Japan was Not Part of the Plan: Christine Bradshaw


Christine Bradshaw, 2012, Yamato, Kanagawa, Japan

What are you up to? I am currently a live-in nanny for an American military family in Japan. So basically, I hang out with 4 of the cutest kids Monday through Friday and get paid for it. The oldest are home schooled, so I help with their schooling as well. Not a bad gig. When I'm not nannying I'm also a private English tutor. And when I'm not doing either of those I'm trying to navigate through Japan without getting lost.

How'd you get here? This past summer after graduating, I was a live-in nanny for part of the summer for a family living in the DC area. I had the best time ever. I got to live in a new area and explore DC, but unlike the 8th grade trip, I actually absorbed some of the significance. While nannying I was applying to every teaching job under the sun. I was determined to use my degree in elementary education to be a teacher right after graduation. In the beginning I didn't have much luck. Eventually I did receive a couple of job offers, but they were either not where I wanted to be or in a grade/setting I didn't want to work in. Fears of not having a job I loved, or worse (having to move back home) set in. I thought that maybe I should look into nannying because I really enjoyed myself while doing it. So the mother I was nannying for posted a Facebook status asking if anyone needed a nanny. Sure enough, she got a few responses and a few emails later my flight was booked for Japan.

What are your goals? I have no idea. Seriously, I thought about it and I really don't know. I'm kind of taking everything a year at a time because who knows what life will look like a year from now and where I'll be. Oh, but I definitely want to own a bunch of dogs and travel a bunch but no real adult goals yet.

Advice for WHS Students? You don't have to follow the path everyone else is taking. It was really hard for me a first to delay going into teaching because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I stopped trying to live by a plan. Now I'm living in a new country, learning so many new things and I'm so happy I did it. Take risks, seize opportunities and blaze your own path. Life definitely doesn't go as planned.

If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go? Galápagos Islands