Traveling & Teaching Tales from Thailand with Julie Asaro

It’s one thing to be spontanteous and up and go away for a weekend, or a week, or even get a major wild hair and go travelling for a month somewhere on a whim, but to decide to up and move to another continent, and immerse yourself in a culture so unlike your own, well…that just takes major cajones! But taking risks is nothing new to teacher/actor, Julie Asaro.
Actor/teacher, Julie Asaso, takes a trip of a lifetime to help others learn, but what she learns about herself during this journey is life changing

Actor/teacher, Julie Asaso, takes a trip of a lifetime to help others learn, but what she learns about herself during this journey is life changing

 A few months ago, Julie decided to leave life as she knew it in sunny California, and venture off to teach elementary students in Thailand. I caught up with her recently, and got the scoop on this incredible journey she’s taking.
What was your inspiration for up and moving to Thailand to teach?
I had always wanted to teach abroad and I was in a place in my life where I could make the move. Also, I had just gone through a difficult personal situation and I wanted something that would be life changing. 
Of all the places in the world, (not to mention English-speaking places), why Thailand?
My sister’s niece has a friend who had just returned from teaching in Thailand. She really enjoyed it, so I read her blogs and did some research and thought, “why not?” There were places in Southeast Asia that I had always wanted to visit and this would be a great opportunity to allow me to do so.
Julie's love of teaching children has gone international

Julie’s love of teaching children has gone international

Wow, a teaching program in Thailand! How cool is that? Tell us what the program is all about?

The program, Council on International Education Exchange, places mostly young adults who have recently graduated from college in foreign countries to teach English and share their culture whether it’s American, British, Irish, German, etc. There are opportunities to teach in many Asian and European countries for one or two semesters. 
What kinds of travel experiences are you able to do, as a result of this job?

To date, my travel has only been in Thailand. I have been to Bangkok three times, Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, Koh Changan island in the Gulf of Thailand, Chanthaburi and Pratchuap Khiri Khanbeach towns in southern Thailand and Khon Kaen. However, next month I have a three week break between semesters, and I will be going to China to see the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warrior Army, Hanoi, Vietnam and Bali, Indonesia. My plans after that will include traveling to Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and possibly Malaysia in addition to more exploration within Thailand. It’s fairly easy and inexpensive to travel here as all the countries mentioned are very close if not bordering Thailand.

Julie hits the ground running to explore all that Thailand has to offer

Julie hits the ground running to explore all that Thailand has to offer

What’s been your most favorite day trip, so far?

My favorite day trip was about two weeks ago when I went from Bangkok to the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. I’m a huge history nerd, so it was very interesting to see the museums and walk across the bridge. The trip also included a train ride on the Death Railway and a bamboo raft ride down the river. On the way back to Bangkok we stopped at a WWII cemetery and a beautiful waterfall. I did all of this for about $40!!
What has been this most eye-opening part of taking this leap and doing this?
I guess the most eye-opening thing for me is that I am much braver than I thought I was. I have always been fairly confident, but this move proved to me that I can do and go wherever I want to, without help or approval from anyone. That is very liberating.
Would you recommend others do this?  Why or Why not?
I would absolutely recommend this to anyone willing to step out of their comfort zone and experience new cultures. Interacting with people from a different country and different way of life forces you to put your own life into perspective and realize what is and is not important. In my humble opinion, after family and friends, the most important thing is to live in the moment and enjoy each day fully. As my best friend once told me, “This (life) is not a dress rehearsal.”
Thank you Julie!  We are thrilled to announce that we will be running a series of your articles about your Thailand adventures, while you are there!  So thank you for sharing!!!
For more on Julie’s Thailand trips, tips and tales, check out her blog article: Taking Flight
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