Work and travel

Photo by Ted Trimmer.  Does anyone know the name of this flower?

When I embarked on my trip around the world back in 1968, I had absolutely no trouble finding work to fund the trip.  I was a secretary in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Then, I taught English as a Second Language in Bangkok, Thailand, and after traveling through Europe, I worked as a secretary while studying music at Columbia University in New York City in the 1970s. 

I bring this up, because it is no longer feasible to work and pay as you travel.  My niece K is having the darndest time getting hired in Australia.  After struggling in Sydney, she is now in Melbourne, still looking for work.  Alas, she says, Australians are “racist.”  They won’t hire Asians.  What will she do next?

Another person I know would love to live in Thailand, but unlike me, cannot get a job as an English teacher, because schools now require a diploma or degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language).  He has a Master’s in English, but not in TESL.  When I applied at Thammasat University in 1969, all that was required was a college degree in any subject, and even this was on your word of honor.  No documentation was required.  The American presence was so strongly evident due to the Vietnam War that everyone wanted to learn English from an American.  I was in demand.  Not only did I teach at Thammasat University, but I also taught at Voice of America and AUA Language Center, as well as privately. 

With the money earned, I was able to leave Thailand after ten months and travel through Europe for three months.  The severe winter, however, discouraged me from looking for work in Germany.  So, it was onward to the States.  It took me seven years to return to Hawaii permanently.

I hope something good happens to my niece in Australia.  If not, she will have to return to Hawaii and perhaps finish her degree at the University of Hawaii.  It’s great to be adventurous, but a degree would come in handy, too.  Maybe in TESL?

4 Responses to “Work and travel”

  1. Kay Dennison Says:

    Sounds like you had quite an adventure! I wish I’d had the courage to defy my mother and do something like that!

  2. Quilly Says:

    The world used to be a very different place in many aspects. Much has changed for the better. Much has changed for the worse. Unfortunately prejudice and ignorance never seem to change much, they just shift to different forms or locals.

  3. billy Says:

    When you are on vacation, it may mean that you can let your hair down but you also have to keep in mind that this is definitely not a time to let your guard down. Wherever you may be and whatever you may do, it is important that you keep yourself in the safe zone and this is especially critical when you are traveling.

  4. ahmet Says:

    Thanks for the awesome post. I’m very enjoyed while reading this. Work&Travel is such a great program for foreign students. I hope I will attend it next year 🙂 Have a great day

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