I came across Greenheart Travel after I joined a bunch of Facebook groups. From Greenheart here in the US, they send you off to Xplore Asia Thailand.
In January 2019, I was finishing up my practicum hours through the YMCA in a nearby town. I loved going and helping the students. I even went longer than I was needed because I enjoyed it so much.
I ended up talking to this dude through Facebook who said he was sick of life in America and was going to teach in Thailand. I was on the same boat too, so I looked into Thailand.
Would I do it again? Definitely not.
It was expensive but worth it because I was lucky to meet some great people. I ended up paying over $1400 to Greenheart, plus the flight which was ~$800, amongst other things. They give you a full breakdown on their website. I could’ve done most of the things myself as I did with Korea (I ended up finding my job in Korea from a recruiter). Buttttt, going abroad for the first time by yourself can be nerve-racking so I do recommend going with some type of program for your first time. Unless you are going with a friend or something.
Looking back on it now, signing up for Greenheart Travel was a good decision. If I hadn’t gone through them and Xplore Asia Thailand, I would have never stayed in Thailand.
With Greenheart/Xplore Asia Thailand, they figured everything out for you…. job placement, visa, and they included an orientation week so that was convenient. I still had to do everything on my own AKA get my visa, get a background check, and a notarized degree. I do have to say it was less stressful going through a program though.
Some guy picked me up at the airport and brought me to a hotel in Bangkok. That’s where I met Christina. We were the first to arrive in Thailand so we were roomies.
I look back at my ride from the airport to the hotel and it’s funny cause my first time in Asia I was freaking out because I had no cell service from the airport to the hotel. But I was able to look at my Google maps to see where I was going. Although Xplore Asia Thailand did know where I was going, it was still nerve-wracking.
If I were to take a taxi in the US alone for that amount of time with no service, I probably would’ve been in trouble.
The second time (AKA in Korea) I was like “Yeah I won’t have a phone for a bit so here’s my email for my Apple ID. I’m taking a taxi from the airport to my apartment which is about an hour. I’ll let you know when I’m at my apartment” #noworries
Once I got to the hotel since we were the first ones there, Christina and I walked around Bangkok. We were right near the center of everything. We went to a few temples, Chatuchak Market, and the Grand Palace so that was amusing.
Our AC didn’t work…. That was rough. We talked to the front desk and once we returned it was fixed. We got some pad see ew. It was my first time having it and that was the moment I fell in love.
Thennnnn, once everyone from Xplore Asia was there, we were off to our second location: Hua Hin. That’s where we had our orientation.
So, from Bangkok, we took a van to Hua Hin. It was about three hours.
We stayed at Glory Place Hotel and we were right near a Hua Hin Night Market which was cool. They had live music in English, food, and beer. Yay.
The first night we were all in Hua Hin, we went to a nearby 7 and got alcohol and drank near the pool. The pool had a slide. Cool!!!! I split a bottle of Jameson with another girl in the program. It was a good time.
A songtaew would pick us up and bring us to wherever we needed to be that day. Our orientation was a two-second walk and in the same building as Wagging Tales Cafe. That place donated the money that was made to Xplore Asia’s partner company called Rescue Paws. So obviously I had to support every day of orientation.
During our orientation week, we went to a Muay Thai class, went to Rescue Paws, and went to our daily orientation classes. Plus we learned some Thai. The animals at Rescue Paws were adorbs. On our last day, we also took a cooking class where we learned to make my favorite: SOM TAM 💜 It was aaaarrrrooiiiiiii (ah-roy).
We stayed at a hotel for the week. I roomed with the girl that was teaching in China and decided to go through Xplore Asia Thailand for the summer. I think I snored too loudly cause she switched rooms. Woops.
Orientation week was fun cause we all got to hang out and go to a night market that was near our hotel. We listened to some Thai and English music, got food, and skedaddled.
We had a little fun night. We stayed at the hotel and decided to walk to a nearby mall…..on the side of a highway. We walked on the side of a highway.. There were guardrails. But yeah it was uhhh weird? People beeped. But hey we were just some farangs (foreigners in Thai) who didn’t know what to do.
Our last night we went to a beach and had ourselves bonfire. The next day we were off to our towns. That’s when Amy, Dina, myself, and others went off to Bangkok to Media Kids. After Media Kids is when the three of us and the other Xplore Asia peeps split up. The three of us went to Chaiyaphum, and the others were scattered throughout the country.
Although the Greenheart Travel and Xplore Asia Thailand were pricey, I am happy I went through with it because it was such a great experience. I made life-long friendships. I also would have never gone to Mahachai if I had never met Christina.
Everything happens for a reason.