My Travels Around The World Truly Begin – One-Way to Thailand in 2008

From my courageous stint in medical research in Belfast, I could finally afford to fly the coup once more. This was the trip where my life as a serial traveler actually began.

Dreams of Travel; But How?

I came out of the hospital but didn’t want to face the real world and I wanted to travel but I still wasn’t exactly rolling in cash with just $2000 in my current account and $5000 in savings from working through uni, an awesome mother etc. I went online and started googling – “how can I travel with very little money”, “travelling on a genuine shoestring”, “working and travelling” yadda yadda yadda. Aside from being inundated with pleas to pay 10 grand for the privilege of volunteering for 2 weeks in some far-flung country I wasn’t making much progress. Then I stumbled across CELTA.

So, teaching English in Thailand?

I’ll explain the mechanics, logistics, tips and tricks etc behind a CELTA diploma in my ‘Travel Tips’ subsection but I’ll give a brief run down here for the sake of my story. It’s basically a diploma from Cambridge Uni (the REAL Cambridge Uni believe it or not) that you study intense, I mean intensely intense, for one month and combined with your degree you can then teach pretty much anywhere in the world

CELTA’s can be taught anywhere so I signed up for my course which was being run in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I had never even heard of Chiang Mai by this point and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. Wham, bam, thank you mam and I was outta there. From looking on the net aimlessly on how to travel and earn to applying for my course probably spanned across about 24 hours but I figured the more I think about how crazy it is the more likely I am to pull out, so i booked the course and my flight and all my money was gone again but spent very wisely.

* IMPORTANT MESSAGE/DISCLAIMER: I feel as if I should add that at this point my plan was honestly to fly to Thailand to study my CELTA, take a one year contract teaching English in China, then fly back to the UK to pursue my career in finance aided by my newfound ability in Chinese. So, 3 and a half years, 40 countries, 3 broken cameras, 2 lost iPods and  and a host of amazing experiences later I’m still on the move with no plans to stop. What I mean to say is, if you are planning to do something similar a CELTA abroad be prepared to never be able to return to the same life, same mentality and same banality ever again.

(EDIT 2020: My life is VERY different from when I wrote this! Check out my story here to see how!

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