Unexpected Opportunities while Backpacking

After my trip to Bali, Indonesia. I didn’t know where I was headed. I wanted to do something other than work on my laptop as I felt very unhealthy being stuck in front of a computer screen. I was still in Bangkok at the time and I was contemplating on a few things until unexpected opportunities knocked on this backpacker’s life.

Substitute Teacher

There was an opening for a temporary post as an elementary English teacher for a private school in Bangkok where my friend was working. It was a short-term gig which would’ve lasted three weeks. In my mind, I was to handle a class of grade six pupils, but the picture didn’t come out clear enough because I was hesitant.

office soloflighted
back in the old office days

I’ve had some experience training adults and I’ve hosted calibration sessions with different clients in my previous job in a call center; but this was a little different since I’d be handling youngsters.

In the end, this did not push through since somebody more qualified got the position.


At the same time, my friends and I met somebody who was off to Sweden who suggested that we join him in his quest to travel to Europe and work as berry-pickers. After some research, I realized that the pay was good and it would’ve really helped add more money to the travel fund; which was running out fast.

photo source: liu.se

The opportunity to work in Europe was something grand. Thinking that we’d travel to a different country that requires a visa (A Schengen visa at that) was unlikely in my mind. My friends and I became so excited at the thought that we were dreaming of travelling to neighboring parts like eating authentic pasta in Italy, experiencing Octoberfest in Germany, learning the language of France, or staying in Loch Lomond cottages in Scotland.

Europe map
Europe map

Just the notion of living in a wooden cottage with an amazing backdrop of mountains and lakes, we couldn’t help but get our hopes to high. I knew that websites like scottish-cottages.co.uk offer cottages in Scotland so finding a place wouldn’t be that much of a challenge. Also, this was Europe we’re talking about!

However, the plan still did not push through since there were a lot of complications during the visa process.


The last opportunity was the one that I experienced. It was an offer to become a waiter for a five-star resort in Malaysia. A perfect time since I was already in Kuala Lumpur after my Bali trip.

tanjong jara resort
delivering fruits to the villas

I used to work in fast food chains when I was 17, so being in the food & beverage department was not something new to me. After a few emails, I received a positive feedback and I spent two months at Tanjong Jara Resort in Dungun, Terengganu.

This job really fit me at the time and now I can say that I’ve lived in a five-star resort for two months.


All of these were unexpected opportunities during my long-term backpacking adventure. It was a refreshing break from all the online work I’ve been doing and it felt good that offers like these were available especially at the moment when I needed it most.

tanjong jara resort
Tanjong Jara Resort beach

Next time, I plan to share a few tips on how you can raise funds to keep yourself on the road. I’m not an expert as the money that I earn is good enough only to make ends meet; but it would be good to know what other options are available, especially to those who don’t consider blogging as a viable source of funds.

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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.

17 thoughts on “Unexpected Opportunities while Backpacking”

  1. Good Job Ed 🙂 I hope you can visit Europe I know it's not easy specially for us who are Philippines passport holder (sad). I'm currently in Denmark but already stack here but soon on the road again 🙂 

  2. @May: Wow! my online boss is from Denmark! hehe. ayos na ayos! That's the challenge for us Pinoys. thanks May!

    @Pinay Travel Junkie: hahaha! ayos na ayos yung tips talaga! kakamiss! lol.

  3. wow… been reading your blog for more than a month now but this is just my first attempt to leave a comment… I do love and enjoy reading about your adventures…I like the way you tell a story in a very simple yet entertaining and educational manner… i look forward to read more from you and hope to have a blog like this one in the future…Godspeed…

  4. @Sky: haha, ma na kaagad ako kasi may blooper yung resume ko. haha. pero yeah, i guess i didn't want it bad enough. no worries pa rin, other opportunities came by. 🙂

    @Micamyx: haha, nasa BKK na ako. pwede rin sa Malaysia pag dadaan. sarap ng teh tarik! 🙂

    @Harry: Thanks for finally leaving a comment Harry! Appreciate the feedback. Hope you can start your own blog then. 🙂

    @melvin: sayang nga, but it's ok. may dumating naman na iba. as for denmark, not so good news as I'm finishing the last few assignments that we have for our project. but it's alright pa rin, may darating lang 🙂

  5. You are living the dream that I had when I got out of college and wanted to see the world any which way I could! You are not living any door of opportunity unopened. Good for you! Have you tried looking for a rich, old single lady with a bad heart? Just kidding.

  6. Whoa! Boss waiter, puedeng pa-take out? 😀
    Looking at the first photo, I can definitely see you as a colleague. Prof na prof! I'm sure inspired mga students mo, both girls and boys, hahaha! I also started my teaching career in Shanghai as a substitute.
    I heard you can also milk cows in NZ while traveling, or work in farms in Japan. 🙂 Btw, is your new job at an elephant spa? Saw the pic. Even my mother liked it. 😉

  7. @AJ: haha. adult class lang yung natuturuan ko before. as for the new job, nope, only stayed there for a day though they told me I could've stayed longer. Maybe next time, will head back to Siem Reap next week kasi. Haha, yeah, saw your mother "liking" the photo. The elephants reminded me of your SG elephant article. 🙂


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