Q1. Where did you move to and when?
Vietnam, but have accepted a contract to move to China this summer
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
10 years or so
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
Career advancement and higher wages
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I have accepted a position as a professor, US wages, summers off, research support. This just isn’t available in Thailand, I wish it were.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
So much, I really do love Thailand and will still spend time here and maintain a home here. I guess like most, I have a love hate relationship with the country.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
It depends, what is right for me might not be right for someone else. What was right for me at a different point in my life is not the best option now.
In making a very broad generalization, Thailand is a great place to teach English for a 20-something without spectacular prospects to spend a few years enjoying life and getting some international experience. It is also a great place for those changing careers into teaching later in life.
However Thailand does not offer a large number of opportunities for those seeking advancement and a professional career. I am not saying professional “success” can not be found in Thailand, but there are limited opportunities for foreigners, at least as far as paid work goes for those wanting a career outside of being an English teacher. Thailand is what it is and has the opportunities it has, if this fits your career plans and opportunities than it is a great place to live.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Oh yes, I will maintain a home here and expect to spend my summers here "researching" and doing other stuff. Right now I expect to retire in Thailand.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Working in Thailand has been a great experience, but so has working in Vietnam and Japan and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life in China.
I am not sure it makes much sense to compare one place with another, instead it is better to enjoy what each location has to offer. My advice is to take all advice, including mine, with a grain of salt and realize the “right” place to work is an individual matter based on personal preferences, opportunities and career plans.