Well, after an incredible two months of travel in Vietnam and Cambodia, I'm back in Bangkok and preparing for the start of the new term tomorrow! In about 2 weeks, it will have been 8 months since I arrived here and started teaching for the first time ever and now, fast foward those 8 months I'm starting my 2nd term, considered an "experienced teacher" by the language company I work for and navigating the streets of Bangkok with confidence and a good amount of Thai up my sleeve! When I take the time to sit back and reflect(which I've done often the last few weeks), I'm amazed by how much my life has changed from what it was exactly a year ago; to say this was a life-changing experience is putting it simply! It was an overhaul of my life; a complete turn around, a second chance to invigorate my soul and give me the courage to pursue dreams I really thought I would only ever dream about!
I had the most amazing time traveling throughout Vietnam and Cambodia and I am so thankful for the opportunity to live comfortably and be able to travel like I did. Both countries were unique in their own way and different than Thailand. I was so thrilled to look at a map and trace my journey, to see how far I had come by land travel; it really put it into perspective for me how much I had accomplished. Vietnam was an eclectic mix of Buddhist, Chinese and Western culture and the people were a bit more reserved, but I found some real gems during my time there and I am so thankful to those Vietnamese people that shared their wonderful personalities with me! By far, my favorite places were Saigon and Da Nang, with the beach city of Nha Trang being a close third! But, Cambodia will alway hold a very special place in my heart. I fell in love with the country on first site and have continued to go back a 2nd and 3rd time to get more tastes. My last visit was for a month and it was everything I wanted it to be. I am forever indebted to the Cambodian people for sharing their happiness, family, laughter, food, language and culture with me. My hope is to go there next to teach, or do NGO work within the year...Thailand will always be my first love, but Cambodia has my heart!
And now, after those thrilling experiences, it is time to go back to school! I have two new schools and many new kids! I'll also will be teaching P level students, instead of Kindergarten, so new experiences are just around the corner! I've already taught one day last week, and right off those silly little kindergartners reminded me why I like teaching. They are so much fun and sometimes, you just have to stop and laugh with them! I'm looking forward to this term and the teaching challenges it will bring since I'm teaching new levels and at new schools. I hope to improve on myself as a teacher, gain more confidence in the classroom and be more creative and innovative with games! You are always improving, always growing and always learning :)