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World Mag > WM Winter 2020 Dear to Create > What it takes to CREATE

What it takes to CREATE

Right out of University with nothing in my pocket but a work contract in Japanese, I got onto an airplane and started my career as a college graduate in the field of English Language teaching.

Kirsten Pontius - Editor
Kirsten Pontius - Editor


Nearly 20 years ago I accepted a dodgy job with a cutthroat company, in order to travel overseas. Right out of University with nothing in my pocket but a work contract in Japanese, I got onto an airplane, trusted someone would greet me on the other side, and started my career as a college graduate in the field of English Language teaching. 

I didn’t like it. Every minute of that job was a struggle. I didn’t know how to answer questions about English grammar, I just wanted to say, “because it sounds better that way”. I didn’t like sitting in a tiny cubicle, with a cheesy workbook, coaching kids and adults to talk about unnatural scenarios, and rating them based on their abilities to have artificial conversations. I didn’t like the unethical company I worked for, the terrible hours, and the low pay. 

However, it was one of the best things that I ever did. It shaped my appreciation for exploration, it’s when my obsession with travel was born, it gave me the confidence to survive on my own. From this experience, I created a path towards, and love of, the expat life. 

Creating something new, whether it’s a mindset, skill or design, takes strength, perseverance, and most importantly, support. Each time we move to a new country to create a home, try out a different job, make memories in a foreign place, it is scary but worth it. Each time we take on a project, work on reaching a goal, attempt something brand new, it is unsettling, there are doubts, but whether we succeed or not, we learn. From these experiences something significant is created. 

Without full intention, or much direction, this issue of WM attracted alumni who have all created something special. We share with you stories of those that have found success and who have contributed something unique and original to their life, to the world. Something that simply didn’t exist before they took the leap. From businesses, to music, from art, to books, the following stories are about building a significant experience, or skills, and creating a life to be proud of. 

And while it’s shiny and fantastic on this side of the success they’ve had, these stories don’t necessarily show us the full picture. It’s fun and exciting to celebrate their accomplishments, but there are two ingredients that are essential in making it to the outcomes that you read about on the pages of this glossy publication. 

Risk. Each of these stories involves bravery, and taking chances. To get on the plane, to start the business, to write the first line of a song. You are not only reading about success in creating something, but you are reading about spirited individuals who put themselves out there. 

Support. It takes an incredible amount of support to make something new. The help, love, encouragement of another, or others, is incredibly important. You will find that these stories all reference the support of AISB. Whether a small ingredient, or a monumental one, AISB plays a role in making sure our students, parents, staff, teachers, alumni have a safe place, and a cheerleader on their journey. 

So, while you read about the amazing creativity of a joyful life, of a project, or a business, remember the journey that came before. The journey of risk and the moment in time when AISB first offered support. Without those elements, this publication would look very different. So when you’re ready to take your next leap, to create something that scares you, remember we are here, experienced in supporting your ambitions and adventures. We always will be. 

Kirsten Pontius 




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