Sawasdee : Saying Goodbye to Thailand

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As I sit here on my last day in Thailand staring at my packed bags I cannot help but let the memories of the past two years creep into my thoughts.  This adventure has reached its culmination but it has imbued a long lasting effect on my life.  Between the people I have met, the crystal blue waters that I have swam in, and the children that I have had the pleasure of teaching, my time in Thailand has been nothing but extraordinary.

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Good Vibes : Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love

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This will be my second year in a row spent far from home for the holidays so I am filling this Good Vibes post with a bit of Christmas nostalgia.  While sitting here in my Thailand home finishing up packing for a Christmas beach trip I noticed an email sent from my dad.  Inside I find a link to the very last performance of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) sung by Darlene Love on The Late Show with David Letterman.  For years on end my dad would have the entire family gather to watch this annual performance on the last show before Christmas.  It goes without saying that this video brought a tear to my eye.

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Good Vibes : Pulling Teeth by Lucius

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Tasks that once came easy can sometimes feel like “pulling teeth”.  Whether it is discovering new ways to reach my students, thinking of material to write for my blog, or simply navigating everyday life in Thailand, each activity can be a strain on the mind if not properly tackled.  Lucius’ new song, “Pulling Teeth”, is brilliantly relatable in its addressing of the idea that having difficulty with what was once simple can apply to all who listen.

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Craving America : What I Miss the Most

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‘Murica

With just over two weeks left until I make my first trip back to the States in over a year I cannot help but think of all the American greatness that I have been missing.  While in Thailand my taste of home has consisted of ill-prepared “hamburgers”, a CCR CD being played in my cab, a “chili dog” made with Thai chili sauce rather than actual chili, and English songs sung by the worst cover bands imaginable.  So without further ado I present the raw badassery of what I will be partaking in during my all to brief visit back to the greatest country on Earth!

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8 Ways to Make Teaching in Thailand Easier

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It is the day before you start your job of instructing the future of Thailand.  All you can feel are nerves running through every inch of your body.  Sit back and let me calm you down a bit.  Teaching in “The Land of Smiles” is no simple job but there are many ways you can improve the work environment and create as relaxing of an atmosphere as is possible.  It may come as a surprise that many of these suggestions have absolutely no relation to teaching whatsoever.  Appearance and show are the name of the game when creating a great impression on the first day of school.

Having been through two first days of school I have garnered a few skills in setting a good precedent for the year to come.  Hopefully you find some of these useful as well.

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Behind the Name : Tar Heel Voyager

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For those of you that know me personally the message of the post will come across as quite redundant but I think it is important to tell the story behind my chosen name of Tar Heel Voyager.  To be honest, the “Tar Heel” portion of the name has extremely close ties to my want to travel.  It was the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that gave me opportunities to converse with unique individuals from all over the US and world.  My job and hobbies were even conduits for my travel experiences while at UNC.  I love to explore and I am a Tar Heel.

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Far from Home for the Holidays

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Show of hands – how many of you have ever dreamt of spending the holidays in paradise; on a tropical island surrounded by crystal blue water?  I think it’s safe to assume nearly everyone has contemplated the thought at least once or twice.  With a week and a half off from school for Christmas and New Year’s I had the pleasure of experiencing “Christmas in paradise” for the first time.

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My students brought some joy to the Christmas season.

“Paradise” has always been an interesting word for me.  Do a quick Google Image search for “paradise” and you will instantly be shown hundreds of pictures of ocean oases as far removed from the trivialities of modern life as can possibly be.  Some of the images are paint a picture of fictional lands.  This is the idea of “paradise” that has been driven into our skulls through various marketing campaigns and travel brochures.  The problem with this is that “paradise” is an experience more than a place.  The location only enhances the experience.

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