We had set our sights on Japan. Yes, a year of hiking, karaoke, bento boxes and hyperdisciplined students. We researched cities and companies. We polished our resumes. We cast our nets into the online world of TESL job postings.
I thought it wouldn’t be hard. With a few years’ experience under our belts, I thought we would be able to cherry-pick TESL jobs. The offers didn’t exactly come rolling in; it was more like a desperate trickle. Part-time jobs, jobs that started that very week, jobs that didn’t sponsor a work visa. We read about the bankruptcy of a major language school; how hundreds of teachers were suddenly jobless in Japan. We attended a group interview where young applicants had flown in from hundreds of miles away for the chance to secure a job. We got some offers, less than I hoped, but they weren’t great. After months of looking, we set our sights on a different country.