Volunteering in Buddhist Monastery in Bang Pa In

Caili Bonar Start Date: Feb 8, 2016 - End Date: Feb 7, 2017
  • Thailand

My Travel Story

by: Caili Bonar Start Date: Feb 8, 2016 - End Date: Feb 7, 2017
My life has been on the fast track for as long as I can remember.

I started preschool at the age of two, began reading soon after; was placed in advanced classes during elementary and middle school. I entered college at the age of fourteen through the PSEO Program that my local university offered. I've done well, excelled in class, volunteered through my church, worked multiple part time jobs and I'll be graduating in the Spring with a BA in History with the intentions of earning a PhD and becoming a college professor. Pretty impressive, huh? But this isn't just me bragging about all my accomplishments in life, in fact, if you look at the list you'll see that it's actually been quite empty in some departments.

I've done everything the way it should be done, with a strict plan and timeline. And you know what? This year, the universe (in the form of my parents) told me that's not how life works. My initial plans were disrupted by life and for a while, it scared me to know that for the next year, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. My melodramatic personality dubbed this as my midlife crisis and fully believed that my world was ending. But, very slowly, I'm beginning to realize that it's okay to slow down and not rush to the next finish line.

After averting my self proclaimed midlife crisis, I began to think straight again and looked at my possibilities. One thing that I wanted to do in college, but never had the time for, was travel. While traveling for pleasure is always a fun use of time, there has been a growing need inside of me to give back and change lives in a manner similar to how my adoptive parents changed mine. So I did some research and found out that I can teach English abroad to students. I'm not ready to make a career committment out of this, I do still plan on earning my PhD, but I am interested in learning more about how I can change a student's life through English and if it's the right path for me. So this is where I need your help.

I've chosen to travel with Teach English ESL's volunteer program to Thailand for two months in 2017. There I will be teaching English to young monks in Bang Pa In Province. I am over the moon excited to begin this adventure, but my wallet is not.

To give you an approximate breakdown of my expenses:
  • Round Trip Plane Ticket: $2,000
  • Program Fee: $950
  • Visa: $140
  • Travel Insurance: $180
  • Discretionary Money: $2,500
  • Total: $5,770
Wow! I simply don't have that kind of money lying around. But don't worry! I'm only asking for help with the elephant on my list--my plane tickets--and even then, only a fraction of their cost. Any and all donations are welcomed and appreciated, but to give you a bit more incentive to help me out, you can contact me at caili.bonar@gmail.com if you're interested in any of the following, as fundmytravel calls it, "perks."
  • $10 Donation: I will color you a picture and send it in the mail/post it on my Facebook
  • $20 Donation: I will sing a requested song (within reason) and post it on Youtube for your viewing pleasure
  • $50 Donation: I will take requests for pictures from Thailand, capture and mail them to you
  • $75 Donation: I will make a special shoutout video while with my students at the monastery
  • $100 Donation: I will purchase a special souvenir and mail it to you
If none of these perks interest you, but you have another kind of favor in mind, email me anyway and we can discuss details. Understand that without an email, these perks will not be dstributed. Thank you so much for stopping by and supporting my travels!
  • Thailand