It was in the middle of November 2016 when I was travelling on my own in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. I was just wandering aimlessly on the streets, when two travellers caught my attention – they both had dreadlocks and looked somehow interesting. I smiled at them and we started chatting like old friends. It turned out that they are an international couple – Erika from Finland and Joseph from United States. “We are English teachers in China.” They told me. “We have been living in China for the past 4 years and we love it. It is so much fun and easy”, they went further. “You should try it, you will love it. The salary is good and it allows you to travel a lot. We can introduce you to our kindergarten. There are looking for new teachers very often.” I was immediately hooked. Teaching English? My passion. China? Never attracted, but I could try. Kindergarten? Not really, but it sounded fun. Traveling? Of course!!!
Their excitement was so contagious, I already starting conjuring up myself the whole experience. But I didn’t have any teaching experience and my degree was related to Tourism, I certainly don’t qualify for the job position. “Don’t worry. You are female, friendly and have white skin. You speak English without accent. That is the most important. In China, their demand for English teachers is so huge; they are not strict with requirements. And you can always say you have experience in education – they will not check it anyway.” The things they told me sounded absurd, but they are completely true. We exchanged our contacts and bid farewell.
Today, I still believe that meeting Erika and Joseph was my fate. It was my stepping stone into the world of opportunities, meaningful experiences and amazing people. It was the world without borders, where you can be anything you want to and do whatever you want.
Without getting to know them I would probably still be in Europe. I would probably still work at the hotel and complain about my job.
After my encounter with Erika and Joseph it took me almost half a year to get to China. I was scared as hell and kept procrastinating. My brains were coming up with all sorts of excuses, why it wouldn’t work: what if I will suck at teaching? What if they will not be satisfied with me? What if everything is just a scam? I just met them on the road, why they were trying so hard to get me a job?
No matter how hard were my brains coming up with excuses, there was one part of my brains pushing me forward. If it will not work out, you will travel around Asia – something you always wanted to do. And I went, just like that. I applied for Chinese visa and Voila!