Time to take my life and go.

April 18 2009.

Hey everyone!

Okay so I’ve finally got around to writing this… ‘what’s next?’ blog.

WARNING: It’s definitely long. lol

If you prefer skim-reading, you can just skip to the end of this post and I’ll have a to-the-point bulleted list of my plans in bold. If you want to know what I cover in this blog, this is what I cover:

  • Los Angeles
  • Internships? Working?
  • Teaching English overseas & world travel
  • What The Best Job in the World has done for me
  • To sum up in a nutshell

If you want to read everything from top to bottom, read on!~

1. Los Angeles!

So immediately after finding out I wouldn’t be moving onto the next round of The Best Job in the World, I thought – Okay, must travel this summer!! The first place that came into my mind and I just knew that I had to go visit now that Australia was out of the picture? Los Angeles, California.

It kind of all came together rather nicely. My friend that I really wanted to go there with, didn’t want to go for as long as I did, but she said she could meet me down there for the last half of my trip and we could go to Las Vegas together too. Then my friend from Toronto told me that she had really wanted to go somewhere for the summer as well, and thought L.A. with me would be perfect! Along with that, for the first 4 days of my trip, I’ll be meeting up with some really great people that I’ve met online via the fansite I created for Mark Kanemura (a So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 finalist). So yeah, I’ll be with my friend from Toronto for the first portion of my L.A. trip in July, along with meeting and hanging out with “Markers“, then my Toronto friend will head back to Toronto on the same day that my friend from Edmonton comes down and we’ll head over to Las Vegas together! Perfecto!

I’ve got so much planned, so many SoCal areas to hit up and see, beaches, boulevards, boardwalks. I recently read the book “The Soloist” which is also coming out as a movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx next week, based on the real life experiences of an LA Times columnist Steve Lopez and a schizophrenic homeless musician, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, and I absolutely want to see if I can find Nathaniel in downtown LA and hear his music!!!

Anyway, so to summarize that. I’ll be fulfilling my dream of visiting Los Angeles, my dream city, this July!!!! YAY!

2. Interships? Working? I need money to pay for my vacation!

Okay so also immediately after failing to make the next round of The Best Job in the World, I thought – okay, what am I doing in terms of my “career” this summer then? I have always been interested in television broadcasting and had intended on trying to get some kind of television station internship this summer or next, so I thought, well I could do that this summer before I go on my vacation then?

I already have a two-week internship lined up at the Edmonton Journal as part of my requirements to graduate my journalism program, which I’m stoked about. But everywhere you look there’s a hiring freeze, freelance budgets are being cut, and from what I had heard at least a month back, The Journal along with other media outlets weren’t trying too eagerly search for students to hire for paid summer internships in this gloomy recession and economy. Which is totally fair. Okay, but anyway I was interested in getting an internship (which also would have been unpaid, I’m sure, didn’t ask though) at CTV Edmonton. One reason why I’m particularly interested in CTV is because CTVglobemedia is basically, well a force across broadcasting in Canada. CTV owns Much Music, Star and E! Entertainment, MTV Canada, all of the major Canadian entertainment shows that I’m interested in working at. And I think it would have been (it still would be) valuable to be able to say I’ve worked at a CTV branch.

Needless to say, after what I thought was a really good interview (seriously, I thought it went very well!), I was told I’d be given a call after the Easter long weekend and alas, it is now Friday, Easter was several days ago, and there’s been no phone call or email. I did send a follow-up email about the internship yesterday… and yeah no response to that either, which I think means it’s safe to say I will not be working at CTV this summer. Which bums me out most definitely… and while I could try and get an internship at another TV station (Global? CityTV?), I think (again because I believe everything happens for a reason) that this was quite possibly a sign telling me “Linda!! You need to save up MONEY this summer!” which I would not have been able to do really, had I worked unpaid (though it’s always the question of what’s more important, gaining valuable career-related experience, or getting money. Hm).

Basically that leads me to this conclusion ~

I will be working evenings and weekends at my parent’s restaurant from May until I leave for my vacation in July, as a way to save up money for both my vacation and what I’m about to write about next…

3. Teaching English overseas / longterm travel!

Okay so this is a big one. I had been thinking a lot about life post-The Best Job in the World… like what I would be doing with my life, where I wanted to go, how I wanted to get there, etc., and I had come to this conclusion.

I’m basically done my journalism education. Once I complete my two-week internship by about the second week of May, I’ll be finished. Graduated. Ready to go out into the media and journalism industry and get a job and start my journalism career full-time. Back in high school when I was planning out my post-secondary route, I had planned it like this – 2 years of journalism at Grant Mac, 2 years of television broadcasting at NAIT. That way the two programs would kind of compliment eachother, and I’d have something of a 4 year education as if it were a journalism degree (even though for both it would have been journalism diploma + broadcasting diploma).

Like I’ve said numerous times in Best Job interviews, I’ve wanted to travel for a very long time. I want to go out and really see the world and experience what life has to offer, and see all I can see. About a year ago I had decided that once I finished up my schooling, a perfect way to explore the world, travel, while still gaining an income, would be to teach English overseas.

That idea came back to me this month, and I decided that I will not be going to NAIT for their broadcasting program after all. Instead, I’ll be taking some courses in the coming months to become certified in teaching English overseas. Come September (hopefully I’ll find a placement), I’ll spend 6 months to a year in first Korea, and then travel around the Asian countries once I’m there and hopefully really utilize the teaching English certification and go all over the place to stay, make a living, while exploring and seeing the world. I’ll start taking photography more seriously once I’m over there (traveling photos! foreign photos! always great subjects) and I’ll also freelance write to English publications, as well as blog and video blog about my experiences wherever I end up going.

So there it is.

4. What The Best Job In The World has done for me.

TBJITW experience has made me want to really get up and explore. Adventure. Take my life and go. I’ve been bitten by the traveling bug and now, more than ever, I don’t see myself staying in Edmonton for very long. Yes, it will always be my home, but right now I need to leave. The experience has made me really realize that, and it has made the notion of my traveling and leaving on my own, something my parents are accepting easier than they would have if I hadn’t taken part in TBJITW.

To sum up, once I get certified to teach English and get hired somewhere around the world (again, hoping it will start in Korea because I’ve been hearing great things about teaching in Korea), I plan on traveling, exploring, blogging, photographing everything I encounter, doing freelance writing, growing up really, and seeing where life takes me… before returning to the print and broadcast journalism industry here in North America. (I say North America because I have had aspirations to live and work in both Los Angeles and Toronto… and maybe after a year or two of being in a foreign country, I’ll head to one of those places to look for work instead?)

5. So, in a nutshell, this is what I need to do from now until September…

This is where I’ll be from now until September:

  • May & June: Edmonton.
  • July: Los Angeles and Las Vegas. (for sure).
  • August: Toronto (maybe).
  • September and onwards: Korea + The World (pending being hired, lol).

And here’s what I need (in a more-detailed bulleted list) to get done from now until September:

  • Complete a two-week internship with the Edmonton Journal. (Thus graduating the journalism program at MacEwan and receiving my journalism diploma).
  • Work evenings and weekends at my parent’s restaurant to save money to pay for my two-week vacation in Los Angeles and Las Vegas in July; pay for a Flip Mino HD camcorder; pay for an external flash for my Canon EOS Rebel XTI; and pay for my Global TESOL Teaching English overseas certification.
  • Take and complete my Global TESOL Teaching English overseas certification courses.
  • Research/look into teaching abroad for September. (I’m interested in Korea right now).
  • Take more photos to expand my photography portfolio/increase my experience.
  • Freelance write (and blog more extensively) to keep my writing experience fresh and current (and to help expand my portfolio).
  • Figure out how to integrate WordPress into websites and create my own WordPress themes so that I can..
  • Freelance web design / build websites and actually make some money off of it!

And there it is.

I mean, so many things can happen and different opportunities may pop up so that my route from now until September, or when I’m actually in a foreign country, you know? Who can really say where I’ll go from there? A year ago I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be participating in a global competition to try and get “the best job in the world” in Australia. And two years ago I thought that 2 years of extra education at NAIT was definitely in the cards for me. But things change. Plans change. And as I say, things happen for a reason.

I’ve got this outline of where I want my life to go now. Just like I had an outline for where I wanted my life to go two years ago. For that tentative path I came up with in my mind two years ago, I’ve for the most part stayed on it pretty closely.

If (when) I end up on the other side of the world, I don’t know what’s going to happen there. I don’t know who I’m going to meet or what opportunities will arise. I just know that I’m so excited just thinking about encountering everything that I will potentially encounter.

Basically now, at this time, my actions are revolving around these lyrics from the inspirational song I blogged about earlier this month: Brendan James – All I Can See!

Those who journey can easily understand,
the more they see the more they’ll learn,
the more that they will be.
So this I swear to you, and this I swear to me,
I’ll never rest till I’ve seen all I can see.
No, I’ll never rest till I’ve seen all i can see.

For now though, I’ve got some serious budgeting to do!!!!!

And I still need to study for my final exams for next week, lol.



  • Kim says:

    OMGGG I NEVER GET TO SEE YOU! I will literally be out of SoCal for ALL of July. I am going to Hawaii for two weeks until the 12th. I get back at midnight, and I’m like 90% confident I will be going to the Bay Area by the 13th to go to summer school until August 21st!!! Maybe I will return home to visit though… so let me know ALL the details. I’ve known you for too long to not have met you IRL!

  • A.Ho says:

    This is hot. Lmao, keep in my mind I was already going to LA then you happened to put up that status and so *perfecto* DEFINITELY FOR SURE.
    I need to save a lot of monay too. Dayumm. Lol, your list is so long and exciting. My list is pretty effin’ long too.
    Korea? NICE!



  • Erik Rolfsen says:

    Sounds like a plan, Linda! You might consider getting in touch with Greg from Singapore who teaches at a school there. He might be willing to help out a fellow BJITW shortlister who wants to teach English.

  • Lisa says:

    Man, you’ve got it all organized! Congrats, I hope it all goes smoothly!

    Will you still come back to visit?

  • Linda Hoang says:

    Thanks Erik!
    I’ll keep that in mind for sure.
    Have fun Down Under in a few days!

  • Linda Hoang says:

    I think the Toronto is probably a for sure now! :D

  • Linda Hoang says:

    I think I facebooked you my actual being-there details but I can’t remember… Either way. July 24-31 I’ll be in the general SoCal area. Hope to see you!

  • Linda Hoang says:

    Hopefully it goes as smoothly as the plan sounds. ;)
    There’s never a guarantee of that. Haha!
    And of course I’m going to come back and visit! :D

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