Saipan: A Journey of Retrospection, Introspection & Discovery
I am a "newbie," a "transplant", a "howlie" who came to this island, Saipan, a US territory that is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) in July 2016. To date, my Saipan experience is limited and forever evolving.
Truthfully, I'm not even sure why I am writing this blog, other than to make sense of it all for myself while, perhaps, helping others make sense of it, whether they are current residents or contemplating a move here. I am also motivated to blog about this wonderfully beautiful and annoying island because so much information on Saipan is outdated/insufficient. Additionally, I am writing from the uncommon perspective of a (almost) middle aged, single, childless and solitary female. Subsequently, I am writing with a lot of opinion, largely based on personal experience with some speculation sprinkled in (because I am still learning...and, sadly, still human).
Like so many others who have come before me and who will come after me, I had no idea where Saipan was. Where the hell is that, I and my friends/colleagues asked?!?!?!? Furthermore, an island was NOT even on my radar when I began my job search for a Montessori position in distant lands. 'Let's take an island vacation somewhere,' friends would say. I would reply, 'What the hell for?!?!?!' Why did I choose to come to this gloriously confounding island, and what was I getting myself into by moving here?!?!?!? I am still asking this question...with different responses depending on the day/situation.
I did my research...at least to the best of my ability. My, at-the-time-potential-new-boss, Richard, and a potential new colleague, Sue, were my greatest resources. My deepest gratitude to both of them. Online information was outdated, vague, insufficient. Still, between the three of us, there is, admittedly, no possible way that we could have asked or answered all of the suffieciently important Q&A's that such a move requires...for someone like me.
So...faced with the option of metropolises the likes of Shanghai and Bejing, versus a small island with less than 50k inhabitants...I (correctly) chose Saipan...a hellacious 20+ hour airborne journey from most places on Earth that I have a desire to return to/visit!!!!
I have absolutely no regrets about my choice. I'm still here! Besides, if life has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that every expereience, every choice...good or bad, right or wrong...always has a lesson in it if you only open yourself up to it.
(Cliches exist in Saipan, just as they do in every other corner of the world!)
So...join me on my journey of retrospection, introspection and discovery of life on Saipan. I'll try not to make it boring, preachy or mundane. Though, admittedly, my personal experiences, opinions and speculations will play a role.
Perhaps now is the time for this disclaimer...
The writings contained within these blog pages are solely the experience, opinion and specualtion of this blogger. At no time, do I wish to offend, insult or belittle anyone. The goal of these pages is to bond with others who have had similar experiences and to educate those who have yet to come to this wonderfully confounding, gloriously beautiful and, sometimes, ugly island of Saipan.