Friday, March 4, 2016

Being spontaneous in Malaysia and Thailand

For more than a year, I planned what became monster trip to Asia—seven days at a school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, two days at a school in Phuket, Thailand, and five days at four schools in Hong Kong. The way it shaped up, the bookings spread over four weeks with six weekdays that no schools requested.

While getting a week to tool around Asia would certainly be fantastic, it's not where I'm at in life. I'm already away from my family for too long; on top of that, to then spend rather than earn money for a week did not sit well with me.

The school visits started on February 15. By the next day, thanks to the kind word of mouth of educators who had just heard me present, I began to fill that gap week. Ultimately, I was able to schedule appearances for three of the five days—two schools and a company. Complicating that was the fact that one of the schools and the company were in Kuala Lumpur—but I was already in Thailand. Luckily, Asia has good budget airlines.

My gap week, revised:

  • Monday 2/29—rescheduled date for British International School of Phuket; that evening flew (back) to Kuala Lumpur (where I'd been from 2/13 to 2/23)
  • Tuesday 3/1—British International School of Kuala Lumpur in the morning, Astro TV in the afternoon; that evening flew back to Phuket
  • Wednesday 3/2—Phuket International Academy
  • Thursday 3/3—flew to Chiang Mai in the north, Thailand's second largest city, for two days before leaving for Hong Kong on 3/5; speaking of being spontaneous, I landed in Chiang Mai without knowing where I would sleep that night

Huge thanks again to Jeremy Townend at the British International School of Kuala Lumpur, Hakim Amir at Astro TV, and Lynne Nigalis at Phuket International Academy for inviting me on such short notice. Your spontaneity is a gift to your students (and to me). If this proves anything, it's that author visits can be relatively easy (and definitely quick) to put together!

British International School of Kuala Lumpur:

 courtesy of Jeremy Townend

Astro TV, a large content provider:

 courtesy of Hakim Amir

They asked me to do a selfie with the audience:

Phuket International Academy:

courtesy of PIA

Day 1 of 2 in Chiang Mai; at the gate to the old city, which dates back to the 1200s:

This place is not as exclusive as it might seem:

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