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An Exciting Opportunity

by Dianne Bond
(Yangshuo, China)

I met a couple of Australians who like me were volunteer English teachers at our local neighborhood centre one inauspicious Thursday morning late 2009.

They told me that they had recently returned to Australia after spending 4 years teaching English and travelling in China.

My ears were pricked. I asked a lot of questions. I was 62yrs of age, a widow and empty nester. Although I had enjoyed many jobs it was becoming more and more difficult to get a job let alone one I enjoyed.

I had done a Tesol course in 2004. The certificate and my new connection with this couple led me to China

Honestly I had thought I was Asia-ed out because I had lived in Malaysia and the Philippines for eleven years total as at the end of 1986. Those years my husband was alive.

As a single lady aged 63yrs I moved to Yangshuo to teach English.

I am still here almost 3.5years later. Sometimes I feel like I have stepped into an old Chinese movie set. I am an observer and all the characters are acting out their parts around me.

I have travelled to many places in China. My life here is interesting, challenging, educational and enriches me.I love painting and one year ago opened my own little art gallery in the countryside. I am often asked by Chinese people if I am here on my own. Yes, I say. Then they say that they hope that they can do the things they love doing when they are my age.

I have a cottage back in Australia which is rented out. I can save that money and live comfortably off my earnings here even though the money isnt much compared to even low income earners in Australia.

Life was very quiet for me in my cottage in Australia. I was often bored. My friends thought me brave to come to China on my own. I didnt agree with them. Life is for living and sometimes we are in the right place at the right time to learn of a positive opportunity. I was and I am truly grateful.

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May 11, 2014
You're an inspiration!
by: Leyla

You ARE, Dianne! It's hard enough to up and go at any age, but at an age when people are settling down, it's doubly brave, well done! Life can happen, but it can also be what we make it, as you've so clearly shown.

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