Guest post written by Lauren Ferguson from Engaged Explorers.
Last January, my fiancé and I decided to host a massive garage sale and move to China for a year. We were both tired or our “9 to 5” jobs and wanted to see what the world had to offer. So what better way to do that than spend a year in Asia working as English teachers? A few weeks ago, my fiancé went back to the United States for a week and came back to China more homesick than ever. The question “is this worth it?” was raised and it got us both to think in depth about the pros and cons of our decision.
On one hand, we had first decided to work for a year in China to save money. This would enable us to travel the world for 8 months after our contract finish. Already being in China as a jumping off point is a big reason for sticking out our contracts. However, the distance and time difference from our families back home is a heavy burden to bear for so long. We missed all of the holidays this past season and the 14-hour time difference makes it a pain to try and communicate with loved ones. When we are waking up in China, our families are going to sleep in the States.
In Asia, we are presented with the wonderful opportunity to experience other cultures firsthand and this is a probably the number one reason for most travelers to set out on an adventure. But in contrast, we have given up key components of our way of life from back home in order to move abroad. This part of the world comes with many new challenges such as language barriers, pollution, and varying levels of food quality. Our comforts of home have been put on hold and we have had to adjust to many differences big and small.
We understand that there is always going to be an opportunity cost to each life decision we make. In taking one path you will always have to forego the other paths and the experiences those paths hold. So in our situation right now we have to ask ourselves “Is this worth it”?
Have any advice for us? We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.