Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to Austria in 2017.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I worked in Bangkok for 5 years. Half of the time was spent working for NGOs, the other half teaching at a mid-tier international school.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
While I was lucky enough to meet my husband in Bangkok, we both found that we had become quite complacent with our jobs, education and prospects. We loved our social life but felt there was more to achieve in our careers.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
Austria is very safe, stable and socially minded. We both have full time jobs in our fields, earn good salaries and spend a reasonable amount on rent, bills etc. Healthcare is free and very good. Austria also offers 14 salaries per year (a double salary twice a year), which is a nice perk. With a full-time contract, pretty much everything is covered here. I cycle to work and my husband works from home. We live a short walk away from the closest hiking trails and spend our weekends and holidays in the mountains or the Croatian coast. We have also adopted a dog now, which we felt was a bit tricky in Bangkok (traffic, lack of green spaces, long days at work). In Thailand, we only had partial health insurance, our salaries were mediocre and we spent an incredible amount of time commuting to work.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Everything else. I loved my life in Thailand. I had amazing friendships, spent weekends rock-climbing and going to the beach, the food (both local and foreign) was amazing and Bangkok never got boring. Bangkok just really worked for me. I still miss it today.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
Thailand can be good for new teachers - there are options both for young people who are just trying it out and there are opportunities for solid teaching positions which can also help advance your teaching career. I suppose it's important to know what you want - a couple of years of not-really-teaching or a serious commitment to an international school which will require a lot of work but will also offer opportunities for advancement.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
We have visited once since we left and plan to visit again as soon as it's possible. We often talk about moving back one day, now that we have furthered our education and careers and could find better jobs if we wanted.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
As many places, Thailand suits some people and not others. I'd always recommend it as a place to visit and, if you can look past the many challenges, it's an amazing place to spend a longer time. We live a very cushy, stable life now but have lost the social life we used to have in Bangkok.