Q1. Where did you move to and when?
Back to the USA (Las Vegas) in May of 2017
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
Family concerns, as my mother is struggling. I mentioned this in my <a href="http://www.ajarn.com/help-and-guides/cost-of-living/lance" title="cost of living survey">cost of living survey</a> I did (November 2016). I have no other family who can help out and it was either put her in a senior home or move back and help.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
Work - fair pay, a proper pension and labor laws being followed. No 90-day check ins or work permit hassles. I can drive to work and own a nice car for far less than what it costs in Thailand. Able to be in a management role without being micromanaged. Also, my wife has more job options and makes more than she did in Thailand.
I used to work in sales and marketing (My best year was pulling in 145,000 USD) before I got stressed, my health was getting worse and I was sick going to work. So I went back to University/student teaching to get a teaching license and went overseas. Now that I am back in the USA I chose a less stressful job managing a recreation center. Yes the pay is only 50,000 USD a year but I have my evenings, weekends and sanity.
Life - The variety and affordability of food, cheap buffets at the casinos, being able to drive to California on the weekend and there is far more entertainment in Vegas than in Thailand. Also, no state tax is a huge plus.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
My brother-in-law. He is amazing and we’d kick back with some beers on a Friday night and attempt to talk in each other’s native language. He taught me how to fly drones and fix minor computer issues. Just a great guy and I could not have asked for a better brother-in-law. Hopefully he can visit next year.
I also miss the simplistic way of life and was less stressed in Thailand. Yes, Thailand has it's fair share of problems but no country is perfect.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
If you are qualified and have a teaching license then yes. At the very least get qualified to be a substitute teacher in your homeland before seeking work. Also, before you go to Thailand do some tutoring or coach youth sports too as it really helps to have some background in education to build up your resume.
Going to Thailand with few skills and qualifications, you will have a rougher time I feel.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Of course, as my wife and I plan to retire there. Depending on my mother's situation, maybe we will return earlier.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
My wife loves the USA and I enjoy seeing her find new things of interest. Such as “WOW! They have slot machines in the airport?” “WOW! Brittney Spears performs every night?” and when we stopped at a 7-11 en route to California and she bought the largest drink possible just because “It looked like a fun American thing to do”.
I was worried she would not adapt to the USA and Vegas would be sensory overload for her but she has adapted quite well. Her English has got a lot better, she enjoys her job too and has made new friends.
We don't plan to be in the USA forever so our attitude is just to enjoy the experience for now.