From South Africa to Taiwan & Everywhere in Between: My Cambly Story

Hi, my name is Adrian M123. Before you ask, no, I’m not a robot sent from the future. That’s just the name I picked out for myself on Cambly, many moons ago now. My first name is Matthew, or Matty, as my friends like to call me (Adrian is my second name). 

The first time I read about Cambly was when I was still living and teaching English in the bustling metropolis of Taichung, in Taiwan. I was looking for a way to make some extra cash on the side, and do it from home, preferably. 

Luckily, living in the modern age means we don’t really have to look that far for this kind of information.  

So after a quick Google search, I landed on a list article, much like this one, with Cambly taking the top spot. So I decided to apply, not knowing how much this decision would prove a significant turning point in my life and change me as a person for the better. 

A typical night market in bustling Taiwan, where I would spend many nights!

My story

Before we jump into the good stuff, let me give you some background on where I’m from and who I am.  I was brought into this world on January 10th 1993, in Durban, South Africa. The youngest of 3 boys, and therefore the favourite (being the baby of the family). 

I come from a family of writers, artists and adventurers. My mom worked as an English & media lecturer, and my dad did an assortment of jobs while I was growing up, we didn’t have a lot, but we had each other, and isn’t that what really counts?

However, I wanted to see the world beyond my hometown, so I decided to take the English teaching route in Asia and landed a job in Taiwan. 

My girlfriend and I left in the summer of 2016 to start our grand adventure.

A flexible, work from anywhere job? Count me in, Cambly! 

After two years working in Taiwan, gaining experience in the ESL industry, I decided it was time for the prodigal son to return home! While I had investigated Cambly before I left, I hadn’t applied because I ended up finding substitute work at other schools to satisfy my insatiable thirst for extra cash. 

It was only once I had gotten back home and settled that I once again turned to the possibility of teaching online, and Cambly was first on my hit list. 

I thought to myself, “if I can work from home, doing what I love and earning US dollars, that’s a dream come true!” So, out went the application. 

The waiting had begun.

I kept myself busy the next couple of weeks while my girlfriend and I set up our life in South Africa. 

Until one day, I hear a “DING!” on my phone. It was happening! Cambly had activated my account, time to see what this platform is all about!

I was the new kid on the block, or rather the new tutor on Cambly

Cambly was my first ever online teaching job, so understandably, I was pretty nervous yet excited at the same time. 

I had no idea what to expect from my first few priority hours. Who would I speak to, and where would they be from? Who knows! 

I remember very clearly my first student was a kind Saudi man who just wanted to practice his English conversation skills. I had my pre-written list of questions and topics that I could focus on, but I found I didn’t need them as much as I thought, as conversation flowed quite organically between us. 

“Wow”, I thought. “I have just made a few dollars having a pleasant conversation; this is great!”

From then on, I started to work for a few hours every day. Not every conversation was as easy as the first one. Some were more challenging because of their level and what they expected of me. 

But, I always tried my best to meet my students’ expectations, and soon I found myself gaining reservations and regulars and getting to know people from all over the world. I felt they were teaching me as much as I taught them.  

A real picture of me on my first Cambly tutoring day!

My journey from amateur to Supertutor 

One of the things I love about Cambly is that it is what you make it. 

There is no pressure from Cambly to tutor for more or fewer hours. If you want to take a month off, that’s fine. If you want to work all hours of the day, no problem! You work as much as you want or as little as you want. 

The flexibility is incredible.

For me, Cambly is my secondary income and my safety net. I know that if things go South in my other forms of income, I can always rely on Cambly. 

It provides me with peace of mind that is rare nowadays, especially post Covid with the job market like it is right now. It has also been an invaluable tool for my personal growth. 

I am more confident in my daily life now, and I have learned to really listen to people and appreciate what they are saying instead of just waiting for my turn to speak.

I remember one day waking up to an email that looked like it was targeting Supertutors. I was jubilant. It suddenly all made sense why my bookings had blown up recently. 

Supertutor status. I had finally made it and was super at something, at least! I was immensely proud of myself and happy that I had positively impacted all the students I chatted to. 

My hard work, consistency, and genuine interest in my students’ lives and progress had paid off.

So, what’s next for AdrianM123?

I have tutored on Cambly for close to three years now. I’m not going to say it has its ups and downs because, with my experience with Cambly, I’ve only had ups. 

Cambly as a platform has provided me with great comfort in terms of the people I meet and work flexibility. I don’t have the same stress and anxiety that other jobs have given me.

Cambly is in the first wave of platforms that I believe is the future of work for many people worldwide—working from anywhere and having complete control of your schedule without a micromanaging boss breathing down your neck. What more could you ask for? 

I believe that everybody can get something out of tutoring on Cambly. 

You can gain experience in the ESL world, get out of your comfort zone, build your confidence, make new friends, learn about different cultures from around the world, AND make some money while doing it! 

All from the comfort of your own home; it sounds like a pretty good deal to me. 

About the Writer 
Adrian is an experienced, funny, and gregarious tutor currently residing in his laid back, oceanside hometown of Durban, South Africa. With a background in environmental management and sustainability, he has over 1000 hours on Cambly. Adrian loves to help students on their English learning journey, whatever their goals may be. He loves to chat about the environment, technology, the future, and is fascinated by his students’ cultures and countries, and wants to learn all about them.
Check out Adrian’s Cambly profile here! 

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