My adventure and this current step in my life would not be possible without my amazingly supportive boyfriend and my family. I didn’t move to Thailand because I was wildly unhappy with where my life was going. In fact, I have a lot to be thankful for back home and even more to look forward to when I return. I have an incredible life ahead of me – but so do you, life is about choices at any age.
I did a lot of research on Thailand, South Korea, China, Chile, and many many other countries to see where, in my wildest dreams, I could teach abroad. A few weeks passed and my research sat on my kitchen table glaring me down every morning and every night. I woke up one morning and acknowledged the fact I wasn’t working a job that would be my career. So I asked myself, “If not now, when?” and that’s all it took.
I talked with my boyfriend and parents to work out the logistics, and later that week a one-way flight from San Francisco to Bangkok was booked. It sounds spontaneous and bold but I don’t live my life that way. I wish I could boast about how go-with-the-flow I am, but that’s not realistic at all. I’m very methodical in what steps I take. This move was nothing short of long-nights researching and constantly asking questions to my friend who was teaching in Thailand at the time. (I love you, Michelle!)
With all of the information I gathered, here is a breakdown of why I chose Thailand.
1. The People
I always wanted to backpack through Southeast Asia and when I talked with people who had done so, they all spoke so highly of the Thai people. The stories of their hospitality, carefree attitude, giving nature, and protective personalities convinced me that I would be in good hands. This was proven when I met My Thai Family.
2. Global Location
If I was going to move abroad, I wanted to be in country where I could easily travel to other places. I would’ve made more money in South Korea (top contender), but the location of Thailand and how easy it is to fly all over Southeast Asia was a huge selling point. I am able to take advantage of my location and still be happy with where I spend majority of my time.
3. Cost of Living/Salary
It’s not a secret that Southeast Asia is affordable. When you look at your salary back home and you compare it to life in Thailand, you can live very comfortably. What about when you’re on a foreign teachers salary? It’s still affordable. I would absolutely not be able to survive with my Thai salary in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’m not quite sure I was able to do that when I lived there to begin with 😉 In Thailand, I make enough to live in a comfortable apartment, eat amazing food every day, travel on the weekends, and save a little bit. Not a lot a bit though.
A lot of countries lock you into one-year contracts if you want to teach there. That was way too long to be away when I was thinking about this. In Thailand, there are term contracts, year contracts, or no contracts. Time is flying by now that I’m here and 6-months just isn’t enough time. I’ll be in Thailand for at least a year.
5. The Food
I’m a big fan of Thai food. My family would go to this amazing Thai restaurant back home and every birthday we were allowed to choose the meal to be cooked or where to eat out. I chose Thai food for years. Pad Thai and Yellow Curry were my favorites. So, when I was planning, I envisioned myself with an endless buffet of the best food ever created in it’s homeland! SCORE! Well, I was wrong. I rarely have Pad Thai and I’ve had Yellow Curry once. Thai food IN Thailand is nothing like what I had back home. It’s even better! Every food cart I go to, or the fantastic restaurant next door serves me a culinary masterpiece.
If you haven’t seen pictures of Thailand’s natural beauty, you must be living under a rock or you don’t have Pinterest. From pristine, soft white sand beaches, to the thundering mountains and waterfalls, Thailand’s landscape is breathtaking. It’s either very warm, hot, hotter, or painful every month of the year with a lovely rainy season. I love winter months back home, but this is something I knew I could go without to experience life in Thailand.
After living in Thailand for 4 months, I can’t picture myself anywhere else for my teaching abroad experience. It’s a simple, happy life here and I can always fly out of Bangkok to explore another country at a reasonable price.
Share with me: Where would be the first place you’d move abroad to? What would you do there?