I've come up with some fairly standard responses to these questions, and they do explain my reasoning: "My kids are grown and doing their own thing now, I've been teaching 23 years and want to mix it up a bit so I don't become stale in my teaching, I'm not getting any younger and don't want to miss my opportunity..." These are all true, but the simplest and most honest response I could really give is, "Because I can and I want to." The more spiritual folk might say I'm just following my heart. I'm simply doing what feels right to me at this time...nothing more, nothing less.
Then they ask, "Why Abu Dhabi?"
I love sunshine and warm weather, and I really look forward to a winter without a bad case of "the grays." Also, Abu Dhabi is one of the few places that could offer me enough pay to make it reasonable for me. I am still helping my kids significantly with various expenses relating to school, and am not willing to stop doing that to go off and pursue my teaching adventures. So, I feel lucky to have found an opportunity that allows me to do both.
The next comment I usually get is, "Well, you must be getting excited!" or "Oh, I bet you're going to love it there!"
Hmmm... I do not know if I will love it there or not, but that really isn't why I'm going there. I suppose I am excited, but I'm not in a frenzy...at least not yet. I look forward to beginning the adventure, but I am also enjoying my last weeks here in Hood River with family and friends whom I will miss. Let's be real, this is work, not a vacation. I'm not really a dreamer, nor am I a skeptic. So, being the realist that I am, I try not get too many fantastical ideas about what this will or will not be. I just take each day at time and figure out what needs to be accomplished that day, so that I'm as well prepared as I can be when I get my magical e-Ticket that will whisk me away to the Middle East.
One little change...
I did do one little thing to prepare for the slightly warmer climate over there. And yes, it may have had something to do with that unruly gray hair that was taking over. I couldn't tame it, so I cut it off and let it go crazy!