Regional Expert Recap: Helping Women Travel in Southeast Asia

October 29, 2014
Helping Women Travel in Southeast Asia

Over the past few months, I’ve worked with Pink Pangea as a Regional Expert, and have helped gather information about travel in Southeast Asia. At the very beginning of 2013, I moved to Phenom Penh, Cambodia, where I received my TESOL certification before moving on to live in Bangkok, Thailand, where I taught ESL for over a year.

The opportunity was totally a blessing for me – after several months of no call backs and job rejections in my home cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia, this gave me a chance to start over fresh, to do something I was really passionate about and interested in. It also gave me the opportunity to explore Thailand and Cambodia, as well as Singapore, Laos, Nepal, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, and even New Zealand. However, even after visiting all those places I still found myself really in love with Bangkok. It’s such a dynamic and bright city, and after a few months I found myself talking about it to anyone who would listen. Thankfully, I was able to meet several new expats who were more than happy to hear me talk all about the great places to eat, the places to visit, and things to do on any day of the week in the big city.

I’ll never forget the first time I got the chance to help out another group of expats. I had been living in Thailand for about seven or eight months at this point, and I was meeting these women whom I had met through Facebook (and another friend) for lunch. Two of them had only been in Bangkok for about a month, and the third had only arrived a few weeks ago! They were enjoying themselves and had mostly settled down, but still, coming into a new city in a foreign country is a scary prospect for anyone, especially alone.

It was not only a fun chat, but I felt like a guru of all things Bangkok.

We ended up spending nearly two hours talking together–me, my friend, and these three women who had just moved into the city about anything we could think of. How Roast in Thong Lo is the best place for a western brunch, or how the fifth floor food court in Terminal 21 is a great place for cheap Thai food in air conditioning, where to find a Tesco or Big C for those new house basics, and what language schools are great to work at.

It was not only a fun chat, but I felt like a guru of all things Bangkok. It was really incredible, and I honestly loved being able to help. And when I started traveling, I found just as many other travelers, expats, and locals willing to help me learn about the cities and countries I was visiting, just like I was helping out anyone who wanted to explore Bangkok.

I hope that with the information I was able to collect as a Regional Expert, it’s just as useful to you readers as it was for me, and for all those I’ve been able to give advice to in the past.

About Katherine Apelian

Kat Apelian is a recent graduate who spent the past year living as an ESL Teacher in Bangkok, Thailand, followed by many months of traveling throughout Asia and the Pacific. She’s now back home in the States figuring out what her next big adventure should be. You can read about her experiences and other travels on her Tumblr.

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