TEFL And Travelers

I’m still keeping up with Pigs In The Toilet – right now you can join Jeff for the part of his journey though an isolated village in southern China near Sanjiang, where he encounters some travelers from another travel budget bracket: enough to hire a car and driver.

This got me thinking about EFL teachers meeting up with another, possibly larger, group of people abroad – travelers passing through.

Sometimes there are barriers and I don’t think teachers meet up with travelers as often as one might expect. Sure, there are budget travelers, but they often save in their own higher-income countries and spend more liberally than many EFL teachers because they are on holiday. And while plenty of people think of teaching English abroad as simply icing on the cake of traveling, it is (generarlly) actually work; you spend some of what others would consider your “free time” planning lessons, and can’t just take off on a whim. This is normal fare for teachers, especially when a full-time load is 20-25 contact hours, but something that others just may not stop to consider. Sometimes these different lifestyles make it hard to link up. But if you’re looking to meet travelers – from your home country or elsewhere – you can sign up and offer your couch at Couch Surfing or Hospitality Club.

It can also be great fun to have guests, especially people you know from home, as I found here and here.

You get to show them around your town and they can see where you’re living. If you’re not a new EFL teacher, you may have skipped the tourist attractions, and for a day or two, it can be fun to be a tourist in your host country. Good guests will of course keep in mind that you’re not on holiday, you might even end up being treated to a meal or a drink or three.