Countdown Until The Journey Begins

Countdown: 80 days

It all began a year ago, shortly after I had returned from my Mexican honeymoon. I had recently gained a husband and son and thought that a summer job with Pearson would be a great way to keep myself busy over the summer. As a high school teacher, I usually took these summers off but something told me that I should take the position my friend had told me about.


While there, I met another teacher that taught full time in Thailand for the last decade or so. He told me of all these countries he had been to, and as a Geography teacher, I was dazzled immediately. I had taught about these countries, but had never believed I would be able to actually visit them on my salary. This teacher forever changed my life. He made me think of all the possibilities that could be open for me. After all, I didn’t own a house, had no debt, and had just gained a Masters degree. I talked to my husband, Korey, about it. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much to come out of the conversation but he was onboard immediately.

I started looking at options and joined a group named Search Associates. With their help, I started looking at schools that would be right for me. I applied to over 80 different schools around the world, interviewed with 15 of them, and got job offers from 2. Our family had discussed where our ‘dream destination’ would be and had fun imagining where this adventure would lead us to. With the blessing of our family and friends, we decided to take the plunge. It was a process that lasted a stressful 6 months, but I finally accepted a position in Beijing, China (my son’s first choice).

Now to the countdown. There are 80 days until we leave our home in Scottsdale, Arizona and head for a city of over 20 million people. We have begun to make arrangements for our belongings and our travel there. Our plane tickets are bought (14 hours…ugh) and we are slowly ridding our house of the possessions we originally thought we couldn’t live without. My son, Calvin, and I have already begun to learn some Mandarin to make the transition easier. 我爱我的儿子!

We are hoping to use this platform as a means of communication with friends and family, but also hoping to use it to help others to follow their dreams. In only 80 days we will be leaving everything we have ever known as a family. Lucky for me, bringing my family is the best part!


Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

5 thoughts on “Countdown Until The Journey Begins

  1. Have fun Mrs. Willesen.I’m going to really miss you. I hope that China has what you are looking for in your purpose and adventure. You are my favorite and Ortiz. Love you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope this is everything you’ve ever wished for Mrs. Willesen! I wish you and your family nothing but the best when you get to Beijing. =D

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s