Hi! I’m Shaun Stoffer and I’m an aspiring travel blogger seeing the world and teaching English along the way. I’m originally from Orlando, Florida and back in 2015 I was in a rut in my life. I collected two undergraduate degrees in criminal justice and English but opted to work multiple odd jobs, often simultaneously, such as barbacking and as a produce clerk to support chasing a dream in competing in mixed martial arts. After five years, I put my career aside with an overall record of seven wins and four losses, coming to the realization that I just wasn’t skilled enough to make it to the big show where I could earn a living cagefighting. I had little savings and overwhelming uncertainty and unhappiness on what my life was becoming.
I put my English degree to use and turned to teaching English and worked in Florida for a school year while regularly exploring cities in the US such as New Orleans, Nashville, and Atlanta. I began writing about my journeys in etchedinadventure.com as an online journal to share with my family and friends and ended up growing a following that I’ve continued to nurture and help thrive.
Eventually, I decided to put everything on the line and move to Prague, Czech Republic to take part in an intensive study abroad program to earn my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. I sold every possession I didn’t need any longer from old video games to textbooks to workout equipment. Then, I risked it all not trying to prove people wrong but trying to prove something to myself. That I was overcoming my fear of being just another failed fighter or a guy who became trapped in the service industry because he had no other skills.
Managing to pass the course by the skin of my teeth, I began teaching abroad in primarily Vietnam as well as short-term in Taiwan. I had a lot of ups and downs from having horrible bosses, to getting in serious bike crashes where I found myself break dancing on the street, to encountering the majority of natural disasters in the world: floods that lasted for days in Tainan and Da Nang, typhoons that wreaked havoc on the island of Phu Quoc, and earthquakes that became a regular occurrence in Osaka and Taiwan.
But, was it worth it? Yes, because I learned more about myself and gained more life experience in a few years than I could have ever imagined. Slinging back shots with Yakuza in Osaka, paragliding off the mountains of Puli, and barracuda fishing off the island of Langkawi. I didn’t start living life until I moved abroad and don’t regret a damn thing.
Currently, I’m back in the town I was raised in of Orlando, Florida earning my MEd through Liberty University. However, I currently have concrete plans to leave the service industry and move to Cusco, Peru to participate in a 2-month Spanish Immersion program there while completing my last semester of my MEd online. Afterwards, I plan on backpacking South America for a short time and then moving to Yangon, Myanmar where I have accepted a full-time teaching position at an international school teaching English and physical education.
This website is intended as a means for individuals to support my travels, photography, and writing and to gain a better insight into my life of teaching, rescuing animals, and traveling the world on a shoestring budget while recommending the best, most underrated, and my personal favorites in cities such as Berlin, Colorado Springs, and Osaka during my adventures.
Moreover any subscriptions to my blog https://etchedinadventure.com/ and any recommendations on places that I should visit next will never not be appreciated!
-Shaun Stoffer, Etched in Adventure