Nomad ~ A person who doesn’t stay long in the same place; a wanderer, wayfarer, gypsy, a traveler.
I like to say I’m a nomad who currently calls China home.
Passion ~ a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept.
I guess you could say I have a passion for travel. I want to see and experience the world through the people that live in small villages and big cities around the globe. I want to go off the beaten path and live like a local, eat the food, learn the customs, appreciate the culture.
In May 2013, I received my TEFL certification from the University of Miami Florida. In the fall of 2013, I landed 2 jobs in Paris, France. One with Baby Langues and the other Speaking Agency Paris. Next, after 34 years, in August 2014, I left my job at the Trumbull County YMCA to move to Paris. Unfortunately, I was denied my student visa. I had also registered at Campus Languages to study French. So, not being able to work or attend the University, I made the decision to move to Paris unemployed. A decision I don’t regret. Luckily, I had the funds to support myself for the next 6 months. During this time, I immersed myself in the Parisian life, meeting great people and exploring all corners of Paris and beyond.
I returned to the states in February 2015, hung out, did some merchandising jobs for spending money, life was okay, but something was missing. To quote Anais Nin, “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again”.
I had to find a way to travel and make some money, at least enough to pay my travel expenses. I started the easiest way I knew…..GTS….Google That Shit….Google led me to Immerqi and that is how my adventures in the Middle Kingdom began. Although, I did hit a few stumbling blocks, actually, the first one felt like a giant road block. When did I become over 50, seriously, can I really be that old. Well, I decided to apply to Immerqi regardless of the fact I didn’t quite fit in the box. Immerqi accepted me into the program and I was to arrive in Beijing mid August.
August 2015, I arrived at the training school along with 70 others, mostly fresh out of high school “kids” on their gap year. We spent 2 weeks together, practicing our TEFL skills, learning about Chinese culture, climbing The Great Wall of China, eating Peking Duck, trying crazy, exotic street food and general partying. It is pretty awesome the bond that was created in those short weeks. It was bittersweet when the day came that we all learned where our teaching assignments would take us. That is how I first ended up in the rural community of Xiashan teaching at Xiashan Weifang Bilingual School. A beautiful village on a resevoir, but nowhere to be found on a map. In March 2016, from Xiashan I moved to Changning in Hunan Province. A bustling Chinese town of about 800,000, small by China standards. Here I was at Xiangnan Experimental Middle School. After Changning China, I returned briefly to the states before I was asked to return to China at the beginning of August 2016 to teach at Champa Flower Kindergarten in Qingdao. Qingdao is a fairly modern city of about 9 million with a huge western influence and a large expat community.
It is now February 2017 and my next journey is taking me to Dong’e City in Shandong Province. I know very little about my next “home” other than I will be working Saturday’s and Sunday’s at Dong’e Children’s Activity Center. Having so much time off during the week is what inspired me to start this blog. Throughout my time in China, I have been fortunate to travel to many places, including Haerbin, the Gobi Desert, the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, Guilin, Zhangjiajie, Hong Kong, Yantai, Shenzen, Tibet and the ultimate travel high of overnighting at EBC~ Everest Base Camp. If during this blog I find myself back in some of these amazing places, well I hope you understand.
Now to also work harder on learning Mandarin…….
February 2017 has turned into January 2019. I am still in Dong’e County. It is a wonderful rural community. They have welcomed me as family. My mandarin is still terrible, but I get by. Living in this part of the world I still have many travel opportunities. Since my last update in February of 2017, I have been to South Korea, Moscow Russia, Dubai, Paris, Bali, Thailand and will add a new stamp to my passport this May as I travel to Qatar on my way to Paris. I am hoping to make a move at the end of the school year and spend 2 to 3 months working/volunteering in Bali, Indonesia. After that, I will return to the states for a few months and decide if I will return to China or somewhere else in SE Asia. I’m not quite ready to give up this part of the world as I still have places to explore. South America is also a blip on my radar…..you never know! Never stop wondering. Never stop wandering. I’m living my dream!
It’s now June 2019 and my plans after I return to the states are set. I will be moving to Poland to join English Wizards. That’s all I know right now. I know what city closer to my arrival/start date. I’m excited to be moving back to Europe.
Before arriving in Poland, I was fortunate to spend some time traveling Vietnam before heading to Bali Indonesia for 5.5 months during which I volunteered at a school for Special Needs Children.
I have now been in Warsaw, Poland for almost 15 months and no plans to leave in the near future. Well, other than spending 8 weeks on the Black Sea of the Bulgarian coast working at a Youth Language and Sports Camp this summer.
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook as Wendy Marvin, on Instagram as navel1ring, and on Twitter @navel1ring. Please feel free to contact me or leave comments on my posts. Thank you for taking the time to read a little about me.