Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved back to my hometown in the West Midlands, England. I arrived back in June 2021, so I've only been back for a few months.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I lived in Bangkok for four years, then moved to Hanoi in Vietnam for eight months, then returned to Bangkok, where I stayed for a further three years. So an enjoyable seven years in total.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
Simply because of the Covid situation. I'm very close to my immediate family and it was almost impossible for me to come back to England for a short visit. Also, I have an 8 year old dog and I wanted to get him back to the UK before he became too old to endure the long-haul flight.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I can't really make much of a comparison. I worked in a high school for 4 years in Bangkok earning 50k baht a month. I enjoyed teaching there and I was happy with the life that my salary gave me. For my last 3 years in Thailand, I was teaching online earning between 70k-100k per month. I've continued teaching online since being back in England but the online teaching industry has been devastated by new regulations in China (where a huge proportion of the market is) so I'm teaching less and earning far less. I've done some extra work for my family's business since being back, have a good amount of savings, and I'm not paying any rent as I'm staying with my family, so things are pretty good.
An advantage of living here at the moment is that international travel is much easier than in Thailand. I recently went to Malta for 6 nights and I have plans to go to Germany, Portugal, and Greece in the coming months.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Most of my friends in Bangkok are Thai (I wasn't into the expat social scene) and I miss them dearly. I would go for drinks with different Thai friends several times each week. The most I do here is go for a couple of pints with my dad before dinner. I really miss my social life in Bangkok! I miss my apartment in Chatuchak and walking to the local market to get delicious, fiery Thai food. I miss the cute girls and smiling faces. I miss being able to buy super fresh and chilled fruit off the street. I miss the hot climate, especially now summer is over in England. I miss sitting next to the Chao Phraya River to photograph the sunset. I could go on, but I'll leave it at that.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
Yes, definitely! I had a blast living and teaching in Thailand. It's not for everyone but I felt right at home in Bangkok.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Absolutely! I'm hoping to go back to Bangkok for a month next year to catch up with friends. Currently, I don't have plans to live there again but I'm most definitely not ruling it out.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
If you're interested, you can see how much I was loving life in Bangkok from this cost of living survey that I did in July 2015 https://www.ajarn.com/help-and-guides/cost-of-living/karl1