Tag Archives: malaysia

Introducing my quarter-life crisis

21 Oct
Enjoying a British summer at the seaside!

Enjoying a British summer at the seaside!

I’ve started this blog to document what I’m calling my quarter-life crisis, or my mid-twenties crisis, or the year I decided to sabotage myself and do a lot of strange things on the spur of the moment.

Perhaps some background:

Towards the end of 2010, I was living in a flat in Bethnal Green, East London. I’d worked as a charity fundraiser for nearly two years and I loved my job. I was pretty busy though, and really looking forward to a two week break at Christmas to relax and recharge.

Unfortunately Christmas arrived and I had swine flu. I spent my break feeling like I was going to die, mostly in bed, and feeling very stressed and tearful. I realised that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue doing the same sort of work all my life, and that I wanted to try some different things. I also realised that living in London was tiring me out. It was one of those “is this it?” moments. I felt like I was teetering on the brink of a big spiral of depression. That didn’t really appeal…

Then one night as I slumped in front of the TV in my parents house, during the few hours a day I managed to force myself out of bed, my dad innocently said, “You know, it’s a pity you can’t take more time off, because I was thinking of going to Malaysia for a month or so once this job in the UAE finishes, and it would be fun if you could join me.”

Picture me, snotty and flushed, swaddled in hoodies and dressing gowns, feeling stressed and burnt out. On one shoulder, the sensible angel saying You can’t take any time off! You have to work and pay rent and fall into the spiral of depression! Remember the spiral! and on the other shoulder, the impulsive devil saying Yeah, spiral. OR you could quit, and go to Malaysia for a month, and the figure something out after that?

I’ve never been very sensible. A plan started to formulate, that started as a way to make myself sound less mad to friends and family, and grew into a very attractive exit plan from my life. I ultimately decided to shake things up by living and working abroad for a year after my initial trip to Malaysia. My dad travels a lot for work and I looked at him and thought, I want some of that. I just had to decide what and where.

I have a lovely coconut, in Malaysia. Unfortunately not a bunch.

I have a lovely coconut, in Malaysia. Unfortunately not a bunch.

The TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) immediately jumped to mind. I studied English at university and I’d always toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out a possible new career path whilst getting to live and work abroad. It was almost a sane plan.

I got back to London after Christmas and quit my job, and found someone to take on my room in my flat. I went on a month long intensive TEFL course and qualified to teach English as a foreign language. I moved out of London and back in with my parents to save some money. I spent over a month in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia with my dad, and later my brother too. I spent the summer lazing around St Albans, looking for work abroad and temping. I had never felt so relaxed in my entire life.

Me & Tom post rainforest

Me and Tom (my brother) after a stroll in the rainforest. Rainforests are hard.

That pretty much brings us up to date. I’m now getting my visa documents together, with the intention of starting with the EPIK program to teach in public schools in Korea for a year, leaving in February. In the mean time I am temping, learning as much as I can about Korea, trying to get my documents together, and preparing myself for what I hope will be a big adventure!

I’ve started this blog to document my year, and the build up to it. Partly for me to have a record, partly for friends and family to see what I’m up to and keep in touch. I’m both excited, and terrified. Let the countdown commence!


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