Last week we celebrated five years of travel, can you believe that? I still vividly remember waving goodbye to our families at Heathrow in 2013, clutching our brand-new backpacks and one-way tickets to New Zealand, heading off on what we thought would be a two-year trip around the world. Yet, here we are in Colombia five years later, reflecting on both the amazing and tough aspects of this nomadic lifestyle we’ve managed to carve for ourselves.
Welcome to Vietnam,” says the khaki-uniformed soldier with a broad smile, while he casually shifts his slim black rifle from one shoulder to the other. He must have clocked the camera around Andrew's neck and assumed we're tourists, which I suppose we are now. Except, instead of coming to see a monument or museum, we're here to revisit our old home in Hanoi.
Do you long to teach English abroad but worry that you won’t find work because you’re a non native English teacher? Well, don’t despair. I get a lot of messages from aspiring teachers who aren’t native English speakers and here’s the good news: there are non native English teacher jobs to be found in Asia. In this post, Venkat Ganesh from India shares his story about teaching in Vietnam and gives some excellent advice about how to find TEFL jobs for non native speakers.
Street vendors are part of the everyday fabric of life in Hanoi. When I lived in the city I’d pass dozens of these women every day. They’d be dressed in conical hats to ward off the sun while they tirelessly pushed heavy bicycles laden with colourful fruit and flowers through the city, from dawn till dusk. I didn’t stop to think about just how beautiful these vendors were until our friend Loes launched her Hanoi street Vendors from Above photo project.
The wind battered my face as the city streets disappeared and we zoomed towards the mountains. Slowly, familiar motorbike-riding aches started to set into my body and I tried not to think about the purple scar on my knee and the crash in Vietnam that had caused it. After over a year, we were back on a motorbike embracing the freedom of being able to take a random Wednesday off work to explore. Destination: The Sticky Waterfall.
As Andrew and I search for teaching work in Madrid, I can't help thinking back to our first experience of teaching abroad in Hanoi. I'm hoping the lessons I learned from those exciting, turbulent months in Vietnam's crazy capital city will help me cope with the challenge of starting afresh in Spain. Are you thinking of looking for jobs in Vietnam? Asia is a great place to cut your teeth as an English teacher; in this post I talk to British couple Hannah and Ben about their experiences of teaching at a language centre and an international school in Hanoi.
Are you considering teaching English in Vietnam? I remember well from my own experiences in Hanoi just how daunting the whole process can be. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a million questions about everything from finding jobs in Vietnam to deciding which city and area to live in, how much money you can earn and what kind of qualifications you need. To help you figure things out, I’ve put together this series of Q&As with teachers currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam.
After writing about my experiences teaching in Hanoi, I often get questions from readers about how to teach English in Vietnam. So, to help you guys decide whether you could live and work in Vietnam, I’m publishing a short series of interviews with teachers who’ve lived, or currently live, in Hanoi. In this first edition I talk to Emma and Loes about everything from teaching highs and lows to pay rates, living costs, visas and teaching English if you’re from a non-English speaking country.
2015 has been a year of two very different halves for us; the first spent in Asia, the second in America and the UK. We lived in Vietnam’s crazy capital city, Hanoi, where we saved over £14,000 (and nearly lost our minds!) by teaching English. We relaxed on beaches in Thailand, house sat in London, toured South Wales and took the best road trip ever through New England in the USA. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas in Blighty for the first time in nearly three years, here’s our 2015 travel round-up.
I remember sitting in my London office back in 2012, reading travel blogs and trying to figure out just how people could afford to travel full time for years on end, it seemed so unachievable. Now I occasionally get a little shock when I realise that it’s been two and a half years since Andrew and I left the UK and we’re still travelling and unbelievably, we’re not broke!