Jessi White


Jessi White

Ah my dear friends and family: You know what they say about all of the best laid plans... In my last post, I detailed the plans and path surrounding my Master's International candidacy and upcoming Peace Corps service. That post marked my original departure date as July 22, but - as many of you have been aware - that date was later moved to, well, Thursday, July 14. That being the case, I think all of us expected this post to look a little different than it's about to. This platform seemed the most appropriate to make my final, firm announcement that those plans - yet again - have changed. On June 30, I received a phone call from Peace Corps explaining to me that my legal clearance had not been processed due to an administrative ... read more

Welp. Here we are again. I'm back in the blogging seat and I am ready to provide an update. Many of you may recall my post from May 1, 2014 stating that I was ready to serve. I had been nominated to Peace Corps service, and had been placed for service in Indonesia. Ultimately, I ended up deferring that nomination in order to better stabilize my personal and professional situations in preparation for such a commitment. Well, at the end of July of this year, I returned to the States in exactly just such a position. Currently, I am a Master's candidate at American University where I'm studying International Training & Education (heretofore to be referred to as "ITEP"). Part of my specific degree program includes a massive field research component. Of the 27 in my ... read more
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Asia » China » Shanghai » Yangpu December 29th 2014

In Defense of Silence It's been a long and winding path to get back in front of this keyboard today. When last I wrote, it was from the white sandy beaches and tropical winds of Koh Samui, Thailand. There, I found myself able to practice Yoga, journaling and general peace-of-mind nearly every hour, let alone every day. Shortly thereafter, I returned to China... or rather, China returned to me. I knew that Thailand would bring about change. I knew that that phase would bring me a fresh set of eyes on China, for better or for worse. And I also knew that I'd be returning to a completely unrecognizable China experience. Almost immediately upon my arrival, I was told to not get too comfortable as change was coming. Within weeks, my bags and apartment were packed ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Samui October 6th 2014

All right! Hooray for stable WiFi! Ok... so after a quick change of plans, I ditched out on the Bangkok idea and headed straight to Koh Samui yesterday. My flight was painfully at 6am, but that meant an entire extra day here on the island. Good call. My change of plans came as a package deal with a travel companion as an added bonus. It's been a pretty good setup having two of us as I've still been able to stick to my solo beach plans while she gets a feel for the social scene, and we meet in the middle once in awhile. So, Koh Samui! I apparently decided to come to an island during its monsoon season. I didn't exactly have a choice in the matter of timing, but it does find me imagining ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai » Doi Suthep September 27th 2014

Happy Saturday, Followers! And a happy Saturday to those of us who have finally finished the dreaded Week 3 of the CELTA course. They've quite literally cranked up the heat on us at school - so a day of rest and relaxation away from that center was a welcome, welcome thing indeed. Yesterday, I declared my plans to do something wildly different with this weekend to my class. Tired of bars and street markets, I was bound and determined to find something uniquely Chiang Mai-ish to do. My original hope was to visit the tigers at the Tiger Kingdom. That idea fell through when the cost to get there plus the cost to hang out in said tigers' cages plus the poor timing all worked together to crash that party. Maybe next time, tigers. There would ... read more
Wat Prathat Chedi
Chiang Mai Zoo!

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai » San Kamphaeng September 20th 2014

Week 2? Check. The CELTA course has gotten nothing but more intense over the past week. On the one hand, this made the 5 days fly by, but on the other - as days fly by - there's a faster climb necessary to keep up. I'm hanging in there. Like most people, I've run into challenges with the written assignments and am overwhelmed by the workload. But, I came here with a go-get-em attitude, and that adjustment is definitely paying off. Work Hard, Play Hard As a collective group, we are finding plenty of time to play. For one, we live at a resort with a pool. This leads to plenty of opportunities to relax outside, and hopefully talk about something other than class for awhile. On the weekends, we're also taking advantage of opportunities to ... read more
Reason #14876 why Thailand is awesome...
Reason #18749 why Thailand is Awesome
Muay Thai Spar

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai » San Kamphaeng September 12th 2014

Last night, I decided to trust the mosquito netting on my balcony door and sleep with my door open and my air conditioning off. The trust paid off as last night was, by far, one of the best night's sleep I've had in a long time - I'm tempted to say months. Chalk it up to the extreme exhaustion from the week, the change in diet or maybe even that beer by the pool last night, but I slept so hard last night that this morning I had to remind myself where I was. But, I am finally feeling rested -- 6:50am though it be as I'm writing this. When last I wrote, I'd had the opportunity to explore a piece of Chiang Mai before carrying on to the resort where I'd be studying for the ... read more
IH Restaurant
Lobster Porkchop

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai » San Kamphaeng September 7th 2014

Sawatdeekah!!!! I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand last night - around 9pm local time. Arriving was exceptionally easy, and I'm already feeling completely at ease being here. I tried to come into Chiang Mai with a completely open mind and zero expectations. That's incredibly hard to do when you have a bajillion people telling you how exciting Thailand is, and everything that you're meant to expect from this place. But, try I did and I'm glad for it! Coming in with zero expectations meant that everything, so far, has been a complete surprise. The attitudes of the people, the sights, the sounds, even the smells. Zero plans and expectations means a million surprises a minute, and that's what Chiang Mai has held for me so far. Now, I really only have today to be in Chiang ... read more
Street Market
Chiang Mai Street Corner
Wat Chedi Luang

Asia » China August 8th 2014

What would Helen do? The million dollar question: What do you do when two major, well-known and powerful entities start to fight over you? Recently, I have to (albeit egotistically) admit that I've been in quite the predicament. I ran into this conundrum about 3 months ago, and I've decided it's time for me to share the latest. About the time that I made the announcement to you all that I'd accepted a nomination to the Peace Corps, I made the same announcement to Disney. At that time, I told both parties point-blank that I would be considering both organizations with a great deal of thought, and was poised to have a look at all of the cards on the table before making a firm decision. Everything in my soul was screaming for change - one ... read more
Summer in Hangzhou 2014
Summer in Hangzhou 2014
Summer in Hangzhou 2014

Asia » China » Hangzhou May 1st 2014

When I started preparations to come to China, I knew that this experience was the first step in the direction of the rest of my life. Almost two years ago, I applied for this position in China because I had the itch: I needed to get back out into the international community; I needed to test my limitations; I needed to learn new things about myself and about the world; I needed to rebuild my confidence. Something about the job description with this company called Disney English had me knowing that this experience was a step in that direction. My experience with Disney and with China has delivered all of the above with great success, and for this I am eternally thankful. Last night - about 12 hours ago, in fact - I was nominated for ... read more

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