Monkey Abroad

Videos and stories of the life abroad – food, culture, travel & work

100th Post Announcements: Summer Plans, Next Job


Sorry for the hiatus. I may or may not have been staying awake ’til the ass crack of dawn watching the World Cup with friends here in Rizhao these past two weeks. Also, I’ve been busy solidifying my legal residency in China for one more year, sending documents back and forth in the mail and whatnot, so the blog has sadly taken a backseat. Today, instead of publishing something about Chinese culture and cuisine, I just wanna announce a few things, including my plans for this summer and my next job. Plus, Monkey Abroad reached 100 posts!

World Cup

Watching the World Cup at 4am in my apartment. From left: Colombia, Ghana, Italy, England

The Summer Plan

Some folks use the money they earn while teaching ESL to return to their home country and enjoy a vacation in familiar territory, but not this monkey. I’m gonna do the smart thing with my dough and squander it all on travel.

The plan is to travel solo through China with no real plan. I’ll be on the road filming and taking photos of people, food and historic sites, using the website to hop around and sleep everywhere for free. I’ll stop first in central Xi’an to meet and consult backpackers and locals, then I’ll make my next travel decision from there, and so on, for one month.

Creating a detailed itinerary for a trip only leads to unnecessary anxiety, so instead of stressing over a set migratory timetable, I’m just gonna move in one direction at a time and focus on meeting new people and living in the present. The adventure isn’t in visiting any particular city or seeing any one historical site, it’s about the pathway and the unpredictable personal interactions along the way.


The Next Job

My next teaching gig starts in late August at Shanghai High School – International Division. It’s a huge step up in every way from my first teaching job at Pua High School in Thailand and a big step up from Rizhao Polytechnic College, where I just recently finished working. This new school has nearly 3000 students from more than 60 countries, 120 foreign teachers, and the entire curriculum is taught in English.

This summer, I’ll try my best to keep blog posts from becoming too sparse and sporadic. Once I move to Shanghai in late August and I’m settled and working, it’ll be easier to post on a regular schedule again. Until then, stay tuned for what’s ahead this summer.

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. Congratulations on the job Kevin! Your new school sounds huge! Hope you have a great summer and enjoy your travels. I’m headed back to the U.S. (Ann Arbor) on Monday and am looking forward to my Amer-cation.

    Also hope your moving process goes smoothly. Mine will hinge upon SF Express coming on time and hauling everything I plan to take to Shanghai out of my apartment without any fuss.

  2. “I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen, who I’m gonna meet. To make each day count.” Jack Dawson

  3. How did you land the Shanghai job?

    • I spoke with like ten recruiters and applied to 20 or so jobs. By the end of it all, I had it narrowed down to the three jobs I liked the most and I picked this school.

  4. Cool! Is your gig at Shanghai High School – International division? I have a relative who is a freshmen there!

    • Will,
      Yes it is! Sorry about the confusion; I just edited the post to say ‘Shanghai High School – International Division’ instead of ‘Shanghai International High School.’ Today I walked through the campus for the first time and it’s beautiful. Can’t wait to start teaching there, and maybe your relative will be my student, haha.

  5. Congratulation on your new job!
    It’s amazing how open you are! Couchsurfing always kinda made me ‘ick’, since you’ll never know what kind of situation you get into.
    I wish you’ll have a safe trip Kevin and keep on bloggin : D

    • Thanks, Anita! I think couch surfing in China will be a great experience, so hopefully I won’t have any ‘ick’ problems. China is a much safer country than the USA in terms of violent crimes and murder statistics, plus the people here are much friendlier than in America.

  6. Can’t wait to hear about Shanghai! Good luck and happy travels!

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