Covid-19 has been a truly global event which has affected people on a scale not seen in decades.
People have been stuck at home, some have lost jobs and others have lost loved ones. This period of time wont be forgotten for many years to come and it could serve as a catalyst for people who have been on the fence about moving overseas or making big changes in their life.
We all need a push
Around nine months before I landed in Thailand something happened to me at work which was the push I needed to get me to leave the comfort of my life in London. I’d already been thinking about going to South Korea to teach but put it off because of my job and a few small doubts.
Without that big event at work I probably wouldn’t be here now. I’m sure many other people living overseas had a reason to move, a push and a pull. At the time I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay in Bangkok permanently but I knew it was the right time in my life to try living abroad. Covid-19 might be the event which persuades people to make the jump.
Re-changing your focus
For me personally, this situation has left me more determined to make the most of my life here and to really appreciate the simple things that life in Thailand brings. It’s also left me wanting to focus on living in the present, making the most of each situation.
It kind of feels like life is at a crossroads and when everything gets back to normal, people will have the choice to do the same things again or to change their life. I get the feeling that many others are in the same situation and we could see more arrivals into Thailand as people decide to make a change.
Thailand won't change overnight and there will still be ‘issues’ out there. Teacher salaries and conditions probably wont change and the cost of living will probably creep up a little each year like it always does. For new arrivals, especially those with positive attitudes, these will be small considerations. Any of the ‘drawbacks’ of being here will be negated by the many positives, especially considering what many people are going through right now.
Whilst we know that teaching is not a straightforward job and does require a fair amount of work, it may seem like a great change of lifestyle to those who have been stuck in jobs they hate. People may consider their work-life balance a little more and see Thailand as a location where they can get more for their money, have better leisure opportunities and a change of career which is more rewarding.
Lots of my friends and family back home are really impressed with how Thailand has dealt with Covid-19 in terms of the low number of deaths and policies put in place. I know they don’t know all the facts and not everything is perfect, but I think Thailand will come out of this pretty well as a destination if we compare it to China, Italy, USA or the UK for example.
I’m sure the reaction and stats from Covid-19 will impact people when it comes to moving overseas, regardless whether its to work or retire. Thailand will come out looking pretty good based on current figures although that may change.
The long-term impact of Covid-19 is hard to predict but, as I mentioned at the start of this article, people need a push to make changes in their life and I feel a lot of people will be seriously thinking about doing so right now.
Teaching in Thailand isn’t for everyone but, for people who’ve been considering it for a while, it may just be the time to start seriously planning to move.
If you enjoyed this blog, check out my website - Life in a New Country
Richard is co-author of a great new book on planning a life in Thailand.
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