What’s it all about?

This week is my final blog about my travels but hopefully not my last. In the near future, I hope that there will be more to come. So, keep your eyes peeled.

This week I write about my journey home. I’ll be sharing how I adapted to being back home and taught alongside my other new responsibilities.

Goodbye Kuala Lumpur

With my travels drawing to an end, I wanted to make the last of my time away from home. As I mentioned in my last blog, I spent my last evening in Kuala Lumpur admiring the wonderful Petronas Towers.

On leaving day, I had time to make sure I felt fresh and clean before beginning my 16+ hour return home. I got my deposit back from the room and invested this in some hearty food to keep me fuelled.

As it was the last day, it all began to hit me and I realised how much I’d changed and what I’d learnt along the way.

Feeling contemplative

I’ve compiled my thoughts into some easy to read bullet points rather than turning this blog into a novel. So, here’s what ran through my little peanut –

  • I’d adored seeing so many wonderful new sights, many things that others haven’t seen. I feel VERY lucky!
  • I’ve been able to try a variety of different foods and have definitely become less fussy!
  • I WILL NOT miss being bitten! Insects love my ‘English Rose’ skin and I always think that all the sugary cakes I eat must make me taste really sweet, so that’s obviously why they just can’t resist taking a nibble! I’d been unfortunate to have some sand-flies take a fancy to me in Kuala Lumpur, so would be returning home with a back that looks like I have chicken pox.
  • I’m looking forward to not having the humidity ‘volumize’ my hair but will miss the nice weather and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin every day.
  • Though I am going to miss the travelling lifestyle, I’m so desperate to see my friends and family, especially my new little niece!  
  • Though choosing an outfit has been made much speedier (As I only have around 4 to pick from), I am looking forward to wearing much nicer clothes.
  • I’ve transformed from being one of those people that always had to have makeup on (even if it was minimal) as well as ALWAYS having to have my toes and fingernails painted, to barely wearing makeup and hardly ever painting my nails.
  • I’ve realised just how far my feet and little legs can carry me.
  • I will definitely miss how cheap it is to live in some places and this will make me even more determined to find a bargain back home!
  • I’ve always slightly panicked about not having enough time for things but I realise that there’s almost all the time in the world and there’s no need to rush, or get to the airport 100 hours early.

So, overall, returning home was very bitter sweet. My first priorities on my list were to see my new-born niece, cuddle my dog and see my nanny!

Getting home

Once at the airport, I had to get a free shuttle bus to head to the correct terminal. After this, I was then on an aero train to get to the area that my gate was in. This airport was big! I feel like it was definitely fate that, even though I was feeling so upset about leaving, the doughnut stall that I had some vouchers for bought me some sort of comfort. After checking my bags in, I purchased some bottles of water and for the first time during my travels, had to keep the bottles in a sealed bag. This couldn’t be opened before entering the security gate, or I would not be allowed to take them on with me.

My first flight was only 6 hours which passed by really quickly, especially as it was free drinks and food – bonus! But, once I landed in Muscat, I had no WIFI connection or phone signal. I was also unable to login to the WIFI, which meant I couldn’t keep anyone updated. Not that this mattered too much as I literally got off my first flight, then had to walk pretty speedily to catch my second flight home. This was not the 1-hour layover I had hoped and planned for.

The second flight was far less enjoyable. The 8 + hours seemed long and I couldn’t get comfortable. I went from hot to cold, then cold to hot. I just tried to watch a load of movies to help kill time. After over 14 hours of flying, I felt disgusting. No matter how disgusting I felt and looked, it was nice to be embraced by my family at the arrivals lounge. I was home!

Balancing work back home

Whilst travelling, I’d been lucky enough to secure myself a job when I returned home. This was a great opportunity for me integrate to life back home without the full time 8-5 or being back in the classroom as a fulltime teacher, which I really didn’t feel ready for. Instead, I would be working one-to-one with children who have learning needs, supporting them in learning how to use public transport before they start College.  This job was temporary and just for the summer period, which worked out perfectly for me! It also meant that I could do this job whilst also teaching online with IQBar.

Being back in the U.K, I now had a big-time difference which meant that the peak times were during the day. This was great when I wasn’t working but when working the SEN child, it meant I couldn’t teach online. However, as I was working different days and hours with the SEN children, I was able to teach a mix of online teaching and SEN support. It also meant that I had the weekends to dedicate to online teaching.

However, one of the biggest challenges, which is not what you expect, was my internet connection. In my house, I live in a garage conversion and due to the materials in the room, any kind of phone service and internet is very poor! Luckily, I had an ethernet cable and this made the internet much better! If you’re thinking that I could just move rooms, this was not an option. With other people living in the same house, this meant that if I were to teach somewhere else, it would be highly likely that I would have lots of background noise.

Once my position working with SEN children had finished for summer, I had more time to dedicate to teaching. Then, I had another opportunity, where I was able to work with deaf children 3 days a week, as well as working as a Supply Teacher 2 days a week and then teach online with IQBar at the weekends. I didn’t just work for IQBar at the weekends, I still had other responsibilities. Over the week in the evenings I would write my blog, complete teacher quality assessments, carry out social media promotions and film, edit and send my vlog. IQBar have so many opportunities to expand your development and the different positions in the company are just one way of doing this. I am so grateful to IQBar for providing these opportunities. I have loved having variety in my work and for me, having opportunities to be involved in the education system in such a variety of ways is great! The great thing about the extra opportunities at IQBar is that as it’s not teaching, to some extent, you can fit them around your work and not be restricted to the peak teaching hours. So, if you’re hoping to gain some more hours or if you have some spare time, then keep your eyes peeled for the other positions within the company. If a position comes up, it is usually posted in the Buddy Announcement group, apply and then see what happens. What have you got to lose?

If there’s more you’d like to know or if you have stories you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them so please do not hesitate to contact me –  travellingteacher@iqbar.net .