Apart from our Families, Friends and Bills we have no anchors in the U.S. We love it like that. I wish we could just float *inserts Schoolboy Q’s Floating lyrics* (Might turn into a ghost, bum bitch, yes I’m floating…). Extra is not our style. In fact we are minimalists in our approach to seeing the world but …. we got bills to pay to keep our businesses floating and to keep the credit scores looking right so we cannot totally detach ourselves. That said, we do not have a U. S. phone number or address and this creates some problems when it comes to paying our bills from outside of the country. Here is a short list of things you need in order to pay your bills while out of the country. Read more
Heyyy! This post is geared toward new VIPKid teachers or to you if you want to get more VIPKid Bookings. First off, welcome to the family new teachers! This is an exciting life and it can lead to many additional opportunities. Next, it is going to be alright your schedule will get full, you will get more VIPKID bookings. The Chinese Culture is much different from our Western-way-of life. Once you can understand what they are looking for I believe you will be able to better supply it to your soon to be customers.
A little about Nomadic Wander. My wife and I have been teaching with VIPKid for two years. I contracted with them while I worked a corporate job in the states and my wife worked with them full-time. We now both contract with them as we travel the world. We also worked in central China teaching at a university for 8 months. While we taught at Wuhan University of Science and Technology we still worked our VIPKid jobs and we taught elementary kid students (man we made some bank over there…) on weekends. I say all this to let you know where I am drawing my information from. We both belong to FB VIPKid groups and what not but we also have first-hand experience of what the expectations of parents are and what the parent-child dynamic is in China and it is different.
How the hell do you get more VIPKid Bookings?
There are plenty of blogs with a wealth of information about long term travel. This is not one of them. This is an Oops Blog. The 5 Things we wish we would have done before we hit the road. We have transitioned from novice travelers to a full time travelers and now we are transitioning to professional travelers. So retrospectively speaking we have about 5 things we would do differently so we flipped those 5 short sights into 5 tips for the future you.
Our 5 Missed Steps
We are on our first staycation:
: a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
- Learn how to say “hello, good bye, please, thank you, I don’t speak ______” in the native tongue.
- Find a safe clean place to stay in a residential neighborhood.
- Research and download the applications that “the people” are using (google it).
- Grab some groceries.
- Smile, be approachable, and engage with people and make some connections.
- Talk to the host if using a homestay and talk to taxi drivers – they usually have the best info.
This trip we are traveling through Thailand and the island of Bali in Indonesia. We used to try to see a lot of towns in 3 day stints but we could never really get a handle of the culture or an understanding of the people. Now we try to stay in a single place for at least 2 weeks….if we can. Ideally, we will find a base and stay there for a couple of months and do some archaeological type of digging into the culture.
We are in Bali for a few weeks. After googling which apps to download we found that the locals use an app called Grab (and Uber) to get reasonable taksi (taxi) rides. We caught a grab to Mal Bali Galeria and it cost us 22K ($1.75 USD) from our residence. When we were ready to come home we wanted to see how much it would cost if we didn’t use the app.
We asked how much a cab would cost and the mall concierge quoted us 250K IDR ($20 USD). An average tourist would think that was okay but your American dollar should do a lot more for you. Needless to say, we used our Grab app and paid the 22K to get home.
We have been on the road for almost 3 weeks. None of the places we have stayed had a washing machine so we washed our clothes by hand until we could locate a laundry mat. There are no traces of them on the main strips or by the malls or by popular restaurants; though, we saw plenty in residential neighborhoods. To compare, we inquired about the laundry service at a nearby hotel – their price list was a freaking joke. One laundered sweater = $10k, while the neighborhood laundry mat charged the same amount per kilogram of clothes which is very reasonable. AND they came pressed and folded, see image 🙂
We’re just trying to stretch our dollar, and live smarter everyday.
Half speaking the language half gesturing we waved down a combi (a shuttle van filling the gap in public transportation). 13 deep we rolled-out to our final destination. We hustled got some direction written on a Burger King napkin, backtracked about 3 times but we finally got the right bus…
While walking home last night, after our awesome New Years evening the city was washing out 2013. The streets were flooded. Evidently while we were two-stepping and salsa’ing the night away the weather was doing its own one two on the city (glad we were not on an island ;-).
The major cleansing had already happened. My future and I walked through Cancun’s flooded streets beneath a lite drizzle. At times we had to detour by entire city blocks to cross the street, while trying to stay our course in what we hoped was the right direction of home was #Quality.
Another NY, another country, another great night. It feels like memory lane is being decorated and we are just a part of the decor. That walk home may have been the best part. A little rain, semi-lost, with gentle hands and kisses between flooded city blocks in a foreign land. It was nice. Our conversation was just as soft as our gestures nothing too heavy just a nice flow. We decided that we would find Port Juarez to see the island that we didn’t get to see tonight. We wanted to travel like everyone else did who lived in the city, not by cab…But first we would hit Walmart to stock up on food and supplies for our stay in the Yucatan.
It was all so real, it was surreal. We found our way home easily (for the most part), mostly because earlier that evening we explored the general area looking for our place…that’s another story. We made it home after stopping for some junk food and refreshments. We were heading up to our sweet suite for the night when the night attendant interrupts us and hands us a voucher for a discounted breakfast in the adjoining restaurant Cafe Nader.
Over breakfast on new years day we made our agenda. A hike to Walmart, lunch and then find our way to Port Juarez to catch a ferry over to Isla Mujers.
Finding Port Juaraz was not easy with the language barrier and Us being oblivious to the public transportation system.
Our Time on Isla Mujers
Riding along the gulf of Mexico. Pitch of night. High tides. Live music playing with my arm around my Love. The skies ceiling is painted with what seems like a million luminary creatures singing their song to me. To me, because this moment is frozen in time. The hard swaying of the ship, the performer singing in a soft song in a foreign tongue, with my woman fast asleep in my arms for most of our seafaring journey. She worked hard today. We don’t vacation as tourists we go-hard on anthropological adventures. We absorb the culture as much as we can by hanging with the locals as much as we can. Coasting back to Cancún to prepare for departure in the morning. The urban portion of our adventure is coming to an end. At least some portion of the population spoke English here. We are headed deeper into the country tomorrow. Heading into Merida where we are not expecting to run into too many folks who communicate in our native tongue.
On our way back to our suite we grab some KFC and some ice cream as we are walking we run it to a family-type of festival going on. Kids racing mini-cars, food vendors everywhere, games, and more singing. Mexico loves to sing. This is a nice end to our stay in Cancun.
-Today was a good day.