Experiencing Chiang Mai

Can you believe that I’ve been in Chiang Mai, Thailand for an entire month already?!!!! It’s gone by so quickly that it’s hard to imagine in less than 6 days, I’ll be teaching Thai children/teenagers; just slightly terrifying. (this blog post was late so I’m technically a week into teaching- oops…blogger fail)

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One of the benefits of teaching abroad through Xplore Asia, is that before starting your TESOL course, you go through a week long orientation. This orientation provided myself and the other teachers informative lessons about Thai language, culture, government and politics. Michael, the owner and executive director of Xplore Asia, is so passionate about teaching new Foreigners making the transition to Thailand, about the new country they moved too.

I never thought this would be beneficial, Read more

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.