The story of Global Teaching Adventures begins in Thailand in the early 2000’s. I first visited Thailand for holiday and fell completely in love with the country, the people, the culture, and the food. When it was time to go back home something inside of me just couldn’t part with this place and it was at the airport just as I landed back in South Africa that I purchased my return ticket to Thailand and never looked back; that was my sliding door moment, where I knew my life was going to change completely. I met up with a group of friends in the popular Khao San Road backpacking area where we found an ad looking for English teachers to offer English classes in exchange for room and board. This was perfect since I depleted my holiday fund and now had to figure out how I was going to stay in Thailand. In the early 2000s Northern Thailand was still relatively unknown to foreign tourists, especially the small towns in Thailand.
We would often be sleeping on the floor in the schools and we often communicated what we could with monks that lived in the area. They fed us homemade Thai food and welcomed us with those famous Thai smiles. Some of these areas were so remote that we had to hike through the mountain to temples or small, local schools where our English classes got out by word of mouth. What initially thought would be several months turned into two years.
This was one of the most exciting times of my life; living without, meeting new people, and seeing the joy on the kids’ faces are memories I hold very close to my heart. This is what finally inspired me to re-create this type of lifestyle for other people. I had to create a more sustainable life for myself in Thailand, and the only way I could do that was to create my own company, Global Teaching Adventures, and offer paid teaching jobs to people from around the world.
I’d like to think that Global Teaching Adventures has a strong sense of mission. We are committed to preparing our clients for an incredible adventure. Asia is a very class-oriented society in which if you are poor, there are few opportunities to move up in life. The one concrete path to the middle class for lower-income Asian is through learning to speak English. I tell all of our English teachers that they should feel proud to be teaching, something that is so important in helping to build more prosperous lives.
- Kevin Meldau, Founder and Managing Director