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Paul

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved back to my hometown in Texas in December 2021.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I was there for about four years at the same secondary school in Bangkok.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I just woke up one morning and thought 'enough was enough'. I'd had by and large a fantastic four years but I was about to hit thirty years old and I wasn't confident that teaching in Thailand was something I wanted to do into middle age and beyond. You never really know which direction the country is going in either and living from annual visa extension to extension, you never feel truly settled or that you belong or that you're wanted. It just felt like time to move on.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

Well, I'm earning four times the salary here that I did in Thailand (with more benefits) but the cost of living is more expensive of course. I've just moved into my own apartment after living back with my parents for several months and suddenly being on my own is taking some getting used to. I'm also working crazy hours at the moment because the company have so much work on. You have to put a lot more organisation and thought into your life over here compared to Thailand.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

What I really loved about teaching in Thailand was at 4.00 pm when you finished that last lesson of the day, you didn't have to give your work another moment's thought until the first class the following day. You could completely switch off and enjoy what was left of the day. And with being at the school for four years, I had pretty much fine-tuned my schedule to no weekend work and out of the door at 4.00 pm on weekdays. It was a pretty cushy number if I'm honest. There was no pressure on me at all.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

Oh absolutely. Thailand is a great place to gain experience in the classroom. As long as you look the part, turn up on time and be polite to everyone, you'll lead a comfortable life. If you're one of those teachers who likes to rock the boat and question every decision and crazy idea the school has, then you won't last long. You've got to just go with the flow, that's the secret of enjoying life in Thailand.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Not at the moment but if things don't work out here or I start to experience the dreaded burnout, who knows?

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand can be a wonderful and addictive place to live for a few years, but if you feel that things are getting a bit stale (as I did) don't stay doing the same thing for the sake of it. Perhaps it's time for a move...and there's no shame in feeling that way.

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