Change of Plans

Change of Plans!!

As a fellow traveller, I’m sure you will completely understand the concept of changing plans without much notice. Making long terms plans is scary. Planning ahead is a difficult concept to understand. I love planning, but I never seem to stick to my own plans… and it has happened again.

Steven and I had big plans to go Teach English in Thailand. We’ve been working hard at our TEFL courses. Steven had resigned from his job. We’d even booked our one-way flights to Phuket. Aaah too much pressure, we’ve pulled the plug on that idea for now.

I’ve become quite happy being home. Just having a place to call my own. Having my family and friends around. Having a stable life again. It’s a nice change, and I appreciate my city so much more after my time away. So, we’ve come up with a new plan. A 2-year plan (I silently laugh at myself… Let’s see how well this one sticks).

2015

– Stay home and find a job (I’m in the process of job hunting… It is SCARY!!)

– Spend the time exploring around my city. Cape Town is magical and there are sooo many things to do. I’m busy working my way through a book of hikes called “Easy walks in the Cape Peninsula

– We have our flights booked and paid for to Thailand, so we’re going to date change them and destination change them and either go to Nepal (trekking in the Himalayas!!) for a couple of weeks.

2016

– Work work work (making my CV look more solid again, getting some more work experience and making sure my two University Degrees don’t go to waste, and saving money)

– There is an organisation called Greenpop, based here in South Africa. Every year, they do a big expedition to Zambia and spend a few weeks planting trees, in a big push for reforestation. I would love to get involved in that. It’s been on my list for so long. That’s mid year.

– Then in December, I can hopefully, finally, get my feet on Indian soil. India is this illusive place to me that I just don’t seem to be able to get to.

2017

– If all goes to plan, in 2017, we (Steven the boyfriend and I) would like to relocate to London. Work from there, and travel from there. It is expensive as a South African, with our poor exchange rate, to relocate to London. So we need two solid years of saving to make this a reality.

London's calling

London’s calling

– Europe is a huge open door waiting to be explored. Although I’ve seen my fair share of Europe, there is still just sooooo much more waiting to be seen…. and when in London, it is just a hop, skip and jump across the Channel. I also have a British passport, so that doesn’t hurt.

Travel is in my bones, I always want to do it, but I’m a bit burnt out. We all get to that point. I think it’s more than okay to settle down again. Nobody said you had to travel full time. Now I’ve had both experiences. Full time home living. Full time travelling. Now I’m going to try out a combination of the two.

Voila! Look at me being so mature and focussed. Anyone have a job for me? 

TEFL Course: The first step to becoming an English Teacher in Asia

TEFL, thailand

Steven and I have started our 150 hour TEFL course. We are doing it with Global TEFL UK. They seem to be really organised and helpful. The course is our main focus at the moment. Then its Christmas! Next step, booking flights. We plan to be out of here (South Africa) at the end of February 2015. Off on the next adventure. I can’t wait to have Steven come along with me for the adventure. Traveling solo is fun although sometimes lonely. Traveling with friends is great. Traveling with a boyfriend, this is a whole new ball game ❤

I found this cool article about teaching English, and it’s pretty spot on. So Thanks to the Two Monkeys Travel Group for the post: http://twomonkeystravelgroup.com/2014/11/8-steps-to-succeed-as-a-travelling-english-language-teacher/

Teaching English in Asia

Teaching English in Asia

I have been back home in South Africa for two and a half months now. It’s been great having time out in my family home, spending time with my dogs (they are basically my children), and catching up with my friends of course. But now the time is approaching for me to go away again.

Steven and I have been in big discussions about where we should go to. The consensus is Thailand/Vietnam. So, we are going to do our TEFL (Teach English Foreign Language) course now, then celebrate my brothers wedding in Jan, and after that, it’s time to hit the road at the end of Feb 2015.

Any advice for us on the best place to find jobs?????? I’ve already been given the following links for advice, but any other help would be amazing!!

Oh Asia I have missed you.  ♥

 

An island which stole my heart

Phi Phi Island, Thailand

In December 2012, Phi Phi Island stole my heart. I’d been to Thailand before, but somehow missed out on the incredible experience that this island brings.

We arrived under somewhat confusing circumstances. We were meant to all be on the same ferry, our whole group of friends, but somehow, we ended up on different ferries. It was just Lana and myself on the one, and all the rest of our friends on the other. We arrived first and sat and had a drink at a little restaurant while waiting for them. Once we were all reunited, we began winding our way through the small streets of the island. There are no vehicles on this islands. No cars. No scooters. Just feet and the odd bicycle. Its amazing.

We didn’t have any accommodation booked, but soon enough, a Pakistani man named Ali had attached himself to our group and guided us to a hostel of sorts that his friend owns. And so we settled in.

The island is small, and as you wander the narrow alley ways, there are many travellers around. It is a tourist place, but it is still quite beautiful. On the one side of the island, there is the swimming/partying beach. By day, there are lazy people spreading themselves across the soft sand, absorbing the sun, and enjoying every moment of it. By night, fire’s are set up on the beach, beach bars open up, music gets started, fire dancers show some amazing skills, and everyone has a fantastic night. And so the pattern repeats. On the opposite side of the island is the port, where everybody arrives from. It’s chaotic, filled with people trying to convince you to book accommodation with them.

There are many day trips which can be made to go see the beautiful beach where the movie “The Beach” was shot. There is a little walk up to the top of the island to see the sunset. There is so little but so much.

My most epic memory from my time on Phi Phi, was when we ended up making an arrangement with a restaurant owner to sleep on the massage mattresses in his restaurant, right on the beach, right next to the beach bar that stayed open the latest. We paid next to nothing, lived like gypsies, and were the happiest people on the island.

The land of smiles

The boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in Cambodia

Phnom Penh

Thinking back on my trip to Cambodia in December 2012, I cannot help it but to smile. I am convinced that Cambodians are the happiest people on this planet. They are forever smiling. The Khmer Smile. Their positive attitudes radiate through the crumbling streets. They are one of the poorest countries in the world, yet they are never without their warm happy smiles and incredible personalities. They welcome you into their lives with open arms, show you their culture, the gems of their cities, introduce you to their families, but most importantly, they make sure that your trip was so incredible that when you leave Cambodia, you do so with a Khmer Smile of your own plastered to your face.

My friend Lana and I started off our Asian adventure with a quick but wild, one night stop over in Bangkok, and then flew on to Cambodia for 10 days. On our one wild night in Bangkok, we befriended two guys, one Irish guy Graham, and a South African guy by the name of Dimitri. While drinking a few casual buckets, sitting on Khao San Road, watching the throngs of tourists stream by, our new friends decided that they would join us on our flight to Cambodia the following day and join us on that leg of our trip. Things got a bit out of hand as the evening went along, and by the end of the night, we’d lost both the guys, and had no way of contacting them. Graham managed to find us in the morning, but Dimitri was nowhere to be found .

We had a flight to catch. The three of us flew into Phnom Penh, which is the capital of Cambodia, and also located in the centre of the country. When we landed, we were herded into queues with a crowd of other tourists to buy our visa’s for $20. Easy and organised.

Cambodia by boat

Once we’d collected our backpacks, we headed outside to get our first taste of the land of smiles. I’d read somewhere that it’s cheaper to get a tuk tuk into town from the airport, instead of a taxi, but thank goodness we didn’t take that advice. Our taxi (shared by myself, Lana, Graham, a German couple, our taxi driver, and 5 backpacks) weaved its way through peak traffic and masses of tuk-tuks. It took ages to get to our hostel, The Mad Monkey, but damn it was awesome when we got there. Big dorms with the most spacious bunk beds I’ve ever slept on. Lana and I could’ve easily shared a bunk! Great food. Friendly staff. Most importantly…a fantastic rooftop bar. We only spent one night there, and in the morning we headed to the other side of the city, and found ourselves another hostel, not quite as epic, but the location was great.

Now, theres not that much to see in Phnom Penh and the heat is stifling.The city is on the main river which runs through the country, but its not much of a site. Two or three days is more than enough here. A day trip to the killing fields which show the mass graves of all those murdered in the Khmer Rouge is enough to set the scene. The Russian market provides for some great cheap shopping, but be prepared to sweat. The tuk-tuks are a great way to ride around within the city, but be sure not to leave your handbags or backpacks in easy reach, as the motorcyclists riding past are know for snatching tourists bags and driving off with them. Goodbye passport.

All in all, Phnom Penh wasn’t the greatest of places I’ve been, and it’s not a place I’ll go back to in a hurry, but it was great to get an understanding of the Khmer history, and luckily we left their unscathed.

Phnom Penh