Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to teach in Croatia in August 2022.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I was there for about two years and loved every minute, but I did work at a very well-managed school that valued its foreign teachers. Other foreign teachers I befriended in our small southern Thai town were not so lucky.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I just fancied a change of scenery and to immerse myself in a bit of European culture again. I'm a woman in my late 50s and feel I need to grab every life experience I can while there's still town. A good friend had been teaching in Croatia for a year and absolutely loved it. I thought why not give it a try.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I don't think there are really any advantages...it's just a different environment. I earn about 25% more than I was earning in Thailand and the cost of living doesn't seem to be that much higher so I probably have slightly more spending power. Accommodation would probably be my biggest expense here but my employer provides a free apartment and pays for the utilities. Actually had that not been part of the deal, I wouldn't have come here anyway and probably stayed in Thailand. Oh, I should probably add that I'm enjoying the fresh air and the nature trail walks without dripping in sweat after a few hundred metres.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Thai food! I don't think I ate a western meal in the two years I was there. And I miss the friends I made at the school.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
I haven't really been in Croatia long enough to offer advice. But as for Thailand, I think it's a great place to teach English for a 20-something who doesn't perhaps have many prospects. It's a glorious chance 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 doesn't offer a large number of opportunities for those seeking advancement and a professional career. I am not saying professional “success” cannot 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, then it is a great place to live.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
I'm certainly eyeing up Thailand as a potential retirement destination but I can't see that being for another ten years or so. God willing.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Working in Thailand was a great experience and I'm never sure it makes much sense to compare one place with another. Instead it is better to enjoy what each country has to offer. My advice is to take all advice, including mine, with a pinch of salt and realize the “right” place to work is an individual matter based on personal preferences, opportunities and career plans.