Pages Menu
TwitterFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Culture, Feature, Guest Post, Teach Abroad, Travel, Travel Planning, Work Abroad |

Making the Most of Teaching English in Thailand

Making the Most of Teaching English in Thailand

This is a guest post by Robert Oakden. See his profile below! Congratulations on deciding to explore the world! Thailand is a truly stunning country, with a fascinating culture and friendly population – not to mention the weather. In fact, we’re starting to get a little jealous of your adventure – can we come too? Spending a year teaching abroad isn’t the same simply traveling. There are similar perks, but being a TEFL teacher is a job and possibly the start of a career. So before you pack us into your suitcase, here are some tips on how to make the most of your time teaching abroad. Get qualified Strictly speaking, it is possible to get a teaching job without a certification, however, a TEFL qualification is a fantastic way to learn the trade and it will certainly make getting a position easier. There are plenty of online courses to choose from that you can complete in your own time over the course of around six months, or you can opt to complete an...

Read More

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Change, Culture, Feature, Guest Post, Study Abroad, Travel |

How Beijing Gave Me An Iron Heart

How Beijing Gave Me An Iron Heart

I may have left my heart in San Francisco, but Beijing equipped me with a brand new one – made of iron. When I returned from my year-turned 6-month relocation to Beijing, people often asked me to choose and describe my favorite part of the experience. It’s such a completely expected and usual question, but I still found myself fumbling with how to answer. Filing through memories and experiences, and then bundling months of perspective into a single statement felt overwhelming. Faced with the question, it seemed I could do nothing more than shake my head, mouth gaping — I was speechless, and I was stumped. Initially, I considered the usual suspects: food, culture and activity. Memory after memory, I shuffled, trying to pinpoint the winner. But it wasn’t the steaming bamboo trays of jiaozi, though they were truly amazing. Once I spent nine hours in a moon-themed KTV room singing karaoke– that, too, was incredible but still not my favorite. Even waking up early to dance in the...

Read More

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Book Review, Guest Post |

Life of Pi Book Review

Life of Pi Book Review

Kelli Mutchler shares a book review of the Life of Pi by author Yann Martel. Visit her at Too Mutch For Words. “This is a story that will make you believe in God.” Or so we are warned, over espresso at Indian Coffee House, in the town of Pondicherry. An older man approaches and promises to share a tale so extraordinary, the unimaginable will become exceptional. Expectations are set for a typical man-befriends-beast novel of heartwarming, and award-winning, proportion. But this is also a story that will besiege your expectations, wearing away at your preconceptions until the very book you read transforms from non-fiction to gospel truth. When the ship carrying Pi’s family and a zoological collection of animals sinks in the Pacific Ocean, the only survivors are Pi, an injured zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a 450-pound Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker. For over 200 days, humanity and the existence of a higher being are called into question. Is there a god? Can he see Pi and...

Read More

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Change, Interviews, Volunteer Abroad |

Positive, Powerful, Visible: Interview with Volunteer Positive

Positive, Powerful, Visible: Interview with Volunteer Positive

In January 2012, twelve volunteers from the US traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand to work together with local organizations dedicated to promoting the rights and care of HIV positive people. Carlton Rounds shares about the impact of Volunteer Positive from his apartment in Portland, Oregon. What is Volunteer Positive? V+: Volunteer Positive (V+) is the first international volunteer service organization for people infected and affected by HIV. The motto for V+ is positive, powerful and visible because if you see positive, powerful, visible people living with HIV you are more likely to feel that way yourself and take care of yourself. What are some realities that HIV positive people face in the US and elsewhere? Up until a few years ago, there were more travel restrictions for entering countries and for coming into the United States. So, even when they had huge AIDS conferences, some of the delegates wouldn’t be able to come into the country to represent issues to solve the problem because that country wouldn’t give them...

Read More

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Guest Post, Travel |

Bangkok 8: A Book Review

Bangkok 8: A Book Review

Have you ever watched a Thai ping-pong show? “We didn’t want to go, at first,” two young English women told me, “but then we decided it was better to support local jobs.”  Both giggled, whether at the ingenuity of this comment, or the concept of women paid to shoot plastic balls out of their nether parts, I do not know. The stereotypes of Thailand – its sex industry, cross-ethnic match-making and lurid underworld – are elements of the country that trouble every traveler.  Do we embrace, accept or abhor? This is the conflicting scene that Burdett skillfully addresses in his nonfiction mystery, Bangkok 8. When the murder of a U.S. Marine inadvertently leads to the death of  Sonchai’s police partner, his search for vengeance will lead him to question the blend and clash of Western and Eastern influences ruling the city.  Sonchai, a detective with the training of a Buddhist monk, explores backstreets and conundrums, eventually connecting his spirituality to a new understanding of  the red light culture. Burdett’s...

Read More