The Jump-Off Point

The Jump-Off Point

Today I’m leaving my little corner of the world, where I have lived for all twenty-three years of my life. I’m leaving behind everything that is familiar and comfortable for something new, exciting and totally unexpected:


It’s funny, because if anyone had told me six months ago that one day I’d be teaching English to a bunch of little Thai kids on the other end of the world, I would have laughed in their face. The initial idea to go to Thailand wasn’t even mine.

And now here I am, hours away from making a blind leap into the feared unknown… into a country whose language I can’t speak, whose people I don’t know, whose places I’ve only read about in pocket guidebooks… All of this uncertainty, yet I’ve never been so excited about anything in my life.

Here’s a brief rundown of what I’ll be doing:

For the first month I’ll be taking a teaching certification course in Hua Hin, a relatively tame resort town on the Gulf of Thailand (tame compared to infamous backpacker hotspots like Pattaya or Phuket, places I’ll eventually see.)

After the course is finished I’ll be placed into a teaching job, where I’ll remain for a year. I could end up teaching anywhere in the country. Right now my sights are set on Chiang Mai, a mountainous northern city often thought to be the mecca of ancient Thai culture.

With me in Hua Hin will be around a hundred other twenty-somethings from Europe, South Africa, Australia, Canada and America. We’ll be spread out between two or three small hotels, all within a short distance of each other and the ocean… Sort of like freshman year, minus the Tuesday afternoon beer bongs and total absence of all responsibility.

Teaching English in another country is a rare privilege to not only see and experience other parts of the world, but to have a lasting, positive impact on it. I don’t intend to screw that up.

After the school year is over, who knows. I might move back to the US, I might not. I might travel around for a while, I might go teach somewhere else. Time will tell.

The website you’re reading this on right now is where I’ll be sharing stories and photos on a weekly basis. And let’s get one thing straight: this will not be a “travel blog.”

This website is made for you; but for me, it’s a tool to keep the dust off my writing hand. This means I’m going to leave out all the mundane me-myself-and-I bullshit and go beyond telling you about the everyday stuff like what I had for dinner or how hot the weather is. I want to give you something you might be moved by, or, at the very least, something informative.

Basically: this will not be a diary. This will be a place for good stories containing ego-less observations on culture, society, people and whatever else.

Leaving all of you good people is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I love you. I’ll miss the hell out of you. Hold down the fort while I’m gone. Stay young, stay hungry, and always remember that great things happen just beyond the edge of your comfort zone.

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