Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved back to England in February of 2020, just before the first Covid wave hit Thailand (I was very lucky in that respect) so I've been back home for a year and a half.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I was there for 7 years, working at a mid-range international school in Bangkok (four years) and then a university not too far from Hua Hin.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I just fancied a break, that's all. I had a decent amount of savings behind me and was feeling a little burnt out, so I thought, what the heck!, let's go back to England for six months (possibly longer) Thailand will always be here when I get back. There was a room going spare at my sister's house and she was happy for me to live under her roof for an extended period. It just seemed like a good plan at the time.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I can't really answer this question because I had (and still have) no real intention of working full-time here. With Covid taking over the world, I've decided to stay put for the time being (I'm not interested in jumping through all those hoops to get back into Thailand right now). With my savings starting to dwindle, I've been picking up a few driving and delivery jobs and some casual factory work just to keep me busy. I'm really just killing time until the situation improves and I can head back to SE Asia.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Oh, I miss so much. Life is just one big adventure out there. And you realise this when you spend an extended period in grey old England. England still has a lot going for it, but where's the buzz? I miss zipping around town on motorcycle taxis, eating at my favourite footpath vendors and riding my motorcycle deep into the rice fields. And down in Hua Hin province, I was just a short ride from the coast so I enjoyed just sitting alone on the beach under the sahe of a tree and chatting with the sellers. Thailand is a life of simple pleasures but they all add up to something quite wonderful.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
If you're a qualified teacher and you can land those 60K+ teaching jobs, then I don't think there would be a better country to start. It's in a bit of a mess at the moment with the Covid situation but the dark night will pass.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
As soon as some semblance of normality returns, I'll be on the first plane back over.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Many teachers I worked with carried too much personal baggage around. I could never work out whether they viewed Thailand as just a country to escape to and only worked in order to get a visa. The problem is that your personality and outlook follow you around, whichever part of the world you lay your hat.
Teaching is an honorable profession, and you should be doing it for the right reasons.