Submit your own Great Escape

Samuel Sherwood-Hale

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Benavente in Northern Spain, about two weeks ago.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

About a year: 6 months in Chiang Mai on the TEFL circuit and 6 months in Chiang Rai in an EP at a government school.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I didn't move from Thailand to Spain directly; I left Thailand, after I felt like I travelled SEA enough, and went back home for Christmas. I wanted to keep teaching English as a foreign language and was interested to see if it's just as easy to get a teaching in Europe as it is in Thailand.

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

Well the wages, but that's a given. The demands are higher and obviously so is the cost of living, so relatively it probably works out the same. If I was looking to save then this country would be better than Thailand but as I like to travel it'll be hard to make my wages stretch to the same extent I could in Thailand. In Thailand most of the mid-range western style pubs and restaurants were aimed at expatriates/tourists which could be annoying sometimes, whereas here everyone's part of the same community.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The people of course, I suppose I was slightly spoilt being in Chiang Mai so there were lots of other young Westerners around teaching and travelling. But it was definitely an easier country to live in, that's always the first thing people say and there's a good reason why. All the other usual suspects, the food, the weather, pace of life etc.

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

If this is a new teacher then we're assuming they're quite young so I'd always say Thailand, It's a young person's place up North so I'd always say go for CM or around that area. If you're looking to make a positive career move then, unless you're a proper teacher, Thailand might not be the best choice. If you're all about lifestyle and quality of life then Thailand every time.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Never say never, there are lots of countries I'd like to visit but I know how much I enjoyed Thailand so yes I will probably return to work again. Also I think it'd be a waste if I didn't capitalize on what I learnt whilst I was there.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

I don't think I'm who this section is aimed at! I haven't been here in Spain long enough to really say which country I prefer. Maybe I'll do this again in a few years when I feel like I really have made a great escape.

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