Meet Chelsea Cullen, a recent TESOL graduate from XploreAsia’s Teach in Thailand program. She tells us how she left her everyday routine living in New York city to living in Thailand; a rewarding and self discovering experience. 

As an ordinary woman residing outside of New York City, I religiously fulfilled the patterned ordained upon me. Monday through Friday I woke up at 5:30 a.m., drove to my job with resentful eyes, worked 7:30a.m.-2:30p.m., coached 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m., and finally exercised 7:30p.m.-10:30p.m. Everyday. On the weekends, I attempted to maintain a social life with defeated exhaustion. Sound familiar? This ritual is something many people engage in year after year. The bombardment of advertisements and hollow discussions served as excuses for me to continue living a predictable life. The false grin I displayed at public outings began to expose the deep routed wrinkles of dissatisfaction. Mortified at my contentment and unhappiness, I realized a change needed to occur.


Living in Thailand
Living in Thailand
Living in Thailand

As a child, I expected adult-life to be full of adventure and freedom, but these false commercials only sold pipe dreams. Refusing to accept dissatisfaction at the age of 24, I began researching careers that bred expression of individuality. After months of wondering what I wanted out of life, I realized on a boat in Portugal that I was a wanderer; I did not fit in with any societal job description. Acknowledging my black sheep desires, I questioned where to go from this epiphany. I searched for fellow explorers to fuel my step of aberration from conventionality. I discovered a program called XploreAsia from a long lost friend in college. She exposed the same inner turmoil that I was experiencing. Convincing myself that I was not alone, I applied for the blind journey of self-discovery and abandoned the knowing regiment of hypnotic living.

One year later, I kissed my tearful younger brothers, mourning mother, and apprehensive father goodbye. I would be lying if I said it was an emotionless process because it’s not. It is hard. I had second thoughts, struggles, confusion, anger, and sadness. Amidst the roller coaster of self-critique, I discovered how strong, powerful, fearless, inspiring, and beautiful I am. The difficulties listed above are temporary emotions.

The unearthing of individuality remained and continues to remain a permanent component of my life. While living in Thailand, I learned a different language, culture, acceptance, love, determination, selflessness, and happiness. Do not be afraid of the unknown, greatness blossoms through undetected storms… so why can’t you?

For more from Chelsea, read her blog here

XploreAsia offer a 120-hour combination of onsite and off-site training to prepare teachers for school placement, a unique cultural immersion orientation week, and lifelong memories. Our placements allow teachers to see & experience Thailand and Southeast Asia to the fullest. Click here to begin your adventure!

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