Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved back to UK to do a PGCE and become a (er-hem!) proper teacher.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
Two years, firstly in Bangkok, then I moved to teach in Hat Yai and then came back to Bangkok.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
To get properly qualified and hopefully come back to get a well paid job in an international school - but it didn't work out that way. I got kind of 'stuck' back in the UK as I got a job in a secondary school here. In the end, I did go back abroad but ended up in Malaysia, which was actually great. It's a nice expat lifestyle there and everyone spoke English. I found it so much easier to settle there than in Thailand.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
By far better money, a pension and all those things you never had to think about when you were younger, single and had no children. I met a lot of older teachers back in my Thailand days who were living paycheck to paycheck, spending all their wages on having a good time - all the time. That's great when you're young, but one day when you're older, you'll find you don't have a pot to piss in and you have to make provisions for that.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
The people. Thais are so good-natured generally. I miss the food, especially from street food stalls and the beautiful places you could travel to from Bangkok. The beaches, the temples, etc.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
If you are young and looking to travel and get some life experience that is interesting and enriching - not money-wise I mean - then yes, go to Thailand. It's not the greatest pay if you are an EFL teacher, but you find your level and live within those means, still being able to have affordable holidays, etc.
If you are male and single, you will find suddenly you are Casanova. But be careful. Those lovely smiling bar beauties see you as a walking ATM. But having said that, many men meet the love of their lives in Thailand and are happy.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Would love to go back but as a tourist / visitor only.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
If you think teaching English in private language businesses is going to be a walk in the park, think again. I found the hours to be awkward, the pay not that great and when I worked in Bangkok, the travelling to work gradually got to me. My last job there was the best as I lived quite close to the school. But before that, the daily commute was a pain in the posterior!