Archives for the month of: December, 2019

Just a reminder that I will no longer post weekly on the Thoughts for Thursday blog. I have created a new blog  in which I will offer thoughts of my own and of others that will sometimes be inspirational, informative,thought provoking, or humorous. It will not be a regular weekly post. Rather, my contribution will be on a random basis.

I have just posted a new entry. If you want to subscribe to the new blog, go to http://www.everynowandthenhome.wordpress.com, and scroll to the bottom of the page. You can then follow it. Submit your email address and you will automatically receive anything that I post.

Grace and peace!

Jamie Jenkins

 

After 3 years of teaching in the Fulton County School System in Atlanta, my son decided to take a break and explore the world. His plan was to teach English in Taiwan for “one year” and then return. When he left home he had no job prospect, did not speak the language, and knew only one person in Taiwan with whom he had one conversation prior to departure on this adventure.

Jason arrived in Taiwan with the name and address of this “friend” written in Chinese. He handed it to a taxi driver who dropped him off in front of this person’s home.  Fortunately the man knew someone who was renting a room and within a few weeks Jason had roommates and a job.

Jason’s “year abroad” started in 1997 — 22 years ago — and continues. Since then he has married, has two teenage children, and has lived in many places around the world. He taught English to Taiwanese children for 4 years before moving to Japan. There he continued to teach English to corporate executives before finding a job with an advertising agency. One of his primary clients was Nikon Corporation for about 13 years.

The Japan Times プロデュース『朝英語の会』活動開始

During that time he also wrote a weekly arts and entertainment column for the Japan Times and managed the English correspondent team of the Fuji Rock Festival, one of the largest and most famous music events in Japan.

During all this time the family traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia. Then after 13 years in Japan, Jason and his wife, Keiko, decided to make a change. Due to hectic work schedules, time with their children was minimal. They were missing their children’s lives. Also they wanted their 10 year-old son and 6 year-old daughter to realize that the world was much larger and more diverse than what they had experienced. Keiko left her job with DeutscheBank and Jason negotiated with his employer to be allowed to work half-time remotely.

With this decision Jason, Keiko, and their children, Jamie and Felicia, embarked on an adventure that continues until today. The first six months were spent in Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia. The plan was to live in different places in the world, not as tourists, but stay long enough to understand the culture and get to know the people. After the initial 6 months, they moved to Penang, Malaysia for a year. The kids were homeschooled while participating in local groups and extra-curricular activities in an international school.

Then it was on to Valencia Spain for 2 years where their children were enrolled in local Spanish-speaking schools two weeks after arrival. None of them spoke any Spanish at the time. The kids had attended Japanese public schools while they lived in Tokyo. English was spoken at home but everything else was in Japanese.

After two years in Spain the family moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Education for Jamie and Felicia was a mixture of online homeschooling and unconventional Mexican schools with a mix of local and international students.  While living in Mexico they continued to travel regularly in Latin America.

Three months ago the family moved back to Japan and the kids are enrolled in international schools in Osaka.

During these years of family travel Jason has developed a travel blog where he shares the family’s experiences and offers very practical and helpful information for anyone who travels. Travel Tips include suggestions on where to stay, shopping, money, insurance, travel gear, gifts, and others. Destinations include Columbia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, U.S.A., and Vietnam. In addition, Jason has interviewed over 150 traveling families all over the world.

Check out his website, www.anepiceducation.com.

Jamie Jenkins