Q1. Where did you move to and when?
Back to the UK in 2008. I currently work within the financial services industry.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
6 1/2 years.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
While I appreciate it may sound strange for somebody who worked quite happily within the Thai education system, I just didn't think that for my daughter it was a substitute for the kind of education I'd had, plus we had itchy feet, and my wife is an ambitious lady that wanted to try her luck in the West.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I can own property, I can save for retirement, I do not feel at the mercy of ever-changing immigration/labour department/MOE/TCT paperwork requirements.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
The weather, the lifestyle, the food, the prices, the beach....and of course, my old school, colleagues, and students.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
Of course I would say do Thailand if you feel it's right, just be aware that the longer you stay the harder it becomes to return to your country of origin. Don't come penniless expecting to make your fortune, and don't expect life delivered to you on a plate. Were I to advise otherwise, to stay planted firmly in the rat-race forever, I would consider myself a hypocrite. Do what you need to do.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Maybe, I feel that I've only just got back home really, and have really only got to the stage where buying a house in the UK has become feasible.
Realistically, I can't see myself coming for anything more than family holidays for my wife and daughter's benefit, until such time that my daughter has gone to university, and can afford to retire at which point, we may take advantage of a substantial amount of land my wife owns and build a little lakeside villa in Songkhla province....and maybe become a chilli farmer. Pipedreams at present.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Don't be suprised when you return, if your long experience in Thailand is not regarded as that valuable by prospective employers from outside the TEFL industry, perhaps no more than how a gap-year may be regarded. Don't burn your bridges, and try to maintain as many contacts from your old life as possible. Facebook is a very useful tool, that can help you do this...something I only had for the final year of my time in Thailand.