Published on December 4th, 2011


Time Out for Dreaming…

Still knee-deep in CELTA drudgery here, (well o.k. with but a week to go til graduation, let’s make that “ankle-deep” to be accurate – yay!)  I have no less than FOUR assiignments/chores due tomorrow (Monday): two resubmits on Written Assignments 2 & 3, plus first (and hopefully last) Written Assignment 4, plus my EIGHTH (woo-hoo!) Teaching Lesson to present bright ‘n early manana morning.  The latter is on the world-wide state of the housing industry no less (I mean, these are Intermediate EFL students true, but geez – a lesson in global economics seems a bit much for a passel of young Vietnamese students, no?)  Ah well, no doubt somehow I’ll muddle through.

ANYWAY, so here I sit on a Sunday morn, with the WA2 & 3 resubmits all nicely tweaked, my TP8 ready to go (save for pecking the tedious 8 pg. Lesson Plan), and the WA4 nearly in the bag.  The latter chore was an easy one – basically a couple of pages on my experience w/ the CELTA to date (dare I say I uh, left out the bountiful “H-E-doubleL”s that I’ve liberally been plopping here about it) plus a bit about my anticipated “Developmental Action Plan – short term plans for after the course”.  Errr… “1. Sleep for a week!”, and “2…..”

Which brings me to the (most deliciously delightful) crux of my post this morning.



After a month of (did I mention those doubleLs?) with nose-to-seriously-grueling-grindstone here, I’m now dreaming of life after the CELTA.  Honestly, after the non-stop month-long marathon of it, it’s hard to imagine what life used to be/could in the future be like with a day or two (or OMG, a whole WEEK or three!) to simply dally, to twiddle thumbs, to… wiggle toes in say… some nice warm tropical sand…


Clearly not a self-portrait, but hey – a girl can dream, can’t she?

The truth is, I’m not much of a “beach” person in my travels.  I’ve seen many wondrous beaches in Greece, Panama, Costa Rica, South Africa, Bali, etc. – it honestly seems they’re all pretty much the same.  Yes, idyllic to be sure, but otherwise to me it’s rather “a beach is a beach is a beach”, and I’m much more interested in traipsing through remote mountain hideaways, exploring jungles and such, and getting to know the locals.

Nonetheless, after said double-Ls here, I’m looking to treat myself to THE most decadent, carefree, wriggle-toes-in-sand-for-hours-on-end.  And thus…

I just spent the most DELICIOUS morning searching Kayak for flights to said tropical paradises nearby.  Oh I plan on teaching – as in actually getting a j-o-b for a spell (ideally a 6 month part-time contract with ILA else some such in Dalat), but in the meantime…

The best part of this lock, stock ‘n barrel move to SEA is that I’m pretty much fancy free (within reason) to wander about as long as I do it halfway frugally.  And believe me, I’ve spent an entire LIFETIME honing my skills in traveling on a shoestring.

ANYWAY, a purely DELICIOUS morning, checking airfares to every stray corner of this half of the globe.  To places  I can’t even pronounce (like “Popayato” in the Phillipines – who knew?, and “Papondetta” in Papua New Guinea, and “Pematangsiantar” in Malaysia – geez, what’s with the tongue-twisting “P”s people?)  And the most “delicious” part?  Well the dreamy array of tropical choices of course, but even moreso – the suh-weet airfares now that I’m based on this side of the world.

Flights to Singapore are just $142 rt. from here in HCMC, and from there one can zip to Indonesia (which offers a gazillion tropical options including the Gili Islands which I missed on my trip to Bali 2 years ago) for less than 100 bucks rt.  Indeed, the fares to most anywhere on this side of the Int’l Date Line are (not surprisingly) verily HALF what they’d be from my beloved Seattle.  And that’s PRECISELY why I chose to settle here.  Macau for example is just $449, likewise most anywhere in the Philippines (I’ve been meaning to check out a spot called “Bellagio” in the mountains, w/ a climate similar to Dalat/Seattle). And for a bit more, there’s Japan, Taiwan, or most anywhere in China.

Ah, all so delectable to dream of…

Then again, I may just opt for some sweet beach right here in Vietnam (of which there are oodles of course).  Or… if ILA offers me a teaching position, I might opt against an extended month or so dallying/exploring some nearby tropical land, in favor of grabbing a bit of teaching experience right here in HCMC.

In any case, dreaming is utterly FREE, doesn’t have any calories, and most surely lifts my beleaguered spirits here as I head into the last week of CELTA chores.

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About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

5 Responses to Time Out for Dreaming…

  1. Scott says:

    I am recently kind of obsessed with the Perhentian Islands off Malaysia. They sure look “idyllic” and I am planning on hitting them next year for sure!

    • says:

      @Scott – yep, I too have heard great things about the Perhentians, but somehow I’ve now been sidetracked by a bunch of orangutans, and am planning to explore the jungles and beaches of Sumatra this trip instead.

      Ah, but this globe is surely a most fascinating spinning ball of wonder. And ’tis sweet to have so many delicious tropical options at our fingertips, yes? 😉

  2. Carolyn says:

    Sometimes it’s somewhat mind-boggling for those of us from the western hemisphere to realize that 86% of the world’s population lives in the eastern hemisphere…I can’t wait to hear about more of your wanderings…once you’re through the next three days!

    By the way, it’s 35 degrees in this SEA right now.

    • says:

      @Carolyn good grief, that’s nearly ZIP Celsius! Honestly, I’ve been so bogged down w/ the CELTA here in the tropics, it’s hard to believe that it’s December – indeed, nearly CHRISTMAS!! – back there in my beloved Seattle.

      Meanwhile, here in HCMC, it’s not nearly as swelteringly oppressive as I expected – right now (Saturday, 9am) it’s a lovely 72F.

  3. Very good report! Good Skyping Saturday. Yep, you’ll deserve an exotic break.

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