10 Years 10 Countries

TravelBud has reached a big milestone, from a small idea to a full-grown toddler and now as we reach our teenage years, we are taking a moment to look back at the last ten years and reflect on all the incredible moments the TravelBud family has had.

From one founder, one dream and one journey teaching in Thailand, our founder, Liam Kelly, took a leap of faith and TravelBud was born.

TravelBud founder Liam Kelly
Liam Kelly, the founder of TravelBud, poses with Students from Watpho School where we taught English.

The team has grown from one founder to a whopping 12 family members spread all across the world, with 6 little TravelBud babies being born in this time and 7 dogs and 11 cats adopted into the family (some who often make an appearance during team meetings by strolling across a desk and laptop). Mix it all together and you have one big heart that keeps TravelBud beating.

TravelBud Team

We lived through two national lockdowns in South Africa during the Covid19 pandemic. Our team acted fast when this happened and still managed to keep our promise of guaranteed placement, TEFL/TESOL courses and adventures around the world.

In the beginning, there were only 3 destination countries on offer, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea.

We have nursed and swaddled those three countries and 3 became 5, which became 7, then 9 and now we have a total of 11 destination countries on offer, including Spain, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Poland, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China and South Korea.

Teachers on the beach in Hua Hin, thailand.
Our teachers enjoying the beach in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Last year I visited four of our destination countries and met up with all our in-country teams. From tasting a frog barbeque to an impromptu Muay Thai lesson, I made sure that all our programs were the fun adventures that we all experiences during our very own teach-abroad stints – after all, everyone in our team has taught abroad before. Among all the team members, we have travelled abroad over 149 times and visited various countries all across the globe.

Saskia during her recent travels.

We have been nominated and won 5 GoOverseas and 1 GoAbroad award and we took home the Innovation award in 2019 and 2020, the community choice award as well as being the 2020 winner for the community choice award for top-rated job assistance.

Our board of directors grew from a team of 4 to 6, with an estimated 64 official meetings and 1152 cortados, cappuccinos and flat whites being inhaled during those brainstorming sessions.

I also believe that our Technical Director, Tristan Owen has had a whopping 155 tabs open on one window, which is just another day in the life of the Technical Director at TravelBud, nothing strange to see here.

There have been over 2200 teachers placed, 1000+ in-country TESOL courses completed, 250+ online TEFL/TESOL courses completed and 25+ teachers who have gone through one of our Teach and Intern Abroad programs – we have loved working with each of you and our Support Coordinators are still in contact with many who have already returned home and shifted to different fields of work – I am still in regular contact with applicants I assisted as far back as 2014.

An accredited TESOL certificate
You’ll get an internationally accredited TESOL course and will meet new teachers and make lifelong friends.

280 is the number of reviews we have received over three different platforms, all written by teachers we have placed with vetted schools across the world, giving us a rating of 92%+ satisfactory experiences from our happy teachers.

TravelBud’s Grace Martens, trying on traditional Korean Hanbok during her cultural orientation

9 of the authors who have written blogs for us are, or were, all members of the TravelBud family, the rest are all authors who taught abroad through one of our programs.

We have published 230 informative and fun blog posts on our website, all written by experienced teachers, travellers and team members that have let their creative juices flow to offer you insight and spark excitement as you prepare for your teach-abroad adventures.

It has been 10 incredible years of being TravelBud, and we are looking forward to offering you more destinations, more programs and more adventures – we hope you are as excited as we are.

About Saskia Smuts

Filed under  Inside TravelBud 

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With TravelBud, you’ll always be talking to someone who has taught abroad before, so you’ll get informed, first-hand advice to guide and prepare you for your life-changing experience.
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