I Moved to Thailand?!!!!!

Have you ever had a moment where you knew you needed some type of a chance to get you out of a funk or bad habit?

This was me back in February.

After the hurricanes, life changed and almost everything on the island became a challenge. Work was harder: more children to see, more schools to drive to, and lack of internet to be able to access files (thankfully, we did have hard copies). Driving was life or death on every road due to little to no stop lights/stop signs. Even obtaining basic necessities could take a full day if not a couple days. So by February, my mind knew it needed a change…the challenge was the “Where and What” factor.

When I first started thinking, Arizona became the first thought. After all, it is where my family lives and it is where I spent majority of my life. I could…but when I truly started putting my heart and my head together, the pull to Arizona just wasn’t there. So it was back to the drawing board…

It took two days before an old roommate’s story came to mind. When our house in Seattle decided to each go out separate way, one of my roommates took the opportunity to move abroad to Thailand to teach English. I started doing my own research and reached out to her for more information. It didn’t take me any time before my heart and my head started lining up and I knew this was it. This was the change I needed.

The opportunity to travel, learn to speak a new language, put myself in difficult situations, and experience a new type of career, being a teacher…SOLD. My heart, soul, mind, everything lined up. This was it.

I immediately went online too apply for the position. I decided to use a recruitment type company called Greenheart Travel, a non-profit organization to run an extensive amount of programs for people of all ages. These programs include but not limited to homestays, exchanges, teach/work abroad, and volunteering.

Choosing to go through a teach abroad program vs. independently moving abroad and finding a job wasn’t a difficult decision for me. I liked the idea that I’d have endless amount of support in obtaining the necessary visas and work documents,  setting up accommodations, completing and obtaining the appropriate TESOL certification, setting up a bank account, setting up a phone number, AND even help find teaching jobs and placement into schools.

Don’t get me wrong, it probably is cheaper to find a job by simplying moving to Thailand, but I personally LOVED having someone assist me and knowing I had a guaranteed job as an English Teacher takes a LOT of the stress out of moving to a new country.

From the start of the application process in February, to interviewing in March, to paying off the program cost in June,  and purchasing the plane ticket in July, the adventurous spirit inside me slowly began growing again.

I was sad to be ending my time on St Thomas and leaving the children I truly adored and cared for and leaving behind an amazing group of lifelong friends, but a new adventure was waiting for me and I was ready to pack up my life and move to Thailand.

So here I am writing to you in Chiang Mai, Thailand about my “WHY” and my “HOW” I made the leap into moving to Thailand! It has only been 12 days  and I’m in love. Stay tuned for “My First Week In Thailand” blog.

What Life Was Like Post (2) Hurricanes

I honestly have struggled putting words to paper. I’ve attempted multiple times and it’s just been so difficult. Finding the right words, finding the initiative to write, finding the motivation. Every ounce of energy and focus it takes me to write a blog post had been depleted since Irma and Maria. But there is no time like the present to attempt to update you. The words might not fit together perfectly and this post might have lots of random, miscellaneous, scattered pattern but I can promise that I’m going to try.

First, it’s been a little over 5 months since our first hurricane came barreling across the islands and although so much has begun to feel back to normal, we are far away from recovered.

Since Irma, my roommate had been living in darkness and without hot water, cable or internet. We basically spent our lives “camping” Read more

One Swirl After Another

It took 3 hours of hard labor and some neighborly support to finally clear our drive. However, it didn’t really matter. The island was still under a 24 hour curfew, for good reason, of course. We were just annihilated by Hurricane Irma about 15 hours prior, so the day afterwards wasn’t much fun. We were safe, little damage to our apartment itself, and thankfully we still have phone service (which was a rarity and quite frankly didn’t really matter since only about 1/8th of the island had it- if that).

It took about 36 hours before we risked leaving the comfort of our apartment. Though none of us wanted to risk driving, so we decided to walk. We climbed the mountain to check on our friends apartment. We assisted with some minor clean up there before we made the trek into town.

This is where I’m still at a loss for words. Read more

When Life Takes a Swirl

Words. Words. Words.

I swear I have them, but placing them onto paper isn’t coming easy. This adventure I’m currently in was DEFIANTLY not a mapped out plan.

The turn my life took 50 days ago, specifically September 6th, 2017, was not something I every could have prepared myself for or every something I thought I’d experience. I mean, I have heard of major storms and I have seen the aftermath of things like Sandy, Katrina and the most recently, Harvey. But experiencing it, well that was something I was NOT prepared for…AT ALL.

I mean, come on, I’m a desert girl raised in Arizona. The worst storm I experienced growing up was a haboob, a bad monsoon, occasionally the thunderstorms when visiting family in Minnesota/Iowa, or the occasional snow storms during college and graduate school.

When I returned and moved back to St. Thomas, Read more

2 Friends, 12 Days, & 3 Countries

WOW.

Just WOW.

I can’t believe TEN month came to an end so fast. I remember thinking back in August that “10 months is going to feel like forever, but yet, it is going to go by so fast.” Well, 10 months definitely didn’t feel like forever. In fact, it went by too quickly and just as quickly as I became friends with my co-workers, our school year came to an end and it was time to say good-bye (for now).

Thankfully, for me, the end of the school year meant one thing…one of my best friends, Kristin, was set to arrive to travel the US Virgin Islands, BVIs, and Puerto Rico with me. Read more