Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

I’m off to Cyprus and London

with 6 comments

cyprus_map

Holidays are due next week but this time round my plans have been put on hold somewhat. My original plan was to spend the two weeks taking the train (reunification express) up to Hanoi. Then making my way back down the coast to Saigon stopping off anywhere that interested me. I was really looking forward to seeing more of this country that I’m enjoying so much of. However that’s not the way things worked out.

Our school is currently going through IB (International Baccalaureate) accreditation (one of the reasons I chose this school to work at) and, as part of that, all staff need to undergo, subject specific, IB training prior to teaching the course. As we plan to start teaching in August the options for my training were limited. The only available course is in London during the holidays so that’s where I’m going. I’m not complaining though because the school is obviously spending a fair bit of money to send me and one of the reasons I came over here was for the IB training and experience. So I’ve had to rearrange my holidays and Vietnam must wait (but I do intend to spend a fair bit of the middle-of-the-year summer holidays exploring the place).

Instead of staying all of the holidays in London I’ve decided to take the first week off to go somewhere I haven’t been before. The first option that sprang to mind was a week in Syria. Unfortunately several emails to the Embassy back in Canberra quickly informed that getting a visa would involve flying back to Australia first, something It wasn’t going to be practical for me to do. Instead I’ve decided to spend a week on nearby Cyprus.

Why Cyprus …. well firstly because I could get a cheap package out of London but mostly (because there are a lot of cheap packages out of London) because this divided little nation, which lies in the Middle Eastern infused eastern part of the Mediterranean, seems to interesting. It has both a Greek and Turkish heritage yet owes much of its history to the Middle East. It was once bitterly divided and is now beginning the process of reconciliation. It’s history dates back thousands of years and is, by reputation, beautiful and filled with an abundance of good food and friendly people.  I really am looking forward to my training and my holiday on the little island that was the birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis.

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Written by backpackingteacher

March 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Hi there – I was also planning on going to Syria later this year (from Saigon) but hadn’t really researched visas yet…I was hoping we could just send our passports back to Australia to get visas (as I believe there’s no Syrian embassy here) – did they say why you have to go back to Australia to get Syrian visas in person? This means I might not be able to go either which is majorly disappointing!!!!

    A Girl in Asia

    March 21, 2009 at 10:02 pm

  2. hello one of my fav Saigon blog authors …. no need to worry as you do not need to be there in person you can just courier your passports back to Oz. My timing was short and sudden so the only way I could have been sure of getting a visa would have been by flying via Oz… a bit costly and impractical. If you have more planning time then there’ll be no worries for you…

    backpackingteacher

    March 22, 2009 at 8:13 am

  3. Take care on your travels. Enjoy the spring in Londonand the rest of the time in Cyprus. Think of me marking the exams, and writting the reports while you swan around the world.
    Best wishes Jen M

    Jenny Malouf ( Mum)

    March 23, 2009 at 8:17 am

  4. Good to hear! Thanks for the info. Enjoy your trip!

    A Girl in Asia

    March 23, 2009 at 11:22 am

  5. Actually, that sounds like a great break. A little tourism, a little work, a few photos, meet some interesting people. I envy you!

    Expatriate Games

    March 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm

  6. Here now in Cyprus and am quite liking it all … you’re right in that’s its a nice mixture of things to do

    backpackingteacher

    March 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm


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