I'm a 30 year old American originally from Texas, although my last two years stateside were in Colorado. My first year in Colorado I tried in vain to put my master's in International Management to work, but, while I was able to intern with some great non-profits, I wasn't finding any paid work. I had spent a year teaching ESL in Japan between undergrad and grad school, so I decided to find a way to do that again- this time as a licensed teacher. I spent August 2011 to May 2012 in full time graduate school while completing a year-long student teaching internship. This brutal schedule gave me a teaching license which led to a job in Tirana, Albania. This blog began right before I left Colorado to travel, over land and sea, to Europe. From there I backpacked through England, France, and Italy to Albania, where I worked for a year.
This year, I'm in Laos. To get here I backpacked overland from Albania through Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Poland, and Estonia. Then I headed to St. Petersburg to start the Trans-Mongolian rail journey, traveling through Moscow, Irkutsk, and Ulaanbaatar before landing in Beijing. I was determined to do the entire journey overland, but in Beijing taking a plane to Bangkok and spending some time resting and getting massages and eating delicious food was much more preferable to spending 36 hours on a train followed by 36 hours on a bus. Good decision. From Bangkok a quick overnight train brought me to Laos, where I will be teaching for the next 10 months while I write my thesis and finish my master's. I have a few things left to say about Albania, so there might be some retro posting, and I'd like to slowly post about the trip that got me to Laos, so that will be in the mix, too. I'm not too keen on Laos at first blush, so I'm hoping this blog will eventually show how I learned to love it.
A year ago, I had no idea I'd be where I am now. A year from now, the only thing I can be sure of is that I'll be saying a year ago I had no idea I'd be where I am now.