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To Travel Hopelessly: Five Years of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (The Burnout Trilogy Book 1) by [English Teacher X]
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To Travel Hopelessly: Five Years of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (The Burnout Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 1799 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: November 28, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051W1BRS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,632 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The book is funny and captures most of the problems teachers find abroad -- particularly in more openly corrupt countries --, but it's a pity that it only represents part of the group: socially awkward, problematic people with little or no experience in teaching, generally irresponsible and financially unstable, who have nothing to lose and who spend a great sum in drugs, alcohol and prostitutes. I'm a teacher too (though not of English), and most of the language teachers I've come across in Asia over the past years were normal, down-to-earth people. "Most of them", because you can surely find some nutcases in this field, like in any other.

Maybe the book is very good at representing the generation who was in their late twenties during the 90s...? Surely, the author's intention was NOT to depict the current situation in TEFL, but I keep imagining some people might give up their plans of going abroad to teach, thinking that everything is still like this today.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As someone with a similar work history as the infamous English Teacher X I can highly recommend his travel memoir. I've taught in similar Soviet hell holes as well as Korea and Eastern Europe and I can attest that X's travelogue is brutally honest, accurate and truly funny. He's the Henry Miller of English teachers. If you liked Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" this is the book for you-depraved and deranged ex-pats searching for something or simply just trying to escape and with the brevity that Miller lacks. His take on the perverts, nut-jobs, alcoholics and drug fiends that inhabit the teaching world is honest and endearing. A neglected yet vital topic he covers are the nutty and desperate student groupies who make TEFL teaching either incredibly enjoyable or nerve racking-depending on how nutty/beautiful the student is. The chapter, "About a Whore" is about his brief time with a prostitute named "Oh" and it is about the most touching thing I've read in a long time. If Julia Roberts had half the charm of "Oh" she'd be worth watching. Despite or because of his debauchery you'll be rooting for X as he wanders from one TEFL hell hole to the next.

A must read for anyone thinking teaching English overseas!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this book as it was free and about, in part, Thailand. The book was a quick and easy read. I had no laugh out loud moments, but I did find the story to be engaging, and reasonably well written. A bit more detail, and more words would have been nice, as I found the story to be interesting. I couldn't give 3.5 stars so I rounded up as it was free.
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Nice read, sometimes dark, sometimes funny, always frank. It was nice to read what I believe was a completely honest unapologetic account of teaching abroad. ETX does eventually fall into the same trap most male English teachers abroad fall into, which is talking about the easy access to sex and his willingness to sometimes partake. As well as the willingness of others. It is a fact of the business, that as a woman who is heading out soon for her own teaching experiences you just has to come to terms with. He has a lot of useful info and the books are super entertaining. I will read his others books and have already bought several of them!
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I admit, I only read to the 35% point. I was hoping for "teacher" stories, interaction with students and student's families. By the 1/3 point in the book, there were NO such tales. Until that point, this was a book about bars and drinking and drugs and other horrible teachers getting stoned and passing out. The writing was good, but understandably repetitive (how many ways can you describe headaches and vomit?)
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I found this book while browsing for some ESL teaching advice, and once I'd read it (which took just a few hours), I immediately recommended it to a friend suffering through a teaching position in Thailand.

"To Travel Hopelessly" is a humorous and accurate depiction of what many, if not most, young English speakers go through when they choose to move overseas and become an English "teacher." English Teacher X shares both the details and the feelings associated with this experience in a way that is both engaging and rewarding. For those who are considering entering the field, the read will raise several cautions. For those already in the field, the read will provide a cathartic "Oh, yeah, it's not just me" feeling.

The book is easy to read and draws you in with an off-hand tone of voice that proves remarkably compassionate despite the many difficulties and disappointments the writer encountered. This is definitely worth the read, and might hook you into reading the other books by English Teacher X that, yes, you might have to pay for.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book. Teacher X seemed to leave a very interesting life partly due to him going places most sane teachers would avoid like the plague but that he seemed to relish partly for the adventure and partly for the cash.
Not recommended for those who wish to follow in his footsteps but for those naive enough to think that a career in English teaching is all happy students and adoration.
Not Graham Greene but a good read.
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By VS on June 6, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this while sick as a dog on a cruise ship because it happened to be one of the few titles downloaded on my Kindle. It made me laugh out loud in between coughing and blowing my nose, so I give it credit for improving my very bad mood. I enjoyed the author's writing style and interesting stories of the various characters he encountered in his travels. If he was my kid, I would have a different opinion of his life, but you have to give him credit for experiencing all kinds of challenging places and people. At least this author has full command of English language and grammar, and apparently went to the trouble of proofreading before publishing, unlike many eBook authors. The book is an entertaining read, though a bit raw (that's what made it funny). I will consider reading subsequent books by English Teacher X.
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