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Beginnings in Beirut: A (Long-Term) Onely Adventure June 5, 2011

Posted by Onely in Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, solo travel.
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To Our Copious Readers,

I am thrilled to share with you exciting news: I’m moving to Beirut!

That’s right — I hinted at it a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s Onely official: I’ve accepted an Assistant Professor position at the American University of Beirut and will be moving in early September.

Between applying for jobs, interviewing for a number of them, flying to Beirut to make this decision AND finishing my dissertation (!), these last few months have been a whirlwind of intellectual and emotional activity. I could never have predicted that I would begin my career overseas, much less in Lebanon — but after my visit, I knew I had to go. When else, I wondered, would I ever get an opportunity like this — an opportunity that will allow me to cultivate my love of travel, improve my understanding of other cultures, all while actually pursuing the career for which I’ve been trained? To be honest, I had low expectations — the academic job market is rough, especially in the Humanities, and I assumed I would end up living in Farmville USA for most of my career (no offense to actual Farmville residents). And who knows, that might be true in the long run — it’s only a four-year contract and who knows what will happen after that.

Living overseas is one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do but never saw fitting into my life plan… I didn’t study abroad (even though my undergrad school offered a semester in Spain); I never pursued the Peace Corps (though I studied the application occasionally in my early 20s); hell, I hadn’t even ever left the country until a few years after college. Yet every time I’ve traveled overseas, I’ve longed for a more sustained (and sustainable) experience. Instead, time and money always got in the way.

So, needless to say, I feel incredibly lucky right now. And terrified at the same time. But more than anything, I’m certain that whatever the future brings, my Onely attitude will keep me on the right track (and will surely produce some interesting adventures, which I’ll share along the way!).

So I’m curious, Copious Readers, what are the big life decisions you’ve made for which a Onely attitude has been necessary? And what kind of advice do you have for me as I move forward?

— Lisa

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