Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved back to England in early December 2022.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I was there for just over a year and worked at a government school in Pathum Thani, on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I wanted to teach English in SE Asia for a year to see if teaching was really for me. I don't think it was.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
Well of course I've only just got back and I wanted to spend Christmas and New Year with my family before making any decisions on my future. It was nice to be home again. I'm not sure I'm the kind of person who could become a long-term expat on the other side of the world. There is just too much I miss about Sheffield!
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I would say the Thais themselves. They are generally so easy to get along with and also very helpful if you have any kind of problem. I was always amazed at how much they'd go out of their way for you. I also miss a lot of the cheaper aspects of living in Thailand like the massages and buying fresh food from the local markets. Living in Thailand feels like every day is an adventure (though perhaps 'challenge' would be a better word on most days)
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
I've seen this said on Ajarn many times so I'll just add one more voice. Thailand isn't a place to build a career and plan for the future as a teacher unless you're well-qualified and can snag a position at a top international school. I was earning north of 40K a month but would want at least three times that if I was taking living in Thailand for the long term seriously.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
To teach English? No. It was something I wanted to say I'd tried and done. Mission accomplished. Although it was enjoyable for the most part, TEFL doesn't strike me as something I could do for years on end.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
I worked with many foreign teachers who seemed to have little choice but to float around SE Asia - a year here, a couple of years there - teaching for little more than survival wages. At 24 (the age I am now) it's not too late to change direction but at the wrong side of 50 with no real savings, no pension plan and all your bridges burned back in your homeland, it's a very different landscape. You don't want to be one of those people.