Dear Live Gnarly Army,
I wanted to send out a digital postcard today to apologize to you my friends and readers of this blog. This article touches mainly upon last week’s newsletter which was the first I’ve sent out in over a month — the last one being around New Years. That newsletter stated goals I wanted to accomplish; writing much more often on the blog, keeping up this newsletter on a weekly basis, and starting my book which I hope to publish this year.
It also touches upon some recent lack of follow-through with things.
These are all goals I have epically failed to keep up with the last couple months.
And it turns out…blogging and life on the road is quite the balancing act.
Though I don’t consider this blog an obligation to anyone or anything (that is reserved for rubbish jobs I disdain) I do consider it a privilege and an enjoyment to have you all reading the blog and following my trusty chucks.
So, as I stated above, I wanted to say I am sorry for breaking promises for the newsletter and the blog itself.
Many times I have such intense and passionate goals for this blog that they often exceed my ability to keep up with it all — and the past couple months I have taken on a few other endeavors that have proved it impossible to do it all.
Within the first month of arriving in Thailand, my Macbook Pro bit the dust. It died a mysterious fuzzy green death. After sending it back to the United States for repair, a friend who recently moved here brought it back to me. I was ecstatic at the prospect of being able to write on an actually keyboard and to get caught up with blogging. But, not a week after receiving it back repaired, yet another thing broke on it (it is 5 years old and well-traveled after all).
So, I found an authorized repair shop and waited another month to receive it back.
A screen replacement and new wifi card later and I am happy to say it is more alive than ever!
Also, this month I began my TEFL training to become certified as an english teacher abroad. Though proved to be an amazing experience and more beneficial than I expected, it was also an intense and grueling month.
After a 3 hour-long written test last week, 160 hours of in-class training, and 8 live teacher assessments where we were had to teach our first 2 classes in the first week, I have officially become certified to teach English abroad! Chalk that up with nightly homework and planning lessons for the next day and hopefully you can begin to understand my lack of ability to keep up.
But it has also been killing my conscience knowing that I’ve stated things that I haven’t followed through with.
One such newsletter reader sent an email that borderline attacked my character; accusing me of only sending my newsletter to certain followers of the blog and certain races. Now, however drastic and untrue that is, that feeling was somewhat triggered by me stating a newsletter was going out and it never did. So promising that a newsletter was going out and not having it actually be sent, in whatever way, caused an angry emotion from them because they thought they were being discriminated.
And that is something I will never, ever, EVER do.
Even though their email had no basis of truth, it did affect me and made me realize that I wasn’t committing to something that I am passionate about — consistency, follow through, and dedication.
On top of this, I also promised to pick a newsletter reader to send a postcard and a Polaroid photo to each month, but I’ve only managed to send out one.
After getting to Thailand, the humidity and heat turned out to be an enemy of the old-school Polaroid film my camera uses, and now none of it will produce a photo. So, until I find some places that sell it, I have been putting that off as well.
With all of this, I will say that the TEFL training course took priority over everything. Not just because I had to pay for tuition, but also because teaching and public speaking is something I want to do in the future and I put all of my heart into it these past few weeks.
To come into a strange new experience like teaching English was something that took nearly two weeks to get adjusted to. Top that off with not being in a school or classroom type of environment where I had to juggle homework and classroom learning and I was completely drowning in the workload. And even coming into that last week of training still got the occasional heebie-jeebies about being in front of a class.
But, I will say — seeing those students get excited and engaged in the lesson I’m teaching, and seeing them laugh and have a blast with the lesson and games that I’ve been stressing to come up with is so damn fulfilling.
Now that my training has ended, I feel more confident and excited than ever to start teaching around the world and hopefully making an impact in students lives. It is important for myself to not become burned out; all month I’ve been edgy and a bit disconnected because I’ve been quite exhausted from the course, which is why I hadn’t posted anything new all month on the blog.
Now that I’m done with the classes I’ll be taking that week after to relax, find where my brain has run off to, and recover my mojo for writing and getting back into the groove for this blog!
Though I’m behind quite a bit, I do have some exciting stories to share from exploring the north of Thailand, especially from my new favorite place Pai! And even with the stories I still have hundreds of gigabytes of footage to put into videos. I’m looking forward to having time in the day to sit down and share these stories with you.
I’m trying to de-frazzle my brain and to juice up the creativity again, and though it may take a little time, I’ll be back to share more travel stories soon.
I hope that you’ll stick around and keep following!
Thank you again for continuing to follow my story friends. As always, happy travels, dream on, and live gnarly!
Want to see some action from my month in TEFL training? I give you “Teacher Ryan!”
Showing the students about a classroom game.
My relay race I came up with, “Build your robot” and the competition was fierce!
A “Shrek” themed relay race I planned to use in class to teach the students words of movement.
A warm up I did at one class to break the ice with a quiet class. What did I do? I made them do the “Come on now, SHOUT!” dance. It worked.
Teaching word stress at an outdoor class.
After a long month it was official.