So, I wrote this before boarding my plane, but then couldn’t get the wifi to upload it! So, now I’m sat in my hostel in Hanoi, shivering at 18 degrees Celsius (I’m too used to Thailand´s 35 degrees!) and it has given me some time to reflect over the past few months and think of everything I’ve learnt and accomplished!
Hanging in my notice
I handed in my notice to a job I had worked for the past 4 years (I started as a 2 month temp, I´m not great with maths so, 2 months turned in to 50 months….). I enjoyed the job and the people, so handing in my notice took such a long time because I didn’t want to leave! But I knew it was the first step to coming to teach in South East Asia.
I packed up my life (much of this is still with my good friends, Jo and Vicki! Thanks!). My housemate and I headed to the carboot sale and sold a few things to earn some extra cash. Thinking about it now, theres quite a bit of stuff I don’t really need. If it´s not winter clothes, and I haven’t needed it in Thailand, do I really need it at home? There´s going to be a massive culling session for me to do when I get back! After packing up and saying my goodbyes (heading to all my favourite places in York), I headed down to London to catch a flight half way across the world.
I landed in Bangkok, my wifi wouldn’t work and it took nearly an hour to find Ae, one of the ladies from the school. For a few minutes I thought I had signed on for a school that didn’t exist and was petrified as to what I was going to do, being so far around the world! Luckily she was further down the airport and we were on our way.
Even though I had told my bank about me leaving, it wouldn’t work when I was trying to get money out! I was so confused as to why I couldn’t get any money. Eventually, I realised the limit set in England of the amount I can withdraw was the same for my card here in Thailand. Luckily my accommodation let me pay by card, and I was finally moved in to an apartment.
Home away from home
I moved in to my own place, a small modern flat with a TV that only aired Thai soaps (they are oddly enthralling but it seems to be awful acting!), bought a moped, and started teaching. It took quite a while to get used to it, and realise that this is my new home now, but eventually I got the hang of it.
I didn’t ever think I was capable of being a teacher! The thought made me nervous and I honestly didn’t think I had it in me. But I gave it a shot, and the kids are amazing!
Grew my confidence
An extension of the previous point. Diving in to the unknown and doing something you didn’t think you were capable of gives you a great sense of achievement. Confidence in myself has grown ten-fold over the past few months as, I realise, if I throw my heart and soul in to everything I do, even if I fail, I can say I tried my absolute best.
I started this blog! Before I left I decided I would do it but thought “what if people hate it?!”. But finally I took the plunge and started the blog for all of you to read about what I’ve been up to! It has given me the chance to continue my love of writing, and hopefully it will help if you’re planning on travelling too!
How to barter!
I am my Mother´s daughter. My first trip to Koa San Road they tried to rip me off and charge me £8.04 and I got it down to £2.76. From then I became the bartering person for the group! I haven’t done it for a while though and I’m not so good any more! I bought a backpack from the market the other day, and wanted to barter but couldn’t really remember how! Even though he gave me a small discount anyway!
I laugh at anything
I nervous laugh (before my first day at teaching), I awkward laugh (you know in those situations where you REALLY shouldn’t laugh), I anger laugh (when the woman hit me with her car and I just laughed under my breath because I didn’t know what else to do!). That being said, laughing makes everything better!
I’m travelling the world!
I´ve been to quite a few places now, and there are so many more places I would love to visit. I´m waiting for my plane to Hanoi, and will be making my way down the country to Ho Chi Minh City. After that I´ll either be enjoying Songkran festival, and planning for my visit to either the Thai Islands or Chiang Mai.