Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I'm not sure if this qualifies as a 'great escape' since I am still in Thailand, but I definitely escaped the Thai education system so I think that counts.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
Two and a half years as a foreign teacher. That included one year at a public school in Lampang and one and a half years at a private school in Rayong.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I spent those two and a half years living a somewhat double life: by day a foreign teacher, and by night doing freelance projects. I eventually got to the point where I could no longer juggle both, and I am now self-employed and only doing the online gigs.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I earn about three times my teaching salary, but only working ten hours per week on average. So having my own income for a fraction of the time commitment is a massive advantage. I now have more free time to pursue other interests, which I never seemed to have while I was a teacher.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I miss my students. That's about it. I definitely won't miss the politics, Thai staff, long office hours, and mountain of paperwork.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
Yes, as a sandbox to gain valuable teaching experience. Expectations are pretty low so it's ideal for graduates or gap year students.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Obviously this is not applicable to me because I'm still here.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Almost every teaching job in Thailand comes with long office hours, but also plenty of dead hours too. Use that time wisely. Look for side gigs or any other potential online income and use the time to build your own reputation and client base. Having an independent income is worth it.