We like a good adventure. Indeed, through twenty years of marriage we have enjoyed quite a few. Life as parents to two teenage girls provides no shortage of adventure. Nor do our careers as educators in which we have served as teachers and administrators in public schools, private schools, and religious schools at all levels of education. Likewise, our love of travel around the U.S. and across the globe has led to adventures from grand to small. We like a good adventure; but, what we are about to undertake is not merely an adventure. It is an expedition.
Merriam-Webster marks well the difference between the two terms: while an adventure is merely an exciting or dangerous experience, an expedition is a journey by a group of people for a specific purpose (such as to explore a distant place or to do research). In that spirit, we think of an expedition as an intentional adventure.
Currently, we are preparing to launch on an expedition we have wanted to make for some time. Between our two education careers, we have worked at nearly a dozen-and-a-half schools in five states, and have enjoyed the variety of experiencing many different school cultures. We have traveled internationally, including visiting schools in a handful of foreign countries on two other continents. Yet, we have long looked for the right time for the paradigmatic shift in our professional and personal lives that would come from launching on an intentional adventure abroad. In just over three weeks, we will fly 14 hours from the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. across the Atlantic to northwestern Africa, where we will embark on life as “expats” working as administrators at an international school in Casablanca, Morocco. The next three years, at least, will be a purposeful personal and professional journey for us as Americans living and working abroad. Three years, because that is the term of our contracts. Perhaps longer, because we begin this expat expedition open to the possibility that – instead of returning stateside when our contracts end – we may choose to extend our contracts in Casablanca, or we may choose at that time to continue our expat expedition in another country (or, over time, in countries).
We have started this ExpatExpedition blog for two reasons. First, we hope it can serve as an efficient means of sharing what we encounter on our journey with our friends and family, as well as with colleagues at our past schools and in our network of stateside educators. Second, we discovered in our own search for resources to help us prepare, that there is a shortage of material by professional educator couples like us embarking on such a family expedition. We hope this blog can help fill that void, giving others like us – whether considering a move like this, or actually preparing for it after making the decision to move abroad – an added resource from which to glean useful information.
We will begin by sharing a bit about our preliminary journey to this point: an array of excitement, disappointment, anxiety, and anticipation through the last few months as we laid out a family game plan, sold most of what we owned, and got ready to launch. We will continue upon our arrival in Morocco with the same mix of emotions as we settle and adjust to our new expat expedition phase of life. Throughout, we look forward to you journeying with us, and to your comments on this blog. If you have questions or comments you wish to share directly with us, please do not hesitate to reach us through the contact information provided on this blog site.
On your mark…get set…here we go!
– Brian & Audrey