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True Life: I'm Moving to India!

Happy New Year! It has been a few months since I’ve published a blog post! I hope you all are well and that you are growing and learning in this new year.

Kind of like last year, this new year did not kick off how I thought it would. That seems to be a recurring theme. I have some thoughts there, but we’ll get back to that in another post.

Even though the start of the new year has been rocky, I have also been blessed beyond measure! I have been praying about next steps for myself for a while now, and they were revealed. In July 2021 I will be moving to India!

AHHHH! Right?! I still get surprised when I say this myself.

First let me start here, Kieara ten years ago didn’t really think about living abroad for an extended period of time. I knew I would study abroad in college (done!) and I knew I would travel abroad (a few destinations down, many to go!) but living, nah!

The idea never really popped into my head until last April. I was randomly talking to my linesister and I told her we should move abroad to Dubai together. At that moment I think I was trying to get away from Atlanta because so much had changed and we were in the middle of lockdown. She thought the idea was cool. I told my parents I was thinking about it. My mom cannot hold water so she started telling people I was moving to Dubai Summer 2021. (I had to tell her to stop telling people that, lol.) My dad kept bringing it up because he thought it would be such a great financial decision. (He’s not a fan of how much teachers get paid in the US.) Around this time I put a little reminder in my phone to pray about guidance for next steps in my life and for a job fair that was supposed to happen in December 2020. Then I left it at that.

The 2020-21 school year started and as I got in the groove of things I made up my mind that I would stay at my current school for at least the next two years. At that point I figured I would have 5 years under my belt and I would make a big move then. Then things changed. I got the news that my Principal was leaving and so was my Head of School. If anyone knows me, my main qualm about my workplace was the fact that administration had been so unstable from the moment I started working there. In that faculty meeting on December 18th, 2020 I decided that I was going to tell my school that I intended to not return. I didn’t have anything lined up, but I also knew that I could not stay where I was. In order to keep learning and growing as a professional, I needed a new experience.

January 2021 came I realized that I needed to start looking for a job. I kept thinking about where I would go. I told myself that anywhere was on the table. My only desire was to live by water (I Google searched “Best Coastal Cities to Live.") I wasn’t ready to return home to Michigan. There wasn’t a reason to stay in Atlanta anymore. But I also didn’t have a specific place I wanted to live in the USA. Then I remembered that I could live abroad! I went back to find the reminder on my phone about the job fair. It had already passed, but I wanted to use that recruitment company to help me find my job.

I filled out the application, paid my fee, and asked for recommendations. Then I started my search. I sent out my information to schools everywhere even though Dubai was at the top of my list. (Dubai was the only place I personally knew people who taught abroad.) After applying to schools daily for like 2 weeks, I heard nothing back. I talked to my recruiter and she told me that I should probably look into pushing back my plans to move abroad by one year. Technically the recruitment season had already ended for most schools (What I didn’t know, but I learned is that international schools start hiring for the next school year the fall before. Another blog post coming on that later.)

After hearing that news I turned my focus to finding a domestic job. I used another recruitment company to help me with that. While that recruiter sent me domestic jobs, she also sent me one random job opening in India. When I saw the job in India I randomly checked to see if it was also listed on the first site I was using. It was. I contacted the recruiter who told me that my possibility of finding a job was slim and she told me to apply quickly because it was a great school and if needed she would put in a good word for me because she had just finished working on the accreditation team there and she knew the Head of School. I applied right away! I heard back from the school within two days. Because of the time difference, I had an early morning interview two days in one week to meet the Principal and Assistant Principal. The next week I had a super late interview to meet the Head of School. Ultimately I was offered the position! It happened so fast! I knew God was in it!

Now here is the crazy part. During my interview with the Head of School he said “Do you even know why we are able to offer you this job?” I didn’t. Then he said “Well we were finished with our recruitment and hiring back in the fall. But in January we got an influx of new students because families were moving back to the area after being away due to coronavirus. We realized that with our increase in enrollment we would need another teacher to round out our upper grades. We opened our recruitment back up for one more teacher.”

Y’all! God is so good to me! To top things off, the city I am moving to is right on the beach! God knows just what I need!

So that’s how my next home ended up being India and I am ready to see just what this next chapter has in store!

While I am excited, there are still a lot of questions that come along with this move. There are some ways that I am still expecting God to move in my life, but moving to India seems to go waaaay against those (at least in my head.) I also wonder where my community will come from while I am there. I also think about my family back home and how it will be ten years since I first left in 2023, the end of my two year contract. So again, while I know that this is completely for me, I ask that you pray along with me so that I can stay present and in the moment while trusting God with my life. He’s already blown my mind to this point, so I know I can keep believing that everything in my life is working together to be all that I need it to be!

In the meantime I am finishing the school year strong, wrapping up certification classes, journaling to process my feelings around this HUGE life change, and saying yes to ANY and ALL plans that are being made because I know I will miss my friends and family while I’m away!

I’ve had this feeling for a while that something big is on the horizon. Right now I can only see pieces, but as Drake says, “We’ll see what’s bout to happen next, okay!”

I love y’all!

Please leave any “living abroad” tips you have or share anything I should add to my “must see in India” list! Thanks and be well!

SN: did anyone used to watch that show True Life? MTV had the hits back in the day!


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