Richard McCully

Could it be time to seize the moment?

Will the Covid-19 situation give more people the push to move abroad?

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. 

Planning your new life in Thailand isn’t easy. There are many hurdles to jump and potential frustrations galore. From practicalities through to cultural issues, from finances to fitting in and making friends, there is so much to learn. Luckily, you will find all the basics explained in this 282 page book. 

Settling in Thailand takes a broad, insightful and balanced approach – neither too cynical nor evangelical, this book sets a precedent in terms of presenting a positive but realistic and non-judgemental description of Thailand life for foreign residents. 

Written by two British expats in Thailand, and with interviews with another 13 expats from around the world, you will get first-hand experience, advice and explanations of expat life in Thailand. With a combined 150 years of Thai experience this book is the ultimate guide to making sure your move and settling in Thailand goes smoothly.

Order now in e-book or paperback format.


Most "teachers" here are anything but. Drifters without any prayer of gainful employment at home. Pure chancers.

You'd think Thailand and teaching would provide a platform to jumpstart a career at 30-35-40-45 even 50! But they approach teaching like everything else in life and that is to do the bare minimum and avoid the chopping block. This lot will moan forever about wages having invested nothing in themselves. Most painful 98% of teachers in Thailand hate teaching. This is so shockingly evident with my coworkers and the increase of salary only empowers and makes them even more lazy. Peter Pans the lot.

By Jim Beam, The Big Smoke (5th December 2020)

With increased risk and fewer rewards, I could see less good teachers and more scumbags. With all the people in cash strapped schools and no social safety net or government allowances who are also locked out of their countries, why the hell would anyone worth their salt sign up for less than minimum wage, unless they were totally and utterly desperate? I appreciate the author's optimistic and cheerful spin on the situation, but I just don't see it.

By Brad, Vietnam (14th May 2020)

Encouraging desperate, unemployed westerners to come here and roll the dice is complete folly. Farang are at the bottom of the pecking order here, and the current economic mess here will only cement that status for the next 1-2 years at least.

By Ted, Thonburi (9th May 2020)

Supply might increase but the demand is likely to decrease.

By Scott, Locked down (9th May 2020)

It's truly amazing that a 'teacher' could find stagnant wages, a recessionary economy and rising cost of living to be merely 'small considerations' that can be done away with a 'positive attitude'. Enjoy your stay in the Magic Kingdom...the ATM is over there, lol!

By Joseph, Bangkok (8th May 2020)

23 million English speakers have been made unemployed in the last 2 months in the US, and there are likely to be huge numbers of redundancies in the UK too. Some of nastier online companies have cut salaries in response to huge demand for work from newly unemployed English speakers, but with Thailand likely to be closed to those from countries with CoVid for some time yet, there will be no influx this year.

By Rob, Bangkok (8th May 2020)

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