In To Travel Hopelessly English Teacher X shares how his journey began in the first installment of the ‘Burnout Trilogy’ series. It begins with him bumming it on a quaint beach in Thailand where surf, sun, drugs and a French girl was the way of life. Realizing that he can’t live on forever on this island, he makes his way to Bangkok—the home of hedonism.
Although I don’t know much about the history of TEFL, it seemed like it was budding in the 90’s, just when ETX is getting his start. It was an easy means for degenerates, lackeys, bums and perhaps even a few decent souls to fund their taste for travel:
…cultural proportions it now has, and the EFL industry was rapidly attaining a sort of pseudo-professional gloss bolstered by the various “EFL teaching certificate” rackets, a shiny facade that was drawing eager kids off the internet in droves. In fact, it seemed to be replacing backpacking as the most popular “year after college” option. Hey, bitch, I can fake professionalism as well as the next guy.
Unlike many English Teachers who teach for a short-term just to ‘see the world’, X actually makes a career out of it. He teaches in 7 countries in 5 years, hopping across the globe from Thailand to Korea to Russia and even a yearlong stint in NYC, where he decides to ditch the USA in favor of becoming an expat.
[The English teachers in NYC] didn’t get drunk. They didn’t take drugs. They couldn’t really afford it, because they spent all their money on hair dye and rent. Nobody made jokes, other than the most obvious and banal ones, because they might be offensive to somebody.
In Bangkok we’d talked about whores, venereal diseases, and drunken misadventures, while drinking enormous quantities of beer. In New York I couldn’t even mention I’d been in Bangkok. People would lecture me about how Thailand and its products should be boycotted, though most had only a very general idea why.
The Beginning of Something….Beautiful?
I actually read this book after Vodkaberg (it’s the 2nd in the series) because that’s what was recommended to me. And as of this writing I’ve already finished the trilogy, so I can write this with a perspective on all three books.
To Travel Hopelessly really highlights the growth of ETX. Not only in his professionalism (okay, maybe that’s a strong word for him), but with his writing style too. I felt like this book was a bit jumpy and lacked a cohesive theme like Vodkaberg does.
It’s also easy to notice in the latter half of the series he becomes introspective, if not a bit jaded—the name of the series is the ‘BURNOUT Trilogy’ for a reason. Yet in this first installment you can really vicariously enjoy the hedonistic life of sex, drugs, and English Teaching Abroad.
This book is actually FREE on Kindle—a successful marketing ploy because after you finish this you will have no choice but to buy the remainder of the books.
Click here to get your copy of To Travel Hopelessly by English Teacher X on Amazon.