As part of the latest instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner, I chatted to passionate travelling teacher, Jamie of ESL Teacher 365.
Jamie Gajewski is a keen travelling educator over at the lovely, useful ESL Teacher 365 blog. She teaches English as a second language (ESL), a career path that has afforded her some amazing travel experiences around the world.
Growing up in Winsconsin, Jamie fell in love with languages while learning Spanish in middle school. Her teacher, Señora Schilz, not only taught her students about vocabulary and verb tenses – she also enthralled them with tales of her travels abroad.
While majoring in Spanish and Education at university, Jamie then spent time in Granada, Spain and Costa Rica. Her time in the South of Spain opened her eyes to the rich culture of places like North Africa and it was not long before she visited Morocco too.
To date, Jamie has taught thousands of students in several countries, including Costa Rica, Egypt, France, the United States and most recently, Australia.
In 2016, upon marrying her Argentine husband, David – Jamie settled down in Brisbane, Australia to teach English at a language school (she also taught dance before starting her blog).
Jamie is passionate about languages, education, culture and life. She enjoys connecting with and inspiring others. Although she loves to travel and is, in her words, also ‘bird obsessed’, Jamie does not enjoy flying…
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
I have been living and teaching English abroad for ten years. After numerous people asked me how I did it, I decided that I would dedicate part of my teaching blog to helping people live, work and travel abroad.
Living abroad is an extremely enriching experience and I hope everyone can do it for at least one year.
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?
I am a culture vulture and nature lover.
I absolutely love languages and art; I have studied Spanish, French, Egyptian Arabic and Italian – and I am a dancer.
I also love to get lost in the rainforest, visit waterfalls and hike.
3) Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.
1) Komodo Islands, Indonesia:
A stunning natural playground, amazing seafood and friendly people.
2) Granada, Spain:
I lived there twice and know every hidden corner of this gem.
3) Gibraltar, UK
I got married there and it’s a unique mix of cultures.
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?
I am from the United States. As a female college student, I took the Greyhound bus from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania.
On the ride, I met a really interesting person, who was held up at gunpoint during our rest stop in Chicago.
I am privileged to usually fly in comfort, so seeing my country by bus was very eye-opening.
5) Worst (local) travel experience?
I honestly cannot think of one.
6) Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?
- I would love to visit Namibia – for the landscape and culture.
- Poland, where my family is originally from.
- And Argentina, where my husband is from.
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?
I really enjoy googling the location and then sifting through the different blogs that come up. Everyone has their own unique experience.
8) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
To New York City to meet my niece. I was supposed to go to the United States (bringing my husband for the first time!) to meet my niece, Andromeda – but COVID-19 had other plans.
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
I am originally from Madison, WI but currently living in Brisbane, Australia.
For Madison, if you visit in the summer, you have to see a show at American Players Theatre! The weather always gives something a little extra to the performances.
For Brisbane, the rainforest is so close! (Just yesterday) I visited some stunning waterfalls and ancient forests in Springbrook National Park. The wildlife is incredible in this region.
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
Learn the language… at least some of it! It will unlock some amazing experiences, if you can somewhat understand and communicate with locals.
To read about and see all of Jamie’s travel stories and experiences, you can follow her on Instagram. Or, to benefit from all her language tips and teachings, visit her awesome site or follow her on Pinterest.
Thank you very much, Jamie, for appearing in this guest travel interview.
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.