Kingston’s Journey: Origins (Before YouTube)

The beginning, from quitting corporate America in Reno, NV, moving out to Chiang Mai to be an English Teacher, settling in Bangkok to teach, taking up Muay Thai and Salsa, my father passing, taking my mom to Japan and Korea and heading back to Bangkok.

Kingston’s Journal: Another Fear Bites the Dust

I have been watching and filming some of my lectures for the past week. There were a good handful that I thought were great classes that I recorded and watched. Honestly from watching myself, I didn’t see a whole lot I could improve on. What I did learn about were some of the classroom shenanigans…

Kingston’s Journal: Remembering High School

I just watched a Key and Peele episode today about a parody of teachers. The section that really stood out to me was the part where a class was portrayed. The teacher asks a question and a bunch of students raise their hands. The introverted student was too shy to raise his hand, but the…

Kingston’s Journal: Taking a Different Perspective

When some of my students behave poorly, I think back to when I was in Chinese School. By the time I was in high school, I would be showing up an hour and a half late to class and leaving early to work a crappy entry level job at the Farmer’s Market. I never really…

Kingston’s Journal: The Stuff That Needs Getting Done

I’ve lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks, plus my blood pressure was low the last time I checked, not sure if any of this is healthy, but I feel fine. I think part of the reason I felt so lost three months ago was because I lacked a meaningful project to keep me productive when…

Kingston’s Journal: It’s All a Surprise

Teaching these Thai kids a second semester doesn’t feel awfully different from the end of the first term. Right now it feels like the second term is just going to be repetitive. It seems as though 80% of what there is to be gained has already been got. If I put my mind to it…

Kingston’s Journal: Breaking the Monotony

My life in Bangkok has been getting monotonous, I think stepping out and leaving for 2 months has given me a clearer picture of what needs to be done. Not just this time though, for future reference as well, if I become unhappy with my progress, chances are a change of scenery is part of…

Kingston’s Journal: My 24th Year

I weighed myself today, back up to 125, hard to believe I gained 7 pounds in less than 2 months. All the time I’ve spent with my folk has gotten me soft. I’m also surprised by how quickly my motor skills have deteriorated in Muay Thai. My reaction speed was not quick to begin with,…

Kingston’s Journal: Comparisons

So that was 8 days in Korea. Besides properly visiting the War Memorial Museum in Seoul and going to North Korea, I don’t feel much incentive to come back. One of those, “been there, done that” feelings. The people here overall seem more disingenuous than the Japanese. I’ve undergone a number of transactions where the…

Kingston’s Journal: Tourism vs. Integration

This is my last night in Japan and I’m not sure when I’ll be back. Sightseeing aside, I don’t feel like I have a great understanding (firsthand anyways) of the people here. And to truly understand the culture, gaining perspective from the most important part, the people, is key. Deep rapport and frequent daily interactions…

Kingston’s Journal: Mr. Pau

“Great teachers inspire.” It’s been more than a month since I last taught in Thailand and the memory of those students is becoming more and more distant. I consider this two months of being away from them as a test drive of when I actually leave them. At the rate I’m going, I don’t think…

Kingston’s Journal: Mass Tourism

I have felt this way for the past six months and I will say it again, I hate Chinese tourists, especially the tour groups. There attitude and sheer numbers takes away from the authenticity of seeing seemingly far away places. And with modern technology allowing us to get to anywhere in a matter of hours,…

Kingston’s Journal: Balancing Perspectives

Just a one night stay in Hiroshima today, I’m a bit surprised by the lack of English comprehension of the locals here, even among the young people. With the close relations between the US and Japan, this wasn’t what I was expecting. Perhaps its the closed off, xenophobic culture that is talked about. Maybe the…

Kingston’s Journal: MC Kingston

So in my school there was a singing competition for my students. I was the MC, the first time I was the MC of anything. of course I was nervous before it began, but I was a man with a plan. I put on a facade of being a very outgoing, energetic and loud person…

Kingston’s Journal: Pause and Reflect

Some of my initial enthusiasm for teaching has been waning as of late. I started out not wanting the weekend to come, as of now I don’t mind it. Part of it it’s because of the friction I’m facing for volunteering my lunch time to help some of my weaker students. Most of them act…

Kingston’s Journal: Acting Hard

Life lesson learned, if you’re always nice to everyone eventually someone is going to walk all over you. About the old saying “do unto others as you would want others do unto you” sounds nice, reality sometimes dictates otherwise. It is unreasonable to assume everyone acts like a decent human being. So treating people unkindly…

Kingston’s Journal: Wage Gap

I was talking to the head of the English department this week and he mentioned that many of the Thai teachers, especially those just starting out, earn just 15,000 baht a month (~$500), a third of what I earn, so I can’t expect that to be buddy buddy with me went there is such a…

Kingston’s Journal: Wild Card

More sparring this week at my Muay Thai Gym. I’ve found that my reaction speed is not up to par given the fact I’ve been eating so many jabs. Still a long way to go in that department. My shins feel stronger though, I’ve dropped the knee high socks I’ve been using during training that…

Kingston’s Journal: Another Day, Another Obstacle

Being on the road during my visa run to Vientiane took it’s toll on me. I got sick again which is find quite frustrating. This time so lost my voice which presents a challenge when teaching. I improvised and printed out crossword puzzles for my students to complete. Just another obstacle that I overcame and…

Kingston’s Journal: Strive for Something Better

Living in a hostel again, deja vu from almost 3 months ago. Sharing sleeping quarters, lower hygiene standards, not unpacking were things I particularly didn’t enjoy when living in a hostel for over a month. And now I’m experiencing it all over again. It makes me pine going back to Bangkok where I have my…

Kingston’s Journal: A Change of Pace

Last night and today was time for me to do my first visa run that has been tried and true by others. The journey itself is fairly inexpensive, about $20 each way from Bangkok to the border town of Nong Khai before hopping the border and getting into the capital city of Vientiane, Laos which costs only…

Kingston’s Journal: First Time in a Long Time

I sparred for the first time yesterday. It didn’t go well of course. Why should it have? Can’t expect to be great the first time around doing things. This takes me back to March in my first Muay Thai class in Chiang Mai when I got bruised terribly and when I clinched for the first…

Kingston’s Journal: Progress

July 7, 2019 The good news is I can clinch again. After that infected wound put me out of commission for about 2 weeks, I’m finally back at it. My neck was a bit sore to start with given that I haven’t done this in a while, but not nearly as badly as when I…

Kingston’s Journal: Appreciation

June 30, 2019 That bad scratch I got last Monday got infected, which in hindsight seems quite obvious. The wound got bigger and bigger by the day and felt consistently painful and raw. At the urging of the Thai teachers in my school, I want to go see a doctor in s private hospital called…

Kingston’s Journal: Going the Extra Mile

June 23, 2019 I got a fairly bad scratch on my left side jaw last week from Must Thai clinching. All a part of the process I guess. I think it’s quite noticeable as my colleagues, students and others have been commenting about it. Because of this injury, I paused on clinching. On another note,…

Kingston’s Journal: Thai People

June 16, 2019 An update on Muay Thai training, I only went once this week which I don’t feel great about. I went yesterday on Saturday but they were closed for a party. They fed me, and kept on feeding me. Part of it I think was because since I can speak their language, one…

Kingston’s Journal: Pivoting and Progressing

June 3, 2019 One month into teaching English, I think I’m starting to hit a rythym in my teaching. For the group B students, I mainly stick with the book due to them being weak learners. For M2A, once I’ve covered the book, I move on to a social studies topic and facilitate a discussion.…

Kingston’s Journal: Expectations Meet Reality

May 26, 2019 The reality of what I’ve seen from Thai students has been far different from what I expected. I was anticipating stereotypical well behaved Asian students that would be timid to speak up and were very respectful. In reality, students especially M3 (9th grade) are very noisy and I’ve found disrespectful. My more…

Kingston’s Journal: The First of Many Firsts

May 17, 2019 I’ve spent 2 days teaching so far. Definitely different from accounting and so far more rewarding. I was nervous yesterday when J first started. Luckily I had a more experienced Teacher with me to carry the day. Today by contrast I felt much more confident. I was walking up and down the…

Kingston’s Journal: Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over Again…

May 9, 2019 So I’ve started my teaching position in Attamit School in Bangkok about a week ago. So far things have been doing pretty decent, classes don’t start until the 16th so no direct teaching experience yet. At this point in my travels I’m quite certain I made the right choice in quitting my…

Kingston’s Journal: Unpacking

April 30, 2019 I’ve been back in Bangkok for about a week now and just moved into my apartment a couple days ago. The apartment is basic, lacking the stove, fridge and bathtub. I’m not finding that too much as $140 a month for the late I can’t complain. Plus it’s in a nice neighborhood as well,…

Kingston’s Journal: To Change Things in a Big Way, Make Some Big Changes

April 18, 2019 I flew into Hanoi yesterday and did some sightseeing today. That was great and all with one thing I noticed was that there are no South Vietnamese flags being displayed. This contrasting with China where the Republic of China’s (Taiwan’s) flag is still displayed in museums. Anyways, I approached a girl today…

Kingston’s Journal: Their House, Their Rules

April 16, 2019 Today I went to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels through my second tour group booking. The tour itself was just about what I expected, the tour guide, Ken, was amiable enough and made some funny jokes. The Cu Chi Tunnels are a network of tunnels north of Saigon near the end of…

Kingston’s Journal: The Crimes of My Country

April 13, 2019 Currently in the (chaotic) city of Ho Chi Minh. I got here yesterday after a 6 hour bus took me from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Cambodia then an 8 your bus took me from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh.  A side note on my day trip to Angkor War yesterday,…

Kingston’s Journal: Temp Group

April 10, 2019 Siem Reap, Cambodia I took a sleeper bus from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Siem Reap, Cambodia today. That was an experience. Firstly, I made the mistake of not paying attention to where the bus pickup is, as a result, I hopped on a tuk tuk in duress and paid $5 for it.…

Kingston’s Journal: Let it Go

April 7, 2019 Phnom Penh, Cambodia I woke up today to some French kids making a whole lot of noise before leaving the hostel. Turns out one of them stole my towel. That’s why I keep (most) of my stuff locked up. I was mad initially, but there is nothing I can do to get…

Kingston’s Journal: Dropping Creature Comforts

April 5, 2019 Phnom Penh, Cambodia I arrived in Phnom Penh Cambodia yesterday. Overall it feels like a much less developed country than Thailand, the roads aren’t as walkable, there are occasional piles of trash on sidewalks and it feels less modern than Bangkok. The hotel I’m staying at is cheaper, that is true but…

Kingston’s Journal: Figuring it All Out

April 3, 2019 Bangkok, Thailand So I didn’t realize that the metro in Bangkok would be this expense, it’s 40 Baht for most rides which is about $1.30. I remember from studying abroad in Shanghai back in 2016 that it cost 3-6 RMB, about 50 cents to 1 dollar, plus it was way more developed…

Kingston’s Journal: Seeking Explosive Growth

March 30, 2019 Bangkok, Thailand I arrive in Bangkok today after a 15 hour bus from Mae Sai. As a side note, I noticed (so far at least) that the further north I went into southeast Asia, the more overseas Chinese there are. In Myanmar for example, there were many Chinese, signs like () that…

Kingston’s Journal: Hanging Off the Back of A Pick-Up

March 28, 2019 Tachileik, Myanmar I crossed the border from Mae Sai, Thailand to Tachileik, Myanmar. I was well aware that there would be a $10 fee when crossing the border. What I was not counting on though was that the Myanmar border officer not taking the money. He said that the bill was “wrinkled.”…

Kingston’s Journal: Leave it Behind

March 27, 2019 Mae Sai, Thailand I took a bus up north to Mai Sai, Thailand today from Chiang Mai, Thailand. No one spoke much English, so my trusty intuition carried the day. I’m right at the border with Myanmar (Burma) right now, plan to jump on over tomorrow. I noticed in my time here…

Kingston’s Journal: And So It Begins…

March 21, 2019 Chiang Mai, Thailand I took my first Muay Thai class today. That’s the main reason I picked to come to Thailand first right? To write a book about the different types of martial arts in the world, tentatively called “Fists of Man,” when I’m in my late 20’s to early 30’s. There…

Hitchhiking in Northern Thailand

March 19, 2019 Chiang Mai, Thailand Been in Thailand for almost a week now in the city of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, the people here are very friendly, I got picked up twice by people offering me a ride while I was walking on mountainous roads. I can tell crime rates here are very…

Kingston’s Journal:”A Man’s Ambitions Goes Four Ways”

Feb 28, 2019 Reno, NV So tomorrow is my last day at the CFO Group, and it’ll be a long long time before I ever see Reno again. I think I made the right choice, choosing to go trek the world. I can’t see myself counting other people’s money my entire life. And that’s what…