Expats final year, full circle home

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Ok so we put our house on the market. Now what?

I know it seems strange because according to our Hungarian life and Hungarian standards we are doing well. But what is lacking is balance. The equilibrium between work and life is swayed, heavily loaded with too much work which was the exact same reason we left Canada. We found balance in France for a while, and here too, but it seems Western ideals have caught up with Europe, and everyone lives to make money, not makes enough money to live. No one seems to have time for community, building relationships; everyone is peddling to get ahead, super busy running from one thing to the next; there is no metaphoric roses to smell.

We created our own business, LivEnglish Hungary and truly have no regrets. We have had hundreds of private students since 2016 and our vacation program has been an absolute success. However, our kids are getting older and with Daniel off to university in 2021 and Angelina in her final years of high school, the program has come to its natural ending. It will be strange to not welcome new and old students into our home anymore but the long term goals outweigh the immediate. I will miss everything about it; the first day games, the last day BBQ, and all the activities in between.

Since France 2011, we have hosted hundreds of students over the last near decade, met amazing families from all over the world, and have watched our students go off and become amazing members of society. It was the most rewarding experience knowing teenagers so well, many coming back again and again. We learned to maximize their learning by understanding how they operate in our unique immersion environment. I learned how to really teach to the individual needs through thousands of hours of hands-on experience, and diverse lesson plans. University gives me a very different set of tools to use in the classroom. This is a strong example of how experience outweighs education.

Teaching is a natural element of myself, and passing information forward and sharing it seems what people are supposed to do. I love my job. It is part of who I am in the very fabric of my being. At the private school I have had the opportunity to teach hundreds of students over the years, many of which I will never forget, especially the kids from Daniels 4eme class of 2016! And this last year I have three classes plus my prep class created as a way of preparing grade 10-12 students for their Cambridge exams. My cup overfloweth! Preparing highschool students for essay writing and a higher level of thinking over the past 3 years has been the most rewarding thing I have created. The intermingling of TED talks, the topic and theme based lesson plans really ignite the students to work and interact with the materials in complex ways. It is teaching them to think, not regurgitate the information back to me. I was so very impressed by these young men and women.

Further I have been replacing coworkers because of COVID-19. Although it has been challenging with 30+ extra kids in some of my classes due to quarantine, and learning distance teaching methods since February; I have learned so very much about what I am capable of doing. It has kept me interested in teaching for longer than I would have expected with my easily distracted nature. The last 4+ years personally, academically, and individually have been extremely prolific. However, in the evolution of myself and on this quest for happiness, I always knew there would be an end, a time to move along, if not to another country, then to another type of work.

My newest interests have been psychology, which I plan to continue, but also writing as a full time hobby in some capacity no matter where our family ends up. I feel what we learned as a family over the past decade in three countries as migrants, has learning and teaching value; something I cannot necessarily articulate fully at present. I suspect that once we root in our last location, I will take the time to deeply reflect and self analysis.

Now we have some obligations here in Hungary. My contract runs out at the end of June, so we cannot leave the country until then. Daniel has to complete his graduation year and apply to university in our new location. He will apply to both just in case. He needs Math 11 if we move, so he is frantically trying to get it done but most likely he will have a ‘Gap Year’ in store.

If our home doesn’t sell in time, plan B is to stay another full year 2022 June. I would continue working at the school doing what I feel passionate about. Then Daniel would go to IBS as originally planned, and Angelina will continue here at LFB.

There will be a long list of things to do!

We need to sell our furniture, cars, house, apartments, dissolve our businesses and find a way to ship our essentials to our new location.

We need to find a way to bring the cat without killing him in the process. This is my biggest worry, because Elvis has been with us for a very long time. I am not certain he will survive the journey. If the neighbours will take him, it might be the only solution.

I need to cut ties, and say goodbye. Hungary has been such a beautiful place to live and I loved it in many ways. We have had opportunities to visit so many different lake, rivers and cities. It is truly beautiful.

I will still be visiting here often, and I know this to be true because it has already been written. I cannot envision a future without Hungary in it in some capacity!

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