life as a tefl teacher Tag Archive

  • Life on the Road: Will you be my travel buddy..?


    “I want to stand as close to the edge without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the centre.” ~Kurt Vonnegut 

    And I’m off again! It’s been too long now – 2 months of doing nothing more than reading, watching ’90s shows and knitting. I’ve had enough.

    I’ve been feeling it in my bones for a month or so already. The buzz was building up – it needs release now. My soul needs to see new places, to meet different characters, to pack again!

    Already, Mona?? You’ve just finish your Asian adventure, some of my friends said at my birthday dinner last week.

    My answer to that? Why not. What do I have to loose. Nothing. But I’ve got everything to win. And more experiences to add to the book of my life.

    And because this blog is my testament for when I’ll be an old granny with loads of puppies and grandkids, I decided to post a life update of my life in the next few months.

    Sunday I’m heading to North Devon for a WorkAway volunteering experience. What’s this Workaway? It’s a very popular site at the moment – it allows nomads to live with families and help on different projects around their homes, in exchange for food and lodgement. You can check it out here.

    I’ll be going on my first experience for few weeks. I decided to pick Devon because we’ve recently visited the place, and it was beautiful! I’m informed by the family that I’ll be staying 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from a permaculture farm, and that I’ll be helping around with tasks around the house – which the control-freak in me loves!

    A post on my experience will be coming in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.

    I’ll be coming back to where my sister lives around November – for her *drum rolls please * Graduation!! I’m so excited for that one, and proud of my baby sister for finishing up University. Besides that, Mama Bear is coming too, so it would be nice to spend some time with her.

    In December, I’ve decided it’s a good time to go to Romania. Second time this year. I’ll be spending Christmas with my mum – the first one in 7 years – a very much anticipated one.

    From Romania, I plan to head back to Asia again, for the second part of my Chinese experience – better prepared this time – and hopefully I’ll gain a bit more language knowledge (it’s a tough language, y’all!)

    I’ll be leaving China for India – I’ve been thinking of getting a Yoga certification in few years – I think it’s time I did it.

    From India, all re-charged and full of new found energy (I hope), I will be going down towards * second drum-roll, please * Australia!! I decided I should be heading to the land down under before I turn 30 (which is not that far *sob sob*).

    And there you have it – my plan for the next year or so. I mostly wanted to write it down – it helps me reflect better and it gives me energy. I’m very hopeful this plan will become reality, like everything else that does when you work your butt off for.

    Do you want to join me on any part of my journey? Drop me a message/email/Facebook me. I’d love to have more like- minded around me.

    Until next time, I’d leave you with this tune – it helped me wrote down my future plans. Maybe it helps you to.

    “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience it to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt 


    Peace, Love, Happiness,


  • China: A new Job. The New Old World.

    2014-09-24 17.29.06

    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”


    It has been a while since my last post!

    I started this one few times over the last few days, but life got a bit crazy!

    But it is safe to say that I will always come back to my writing and to this blog. This is my cabinet of memories.

    Sooo, with no further ado, a few words about my first few weeks in China!

    China is big. China is really hot at the moment. China is crowded and Loud. But oh, so, so wonderful.

    It’s like you step in a whole new world. The moment your feet step out of the plane, you are hit by a stuffiness that threatens to suffocate you, and a mass of people hurrying out to different places. 

    Everywhere you look you see something being built, something being developed. Hence the air pollution and the impossibility to see a patch of blue sky in cities like Shanghai or in my case, Hangzhou.

    I think that has been my only complain since I have arrived: the absence of blue sky. I have spent my summer in Pennsylvania – heaven in terms of nature! So for me this is a big adjustment.

    But other than that, my life here is a daily adventure.

    I do not speak Mandarin yet – the only words I know are Hello, Thank you and Yes.

    You can imagine, daily tasks like ordering food, shopping or asking for directions – they are converted into a ‘lost in translation’ adventure.

    But I am being realistic, it could have been way, way worse! Thank God that I adapt really easy to new situations and I’ve been mastering sign language. Of course, my million watt smile seems to be helping in most situations!

    I made it my goal this year – I will be able to have a decent conversation with someone in Mandarin even if it kills me!

    In terms of ordering vegetarian food in restaurant – that’s a whole new challenge! It seems that for most Chinese people the concept of being vegetarian is completely strange.

    And although is a bit harder  than ordering any meat food, it is not impossible. You just need a really good dictionary or someone that speaks the language enough to order for you!

    More about this in a different post.

    I have started teaching about two weeks ago. I have 7 classes of students for both Speaking and Writing in English.

    I honestly love it! My mum was telling me the other day that she can tell I like it – she can see the passion in my eyes.

    I feel like a different person too. I wake up every morning knowing that I am doing something to help other people – that I am shaping futures. And honestly, you do not understand how big that is until you stand in front of 50 students that are eyes and ears to anything you are telling them.

    Knowledge truly is Power.

    I will end up with some photos describing my last few weeks, the friends I have made, the places I have been..


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    My school has palm trees. What else can I ask for. 

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    Making friends! This girl is the bestBirthday Dinner

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    Shanghai TV Tower

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    My room



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    West Lake, Hangzhou 

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    Shanghai, again.

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    More Shanghai. 


    The Little Things.


    Military training month for Freshmen. 


    Birthday Card from sissy


    Of course, a new plant. Still haven’t named it.

    2014-09-24 18.57.20

    Best vegetarian dry hot-pot in town. 



    And I went to a Chinese wedding. And I was taking pics of everything!



    The Wedding.


    The view from my room. I live on the 11th floor. Coincidence?! (11 is my lucky number.)



    More Birthday cards.


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    We also have a lake  where lotus flowers grow. And fish.

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     Night Markets are the place to be.


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     I was a judge in a National Speech Competition. Because why not.

    More updates over the next few days, but for now, I need to go back to lesson planning!