So, some news for you all! My Thailand adventure has been confirmed!
I’ve been planning this 33 day trip, or at least thinking about doing it, for the last couple of months or so. Although I’m not actually going until July, which is so so long away, I know how quickly time will fly on my year abroad and I like to be very very sure of my choices before hand.
Yesterday, I booked my flights to, from and within Thailand. A grand total of 6! As you can imagine, I was double checking dates, times and everything else so many times. With flying so far, I was convinced that time differences would catch me out and I would end up buying flight tickets that wouldn’t match up. I’ll be taking an 18 hour flight from Heathrow in mid-July to Bangkok (with a 5 hour stop-over in Vietnam at 4am) and then staying in Bangkok for the weekend to recover from jet lag and see a tiny bit of the city. Then, I’ll be taking a very short 1 hour domestic flight up to the north where I will be for 4 weeks!
So, what am I doing out there for this ridiculous amount of time? Well, I’ll be using my TEFL and my previous teaching experience and working as a volunteer for The Mirror Fountain. This is a charity based in the most northern province of Chiang Rai where access to formal education is seriously lacking and where volunteers are seriously needed. As a volunteer, I’ll be teaching English and assisting the pre-existing teachers with their classes Tuesday to Saturday 9am-5pm everyday. I’ll be teaching not only children, but also adults from surrounding hill tribes and maybe the occasional monk. English for a lot of them is a route into a job in the local tourism sector, so learning it is essential for the majority of them.
I’ll be staying near by at a local volunteer house where conditions are going to be basic at best. Super thin Thai mattresses in large dorms, with cold running water and bucket showers. Back to basics we go! (Oh, and the first weekend we go on a “Home Stay Experience” where, and I quote directly, ‘squat toilets are the norm’ – yay!) The photo below is the volunteer house on the programme where I’ll be staying!
As part of my programme fees to take part, I receive food everyday. Of course, it’s rice, rice and more rice. A part of me is weirdly excited to be eating rice for breakfast everyday for 4 weeks or so. It will most definitely be a change to my smashed avocado on toast every morning at 11am.
I’m incredibly excited to be pushed outside of my comfort zone, to do something unlike anything I’ve ever done before, in a completely new and exciting country. I’m hoping that nothing going disastrously wrong, which I’m sure it won’t, but I can’t help but panic.
I won’t be posting much more about Thailand until a lot nearer the time, but do keep an eye out in July for when I head out. Wifi / internet / everything else is going to be pretty much non-existent but I’m going to try to keep what I can up-to-date.
Bye for now!