Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to the USA in 2013.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I moved to Thailand in 2004 after completing university in Australia, where I also happened to meet the perfect Thai woman, with whom I am married. I taught English and Information Technology at a public secondary institution with an English program for eight years, so I was in Thailand for almost a decade.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
My wife and I had two boys in Thailand and after an arduous 8 years, I took a long hard look at my finances, my immigration status and the state of education that was awaiting our children. I hardly had any property or savings to show for my 8 years; I wasn’t anywhere near getting permanent residency in Thailand and I didn’t want to subject my kids to 21+ subjects a semester in school. I wanted them to have the childhood I never had.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I moved to the US with just $1,000 in my pocket — that’s all I had saved up for 8 years! Granted, I had family in The States, I was finally able to build credit, and within a year I had a car to get around in. I’ve never owned a vehicle before. Within three years I was able to get my family over from Thailand, and we got a house in Florida. I had landed a place in the insurance industry — a good place for a crash course into the corporate culture of America; that provides a 401k, profit-shares and other benefits.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Life in Thailand is simple and care-free. Sure, I enjoy the benefits of my home country, but one day, eventually, I will have to retire — and nothing beats retirement in a country where your dollars can go further; and where good, proper healthcare is more readily accessible.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
I have learned a lot in my travels. Although one gains a privileged vantage point of life, growing up overseas — this can be a bittersweet predicament at times. Living the simple life overseas will open your eyes to the pitfalls of your own country, and you may never see your fellow countrymen in the same light. With that said, there are so many back in my home country that would benefit from such an experience.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Absolutely — before I retire, I plan on visiting every now and then to map out where I will eventually settle. Currently working on how to build a home in Thailand that has the same conveniences as the ones here in the US.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Back here in America, the people who have had the most profound and meaningful contributions to a discussion were almost always those who have travelled outside the bubble of security and comfort most Americans relegate themselves to. Thailand remains an engagingly provocative and memorable destination for me.