One decision can change your life. Of course, many considerations lead up to that decision, but ultimately one decision has the power to transform your life, your perspective, your way of thinking. For me, the biggest (and best) decisions I've made have been to live and work in different countries. I consider myself very lucky to have a job I love, and one that enables me to make a decision like this. Not everyone is so fortunate, and I never want to lose sight of that.
This summer has passed in the blink of an eye, and the new school year is here already! No matter where you are in the world, this time of year can be overwhelming and full of mixed emotions. To top it off, here I am, a new resident of Riga, Latvia. When I told most people about this move, I received a lot of blank stares and questions about why I chose this destination in particular. Most didn't even know where to find Latvia on a map. But the moment I was offered a teaching position here, I took it. I wanted to be back in Europe, and I wanted to live in a place that would provide new travel opportunities. I'd never stepped foot into the Baltics, and the region fascinated me. To top it off, the school seemed to be exactly what I was looking for: smaller than where I'd been in the past, but big enough to offer a diversity of students, admin, and peers. It just seemed to be the right fit.
I've lived in many places, and in doing so, have attempted to call many places home. (Some are easier than others.) Whenever I move, invariably someone reminds me about the honeymoon period, the time when that new place seems so perfect and that nothing could ruin that bliss. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I completely skipped the honeymoon period of other transitions abroad. But this time... well, I'm actually feeling it. Completely unexpectedly, I have secretly fallen in love with this city. I'm realistic enough to know this could wear off, that I simply could be enjoying the honeymoon period for the first time. But that's okay with me. I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts, and then push myself to find ways to appreciate what I have, to look for ways to learn and grow from new experiences. After all, isn't that what we ask of our students? :)