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Aidan

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

London, at the start of 2022.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

Three years in a nice school near Don Muang Airport.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

To get better qualifications so I can return some day and work at an international school. I'm currently doing paid teacher training to get my QTS (Happy to help others do this) I work full-time and do a course over 18 months. My wife wanted also to experience living outside of Thailand so all of the stars aligned.

I think I was on around 55,000 when I left and I was in my late 30's so I needed to get serious about advancing my career in order to get a better salary and better working conditions.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

England is a tough place to teach at the moment and teachers are leaving the profession in droves. My traineeship is an attempt to bring new blood into the system that frankly is on its knees.

The benefit is my training. It's fantastic and helping me become a better teacher that no course or experience gave me previously.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss so much about Thailand, I hated the heat and the smell of Bangkok for the first few months but found it difficult to leave after three years.

I miss the friendliness of the locals with big smiles everyday, the street food that was cheap and cheerful, the huge markets with fresh fruit, the sheer amount of places to visit and see. I miss complaining about the dual pricing model over a beer or the drinks with colleagues into the wee hours drinking nothing but Leo and Chang.

I miss the people at my condo who tried to teach me Thai and always wanted to take selfies with me, my old condo that cost just 15% of my current place, the crazy taxi journeys where you end up miles from where you wanted to go.
Then there's the easy life with no stress, good friends and wonderful locals. There is a lot to miss.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

If you want to discover if teaching is for you then Thailand is a great first stop. It's a real fun place as I mentioned above. If I wasn't here in England for the QTS I would have no worries about ever coming back here. Sure there are some nice places but you need to be super wealthy to get ahead here and pay rip-off rents and mortgages.

The kids here take education for granted. I never once in three years had a behavior issue with a Thai pupil but here I'm writing a report on about an average of three a day.

I sympathize with the kids but every class is challenging to cope with the numbers of kids with behavior problems so it isn't all good here. I'm here for a purpose - to get my qualifications and get out.

The workload in England is astronomical compared to Thailand and I leave most days at 5 having started at 8. This is in part due to budget strain and lack of teachers, but it gets very stressful balancing all of my responsibilities.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

My plan is to get qualified, go back abroad where there are opportunities but go back to Thailand in the end.

I plan to build a house in Isaan somewhere listening to trance music with a few friends drinking Leo and Chang and living the farmer lifestyle complaining about why my pineapples aren't growing to make pina coladas.

Thailand grew on me over time and I can't wait to go back - plus the wife is from there so we'll get back often.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand is a wonderful place, full of adventures and crazy places but also full of beautiful people, some of the kindest people I've ever met and a place I'd be happy to call home.

Is it perfect? no it isn't, but where is? If you come into the country comparing it to yours, then go back. We have no right telling them how to run their country.

Yes, it's inconvenient going to the police station every year to take fingerprints, yes there are power cuts, smog, pollution and all manner of mad things but it's also a great place to start a career in teaching for the first year or two to get to grips.

It's a great place to explore and grow as an individual. It's close to other countries in the area for tourism. It's still cheaper than living here in England by a mile.

It's amazing how many people complain about Thailand becoming expensive but come on, you can get a decent condo or house for 10,000 baht a month. Compare that to London where a room with a single bed, a desk and a wardrobe is between 25,000 - 30,000 baht for basically a shoe box.

If you are qualified then Thailand still has a lot to offer in terms of location and development.

Thank you for letting me say my piece, love the site and miss Thailand.

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