Will Shrout

is creating travel blogs and vlogs




I'm Will Shrout: a former graduate student of Ancient Greek and Latin who became hopelessly disillusioned with academia, quit with an M.A. under my belt, and decided to give teaching abroad a shot. I loved teaching from the moment I started grad school (talk about a trial by fire- my first "class" was a remedial session for students of Classical Mythology that broke me in the best way possible. I was hooked, and two years later, I was teaching my own course on Ancient Greek linguistics. But none of this was enough to shield me from a few earth-shattering decisions to pursue alcohol treatment (one year sober and counting!) and a subsequent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I knew I had to get out of my environment, so I did what any person in my state of mind would do: apply for a position to teach English at a Chinese university in the (relatively) tiny Xinyu City. 

By some strange luck, I landed the job. After months of paperwork, consular visits, more paperwork, and visa applications, though, I was mired in so much bureaucracy, depression, and possible debt (the medical check would have cost over $900 alone), I could hardly think straight. Had I made a grievous error, moving back in with my mother, waiting tables at a local Thai restaurant for tips, with no prospects or plans for the future? As the days crept by, and the paperwork piled up, I was still in love with the idea of venturing abroad to teach. So, I once again did what any person in my state of mind would do: I found the cheapest flight to a country in Asia, hooked up with a volunteer teaching group that would feed and house me, and spent my tip money on a ticket to the last place I ever thought I'd end up: Vietnam. 

For the next five months, I couldn't believe the life I was living: teaching little kids through song and dance, basking among the alien karsts of Halong Bay, and nearly forgetting how despondent I had grown back home. But soon, I found myself falling into old habits- giving into academic bureaucracy, finding comfort in English-speaking "drinking" buddies (they were all surprisingly and wonderfully supportive of my sobriety), and getting into romantic relationships for which I felt no real passion. This is why I'm starting this Patreon: because I've stumbled on a passion that was staring me in the face since I first put pencil to paper. After moving to Hanoi for a new job as a content editor at a travel agency, I started to have a lot more free time to start writing again. I started to write, shoot video, take pictures- and through these various lenses, I started to see something I wanted to show the world: that if you take some time to breathe, hell, if you have the time to breathe in this busy, busy world, you begin to see beautiful little snippets of the world just above and just below us. Man, it may be standing right in front of us. 

This passion for the ephemeral, the weird, the unseen, and the otherwise ignored is what I want to bring to the world. This means travelli
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One of the reasons I came to Southeast Asia was to explore the vibrant cultures that are right at my fingertips. Some of these are really cheap and really close- Bangkok, Thailand, for example. 

However, with a goal of $600, I want to give you, dear readers, something really different. I want to use that money to visit somewhere (recommendations are more than welcome!) that doesn't usually show up on your standard "vacation list. I'm thinking along the lines of venturing deep into Laos or Myanmar, where I could capture some truly incredible sights and stories, not to mention the possibility of diving deep into a completely different culture with the help of my Vietnamese friends and their knowledge of these countries. 

A trip like this, with this amount of money, would also include some incredible experiences- for instance, let's say Sri Lanka is on the table. I could spend the morning trekking through the tranquil village of Hiriwadunna and have a traditional Sri Lankan lunch at a local house. Then I could go biking to get around the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa in the afternoon. Just an example, but this would be so much more than just a few videos of pretty scenery- it would be a fully immersive experience. 

It's a big sum, indeed, but it would go VERY far in Southeast Asia, and I can promise some truly amazing sights, sounds, and experiences for you to enjoy. 

Those are just my ideas, though. And, as I said above, don't be shy with the "Contact me" page- if there's something you'd like to see, or want me to scout out and review, that's what patronage is all about; finding common ground between creator and patron. 
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