Going through Greenheart Travel wasn’t too much work.
Join a bunch of Facebook groups and go on Reddit to find people that have loads of advice
From Greenheart in the US, they send you off to Xplore Asia Thailand, or whatever country that you want to go to through their program.
In January 2019, I was finishing up my practicum hours through the YMCA in Massachusetts. I loved going and helping the students. I even went longer than I needed because I enjoyed it so much.
I ended up talking to this dude through Facebook who said he was sick of living in the US and was going to teach in Thailand. I was on the same boat too, so I looked into Thailand. I had never thought of going to Asia at all so it was all unfamiliar to me.
Why You Should Choose to Go Through Greenheart Travel
If you are a first-time traveler or teacher, I highly recommend going through either this program or another one. Going abroad for the first time by yourself can be nerve-racking. Unless you are going with a friend or something.
With Greenheart/Xplore Asia Thailand, they figured everything out for you, including your job placement and visa. They also included an orientation week so that was convenient. You have to get all of the paperwork ready but it’s pretty simple. The paperwork includes a background check and a notarized degree. I also had to send my passport to the embassy. I’m not sure if they still do that now. I do have to say it was less stressful going through a program.
The Cost of Xplore Asia
It was expensive but worth it because I was lucky to meet some great people. I ended up paying over USD 1400 to Greenheart, plus the flight which was ~USD 800, amongst other things.
What’s Included in the Program?
They find you a job and insurance is included for your stay. They also include orientation week. Orientation week was Monday-Friday.
We started out in Bangkok and then made our way to Hua Hin.
Muay Thai classes and Rescue Paws were included. Plus we learned some Thai. The animals at Rescue Paws were adorable.
On our last day, we also took a cooking class where we learned to make my favorite Thai dish: som tam.
We stayed at a hotel for the week and then we were off to our teaching spots.
Would I do it again? Definitely not. Nothing against the program, I just can do everything on my own now. You will be able to do it on your own too.
What Happens Once You Get to Asia?
They have someone waiting for you at the airport. Then you are brought to the hotel that they choose. For me, it took an hour to get from the airport to the hotel.
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 terrifying being alone in a new country.
At the hotel is where I met my roommate and future coworker Christina. We were the first to arrive in Thailand so we were roomies.
Once everyone from Xplore arrived in Thailand, we were off to our second location: Hua Hin. That’s where we had our orientation.
From Bangkok to Hua Hin
From Bangkok, you take a van to Hua Hin. It takes about three hours.
Our hotel was 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.
A songtaew would pick us up from the hotel every morning and bring us to where our orientation was. Our orientation was a two-second walk and in the same building as Wagging Tales Cafe. The cafe’s profits went to Rescue Paws, which was a partner company of Xplore Asia.
After class is when we did fun activities such as the Muay Thai and cooking.
On our last night, we went to a beach and had ourselves bonfire.
After Orientation Week with Xplore Asia
The next day we were off to our towns. That’s when a few of us- 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 stayed longer in Thailand and gone to Mahachai if I had never met Christina.
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.
Everything happens for a reason.