Charles William Butcher
Teach Enrich Empower
Xin Chao from Vietnam!
My name is Charlie, I am 24 years old and come from Birmingham, UK. I finished my degree in 2015 and began working with children with special needs, although I loved my job, the location was less than satisfactory for me.
It was also hard to find a job that granted me financial independence, I was sure that by the age of 21, I would have moved out, had a car and have enough money to live happily.
Unfortunately, the reality was I had a huge student loan to pay back and not enough money to leave my Mum’s house or afford to insure a vehicle on the road (let alone purchase a vehicle). So, I completed my TEFL course, saved for 2 years and packed my bags for South East Asia. It took a while to adapt to my new environment, I found many things challenging and had plenty of bad days, but compared to the places I’ve visited, the people I’ve met and the person I’ve become through facing those challenges made everything worth it.
Now I live in my own apartment, have a great little motor for getting about and regularly go on amazing holidays to places I’d always dreamed of visiting, and places I didn’t even know existed. Teaching has been a great way to immerse myself in the local community and culture. I have built great relationships with my students and we regularly have a laugh in class, on entering the classroom I am met with smiling, excited faces, eager to involve themselves in games and activities.
Living here is also great for many reasons, food and other necessities are very cheap and locals are friendly and helpful when you find yourself in a sticky situation. I remember being lost within my first week. A Vietnamese gentleman took me on the back of his bike around half the city before we eventually found my new address, he has become a close friend of mine and I regularly go to his house for dinner and have even taught English to his family. My plan now is to head south, as I have spent a year in Hanoi and wish to see more of this country before I move on to the next destination. My ultimate advice would be, have an open mind and push yourself to do things you find uncomfortable, this is the best way to adapt and open up new opportunities whilst getting the most out of your experience. Don’t be afraid to fail, because you will, more often than not, learn from those mistakes, as they are what builds a good teacher, and a savvy traveller.
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