A Travellerspoint blog

Teaching English Abroad

Finding the Motivation

Its been so long since ive last updated this blog. Since then I've embarked and an educational journey through graduate school obtaining my masters in social studies education and special education. It was an extremely difficult task, but one which I am glad I chose. The job market here in New York isn't great for teachers. Don't get me wrong, I know there are jobs out there. Now that I have my special education license schools are required to hire teachers with my qualifications. However, I am young and adventurous and I love to travel. People always say, "if only I knew then what I know now." To me, this is a challenge. Its a challenge for me to go out there and find out everything about this world before its too late. I don't want time to slip by. I don't ever want to look back and say "I wish I did that." Id rather learn the hard way by doing than stick to whats comfortable and never get that experience. In other words Im ready to get outa here.

Ive always talked and dreamed about teaching abroad. Ive done tons of research and plenty of procrastinating. Ive even traveled to several other countries in the mean time to satisfy my travel addiction. But nothings worked. Its always been too short and too touristy of a trip for me to be content. I want the real life experience of living and learning a completely different language and culture. I want to go to Asia.

Currently I work as an assistant at a school in long island. I often find myself making copies and staring at a quote posted on the wall. Its taped up right above the copy machine and printed on standard computer paper with size 28 font so everyone who walks by can see it. It says," life isn't about waiting for a storm to pass. Its about learning to dance in the rain." I don't know who said it and I don't really care. Id rather think it came from some really far out survivalist who roams the woods and lives off nothing. If I find out it was some Hollywood star I'll refuse to accept it. but never the less, this year was a real wake up call. Finishing grad school, working, coaching lacrosse and bartending made me realize how fast paced this life is. I get caught up in the moment and I end up worrying about the unknown. I'd rather embrace the unknown. So I started looking for jobs abroad.

Reading blogs and watching videos are a complete waste of time. I know this. Im no dummie. Im going to learn everything once I get there. No tutorial can prepare me for what I'll experience. So if this is something that interest you stop reading now and just book your flight. take a job and figure it out from there. I like to have a little piece of mind before I set off on something like this. I'm not full fledged, gung- ho barefoot- walking backpacker. I do enjoy a little structure and planing here and there. If your satisfied reading this from the comfort of your computer then please continue.

follow research in this order:

1- find what location best suites you. if your up for the middle east, they pay a lot of money. south Korea is a hot spot right now. China is recruiting like mad men. And the cost of living is dirt cheap in thailand. so whats most important to you? city life, saving money? having fun? figure it out

2- pick a city. what city do you want to work? is it the big one like Seoul Tokyo or Shanghai? Are you looking for things a little bit more remote? each has its perks. a lot of it depends on your personality.

3- start applying for positions. head to http://eslcafe.com/ or http://www.totalesl.com/. I used http://www.educatorsoverseas.com/ That was quick and easy.

4- Don't pay the fee. Avoid applying with programs that require 900 bux for a 140 hours of tesol certification. Its bull. I did 6 interviews via skype and had 6 offers. No TESOL cert. Im sure some might need it if you have no teaching experience. But if you do your homework, being a native speaker is enough for most schools.

5- Learn the language. I have yet to take off on my journey but Im so ready for it. I started studying the language to get a head start. I know being immersed is the best way to pick it up but I don't see any harm in learning now.

Posted by BHammer301 19:00 Archived in USA Tagged travel china living chinese abroad teaching esl motivation daves Comments (0)

Inside Rio De Janiero

A guideline to really experiencing Rio. Warning: Very dangerous

overcast -5 °C

Copacabana Beach is nearly two miles of enchanted coastline. Crawling with women in string bikinis, thumping with futbol games, and over saturated with Caipirinha service, Copacabana is heaven on earth.

However, be very cautious where you walk on the beach. I strolled across a raging gay fest and all I wanted to do was go hide in the ocean. Now I know how women feel when they are stared at like a piece of meat. The Brazilians are very open with their sexuality. More so than any country I've ever seen. Gay, straight, crooked, whatever, its all good in Rio.

Women walk up and down the city streets half naked flaunting their string bikinis and their dimpled butts. God its a wonderful place. Its hard to tell whose a hooker and whose a girl just interested in you. Being a light skinned gringo from NY, I was well sought after. So much so it was a little intimidating. Women gave me their number on the street out of no where. Still not sure if that was for a charge or not. Like I said sexuality is widespread and very diverse. Things you and I might find offensive or even not "lady like" are very accepted there. If your on the fence about visiting, this should have helped you make a decision.

I don't know if its still there, but club Help on the Copacabana beach was a safe haven for hookers and beautiful women. Its where hot girls went to meet gringos with money. Along the coastline you'll find many joggers, athletes, beach volleyball-with-your-feet players, futbol players, gymnasts, etc... it is a very healthy city in that respect. People are very conscious of how they look. Even though most of the males I saw were chiseled like manikins and the women filled with implants.

A few streets away form the beach you'll find one of the most dangerous neighbors hoods in South America. Rocinha favela. To call this a poor neighborhood is an understatement. What you and I spend on a movie at home could get them dinner for a few days. Its unreal how little these people have, but most of them walk around with smiles. if you have an extra water bottle or a little piece of pizza left, had it over to one of the children you encounter. They'll gladly take it and eat it right in front of you. Certain companies run tours through the streets on the back of motorcycles. You wind your way up the side of a steep and congested mountain road to a local school. There you can meet children of the favelas and really get an inside look how things work. A view of the beach from inside is possible, but most if it is blocked by million dollar, beach front condos. Not only are they poor, but they have to be reminded about it every time they look out to the ocean.

If you have the chance go to a favela party. They rock and play the best Brazilian music! They are safe, so long as you keep to yourself and don't get too drunk. Don't do anything you wouldn't do in a normal club at home. Don't be afraid to take a trip to a futbol game either. Stories linger around hostels about piss being thrown at foreigners and oranges with blades inside. Lets be honest, once your inside MaracanĂ£ stadium sitting with the fans, nobody is looking at you. Just make sure you don't root against the wrong team. Tour companies will try to finagle you into sitting in VIP seating because its safe. they'll ask for 60 - 80 USD a seat and transportation. This is only for mom and dad tourist from the mid west. Act like you've been there before, take the local subway or a taxi and pay 8 dollars to go see amazing cultural event.

I believe it is pronounced tudo ben. I think it means "everything's good" in Portuguese. Say whenever in doubt of anything in Brazil.

Posted by BHammer301 15:19 Archived in Brazil Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (1)

New York City: Tickets on a Budget

getting cheap tickets to Broadway shows, concerts, comedy events and more.

New York city tourism can be a major burden on a travelers wallet. You don't want to spend all your money at expensive showcases because they will leave you with no money for beer. Then how will you pay for those $10 drinks at our bars? There are simple ways to get your hands on some of New York's hottest tickets without paying an arm and a leg for them. Below is a list I put together to help you save some money.

The Power of the Publications: People that visit New York, even those who live in New York, take the free publications we have all over our streets for granted. Papers like The Village Voice and The Onion contain weekly calendars of the upcoming comedy acts, concerts and art shows. For example, several weeks ago I attended an event I found in The Onion called, The Stepfathers. The show was at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater and the tickets only cost me $10 each. For a Saturday night and rougly 1 1/2 hours of entertainment, that ain't that bad. These publications provide you with the cost of each event, time, date and whatever other information you may need to get there.

Don't buy the first deal you see. I found a advertisement on Freenyc.net (also a great place to look for free and cheap events) for the EastvillecomedyClub. If you make a reservation for the Friday night show, the tickets are free! You heard me correctly. Free tickets to a comedy show! I am sure you are asking yourself, "whats the catch?" right? There is a two drink minimum for each person. Big deal. The shows are great and usually carry some big names. But my point is that some people paid 15 dollars for the tickets. If they would have just shopped around they could have saved that cash for some drinks.

Cash is King. I'll make this one short. I have seen plenty of people wait on line for hours just to find out they don't take credit at the ticket window. So, always have enough cash for you and your friend if necessary.

Broadway is not just for the rich. A service called TKTS sells tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows at discounted prices. When I say discounted, I mean some are up to %50 off! Everything from the little mermaid to Stomp is on sale for the day of and following day shows., TKTS has three locations: Brooklyn, Times Square and South street seaport. The Seaport booth is probably the least crowded of the three.

Early bird catches the worm. If you attempt to get tickets to a show or venue by using one of these methods, you have to beat the crowd. There are plenty of people out there with the exact same intentions. Usually these free events will fill up the seating and then turn everyone else away. If you don't have a back up plan your date then your screwed.Thousands of people read these events online and in the papers so give yourself piece of mind and plan ahead. For instance, I recently attended a performance called Fuerza Bruta at the Daryl Roth Theater in Union Square. The web site says rush tickets go on sale two hours before the show time. The rush tickets ($25) are a third of the regular price tickets. They are also in high demand. The first time I tried to get tickets I was two hours early and already an hour late. Get there three hours early, Especially for a weekend show. Plenty of people will be waiting for these tickets. The next time I went barley made the cut off. I also found out they only sell twenty rush tickets!

So as you can see there are many tricks to seeing these shows for cheap. If you can make it happen you'll find it to be not only challenging but also exhilarating as you reward yourself with each pair of tickets you get

If you know any other techniques, please leave them on the comment section for all of us to share.

Posted by BHammer301 21:08 Archived in USA Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

New York City

cheap, budget, food and transportation.

I have lived in NY my whole life and it wasn't until I budgeted a South America Trip that I learned I could budget NYC as well. The thing about NY is that it is expensive to live there and do all the touristy things. However, if you look hard enough you can find cheaper deals here than anywhere else in THE STATES! Imagine that!

It is key to know someone or to have a place to stay. I have a few friends so I always crash on their couches. You can check out Couchsurfing.com for some more cheap tricks on accommodation in the city. There are many hostels around too that aren't incredibly cheap but for NYC they are well worth it. If you choose to go the luxuries route than you will have no problem finding a place to stay. But I highly doubt anyone looking at the Ritz Carlton is reading this blog.

Because NYC is a marquee city of the states in demonstrating capitalism hard at work, there are soo many restaurants and delis competing for you service. As a result: competitive prices. once you get out of time Square there are deli's on every corner. A deli can provide you with breakfast lunch and dinner at any given time of day. A bacon egg and cheese (a common New Yorkers breakfast) will cost you about $2.50. Add a small coffee for a dollar and you are ready to rush around the city like the rest of us.

Transportation: getting from place to place in the city can be a hassle. Luckily, NYC has one of the most extensive transit systems in the world. The subways are fast and efficient and most importantly, they are cheap! A metro card cost 2 dollars per entry. Each entry allows you to utilize all the tracks in the area so long as you don't exit. Be sure to read the signs of what exit your using. It s easy to get caught up in the rush of people and exit unintentionally, so these signs are helpful. It always helps to step to the side and out of peoples way. You can you purchase and unlimited ride the week for just 25 dollars. If you plan on exploring most of the city I suggest you purchase this card. Taxis are nice especially when it is cold out but they can be very expensive. Some, but not all taxi drivers will try to scam you and take you on a tour to run up the meter a little higher. Try to act like you know where you are going and your just in a rush to get there.The meter will start at a $2.50 fare but during the hours of 4-8pm they will start at $4.50. Don't let them tell you it is broken. You an report them if they do.

Your best bet is to avoid the tourist traps. Times Square, Famous restaurants and tour busses are not what real New Yorkers do. We hustle and try to get around our day by spending as little as possible. We don't eat at trendy cafe's that serve $6 coffee or read a $5 magazine. Street coffee and a New York Post work fine.

up next. cheap bars, dangers, and neighborhoods, dinner and lunch

Posted by BHammer301 11:02 Comments (0)

Rio de Janiero, Brazil

brazilian Funk, Copacabana beach, Ipanema, tourist sites

overcast -5 °C

Lets just say for this place I didn't even pick up my lonely planet book. I wasn't interested in any walking tours or drooling over any museums. However, there are several touristy things you must do once in Rio. You don't need a guidebook to figure them out. First I will walk you through the tourist sites and "to do's" then I'll tell you how it really is.

Christ Redeemer AKA Cristo, stands on top Corcavado mountain nearly 2300 ft in the air. The statue itself is about 38 feet high. During the rainy season, which is a majority of the year, it is hard to find a nice day to see Cristo. If you cannot see him from the ground, I can assure you you will not have a better look once you are up there. If there are clouds around the mountain then he is not visible. I was right in front of him on a cloudy day and I could not see his face. It is worth it to wait it out for a nice day because the view of RIO is breathtaking. Sometimes it is really nice in the morning and you can get up there for a good look before the clouds roll in.

I don't see any purpose in doing the Christ redeemer and the Sugarloaf mountain because the Christ provides the better view, but some people choose to do both. Sugarloaf will take you on a cable car to the top for a grasping view of Copacabana beach and Rio de Janiero. I don't suggest doing a tour that is usually arraigned at your hotel or hostel. The hotel usually gets a cut of the profits. Be a little daring and go off on your own. The Metro Rio is very efficient and really simple. It also cost about 2 R each way.

A tour can also be arraigned for a walk through the Favelas. Favela means Shanty town. There are hundreds of thousands of people living in just a few acres inside Favelas. The Rochina favela is the largest in Rio de Janiero and it host 200,000 people. houses are stacked on top of one another, water tanks sit on roof tops and armed gunmen patrol the streets. You can book a tour through www.bealocal.com . They will give you a hands on educational, informational walk through and motorcycle ride through the favela. It is worth the 60 R because you learn a lot. I would not recommend going through these blocks yourself. They are patrolled by gunmen and drug lords who do not like their picture taken. However, there is a slightly more dangerous way to do it for those who are looking for something a little daring.

If you got the cash, about 220 R you should do the Hang gliding. It really was an awesome experience. I think it is the best view of Rio you can get. Flying high over the Tijuca forest, you can see barra tijaca beach, Sugarloaf Ipanema Beach and even Cristo!

It is important that you avoid these full day tours that you see posted at your residence. They claim that you can see everything in one day. Well yea, if you don't mind seeing it through a window. It takes more than a day to see Rio. Hell it takes more than a week to see Rio.
ipanema.jpgfavella_9.jpgfavella_6.jpgfavella_10.jpgcopacabana_beach.jpgcoco.jpgcristo_3.jpgcristo.jpg

Posted by BHammer301 18:23 Archived in Brazil Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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