Posted in Exploring Thailand

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award! 

I hadn’t heard of the Liebster award until a couple of weeks ago. I saw bloggers being nominated and was curious to know what it was all about. 

The Liebster award is a way of discovering and recognising new bloggers. A way to showcase the hard work others are doing when writing about things they love. 

TEFL Teaching Abroad has been nominated for the Liebster award by Frank Priegue over at I’m not grandpa. Thank you Frank! 

I’m not grandpa is all about Frank, who became a Dad at 50 something years of age. He writes about his adventures and challenges of being a stay at home dad! His blog is both interesting and inspiring, take a read!

I started this blog as a way of sharing my experiences as a newly qualified TEFL Teacher. Since then, it has developed into a TEFL travel blog, where I write about exploring Thailand and its surrounding countries.

Here’s what I’m not grandpa said about Tefl Teaching Abroad:

Kirstie is a qualified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Teacher from Leicester England currently living and teaching in Chiang Mai Thailand. She writes about her experiences living in a new land and traveling through and exploring neighboring countries.

I am so grateful to receive this nomination. I now have to nominate other bloggers and these rules apply: 

  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for the Liebster award
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their page
  • Answer questions about yourself, chosen by the person who nominated you.
  • Create a list of questions for your nominees. 
  • List these rules on your own blog site. 

Here are the 10 questions I’ve been asked to answer:

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?

Reading other travel blogs and looking for information about TEFL teaching. The two of those didn’t come together, so I thought I’d make my own! 

2. What blogging goal are you currently striving for? 

Trying to create a consistent schedule for posting blogs and having regular readers. 

3. What activities do you enjoy outside of blogging? 

I love exploring new places. Nothing makes me happier than booking a trip somewhere or deciding to go somewhere last minute and getting lost exploring the area. I enjoy reading and swimming. Can’t beat relaxing by my pool reading a book in 32 degrees heat! 

4. What tactics do you employ on those days when blogging is hard & frustrating? 

I create a new blog post and think of a catchy title. Then I bullet point everything I want to include in my post. Then il leave it and go back to it when I’m in the right mindset. This way I’ve already started. I find nothing worse than having writers block! The other thing I do, is scroll through photos to refresh my memory, depending on what my post is about. 

5. If you could have lunch with any famous person, who would you choose? 

This is a tough one! It would probably be Leonardo DiCaprio. He would have so many stories and experiences to share and he’d be a great laugh too! 

6. What are your 3 favourite blogs to follow? 

Tieland to Thailand, One modern couple and Getting Stamped.

7. What piece of blogging advice have you found to be most useful? 

Write about what you love! Who’s going to read something that doesn’t show your passion or enthusiasm? If your passionate, readers will see it and will continue to visit your blog regularly. 

8. Are you a full time blogger or do you hold down a day job? 

No, I blog part time although I’m working on it eventually becoming full time. I am Grade 1 Teacher, currently living and teaching in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

9. What is your favourite post on your blog thus far? 

Off the beaten track – It is one of my first posts where I write about my experiences exploring my new home of Chiang Mai! 

10. What social media platforms do you use and which one is most effective for you? 

I use both Facebook and Twitter however I concentrate more on Twitter at the minute. I find Twitter great for writing instant thoughts and connecting with other travel bloggers. 

Here are my nominees for the Liebster award:

  • Shrey and Ash @ The logical traveler. They are a couple who love to travel and write about their adventures. They provide top tips on how to travel economically! Worth a read! 
  • Lianne @ Liasian. Lianne is a Korean American who grew up in America. She had a longing to meet her birth family so embarked on an adventure of a lifetime to Korea to meet them. She blogs about travelling Asia and teaching in Korea
  • Katelyn @ Wanderlustseries Katelyn is a Canadian born traveler who writes about her adventures exploring the world. She wants to inspire others to live their ideal lives. 
  • Shannon @Livesabroad Shannon is a travel blogger and nomad currently traveling New Zealand. She writes about her experience travelling and unique opportunities in each place she visits. I met Shannon when we were both Teachers in the same school. Her blog is what inspired me to create mine. 
  • Pedro and Paulina @Moments of yugen This inspiring couple write about their travel adventures. They met through travel and are now traveling around South East Asia for 101 days! A very interesting read! 
  • Genevieve @ Waygook cikgu travels  This inspiring traveler writes and vlogs  about her adventures travelling Thailand and other South East Asian countries. 
  • Amanda @ Sunshine in the cities This interesting blog is all about Amanda’s travels, exploring cities only known to most people by name. Writing about life exploring new places and about the inspiring people she meets along the way. 
  • Katya @ Tozhe-ya A keen traveler exploring South East Asia. Currently traveling though Myanmar and recently in Thailand. Writing about collecting different moments throughout the journey. 
  • Phill @ My Lanna life Phill is an up and coming blogger who writes about his experiences as a Teacher in Chiang Mai. It’s great to read these stories from other perspectives. Take a read.
  • Scott @ Jetsetting now Scott loves to travel. He writes about top tips to help you when travelling. A much needed blog to get you started on your travel adventures. 

Now for my nominees, firstly, congratulations and secondly, here’s a series of ten questions for you to answer all about your blog. 

1. What inspired you to start your blog? 

2. What is your favourite blog post so far? 

3. If you could choose to live in one place only, where would it be? 

4. What is next on your bucket list? 

5. Are you a full time blogger or do you hold down a day job? 

6. What piece of blogging advice have you found to be most useful? 

7. What social media platforms do you use and which one is most effective for you? 

8. What activities do you enjoy outside of blogging? 

9. What has been your most memorable traveling moment? 

10. What are your 3 favourite blogs to follow? 

Enjoy! 

Posted in Exploring Thailand

A foot massage from a Thai ex-inmate!

 

 


I’ve had a Thai massage before, I swore to myself NEVER AGAIN! But here I was about to go into a Thai massage parlour for the second time. OK so never again doesn’t rule out a Thai foot massage does it? My ‘never again’ promise was from an agonising experience, I don’t think I’ll ever forget. But after 6 months, it’s safe to say I’ve just about gotten over the physical pain, but mentally, not a chance!

Deciding a foot massage would be much more relaxing and hopefully a lot less pain, I decided to have a massage by a Thai ex-inmate. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d hear myself say!

I’d heard about Lila massage from another blogger, and was keen to try something different. The masseuses were once convicted of a crime and as part of serving their time in prison, they were professionally trained to learn how to become a Thai masseuse. Outside the prison grounds, they found it difficult gain employment having a criminal background, so Lila massage was set up to give employment to all those who have professionally trained inside.

You’re assigned a masseuse subject to the type of massage you have chosen. Inside, you’re immediately taken care of, feet washed and cleaned, you take a seat in a very comfortable massage chair and are given a cup of delicious complementary Thai tea.

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feet washed and ready to go!

I don’t remember much about the next hour, all I know is that my feet have never felt better, honestly. I do remember the embarrassment on my face when certain parts of my feet were ticklish and my reflexes were pulling away. I also remember the Chinese guy next to me, flat out asleep and partially snoring.

I caught a glimpse into the room opposite, where I saw someone having a full Thai body massage. His legs were being pushed and pulled in directions I didn’t even know were possible, in fact I don’t think they were! It looked terrifyingly painful and I was immediately very happy with my decision of a foot massage instead.

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An incredible foot massage
My 1 hour time slot soon came to an end; I just wish it could have gone on for longer. Stepping up from the comfort of the massage chair, my feet felt so smooth and putting on my new sandals from Zalora, just felt incredible. There’s nothing like putting on new shoes after having a foot massage! My feet continued to feel great for the next few days. I’ve now made myself a promise to go for a Thai foot massage once a month, why not? You should try it, if you’re ever in Chiang Mai, I’d definitely recommend Lila massage, they have five branches throughout the old town too! Well worth a visit!

Posted in TEFL experiences

A very Thai sports day!

When we think of sports day, we think of getting the children lined up and running in an egg and spoon race, trying not to let their eggs fall. Or tying two children’s legs together for the three legged race! Well not in Thailand! Sports day is nothing like that at all. Its an event, a huge event, booked in a grand stadium with 3 different teams all competing against each other.

Yes, Sports day was not what I imagined, although this is Thailand so I knew it would be an event of some sort! The location of the event was being held in the main stadium at Chiang Mai University! When we arrived I couldn’t quite believe the size of the stadium! There were banners all around, children wearing their brightly coloured tops and others practising their cheer leading performances!

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Huddling around with a group of other teachers in temperatures as low as 12 degrees, we posed for a photograph and I was off to find my students. Finding them running around so excited for the day, it was lovely to see how much fun it was being out of school for the day.

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Just like the Olympics but on a much smaller scale, we had to parade around the whole stadium in our teams. Waving flags for different Asean countries, cheerleaders at the front leading the way, the kids were all very excited!

A marching band played the Thai national anthem whilst we all faced the sun to watch the flag being raised.

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Marching band

We took our seats, I was part of the yellow team! Watched an awesome dance performance by the older Korean students and a few other dances and shows to get the teams and onlookers all warmed up for the race.

Running races were to start, each race had finished before I could even recognise which of my students were taking part! The cheering was pretty much non-existent, the weather had heated up by that point so everyone was pouring with sweat being directly in the sun.

Next was the relay race with a baton, in which every child in the school got to take part. I saw the children from my class running to their parents to show off their medals, having just stood on the podium in their winning positions. It was a very proud moment being a Teacher! One of my students wasn’t given a medal even though she came third place, so I had to sneak around trying to find a spare medal for her, so was so happy when she received it!

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The day was long, there was a lot of waiting around for dances, performances and races to start. I managed to go out for my lunch for an hour which was a nice break away from the heat and the chaos.

In the afternoon the secondary students and teachers were moved inside to watch the chair ball and basketball matches. I had never heard of chair ball before sports day, its not a sport in England. One child from each team acts as the goal keeper I guess, they each stand on a chair holding a basket and their team has to shoot the ball into the basket. I’m not entirely sure who created the sport, but with chairs repeatedly breaking beneath the students, I’m not sure it was as well thought out as it could of been. Maybe that’s why it isn’t a sport in England!

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Chairball

The supporting teams had significantly reduced in size by this point, with still 3 hours to go. We continued to watch and support our teams, all of my class has gone home by this point. Right at the end, the winners were announced and the medals were given. I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t have a medal to take away myself if I’m honest. Maybe I’ll try and sneak another spare when were back at school!

All in all, it was a very grand event and an excited day for the children taking part. Maybe it was a much bigger event than necessary but this is Thailand after all. We even got some team photos at the end to prove we were there!

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Team Yellow!