Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to China in August.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I worked in Thailand for almost 7 years.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
New opportunities popped up. I was also struggling to make ends meet , and even though I was making an OK salary for Thailand by English teacher standards, it just wasn't enough. I was in debt, and that's a terrible position to be in in Thailand unless you are working at the best paying schools. Plus I have been working on a masters degree and felt like it was time to progress in my career.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
The money and career progression are certainly some major advantages of where I am now, as is the change. I feel like it's good to shake things up from time to time. It builds character.
I can't think of a ton of advantages to working in Thailand in terms of career. Price-wise, daily expenses don't seem to be vastly different where I am now, but I suppose some of that depends on what you do. I certainly feel like the access to entertainment is better and more varied in Thailand, and cheaper, depending again on what you do.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I do miss Thailand. I miss the nightlife, of course. I miss the general pace and ease of life, and when you live in a place for a long time you start to feel much more rooted there.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
Like a lot of people on The Great Escape say, that kind of depends. I think if you are dead set on working in Thailand and won't have it any other way, go for it. I was like that and don't regret anything. But I think you will eventually find that unless you get into the right niche, you just won't make enough money, and I do think your future career options could be affected.
Plus, it sounds like a no-brainer, but it's easy to put on the rose-colored glasses and think working in Thailand will be like vacationing there long-term. Obviously it won't be. But Thailand is also very addictive for a lot of people. I think the feeling of ease and that sort of thing has the potential to backfire on you eventually, especially if you aren't in the best job or doing something to further yourself.
Also, be warned, regulations have gotten much more stringent and Thailand is not the best place for casual work anymore.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
For sure. I already plan to head back for Chinese New Year.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Thailand is changing, and it's not exactly the same place I began working in back in 2010. I guess everything changes eventually.
It is also not as cheap as it used to be. It's still a great place, and I'd go back in a heartbeat to work there again if the right opportunity came my way. Otherwise, I think it's a good idea to think a little bit about your future and maybe save Thailand for holidays. Just my thoughts.