In another timeline we would be moving into our new apartment in Japan, and starting a whole new adventure.
Instead, we’ve been here:
It’s not Japan, but it is pretty cool.
In many ways what we are doing in Colorado is as foreign to us as Japan would have been. We have had to start a new life, almost from scratch, just like we do when we move abroad. Even though its “home” and we speak the language it’s been some serious work.
After lots of deliberation, we’ve settled on a new plan and a new course of action, which is…..
- Get settled
- Get temporary (summer) jobs
- In August we will start working on getting our teaching licenses.
- And once we have those………. ?
First: Get settled.
Think of all of the things you have, and realize that we didn’t have any of those things three weeks ago. We barely had any shoes or clothes since we’d put off buying new shoes and clothes in Spain and threw the rest away. We didn’t want to pack unnecessary weight and planned to buy what we needed in Japan. So our first week was spent shopping for basic things that we ran out of months ago (socks, shoes, shirts, pants). Then there were the complicated things, like phone plans, health insurance, a car, and a general idea for what to do next.
So while getting everything in order, we started planning for the future. Some of it is up in the air now, but it’s safe to say that in August we will be moving to the Grand Junction/Glenwood Springs/Parachute area. And when we get there we will need to furnish either a small house or an apartment, whichever we find. In Spain you can count on “inheriting” everything the previous owner left behind. Both of our Spanish apartments had been FULLY furnished, I’m talkin’ plates, pots and pans, curtains, furniture, cleaning supplies, appliances, everything. This is less common in America, so we hear. K’s grandma sadly passed away the day we arrived, but her family has been very supportive in us taking anything we think we will need to start our new life. It’s sad to go through these things, but we think that Grammie would be tickled knowing we are using some of her old pots and pans to get settled. It’s a good use for these things we think. We also bought her car, and we are incredibly grateful to have it.
For now that stuff will stay in a garage. And then of course the car has to be insured and registered. So as we said this has been a crash course in “adulting” (in America) for us.
But now we are settled, both for now, and for the future.
Second: Temporary jobs
We have no desire to live off of our savings in the USA till August. Edit: With the Coronavirus we probably will, though. Things in the USA are expensive, and we’ve had serious sticker shock on everything from hamburgers to socks. We also wanted to find a place of our own. But keep in mind we’ll just be moving up to Parachute (?) this fall, so who would ever want to rent out a place for just the summer? And rent in Durango is stupid expensive (cheapest we saw was $1,200, and you would NOT want to live there).
But we managed to
kill two birds with one stone. Starting in April Edit: Coronavirus cancellations we will be working at Mesa Verde National Park. It’s temporary work, starting in the summer and ending in the fall (perfect for us). And because it’s a remote location they have employee housing (again, perfect). We aren’t working for the NPS, we’re working for a company that organizes all of the non-ranger jobs.
Maybe Mesa Verde will open again but for now we’re sheltering in place as per Colorado governor’s orders. No work for us for now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Third: Teaching licences
At the same time we were planning for the near future, we were planning for the “far” future. We were looking into multiple options (just to be safe), but we have it narrowed down. We will
either be working in Colorado or Texas. Colorado is easy for us to live in because we already live here. We considered Texas because we like it there and it’s cheap. Ultimately, though, Texas is rehauling their alternative teachers licenses and we would have to stay for extra years to get licensed. Maybe we would end with masters degrees – which we would love- but we don’t love that we would have to pay for the usual crap like football fees and on-campus housing.
The Colorado option is ideal because it has us working as real live teachers while we get licensed. So we start this August. During this time we would be paid an entry-level teachers salary, earning teachers benefits, and doing all the things teachers do. But we would have to do a bit more work like submit papers, lessons and professional development to the state to prove that we’re learning how to be teachers. We would have to work in a “less desirable location” (says some people), but that’s fine by us. We lived in “less desirable” locations in Korea and Spain (Techno Valley, Martos and Manacor) and loved it.
We would work for either one or two years, and then obtain our full, professional licences.
Stay tuned for more information on this decision. Chris has already interviewed for a middle school and was accepted to be a 7th grade social studies teacher there! Now K just needs to get a job nearby and we’re all set.
Fourth: And after all that?
After two years of working, we would have licences, and will have built our savings account back up. And not to mention a lack of assets and dependents. So honestly, we would be able to do whatever the hell we feel like. Again. We could move to any country we desire and teach in an international school. We could go back to Spain, work the Aux program (and find better paying jobs while we are there). We could even stay in the Grand Junction area and continue teaching.
We are only really able to plan for the next 2-3 years. After that is anyone’s guess.
In short, and in broad strokes, our plan is to:
Move to Mesa Verde and work for a few months.Shelter in place to flatten the curve of Covid-19
- In the fall, we will move somewhere else, and start teaching.
- Live and work in this teaching position for however long we need.
But of course, the Coronavirus
could ruin everything has ruined some things. It’s already delayed cancelled the start of our Mesa Verde jobs, and it’s going to make taking the teaching tests difficult. But we’ll manage!