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England, here we come!

Posted by on May 1, 2007

Chapter 1

Where to start…

Our life is good. We feel very blessed all of the time. Sure, we have our problems and down moments, but in general, we are pretty happy, content, and optimistic. That is why I decided to rock the boat.

Both my wife and I are educators. After my seven years in the U.S. Navy, I became a science teacher. Shortly afterwards, I convinced my wife to leave her career to join me in the classroom. After 15 years teaching middle and high school, I decided to graduate to higher education and my wife moved to online education. We bought a nice custom house in an exclusive area, raised our two boys, pampered the dog, and live the quintessential American dream, almost.

Secretly, however, I really wanted to live an adventure.  The kind that I imagined as a boy, visiting exotic places, meeting different people, and experiencing other cultures. You would think that the Navy had cured me of my wanderlust. So on a whim, I submitted my resume to an international teacher recruiter.

Within a week, I received a call from a nice woman with a thick British accent asking me if I was interested in coming to teach in England. I took approximately two seconds to decide. My wife, the much more pragmatic member of the family, took a little longer to convince. After all, why mess up a good thing we had going on?


Fortunately, the thrill of going to England won her over. I can give anyone tips on how to convince your spouse to leave a stable, comfortable life for a complete unknown one (at least what worked for me). The decision to set sail across the pond has been the best one we have made after getting married and having children. In short, if you get the opportunity, DO IT!

The head-hunter agency that I work with is Search Associates. Granted, they only recruit for educators. However, we will try to explain and chronicle the process that we went through to make the transition from plain old every-day American family to the Wild Smithberrys.

ps. This is the definitive book on traveling in Europe:  Rick Steves’ Europe.

Boys in front of Red Lion

Aaron and Elijah in front of the Red Lion Pub in Middleton.

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