Where Did The Time Go?


Wednesday was an anniversary for me.  It was July 15, 2001 that I boarded a Singapore Airlines flight and left Canada to work abroad.  I left expecting a one year experience, not an entire new life in other countries.

My college has an office for job postings, and graduates are welcome to look for jobs no matter how long after graduation.  In early June 2001, I saw a posting that said “TEACH IN KOREA!”  It was always my desire to teach in Japan, but I wasn’t qualified.  I did, however, meet the requirements (at that time) to teach in South Korea.  I applied, and to my surprise was accepted.  I quickly renewed my passport through the local MP’s office (minister of parliament), and within six weeks had to pack and leave.  That was one heck of a garage sale, getting rid of everything and whittling my entire life down to two suitcases under 20kg plus a carry on.

Going abroad didn’t only lead to better paying work and new experiences, it was life changing.  I should write a book about it someday.

Nineteen years. Where did the time go?  And with COVID-19 likely to be around for at least two years, I may be abroad that long too.

Lyrics below the fold.

Rush, “Headlong Flight”, 2012:

All the journeys of this great adventure
It didn't always feel that way
I wouldn't trade them because I made them
The best I could, and that's enough to say

Some days were dark
I wish that I could live it all again
Some nights were bright
I wish that I could live it all again

All the highlights of that headlong flight
Holding on with all my might
To what I felt back then
I wish that I could live it all again

I have stoked the fire on the big steel wheels
Steer the airship right across the stars
I learned to fight, I learned to love, I learned to feel
Oh I wish that I could live it all again

All the treasures, the gold and glory
It didn't always feel that way
I don't regret it - I'll never forget it
I wouldn't trade tomorrow for today

Some days were dark
I wish that I could live it all again
Some nights were bright
I wish that I could live it all again

I have stoked the fire on the big steel wheels
Steer the airship right across the stars
I learned to fight, I learned to love, I learned to feel
Oh I wish that I could live it all again

     The days were dark
     And the nights were bright
     I would never trade tomorrow for today

All the highlights of that headlong flight
Holding on with all my might

Some days were dark
I wish that I could live it all again
Some nights were bright
I wish that I could live it all again

I have stoked the fire on the big steel wheels
Steer the airship right across the stars
I learned to fight, I learned to love, I learned to feel
Oh I wish that I could live it all again

I have stoked the fire on the big steel wheels
Steer the airship right across the stars
I learned to fight, I learned to love, I learned to steal
Oh I wish that I could...

Oh I wish that I could live it all again

Comments

  1. says

    Honestly you should write that book. Not just these experiences, but these experiences from the perspective of a trans woman, particularly including transitioning during them, would be a unique and valuable perspective.

  2. blf says

    Heh. Kindof different in my case, but a similar longevity.

    Over a decade before our kind host Rhiannon left, I’d been working at the same company for some years and growing frustrated. Whilst looking for a new position in the general area, the company I worked for acquired an operation overseas. There were some open positions.

    As it happens, whilst I am a native-born States citizen, I am also one of the rare ones who was indisputably born in a foreign country. (Yes, this is possible!) I carry two passports. The country in which there were open positions happened to be one in which I didn’t need any sort of a work permit, etc., due to my passports / dual nationality.

    So I decided to “change countries, not companies.” I wound up living and working in Europe — decades and several companies (and countries) later, I’m now in a S.France Mediterranean seaside village — perhaps not for “better” pay, but certainly for “better” quality-of-life, despite having to deal with these pesky “foreign” languages… 😉 (Amusingly, I did study a European language in school, but have never spent much time at all in any country which speaks that language.)

    I used to say I might formally retire to someplace in the coastal Pacific Northwest, but the facism in States has very probably nixxed that (vague) idea, in addition to having connections / friends &tc now all over Europe.

  3. blf says

    @2, Clarification: When I said “Over a decade before our kind host Rhiannon left, I’d been working at the same company for some years…”, I did not mean (as the timelines should imply) they and I worked together or at literally the same company. What I meant was “I’d been working at one company for many years. More then ten years before our kind host moved from the States, I did the same(-ish) thing…”. Apologies for any confusion.

  4. derek says

    I feel the wonderment also. I have now also been an expat instructor for 19 years, although only 17 in Korea. I have former students who are now tenured professors! (well, one anyway!)

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