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https://www.thelifeofasolivagant.com/

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But what’s the difference between MLM sales consultants and affiliates? A lot of companies these days have brand ambassadors and affiliates as a way for their buyers to make money off marketing their products to anyone out there paying attention. I’ve dabbled in being an ‘ambassador’ or ‘affiliate’ myself. What’s the difference then? Affiliates or ambassadors are just people who can (usually) offer you a discount for merchandise from a brand if you use their link. If you use their link they also get commission from the sale. But they don’t have to recruit you to be an affiliate or ambassador. They are just marketing the product by posting it on social media and give you the option to order the same or similar products with their link. This also works for services, usually through a referral system. If you use my link for @bookingcom, let’s say, you get 10% off your booking and I get $15. But there’s no pyramid of people making money off you booking through me. Just me getting $15 and you getting a discount. In an MLM, when you order a product the person you order from makes commission, as does the person that recruited them, and the person that recruited them, and the person that recruited them, you get the point. And that’s why products costs so much more than market value, eventually there are so many people who make commission off of it. But MLMs make most their money off the sellers buying the product for themselves to get promotions or to ‘build up supply’ to sell or make sample sizes, and the recruiting. Every new recruit has to buy a starter kit. The starter kit is usually sample products that aren’t enough to really get an idea for the product so they have to buy more. So the more you recruit, the more money you make off the sales your recruited have to make in order to just start selling. I could go on, but in the end, affiliates/ambassadors/referrers are just more straightforward and transparent than MLMs /•/
Why am I so interested in MLMs right now? Why am I posting and sharing what I find? Well as we all know with social media, things aren’t always as they seem. People tend to post the highlight reels and the positivity but not always the reality or the mistakes. Those who leave the world of MLMs are not usually vocal about it, for fear of judgement, embarrassment and guilt for getting others involved. Until I started looking, I’d only ever seen positive posts, from the people who sell the products, over and over again. Sometimes it’s less obvious they are selling something until the ‘DM me for more info’ at the end of the post. But the theme is positivity and can you blame them? They are trying to sell the product after all. But unfortunately that’s only one side of things. So I have been looking into the other side of things. Actually to be honest I’ve been looking into both. Obviously in my mind I have already decided against MLMs and as with anything, there’s a plethora of information to support any opinion or belief you have, so I am trying to be balanced about it. But I am sharing the articles exposing the sides of MLMs that aren’t posted freely so those of you who only see the positives from your friends and family see both sides and can decide for yourself. Keep your eye out in my stories for more revealing MLM articles as I continue to look into specific companies. Also I love this pig /•/
I don’t want to be a #bossbabe, or CEO.
I don’t want your ‘financial freedom’.
I don’t want to work from home.
I don’t want a ‘support’ system.
I am currently working my dream job, saving as much money as I am spending. I eat healthy, exercise when I want to, and not when I don’t want to. I am healthy. I am happy.

I am not the ideal person to recruit to an MLM, yet I get messages from people trying to recruit me anyways. Because in the end, the messages I get are sent out to the person’s whole list of ‘friends’. Why? Because recruitment is key for MLM ‘businesses‘. Most the sales within a MLM business are by people recruited to be ‘part of the team’. The sellers are the buyers. That’s how the company makes their money. All those products you buy once you sign up to sell, other people are making money on. And 80-90% of people selling for an MLM make $0 and spend a ton.

After reading @ellebeaublog’s story, it made me sad, but also angry. I know some people will read this and feel as though I am personally attacking them and their ‘business’ and I would love to say I’m not talking about you. But more like I’m not JUST talking about you. Half my social media is people selling products through MLMs and trying to sell a lifestyle that doesn’t exist. 
If you are one of those people, I encourage you to read @ellebeaublog and to start keeping track, like she did, of all the money you put into this ‘business’ that you are the #bossbabe of and how much you actually get out of it. 
As irritated as I am to get bombarded with these selling tactics on social media, and to have people start a conversation with me just to try to sell me product or recruit me, I am more just worried for them. I worry for their relationships they are straining. Their bank accounts they are depleting. And their health they are putting into the hands of supplements (that don’t work, just exercise and eat healthy!). You can be a badass bitch and not be a #bossbabe getting paid every few hours living the dream working from home. I am 🤷🏼‍♀️And I am here to sell you the dream… the dream of not being influenced by others on the idea that your life isn’t what it could be. It is /•/
Yesterday I posted in my Instagram stories about how Nick and I went for a walk so I could finally see #strawpocalypse, which is across the highway and a decent but easy walk from where we live in a new mall. This morning I woke up to a bunch of messages about the straws (people thinking they looked too new, wondering why I’d go see something made from straws when I’m against straws and hoping they were used). Of course they are used. That’s the point. It’s to raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste on the environment. With the help of @zerowastesaigon and @starbucksvietnam, @vonwong collected waste and sorted through to find used straws of all different colours. The colours were then separated into groups. The Strawpocalypse was created with 168,000 straws recovered from Vietnamese waste to represent ‘The Parting of The Plastic Sea’. Obviously with no context in my stories some people didn’t gather that, so I felt it necessary to make it more clear here. It was an amazing yet sad installation that I urge anyone in Saigon to go check out /•/
Appreciation post for where I live in the here and now. Saigon, you may not be where I want to stay forever but I sure am happy to be here right now. I love my job. I love my apartment. I love the view from my apartment. I love my neighbourhood. I love my life. Isn’t it weird how you can be happy to be living somewhere, knowing there’s an expiry date eventually? Though I am not sure what will come next after living here, I am content in knowing that I am where I want to be and we will be staying in our little home we have made for another year. Especially happy to stay in this apartment. In the last country we lived in, we moved 3 times in less than a year (not because we wanted to). This time, though we were put into an apartment for our first month and then moved to this one, we have made it our home and excited to have another year of sunrises out my window and sunsets off my balcony /•/
I see a lot of people (women mostly) with Instagram posts telling you to tag someone who inspires you, or who you appreciate, and so on. Especially this week as it is International Women’s day on Friday. I love this idea but at the same time, it feels so impersonal at the same time. Though I think any way you choose to show your love and appreciation to the women in your life is lovely, I am going to steal an assignment that my boyfriend uses in his health class right now. Instead of tagging a woman on here to read my words, I want you to write your own. Think of a woman who inspires you, supports you or you just all around admire. I want to you to write a letter, an email, a message or an entire instagram caption all about her. What is it about her that you love so much? What does she do that makes you inspired/feel supported? Tell her.
I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to read messages or posts from women I know telling me how I’ve inspired them. Or thanking me for my support. I am not here to brag about that, but to let you know that everyone deserves to know that they’ve inspired something in someone else. That they have been a great support to someone else. So think of who that someone is for you, and let them know. 
I chose this picture because my mum has always been my biggest supporter. She is always someone I know I can go to with any problems, of any kind. She supports my lifestyle, even if she doesn’t like me being so far away. She would drop everything in a heartbeat to be there for me if I needed her. She has also been an inspiration to me because she has worked hard all her life, even at jobs she didn’t enjoy, and now has a successful business she created herself. I am super proud of all she has accomplished and I know I don’t tell her that enough. 
And on that note, who have you not told that enough to; Go tell them! Make someone’s day /•/
For the first time in the almost 4 years I’ve known him, this man does not have any school work to do because he just finished his second degree (first one in exercise science, this one in mathematics). Though I have only ever known him to be a student (as well as a teacher) I am so excited for him to not have to worry about assignments he has due while we are on trips or not being able to do things on the weekend cause of quizzes or exams. Now we can spend more time together; cause you know working together, living together, traveling together, clearly is not enough time together right? But seriously, just being able to sit on the couch together reading or go on more walks throughout the weekend days, has already been so lovely. Excited for our first trip coming up in less than 3 weeks, where he won’t have any school work to worry about and we can explore with reckless abandon. Also I’m super proud of him, as he is the smartest person I’ve ever known and is continuously pursuing knowledge all for the sake of learning and growing #rolemodel /•/
GUESS WHERE WE ARE GOING IN OCTOBER!? I am super excited right now for some upcoming travel plans I have in the works and I can’t not talk about them. I have a problem 🤷🏼‍♀️ But we are currently working out the itinerary and such, and are about to pay for, our trip to BHUTAN for October break. Originally I had been looking into options to have our big trip of next school year be a trip to the Maldives but to be honest, I think being ‘stuck’ on an island in a water bungalow would lose its appeal after a few days with nowhere to explore but the tiny island you are on or the water surrounding you. So I thought long and hard about what places Nick and I had been discussing previously of destinations we both were really interested in going, and Bhutan popped up immediately. And as I looked into it more and more, the more I realized it’s not as inaccessible as people seem to put out there, and it just looks absolutely incredible. Though it’s not 100% booked, as I need to make payments, it’s definitely going to happen and we couldn’t be more excited! So for those of you who guessed in my insta-stories, here’s my answer! /•/
I wrote this long ass caption about eating while traveling or living abroad, and it didn’t fit into this space. I didn’t want to chunk it off into my comments cause let’s be real, even the people who read to the end of this are highly unlikely to find the rest in the comments to continue reading.
Here is the gist of what I wanted to say about it:
I love food. I love trying new foods when I travel. I love looking up what food each city I go to is known for and trying it. It is something I enjoy when I travel.
While living abroad, I don’t necessarily feel the need to eat as much of the local food as if I was traveling. Sure I try it, but I also cook. I grocery shop. I make meals that I enjoy. I eat a healthy diet (at least now that I am older and have better influence in my life on that part).
People often find it surprising when I say I don’t like Vietnamese food. Often following it with ‘but have you tried ______?’ or telling me I just "haven’t been to the right restaurants and food stalls". It’s as if I can’t decide for myself that I just don’t particularly like it. The flavours, or lack thereof, just don’t do it for me. And that’s okay. Just cause I live here doesn’t mean I have to eat the countries food. When on vacation sure; I spent 3 weeks in Thailand over the winter holidays eating thai food in restaurants and from food stalls all day every day, because it’s my favourite. But I also knew it was temporary.
Do I agree that you should try it at least? Of course. But even if you didn’t, I may not understand it, but it’s your life. Everyone has different things they travel for. Some travel strictly to try foods, and some don’t try new foods at all, meanwhile I am somewhere in the middle. I suppose it’s just another one of those things people needlessly judge others for, when it’s no one else’s business.
On that note, I loved this egg waffle and have found a place in Saigon that has them and I want to go get one. Anyone care to join me? /•/
I super excited for a few things right now! And naturally I have to post it on Instagram 🤷🏼‍♀️
First, we are officially coming back to Vietnam for a third year next school year. Though I am getting tired of city life, we just love these damn kids too much to leave just yet. Plus we are currently enjoying our jobs, specifically the classes we are teaching. And life in Vietnam is pretty great right now. Why change it up just to change it up when you are happy with where you are?
Second, we have booked our flights home for summer! Nick and I will be flying home separately this summer mid-June for 3 weeks, with one of my weeks attending a workshop at UofT on teaching AP Literature. 
And third, on our way back to Vietnam we are extending our layover in Japan to three weeks. Japan has been high on my list for awhile and there is so much to see there but we are limiting ourselves to spending it in Kyoto, and also attending the Setouchi Triennale, which is an art festival held every 3 years across a dozen islands in the Seto Inland Sea. I am super excited about this cause I found out about it while planning to hit up art islands anyways! Plus I preordered some sumo wrestling tournament tickets 🙌🏼 as there is one taking place in Nagoya which is a train ride away from Kyoto. We will also spend a couple days in Osaka before heading back here but haven’t quite figured out that part of the trip yet, as I kinda want to go to Harry Potter World or whatever in Universal Studios there. 
And those are the things sparking joy in me in this moment /•/
I’m not going to lie and say that Nick and I enjoyed our time on the cruise this month. There were many reasons we felt it was hard to enjoy ourselves; some personal that I will not get into. But mainly it’s just not our style of travel. We felt trapped. We never felt like we had long enough in any place we stopped. While on a trip we usually spend our days wandering endlessly, and sometimes aimlessly, but there wasn’t much of that. The days we were on the boat all day were the hardest. The boat was mostly 60+, with a scattering of younger people here and there. Thankfully it had a gym for us to not be stagnant all day. But those days felt like we were just eating, then waiting around to eat again, then eating and repeat. It’s hard to feel hungry again when you haven’t done anything all day but lay and read. It seemed very gluttonous. I’m not trying to be ‘negative’ here, as there were good parts of it, just as usual feel the need for honesty over phoniness. I loved seeing my parents and spending time with them (since we live on opposite ends of the planet and don’t do this often). I loved showing them around HCM when we got here and them finally seeing somewhere I live abroad. I loved joking around with my dad as we do. I loved hiking with Nick and Nam in HK. But overall, the cruise just wasn’t US. And I can honestly say we will never do one again. We tried it but in the end, it’s our own faults. We knew it wouldn’t be our thing and we set ourself up for failure. Or at least I did, since I make the decisions for travel 😝 and though it may not have been ideal, I appreciate my parents bringing us along and I loved meeting back up with them in Singapore at the end /•/
A decade ago, at this very moment, I was on a plane to move abroad to Australia by myself. It was the first time I would move away from my home country, this time for teachers college, but it would not be my last. Though I did not stay abroad continuously for the last decade, I have spent the better part of it living abroad and doing what I love, teaching. Teaching has always been the thing that has taken me to live in the places I have, and will continue to do so in the future. It’s crazy to me how this picture of me in Mooloolaba feels like just yesterday but also a lifetime ago. So much has changed, mostly inside me. To think of much I’ve grown, evolved and just become the person I am meant to be, all because I decided to go to school abroad. And I like it even better that my story is not an ‘I quit my 9-5’ one. My 9-5 allowed me this lifestyle and I am forever grateful for this life I lead /•/