future Amber.

3. The Mister got a part time teaching job. Yay! Once we were both finally registered to teach, the subbing jobs poured in and one of them has led to a part time gig for Tyler. His job is at one of the magnet schools in the eastern suburbs, so his commute is dramatically shorter than mine. It comes as no surprise to anyone that has met him that he is getting along with his new colleagues and students swimmingly. They love him and he loves the school. So much so, in fact, that he is going to be doing his counseling placement (sort of like student teaching for guidance counselors) at the school on the days that he is not working. Yay!

4. Our friend Austin came to visit back in June. Yay! It was sooo wonderful to have Austin in town for 10 days before he headed home to the States for his summer break. We love our friends here in Australia, but there's nothing quite like having family-you-choose in town. We were in major withdrawals because we had gone from seeing Austin almost every day in Kuwait to moving thousands of miles away from him. I love that we have the kind of friendship that just picks right back up where it left off, no matter how long it has been since we last saw him. We hadn't started our fancy new teaching jobs by the time he'd come to visit, so money was really tight and thankfully Austin was happy to come all the way to Australia for a staycation with us. I'll post more about our adventures with him another time.

5. We kept working all our other jobs. ...Yay? Other than Austin's visit and our getting hired for new teaching jobs, we just focused on keeping our heads above water. I continue to work a waitressing job and occasionally do the cater-waitering job. The Mister worked his small side jobs as much as possible while on his break from school, and now that classes have started back up for him, his teaching job has been clutch for helping us keep the lights on.

We are now turning our focus to finding new jobs overseas. It's surreal to think that we are well into our second year in Australia and will be packing up and leaving in 10-ish months. We enjoy living in Australia fine, and if we didn't have any other options or just really didn't like America we would probably stay here, but we find that our quality of life here is pretty much the same as it was when we were living in Nashville: making ends meet, travelling only after months of scraping together some money, and going out for dinner as a special treat. Tyler made the point the other day that if we are going to just be living paycheck-to-paycheck, we should go do that in America and at least be close to family. We can be poor in America, no reason to be poor in Australia, especially if it means that we can't really explore this awesome country.

If I had never known our awesome jetset international life, I would be satisfied with doing what we're doing now, but I miss the traveling, the salary, and the security that international teaching gives us. Plus, there's a whole lot more world out there to see and I am ready to go explore.

Vicariously yours,