Bandana Bandwagon

A couple weeks ago I posted a photo wearing a necktie I had thrifted in Milton, Florida. Weeks prior to the post I had rekindled my love for the necktie trend and realized I needed one stat.IMG_2261

Last week I was picking up some last minute 4th of July details and came across this basic purple bandana for only $1 at Wal-Mart. They have tons of colors to choose from, fyi.

IMG_2587Recently I’ve been noticing a bunch of bloggers I follow have also caught the bandana bug. Current favorite trend that I can’t wait to take advantage of. You’ll most certainly be seeing more of this.bandana1 bandana3 bandana2

 

TEFL 101

Even today, close to four months after having left Prague, questions continue to flood in regarding my time in the Czech Republic.

“What were you doing over there?”

“Was it hard to teach English?”

“How did you find a job?”

“How much do I need to save beforehand?”

“I’m tired and need a change, how did you teach English in Prague?”

I truly enjoy answering all questions thrown at me and take time to thoughtfully answer each one.

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Not only is teaching abroad in Prague a simple decision, but it’s quite easy to execute as well.

The country, as a whole, is inexpensive.

A TEFL course is easy to sign up for.

Finding a job, post course, is made easy by the connections made through The Language House (TLH).

I decided in March that I was going to teach English abroad, and moved at the end of August; in a matter of five months I made all arrangements necessary to tie up loose ends in California and throw myself headfirst into a foreign country.

Upon moving over there, I didn’t know a single person.

I had never been to Prague before.

In fact, I had never been that far East before.

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Beyond the TEFL course I was signed up for, I had no plan regarding job, visa, money or a home.

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I would encourage everyone, at some point in their life, to take a leap and live abroad. Ideally, go on your own and have no expectations. It is such a life changing experience that I’m so incredibly thankful to have accomplished.

Of the twenty something students I took TLH course with, I was one of the first to leave Prague – some seven or eight months after the course. Each of the students found their niche in the country, found a job (or multiple jobs) and made a life in the new country. A pretty good success ratio if you ask me. As of now, a majority of those students are still in Prague.

Teaching English is a very rewarding experience that introduces you to new cultures, ideas and perspectives.

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TLH is a month long intensive course that will give you all the skills necessary to teach English to a non-native speaker. After completing the course I felt confident in my ability to teach private or group language lessons at any age.

I had lesson plans all ready to go, and plans A B and C ready for a lesson that might not go as planned.

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I was set up to successfully teach a class all on my own.

I ended up working full time at an international school, “teaching” 2-5 year old students from all over the world. I use the word “teaching” loosely because it’s quite hard to really teach children that young. They are sponges, everything is new to them. Not only were we teaching, but we were feeding, putting to nap, reading to, and playing with these kiddos all day long.

One of the best parts was seeing these kids from all over the world, from all different backgrounds and native languages, speak to one another…Rather, I should say say, attempt to speak to one another.

For example one of my students had a mother from Ukraine, a father from Saudi Arabia, she was living in the Czech Republic and went to an English language school. This little four year old was already exposed to four different languages on a daily basis. That’s not even including the languages her peers were speaking in their free time.

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My students were from Malaysia, South Korea, Turkey, Africa, Germany, Russia, Chechnya, Ukraine and more. An insane amount of nationalities were covered in one school grade.

The opportunity to work with these kids, speak to them, and watch them learn and grow is one that I never would have imagined I might have.

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So, I say go for it. If you’ve been thinking about living abroad, teaching English as a foreign language, or just going on an adventure, this is one of the best and most affordable ways to make it feasible. Consider this your final push to take the leap into a new life changing experience.

Feel free to email me with any more questions. I didn’t bother covering all the boring logistics and details in this post but will do so in the future; sakehm@gmail.com.

Below are some photos of my sweet little students.


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Heather Bode Photography

Not long ago I met someone on Craigslist. The job market in the Milton and Pensacola area is sparse, causing me to resort to any means necessary in terms of job searching. I came across a photographer “seeking a ‘model’ for some creative shoot” he or she was hoping to do.

Being Craigslist, I was well aware that this could easily be code for: “I’m a skeezy ‘photographer’ seeking nude model that I will likely abduct, cut into bits, burn and bury.” So naturally, I sent an inquiry. (Just kidding, Mom!)

But really, I did send an email, only because the post was created very carefully, it had a great tone, correct grammar usage, and everything was spelled properly- Hard to come by in the world of Craigslist.

I got a quick reply laying out the info and what they were looking for. We set a date to get coffee at the local Starbucks. Mid-day, busy place, should be safe.

To wrap things up, she was sweet, her name is Heather, she is a wonderful photographer interested in fashion and creative shooting and just needed someone to work with! Voila! How convenient, a blogger in need of quality photos, also seeking someone to work with.

We made plans and had our first photo shoot just about a week ago.

Check out Heather’s website here and her blog here.

Wearing: drop-crotch, wrap pant from Asos |Asymmetrical tank by TopShop (old) |DVF scarf from Scout Boutique on Palafox | Rebecca Minkoff sandals245A2212 245A2866 HeatherBode1 245A2702

street smART

Locating street art is always a priority with each new destination. Tastefully done street art typically means you’ve found a potentially “hip” area packed with all sorts of local hubs waiting to be discovered. Over the years I’ve made an effort to track down some cool looking walls and photograph my favorite pieces.

The following six were taken by me in 2012 in East London near Brick Lane.IMG_2258 IMG_2259IMG_2146 IMG_2153 IMG_2156 IMG_2158

Cork, Ireland, 2012
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Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, 2014

Banksy art, London 2015IMG_3233East London, 2015

IMG_3222 IMG_3224Vienna, Austria 2015IMG_3456 IMG_3694Berlin Wall, Germany 2015IMG_3811 IMG_3812 IMG_3818 IMG_3819 IMG_3820 IMG_3845 IMG_3842 IMG_3843

 

Say YES to NO-la

New Orleans, Louisiana is a picturesque city teeming with all sorts of crazy, drunk characters. We spent a long Memorial Weekend there enjoying the architecture, crawfish, people and music. From the Garden District to the streets of the French Quarter, our time in NOLA absolutely did not disappoint.

Although our trip was slightly more on the tame and relaxing side, I see this being a fantastic place for a girls weekend or guy’s trip. There were many a bachelorette and stag party drunkenly roaming the streets.

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Crawfish this time of year is a must. I pity anyone who visits and does not partake in the delightful consumption of these mudbugs. I recommend ordering a couple pounds and sucking the brains. #worthitIMG_0364

 

Who has two thumbs and used to watch Emeril Lagasse with her grandparents? THIS GIRL. The celebrity chef’s flagship restaurant, located in the warehouse district makes for a perfect Saturday night dinner.

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Hotel Monteleone, full of history, hauntings and culture, is one of the last family owned-and-operated hotels in NOLA. Smack dab in the middle of the French Quarter, this places goes above and beyond to make a tourist’s stay comfortable and eventful.

I suggest taking advantage of the rooftop pool and bar.

The hotel’s Carousel Bar is also a must visit. While you drink, the bar rotates slowly, creating a trippy ‘I need another drink’ feeling. So go ahead, indulge, have another before venturing out onto nearby Bourbon Street. IMG_0333

SEES

For those of you interested in History, might I suggest stopping by the National WWII Museum? With a strong interest in history and specifically WWII, this stop was a no brainer for our party.

The museum is recognized as the national WWII museum due to New Orleans being the home of Higgins Industries. Higgins Industries is credited in the creation of the Higgins Boat, an amphibious boat crucial to the success of many operations during WWII, including D-Day in Normandy.IMG_0362IMG_0354

In the mood for a psychic reading? Feeling the need to get back at the girl who used to jump you in the lunch line? Check out Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. They’ve got something for that. Trinkets, spell kits and voodoo dolls can all be purchased here. The museum is quite fascinating. Small, dingy and slightly eerie, the museum gives insight to history of voodoo, including a bio on the voodoo Queen herself. Along with a history lesson, they provide a wealth of knowledge on the current practice of voodoo, which I was surprised to find, is typically used for its positive and helpful powers. Needless to say, we purchased a doll of our own.

Below are more photos of the Garden District and French Quarter. Truly an exquisite city full of activities and a little something for every type of tourist.


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Dear Milton, Florida,

I would like to take the time to commend you on some newly discovered hidden gems scattered throughout your “seemingly” boring boundaries.  I have been pleasantly surprised on multiple occasions over the last few days, as I have stumbled upon various restaurants, cafes and antique shops. I must admit, upon moving to your township two months ago, I was slightly hesitant to leave the comfortable confines of your more attractive, popular, big sister Pensacola, but hereby declare that I have been sorely mistaken. New, self-gathered evidence points that Milton truly is a quaint, entertaining town all on it’s own. That is, if you’re willing to give it a chance.

Well done, Milton. I applaud you and look forward to future discoveries.

With newfound respect,

Sarah

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Alright guys, it’s true – there really are places worth visiting in Milton! I am finding that I am really starting to enjoy myself here. From Bands on the Blackwater activities each Friday evening, to the quaint little thrift shops and antique stores, I’ve certainly been finding a lot to enjoy.

I’ve recently learned that Historic Milton is having some trouble thwarting plans of an intrusive four-lane highway. The highway proposal could potentially destroy old buildings in its charming district as well as redirect any prospective tourism straight out of the pleasant little downtown.

“Saving downtown does not just mean saving our past, it means investing in the brightest future for our beloved little city.”

In honor of small towns everywhere, let’s hop on board and help give Milton a chance to prove itself. For more information read and sign the petition here to help fight for preservation of Milton, Florida’s Historic District.

OR if you live in the area, stop by Old Post Office Antiques. Sign in person and enjoy one of the lovely buildings that could potentially be harmed by the lane add-ons. They also have the most delicious lunch cafe with the sweetest staff.

Wearing: Rag and Bone denim, thrifted neck tie ($1 downtown Milton!), Mango gladiators here (40% off!)



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