by Rebekah Pusateri
I’m in China. Those three words are constantly tumbling around in my mind. I never thought that I would end up living in another country. I always imagined myself traveling as an adult, maybe doing a study abroad during college, but didn’t think it would realistically happen. And yet here I am!
My name is Rebekah Pusateri. I’m from Seattle, Washington, where rain is expected, Starbucks coffee flows through the streets, and no local uses an umbrella. My entire life I’ve lived in the same blue house on a hill with my parents and three brothers. Even when I ventured out to get my bachelor’s degree in creative writing, I was only an hour away from home. So what made me decide to move across the world?
My journey to China began in first grade. That’s when I decided to be an author and an English professor. Since then every decision I’ve made has had that goal in mind. My brothers and I were homeschooled by my mom. That let me get ahead in school and study what I was interested in. I started college at age 16 and graduated from a university cum laude at age 20. My passion for languages has never faltered. There is something so exciting about exploring the written world! I love writing all genres and hope that one day people get enjoyment and inspiration from reading what I’ve written. Teaching is very fulfilling for me too. I am currently a freshmen oral English teacher at Sias International University. I get to share my love of English with my students and watch them grow as a new way of communication and culture is opened up to them.
Even though my address never changed until moving to China, I did have some previous out of country experiences. When I was 14, my family and I went to England, Kenya, and Tanzania. For the first time I realized the world has more places than just the United States, and these places were ready and waiting for me to explore them! I got to see the London Eye, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Nile (from the airplane). I even kissed a giraffe! The next trip my family and I took was to Haiti two years later. We spent all our time volunteering at an orphanage up in the mountains. It was so hot I ended up dragging my mattress up to the roof and fell asleep watching shooting stars. As a Seattleite, I have also been to Canada many, many times. My latest trip with my family was in April 2018. We went to China to explore Beijing and Xi’an. It was during this trip that I fell in love with China.
The food was absolutely incredible, the language was fascinating, and the people had such kind, generous hearts. As soon as I stepped off the airplane into America, I wanted to fly back to China. It pulled at me, calling my name over and over. So I relented. I started searching for teaching jobs abroad. That’s when I found Sias and told my parents that I would be moving to China to fulfill my teaching dream.
Since arriving here and starting work, I have not been disappointed. Teaching is definitely my dream career, and I’m still working on getting some books published. I’m currently learning Chinese—which will be my fourth language. Every morning I pinch myself, thinking, “I’m in China.” It’s still surreal to me that I’m actually doing what I’ve always wanted: exploring, learning languages, teaching, and writing. Maybe one day I’ll wake up remembering where I am, but until then… *pinch*