Teaching English enables you to become acquainted with a country and allows you a safe introduction to a new way of life, even if teaching is not your dream career. Find out how one business woman used teaching to embark upon a whole new path in Thailand.
It can be your whole experience of a country or it can be a stepping-stone to newfound adventures and experiences. It can be a foundation to absorb a culture before using your earnings to travel.
I set about finding myself a teaching job so I could remain and indulge in the country that had embedded itself in my heart and soul. I also wanted to do some volunteering so after searching online, I left the coastline for the Mekong river of N.E. Thailand in Nong Khai.
Shortly after arriving, I declined a teaching contract in one of the border town’s high schools. I had just left Ireland after teaching for 12 years and wanted the freedom of choice, of change. Other teachers that I befriended relished the steady work of a year’s contract and enjoyed their experience. Some supplemented their income with private teaching lessons outside school hours.
I choose a part time position in a small language school that offered private lessons to children and adults keen on improving their English skills. There are many options to choose from, pack your TEFL qualification, seek and you shall find.
Thailand captured my soul, it awakened a sense of freedom that had lay dormant for years while I studied, worked long hours, set up a business and generally slaved to the system. Though I enjoyed my teaching career, it no longer served me, or me, it. I had changed. The newly found wanderer in me was screaming for change and adventure. It also called for tranquil living and limited responsibilities.
After a spell, I lay down my teacher’s hat yet again and found myself on a tiny island, Koh Samet, which a fellow traveller had waxed lyrical. It was amazing. There were no adjoining roads, only one dirt track that went from one side to the other; we walked through beaches and jungle to find the next bay, the next place to explore. I met some wonderful people and we all connected though sharing life stories, dreams and philosophies of life. We remain connected and keep in touch with the promise to meet again on that island, a decade after our initial meeting, as us four newfound friends were all a decade apart in age.
Koh Samui was the next port of call, after finding a detox centre online to spend ten days without food. A massive challenge for this cuisine lover. Another amazing experience, another bonding experience with people attempting this challenge with me. In addition to the detox, we could attend alternative therapies and talks. I discovered EFT, emotional freedom technique there. It blew me away. I still use it today. Daily yoga sessions, massages, colonic irrigations and long chats made up our days. I remained in Koh Samui to 'retox' for many weeks after this and set about exploring. This island has everything, lazy secluded beaches in addition to ‘party’ beaches, shopping, shows, spiritual & learning opportunities, something to suit all.
I spent a spell in Koh Phangan; the infamous full moon party had to be experienced. Enjoyed reiki sessions and more yoga on this beautiful tropical island.
I returned to my favourite place of all, Koh Lanta, a small, less developed island, where I lived for many months. I decided to follow a long held dream of mine, to run a beach bar. With a friend, we opened an eight bungalow resort, with bar and restaurant right on the beach in a little bay, called Relax Bay. What an experience, I met wonderful people from all over the world, an amazing opportunity.
Becoming TEFL trained can be portal to life in a different country, a way of living, only previously imagined. Teaching in Thailand was amazing but there was so much more to fill my soul once I began travelling and living the dream. I wholeheartedly recommend this country to anyone seeking new life experiences. It inspired and evoked so much inner change, renewing my whole perspective on life.