A lot of people have been asking and I haven't really explained what's going on. I am moving to Japan!
I am going to be teaching in an English pre-school in the Japanese city of Shizuoka. The excitement hasn't exactly hit me yet as I don't leave for another 5 days (but initially I was leaving tomorrow, don't ask).
Here's all the answers to your questions...
Where am I going?
Shikuoka which is in the centre of Japan on the coast which is a 5 hour train ride from Tokyo. Temperature is very like Adelaide's except it rains more, no snow. It's known for it's green tea production, responsible for half of that coming from Japan. Population is approximately 700,000.
Why not? Japan has always interested me but was never the number one on my 'must do' list. Two of my co-workers, the lovely H. and R., have taught in Japan through the schools I am teaching for so there's a certain level of comfort. I am getting lots of advice and H is already hooking me up (via Facebook) with some of her friends still in Shizuoka. I wouldn't be brave enough had H not continued to tell me stories about her time at the school and in Japan.
Why I am going?
Well two months ago I was a 28 year old with no passport. Question answered. The last two years have stressful professionally and had begun to take it's toll on my health and sanity. After surgery this month, I figure why not? I want to see the world.
I will be teaching a class of fifteen five year olds. They will be getting taught the fantastic tradition of ABCs and mathematics in English. I am unbelievably excited as I have been teaching upper primary/lower secondary (10-13 year olds) for the past few years and I look forward to teaching little ones like in my first year teaching.
I leave January 11th and will be there for the year. If I like it, I may stay longer.
What about your blogging?
I will still be reviewing YA (Young Adult) literature at Persnickety Snark but obviously publishers will no longer send me review copies. I will be relying on any English YA in the local library (I've been warned this will be soul destroying), international online booksellers and the kindness of strangers. It won't be as busy but it will still be happening. (Yes this makes me nervous, it's like starting all over again).
I have started a blog for all my Japanese adventures and there aren't any topic boundaries on that one. I will be posting my preparation for Japan, my trips, teaching ideas (and failures), cultural revelations and everything in between. Follow me if you will :)
A big hearty thank you to all those that have expressed well wishes for my new adventure. Never fear, I don't plan to be abandoning YOU or Twitter any time soon.