#TRAVEL – Vietnam: Habitable Hoi An

If you only have the chance to visit one place in Vietnam, make it Hoi An!

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Hoi An is an ancient town, located on the coast in central Vietnam.

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It’s one of those places where you stay longer than initially intended. I think I ended up staying 3 days longer than planned. If it wasn’t for a flight booked to Singapore, I could have easily made it 30.

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Hoi An is a well-known hotspot on the Vietnam backpacker’s route that doesn’t shove the tourism down your throat like so many other places. However, it does have the perks of a popular place; a lot of things to do!

You can a bike (push or motor, depending on how lazy you feel) and ride around for hours absorbing the European style architecture and picturesque sights.

Bursting with nice restaurants and quirky bars, the streets are alive night and day!

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If you want a fun night and good music, don’t miss Why Not? bar

It also possesses a beach, which is a pretty nice place to lay with Mrs.Sunshine and drink a few beers in between cooling off in the blue ocean.

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Hoi An would be considered the ‘whole package’ to many backpackers. It has a lot of history, many activities to do and things to see, good nightlife and a beach!

It’s a winner!

Discover more of Vietnam, with this …

Teaching on the road

I’t’s been about 18 months since I made the transition from teaching English in classrooms around the world to teaching English online from airbnb’s around the world.

It has granted me a freedom that I could of only dreamed of a few years ago.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making different cities my home for a few weeks. I prefer taking the time to explore slowly and not rushing my experiences. From Budapest to Marrakesh, from Bangkok to London, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to multiple parts of the globe.

How? All because I make money from my mobile phone.

But, the lifestyle isn’t all travelling and late starts. It’s hard work that requires planning and discipline.

However, in my opinion, the rewards are well worth it.

If you’re willing to put in the hard work, teaching online doesn’t only provide you with a flexible schedule, but it can help you achieve a healthy bank balance.

I’m going to cover travel and teaching online topics such as: portable classrooms, internet backups , devices and much more in future posts. But for now, I want to help you to get on your own way.

So, firstly, you’ll need a job!

Online education is on the rise. There is no shortage of online companies to choose from. Do your research and find out which one is best for you!

I work for Palfish and I LOVE IT!

Palfish

There are many reasons why working for Palfish is great. Good pay, flexible bookings and a social network of teachers and mentors are just a few.

I’ve helped several teachers get started on Palfish. If you’d like to join the team, download the Palfish app and insert my invitation code – 45012005.

Alternatively, you can drop me a message and I can answer any questions you have.

Palfish only hires native English speakers with a degree. There is no leeway.

Airbnb

When you teach and travel, it is important to ensure you have a quiet space and some privacy.

I’ve found using airbnbs not only the cheapest option, but the least risky. You can message the host in advance to enquire about the wifi and ask any other questions that may effect your teaching experience.

Chances are you already have an airbnb account, but if you don’t, sign up here and help a brother out –

https://www.airbnb.com/c/lhaddock4?currency=GBP

If you have any questions about teaching online or teaching and travelling, please get in touch!

Have a fantastic day!

#TRAVEL – Cambodia: Angkor What?

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The majority of people who travel to Cambodia take the time to visit the worlds largest religious monument: Angkor Wat.

Nursing a colossal hangover, I did just that.

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Angkor Wat is located close to the town of Siem Reap (the infamous ‘Pub Street’ is also situated there, hence the hangover) and can be entered for a variety of prices depending on the type of tour you choose. It was built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, using the famous Khmer style architecture. Over the years, Angkor Wat has had its fair share of historic moments, but since 1953 it has been controlled by Cambodia. Now, it draws tourists like a moth to a flame and is overrun with cheeky little monkeys.

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Many choose to make the trip at sunrise, which is highly recommended. Unsurprisingly to anyone that knows me, I didn’t make it.

However, visiting in the afternoon was nothing less than breathtaking.

I’ve seen a vast range of temples and monuments travelling throughout Asia, but I can safely say that nothing has trumped Angkor Wat. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. It’s gigantic and you can’t help but feel a bit like Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider whilst you’re strolling around its neverending architecturally brilliant superstructure.

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I think I paid around 30 US Dollars for the day pass, but I would suggest the 2-day option if you have the time.

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I’d love to go back sometime.

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If you’re heading to Cambodia ,don’t forget your travel guide –

TEFL TIPS #4 – Verb of the Day

Verbs are the skeleton of any language. Most ESL learners know the basics:. ‘eat,’ ‘go’, ‘play‘ etc., but expanding this list is vital to those working towards achieving a higher level of both spoken and written English.

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In my classroom, I introduced a method I call ‘verb of the day’. It’s pretty simple but effective.

Every day I spend a few minutes introducing a new verb and ask my students to use that verb in a sentence. In a few weeks, my students progress from using standard verbs: ‘I eat‘ ‘I go’ & ‘I like‘ to the more advanced: ‘I climbed’, ‘I jump’, ‘I travelled‘.

The more creative you are at introducing the verb (you could use a song, dance and games), naturally the more the class will learn. For the smaller kids, acting out the words can be very effective.

A list of verbs I use to teach in kindergartens – elementary school are as followings:

– stretch
– push
– pull
– visit
– bend
– think
– cry
– rush
– throw
– move
-chase
– bite

The older or more advanced the students the further you can go:

– quit
– shake
– whisper
– scare

I find these Verb Flashcards from Amazon super helpful in my online and brick and mortar classroom:

#TRAVEL – Austria: Puchberg Am Schneeberg

Have you ever taken a salamander train to the top of a mountain?

YES?

Either a) you’re on some great drugs, or b) you’ve been to summit of Puchberg Am Schneeberg , Austria.

Puchberg Am Schneeberg

About 80km from Vienna, you’ll find a picturesque little town with the highest mountain in lower Austria. Puchberg Am Schneeberg is a must visit for anyone visiting Vienna, especially those looking to escape the city for a day.

It’s the perfect day trip!

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Between 1895 and 1897 the Schneeberg railway system was created and tourism has been vital to the Schneeberg economy ever since.

I was lucky enough to visit Puchberg Am Schneeberg in autumn 2019 with a close-friend. We weren’t in Austria for long, and were looking for natural beauty, so heading east to the stunning Salzburg didn’t fit our tight schedules. None-the-less, we spent the day exploring charming Vienna, went back to our hostel and googled nature spots near the Austrian capital.

Long story short, we decided on Schneeberg and with a warm coffee in our hands, set off at 6am the next day.

Trains from Vienna to Puchburg Am Schneeburg are quite frequent with a journey time of just under 2 hours each way.

However, please note, this is the journey time to the town, not the mountain top. The Salamander train (L O L) to the peak of the mountain takes an additional 40 minutes, so I would advise to leave Vienna as early as possible to make the most of your day.

The salamander trains climbs steadily up to about 6000ft and makes a stop a long the way for passengers to buy local patisseries, if they wish to do so.

Salamander train

As you can see from the photos below, the view is nothing short of stunning. There are several hiking trails for you to walk at the top, as well as a restaurant serving traditional dishes.

If you’re thinking about making a trip to Puchberg am Schneeberg, I would suggest three things: an early start, appropriate footwear and visiting during midweek if possible to avoid the hustle and bustle.

For a more in-depth look at Austria, I recommend checking out this:

5 Reasons to Teach English in Vietnam

I first moved to Vietnam to teach English in 2016. I fell in love with the country during a backpacking trip 2 years prior….. I had to return.

I moved to the capital city Hanoi. It was an incredible experience that I will always cherish.

Here I am again, in 2020, back in Vietnam (now in Ho Chi Minh) as an online ESL teacher.

Falling in love with Vietnam once more, I am inspired to tell you some reasons why you should relocate to this amazing country.

So…Here are 5 reasons why you should be an English teacher in Vietnam!

Save Money

The cost of living in Vietnam is very low & the salary is quite high. Not only can you live very comfortably, but saving is achievable with little effort.

Travel Vietnam & beyond

Vietnam is a beautiful and diverse country. Whether you spend your time in Sapa, Hoi An, or the southern island of Phu Quoc , you won’t be disappointed!

Also,it’s important to note that flights and buses to neighboring countries like Laos, Thailand and Cambodia are easy to find for less than $50, so spread your wings!


Food

Vietnamese food is famous around the globe. Pho, Bun Cha, Banh Beo, Bun Bo Hue… the list goes on.

Most Vietnamese dishes are incredibly cheap and easily accessible (durr you’re in Vietnam).

Social!

It is very likely that your time in Vietnam will leave you with ever-lasting memories and hopefully an expanded social circle.

Weather!

If you’re seeking some sun & a warmer climate, then Vietnam could work for you.

If you have any questions regarding teaching or travelling in Vietnam, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ll be more than happy to help!

Buy your Vietnam Travel Guides here!

Also, if you’re interesting in teaching online, drop me a message.

I’ll help you get started, ensure you pass the interview stage and maximize your bookings.

Have a fantastic day!

#TRAVEL – Thailand: Koh Samet – A Convenient Paradise

Koh Samet

Thailand is world-famous for stunning islands. Whether it’s Koh Phangan for the full moon party, Maya Bay aka “The Beach”, the diver’s paradise; Koh Tao, or the tourist hotspot; Phuket.

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Unfortunately, many travelers don’t have the time or money to make their way down to southern Thailand to experience these great places, but MAI PEN RAI (Thai for “no worries”) – Koh Samet is a worthy alternative in a more opportune location.

Koh Samet is easily and inexpensively accessible, as it is just a 2-hour bus journey and 30-minute ferry from Bangkok.

Koh Samet is the perfect beach getaway for expats living in central Thailand, or for those staying in Bangkok a few days and seeking to escape the concrete chaos. Naturally, it gets quite busy during the long weekends throughout the year.

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There are several tropical beaches scattered around the island, ranging from secluded and uncrowded, to the popular and packed.  Regardless of whether you’re looking for peaceful relaxation or water activities, music, and plentiful beer  – this place has it all.

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I highly recommend renting a scooter or ATV to explore the more remote parts of the island, as they are stunningly beautiful.

Like many other Thai islands, Koh Samet has no shortage of bars, restaurants, and places to stay. I’ve visited Koh Samet a few times and I would recommend a night or two on the main beach, Hat Sai Keaw, as well as a night or two on the southern beaches of Ao Wai and Ao Kiu Nok.

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Have you been to Koh Samet?  What did you think?

DK Eyewitness Thailand (Travel Guide) Paperback

Teach English Online with these 25 Companies! 2020

There probably isn’t a better time to teach English online!

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Most of the world’s learning is now taking place in living rooms instead of classrooms, and millions of people are unemployed and looking to make money from their home.

Even before the pandemic, teaching English online is one of the fastest growing online careers. There is a huge demand in Asia, and that demand is only going to grow in Europe and South American in the coming years.

I’ve compiled a list of the top 25 online ESL companies that you can apply to today!

List of Online ESL Companies 2020

Vipkids

Palfish

51talk

Landi

Whales English

Cambly

Dadaabc

GogoKid

iTutorgroup

QKids

Go Fluent

Italki

Alo7

SayABC

Magic Ears

GMNY

Pagoda

Cafetalk

Eigo Biz

Outschool

Topic-Time

Lime English

BlingABC

Panda ABC

LearnTalk

I suggest doing your own research on each company before completing the application process. There is a wealth of information on Youtube, Google and Online ESL Facebook groups.

To save you some time, I’ve linked some useful articles about teaching ESL online below:

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Good luck!

TEFL TIPS #3 – Storybots

If you are lucky enough to have internet access in your classroom, you’d be stupid not to take advantage of it.

Storybots

Youtube is full of useful ESL videos that you can play to your class to assist with teaching. While relying heavily on videos may be a cop out, using them selectively can help create a more dynamic classroom environment.

A channel I cannot recommend enough is Storybots, found here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/storybots

(recently changed to Netflix Jr)

I primarily use it to show clips when I teach the alphabet as a little break in between activities—the kids love the animations. Each video utilizes a large variety of words that can help expand children’s vocabulary. The music in the Storybot videos is catchy and after listening to a certain one a few times, the class will try to sing along!

Storybots also has an assortment of other songs that can be used for many different things such as ‘clean up’, ‘teeth’ and numbers.

Why not try to spruce up your lessons? Check it out.

#TRAVEL – Indonesia: Glli F**king T

Sandwiched between Bali and Lombok; Gili Trawangan is one of three gorgeous Indonesian islands that you have to visit.

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Known to many as ‘Gili T’, it is becoming increasingly more popular to travellers, and I can see why.

Like most backpackers that visit, I stayed a lot longer than I had initially intended. Gili T steals your heart and soul. I’m not being cheesy, it really does! An unstable power grid and a road system that consists of no motor vehicles makes Gili T quite unique allows for a sense of escapism.

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The F**king Food

Gili T has more than a handful of restaurants. However, the local market is the real show-stealer for flavorful dishes. Every evening a local market sells a wide selection of Indonesian food at cheap prices.

Eat there!

The F**king Ocean

My favourite thing about Gili T is the ocean. Undeniably beautiful to look it, what lies beneath is even better. Swimming between the sparkling surface and the heavily occupied coral foundation are Green Sea and Loggerhead turtles. I don’t know how many hours I spent snorkeling in the ocean of Gili T, but it wasn’t enough. I don’t think there is such a thing as enough.

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The F**cking Party

Naturally, Gili T is full of people looking to have a good time. There is an area (near the food market I mentioned before) that has several bars that play good music and offer cheap drinks. Gili T even has its own full moon party every month.

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The F**king Sunset

Ombak sunset viewpoint is located on the lesser occupied side of the island. The best seat in the house is definitely the swing that is positioned a few metres out into the ocean. I spent the majority of my evenings on this side of the island taking in the natural masterpiece.

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The F**king Journey

In comparison to other transportation methods in and around Bali, the “speed boat” (you’ll have to experience it to understand the need for sarcastic quotation marks) to Gili T is not very cheap, but it is worth the effort, there is no excuse! GO!

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Don’t forget your Bali Travel Guide: