I put my career on hold for the last two years to work abroad in Asia. I taught English at a public school in South Korea, a job that allowed me to tackle a bunch of personal projects and save more money than I probably deserved. I improved significantly as a creative and financial writer, programmer, and I even earned my license to teach high school physics.
Now I'm back in New York, and beginning anew. It's been about 6 years since I've lived in New York, and enough has changed to feel like I was never here to begin with.
First off, the weather hasn't. The winters are miserable, though at least my apartment isn't insulated as poorly as Korean buildings are. The subways are in a state of disrepair, or constant repair if you want to look at it that way, and inconsistent, poorly announced service changes are the norm after Hurricane Sandy. The homeless are a miserable shame of the city and every train car that's been evacuated from their odor reminds us; They Exist.
Despite the miserable climate, subway, and homeless, which are a permanent part of the flavor of NYC, I am excited to return at a time when Spring is around the corner, and pound the pavement for new opportunities. For work, I've interviewed for paid internships at tech startups where I can seriously develop the programming skills I've been working on for the past year. Even an unpaid internship at the right company would be far more valuable to me than taking a course, as they can offer me industry contacts and non-academic (valuable) experience.