A little later than planned this time but here it is.  We’ve now been back for 5 weeks and it’s flown but these thoughts haven’t changed much.

So we are back for a second year.  How does it feel?  A question that we have asked several of our returning colleagues, mainly those who were new to the international circuit at the same time as us and who also went ‘home’ for the summer, is, ‘how do you feel to be back?’  All of us had a great, if exhausting summer catching up with friends and family in various corners of the UK but all of us are happy to be returning.

The feeling is different this year.  Last year it was the start of a whole new adventure, a step into the unknown, this year we know what to expect and are now technically the ‘oldies’.  Last year we were full of apprehension an excitement about what was to come, this year the exciting part is meeting the new staff, hearing their stories and helping them to settle into the country we now call home.

We loved our summer, loved being back in England and loved catching up with everyone.  It helped that the weather was pretty good for an English summer too – although not as good as the Mongolian one. (+42 at it’s peak, now back to a balmy +23.)  Being in England and especially Deal made us realise how much we miss the sea.  Neither Pete, nor myself, grew up by the sea but having lived by it for 15 years before moving to Mongolia it meant it had got under our skin.  In Mongolia we are over 400 miles to the closest sea.  High on the priority list therefore for our Christmas holiday is somewhere coastal and hot!

The problem now is what to do next.  Before we went home for the summer we had been talking about where to go next, but then, we spent 3 weeks in Deal and a total of 8 weeks in England.  Everyone said ‘yes, go somewhere else, making the first move was the hardest’ etc etc.  I would be saying that too if I was in all of your shoes but the thought of moving house again, meeting new people, settling the children into a new school, learning new rules and routines, is actually quite an exhausting one. It’s exciting to think of all the new possibilities but when facing that or moving back to the home that we love and the town that we love it’s a tough one.  We know that it would be easy to move back home but how would we feel once we’d been back a week, a month, a year?  Would I yearn for more adventure or settle back into the old, familiar, comforting routines?

As you can see there’s alot to think about but right now we are planning our holidays for this year, starting with another trip to Beijing in October but this time we are travelling home on the Trans-Siberian.  We are determined that whether we have another 10 months or 10 years of international teaching in us, we make the most of every minute.