I read with interest Dave's and Julia's articles. I too, had many concerns when I decided to leave my home country, the United States. I went to Iraq for three years and worked. During that time I would visit "home" about two times a year. When I finally had enough of the problems in Iraq, I returned to my "home". Except, home wasn't home anymore. Sure, the buildings were still there and there were more every time I visited, but the people that attracted me there 37 years ago, had changed. I realized I didn't hardly know anyone. I felt like I was a stranger in the town I grew to love and made my home in. I guess it is human nature to want to be around familiar surroundings. In my case, something was missing.
I had been to Thailand many times on vacation and met several people that later became close friends. So, being at "home" wondering what the next chapter in my life was going to be, I decided that "home" isn't about familiar surroundings. It's about where you are the most happiest. So, I decided to sell the building I called "home" and all the furniture and move to Thailand. I had heard horror stories about securing a job before I arrived, but being some what of a rebel and not taking any one's advice, I secured a job over the Internet. No contract, just an email telling me I had a job when I arrived, the details, and a contact phone number. I had never heard of the city I received the job offer from, so a friend met me at the airport and assisted me in getting to Suphanburi.
After checking in a hotel, I called my contact number and in 10 minutes, I had my supervisor picking me up. I was shown the town and all places I might need to go, IE; Tesco Lotus, my school, etc. My supervisor assisted me in getting settled in every way possible. She even arranged a tuk-tuk to pick me up every day, take me to school, and home in the afternoon. Later, she assisted me in getting an house and moving in, finding a house keeper, buying furniture, etc.
I have been at the same school for two years. There is a lot of things I do not like, but the things I do like far out weigh the things I don't like.
So, to Dave and Julia I would say, you only live once, so take the chance and enjoy the ride. Hopefully they will have the same good fortune I had.