What is your favorite travel memory?
Spending time with my good friends and local family in a small village in the South of Thailand called Taput. On weekends we'd help build their river cottage, and spent time sleeping in hammocks on the balcony, sipping rewarding Changs with great conversations on what independent living is all about.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
TravelBud has allowed me to travel more with flexible working hours and locations. Not being restricted to a 9-5 and office environment has allowed me to pursue my dreams and goals while working for a company that treats it's employees, applicants, partners and directors the same way, with understanding, loyalty and integrity.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
The first month is the hardest! We placed an applicant in Thailand about 10 months ago, he was diligent in the application process, showed great resolve in tackling on all the logistics prior to departure and did a lot of research about ESL and what it would be like.
After the completion of our in-class TESOL course however, he struggled greatly with settling into his placement. He was on the verge of begging to be re-placed and even considered going home!
When we asked him recently about this he mentioned that looking back it was almost entirely culture shock. Once he settled into the slower pace of life and had learned some Thai, his experience changed vastly.
He started focusing on the beauty of the area, the farmlands and mountains and realized how beautiful his town was. Once he learned to travel effectively, he didn't feel so cut off. He left his town in Thailand with a heavy heart and could have seen himself staying there for several years had his placement not been short term.
His experience had made him grow in so many ways, and made him forever grateful because so many people would never have a chance like this.
This really resonated with me, too often we take things for granted and even through struggling we can grow.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
South Korea. I have taught in Thailand and South Korea is definitely on my bucketlist. The only reason I have not gone yet is because I could never leave Travelbud. The biggest reason I would choose South Korea is because of the benefits - free flights, accommodation and a great salary. All this and you're still able to work with children.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
We have all actually taught ESL. We have first hand experience with all of the destinations we offer and do not offer programs we have not tried and tested.
I can't think of any one time I've woken up anything but happy to help people experience what I was so privileged to experience. I suppose every time I see a successful teacher in one of our destinations I am proud of every member of the team - from accounts, to marketing, management and IT - as we all played a part in assisting someone to have a truly unique experience.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Being truly passionate about offering the best experience for all our clients.