About

Hi, I’m Jessica! I like to do things that scare me. It’s why I travel solo. It’s why I teach. It’s why I rock climb and summit mountains. It’s why I put my thoughts on paper and share them with the world.

Why?

Because in every experience there is growth, and in every conquered fear there is tremendous reward.

Since I strive to lead a life worth writing about (and hopefully inspire a few others along the way), this blog is a space for me to do just that. Here you will find stories about adventure travel, teaching English abroad and outdoor pursuits.

Travel, for me, is synonymous with adventure. I’ve eaten turtle soup in Cambodia, been stranded on the roadside and left to hitchhike in both Thailand and Cuba, couch surfed across northern India alone, and crashed on a motorcycle in Colombia. While some stories on this blog might be better read as a “How NOT To…” article, I believe even bad experiences make great stories, and of course there is always a lesson to be learned.

This blog started as a place for me to document my ESL teaching explorations in Thailand and China — jobs which built a platform that helped me earn the competitive opportunity to teach freshmen composition as a graduate student at Colorado State University. It was a fun challenge and I took it head on. In one year I had managed to convert a few students to writing fields, and to inspire a few more to travel.

Guess which excited me more?

Yep.

I now help others achieve their dreams of teaching English abroad via Teach English: ESL, where I sell personally-vetted and internationally accredited TEFL certification courses with job placement in Thailand, Costa Rica and Nicaragua (and growing!).

I’m an advocate for traditional education (I hold a M.A. in English/creative nonfiction and a B.A. in journalism), but I believe I’ve learned more about the world and my place in it by immersing myself in other cultures.

That first one-way ticket to Thailand continues to change my life in ways I could never have imagined when I waved goodbye to those who love me, fear for me and encourage me. That country captured my heart, but since then so many more have vied for a place in it and I’m finding that there is more than enough space in each of our hearts for an entire world full of love.

Sidenote: All the photos on this blog are mine, unless otherwise mentioned. Please ask before using.

31 Comments

  1. -B says:

    This is amazing Jessica – enjoy the journey and remember to take time to reflect on cultural diversity.

  2. Khun Jessica

    Welcome to Thailand.

    I hope you truly do enjoy the experience.

    Somchit

  3. Caroline says:

    Hi Jessica, I’m Caroline! I truly relate to your sense of adventure and affinity with language! I’ve studied abroad in college, but always thought I’d teach English overseas. May I ask how old you are and how you came to decide to teach English in Thailand? 🙂

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hi Caroline. I’m glad you found my blog. I’m 25, and I wound up in Thailand for many reasons. 1) I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to travel and write. So, teaching English was a way to make that a lucrative goal. 2) In the process of getting my online TEFL (I used ITTT), I decided I might actually like to teach writing, and that the adventure I was preparing for might be a great way to get my feet wet. 3) I chose Thailand because I found a company (AYC) that allowed me to sign a 6-month contract instead of 1-year, like most, and what’s not to love about a tropical climate with friendly people?

      By far, this has been the best experience of my short life. I would recommend it to everyone with a little sense of adventure and a laid back attitude. See my post about getting started here: http://jessicajhill.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/you-want-to-teach-abroad/

      Let me know if you have any more questions. I’m happy to help.

  4. {lv} says:

    Jessica, thanks for the comment on my blog! Life is all about the adventure — why not, right? 😀
    That’s amazing that you’re teaching in Thailand and despite not what to expect, I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time learning about the culture and language. I, myself, love languages and immersing in different cultures. It’s about the experience —something new & different, but remarkable and gaining new knowledge—- I have always wanted to teach abroad for a year or so. I’m reading your ‘you want to teach abroad?” post and it’s really helpful! Thank for that wonderful insight!
    I’ll be in Vientiane, Laos until mid-June so if you wanna meet up here let me know. I’ll be glad to show you around (despite not knowing how to speak Laotian). Enjoy the rest of your adventure!

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hello! You absolutely should teach abroad. It’s an experience you’ll never regret, and it really allows you to see part of a culture you wouldn’t be able to if you were just traveling through.

      I’ll definitely get in touch before I head to Vientiane. It would be nice to have you show us around!

  5. Alex Barker says:

    I don’t know how else to get ahold of you, but please send me an email so we can catch up! Your travel look incredible!
    Barker

  6. Daniela says:

    Hi,

    I think you have a great blog here and doing great things really. Travelling and writing and teaching … fantastic!

    Daniela

  7. Courtney says:

    You are living my dream! Once my kids are older, I am doing this! Thanks for finding me and following, because I am wicked excited to follow along with you on your journey!

  8. Yes very succinct aims. I sometimes feel the thing I enjoy most about travelling is trying to write about it.

  9. Kimbernator says:

    You are so awesome! I am the only one out of all my friends who has traveled extensively, and as you and I both know, they’re missing out on a pretty incredible book. 🙂

  10. thirdeyemom says:

    Just popped by for a second and I can’t wait to read it!!! I got so sick after India so this time I’m definitely being more careful. I will catch up on your posts as soon as I get time (never get much with two kids!) Thanks for telling me about your blog! Nicole

  11. Nitin says:

    Teaching inspires…keep up the good work!!!

  12. Wow! You are living a life that most of us dream about. Travelling, meeting new people of various cultures, sharing the priceless gift of learning and friendship. Your blog is a blessing to all. Thanks.

  13. I’ve nominated you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger award’! Check out my post to see how it works! http://katiewanderlust.com/2013/08/20/the-blogs-that-have-inspired-me/

  14. So glad I came across your blog Jessica, I look forward to reading more!

  15. Jennifer says:

    Hi Miss Adventure,

    Your website is really awesome. I’m thinking about teaching English at a summer camp in Thailand, maybe in Bangkok, and wanted to know if you could recommend any camps or places where to get info about such. This is my first time going to Thailand/Asia so I’m just trying to find info. I’d sincerely appreciate it! Thanks

  16. Andy says:

    Hey Jessica,
    Cool blog! I taught English in Brazil and have quite the travel bug myself. Where is next on your list of places to soak into? I hope to correspond… Feel free to email:-)

    Andy

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hi, Andy! Wow, I’d love to hear about your adventures in Brazil. That sounds amazing. The travel bug never leaves me alone, and I’m sure you understand. I just returned to Colorado from a long weekend in San Francisco which was amazing, but my next international adventure will hopefully be Mexico and Cuba next summer (if I can wait that long!). What about you?

      Do you have a blog? Social media?

  17. Max Guarnaccia says:

    Hello, my name is Max Guarnaccia I am a 23 year old graduate student in the Washington D.C. area, I admire what you have done and your passion for travel, I have similar interests. I have taught art in San Isidro, Nicaragua, English in Ipiales, Colombia and have started a small landscaping company in Brussels, Belgium within the past 18 months. I am interested in taking my travels to Asia to teach English. I had a few questions about the necessity of TEFL cert, which programs/countries are most reliable, and general timing and budgeting questions, perhaps you could help answer a few of these at your convenience. I also have some great connects in central and south america i would be happy to share if you were ever interested in taking your travels in that direction. Any response would be enormously appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Max Guarnaccia

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hi, Max!

      I’m so glad you got in touch. I’m very interested in learning about your opportunities in Latin America, and I think I can help you out with your job search in Asia. I’m sending you an email shortly.

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