It has been a long journey, not without its ups and downs, and a lots of lessons learnt.
Living in Thailand has been fun, scary, eventful, happy, sad, exciting, the list of emotions could go on and on!!
I truly like living in Thailand, I can wake up in morning and say to myself, am I living a dream, or am I really in Thailand, some days I have to pinch myself to know I’m really still here. When I was 18 I could have never imagined myself here all through my 20’s. Now I can’t see myself going back to the United Kingdom. If I am not in Thailand I will be somewhere else in the world.
I feel I would be less of the person, less experienced, less of who I am today if I had spent my adult years in the United Kingdom. I have seen many of my old friends in the same town, doing very similar things, not doing what they love. I could see myself there doing the same thing if I hadn’t made an on the whim decision to live in Thailand. Instead I could be there working the 9-5 job, earning a living, not enjoying what I do and become a slave to the system. Hell NO!!!
However, I live in Thailand, I train and fight Muay Thai. I do what I love, it may not be the best money, but money doesn’t bring you happiness, it can make life easier. I had a lot of money before and it did not make me any happier than I am now.
I have been here for 8 year, it was originally Muay Thai that brought me here, however due to financial situation I have had to teach English, outsource my skills and sell Thai Items to people online. My only goal was to make money to train Muay Thai again.
As a person living in Thailand I have met new people, experienced Thai culture, Learnt a new language, traveled to new places, and had new experiences. All of these things have developed me as a person, to who I am today.
Meeting New People
Living in Thailand I have met people from all over the world. This has made me appreciate different cultures and people. I have seen there a good people and bad people no matter where they come from. I have had to filter a lot of people I have met, the ones that don’t match with me I don’t talk to any more. The ones who I have kept as friends are the ones who have become become good friends, someone I can laugh with, discuss our differences, and have chat with about many things.
In the last year I have spent a lot of time alone, making me lonely and thinking too much, however when I spend time with these people who I have kept in contact with they make me happy and can make an average day turn into the best day.
Bangkok vs Isaan
Thai people are very friendly, warm, and always have a smile on their face. A lot of Thai people who live in Bangkok come from Isaan (North East Thailand), they come to Bangkok mainly due to bigger opportunities in work and education.
Living in Bangkok people can become very secluded that you don’t know the people living in your soi or even the people living next door to you. In Isaan villages however everyone knows everyone, it is a small community. 8 years ago when I first went to my friends village Bang KrabuengNok in Khorat Province, I was there little time and people knew a foreigner was in the village already.
The people in those small villages are mainly rice farmer.
Learning Thai Language has helped me understand that English is not as easy to learn as I once thought, there are certain difficulties and barriers when learning a language that can only be overcome with persistence and effort. Thai language in particularly was the first language I set out to learn, this was mainly forced upon by myself due to me getting nowhere with anything due to a language barrier. I had to learn, I really had no choice, it was learn to speak the language or live in difficulty for the rest of my time.
Learning Thai has given me the ability to not just get by day to day with ease, but it has given me the ability to make new friends. Travelling has become so much easier, I regularly travel to Buriram so the language makes this trip a breeze.
Ease To See South East Asia
Having Thailand as my base gives me the opportunity to see many countries close by. I like the fact I don’t have to travel for 20 hours and spend hundreds of pounds£ to get to a country which is now only a few hours away.
If I had not left my home country at 19 I do not think I would have matured as quickly as I have done. Before leaving for Thailand I was living at home with my mother and working a night job earning minimum wage, I believe I would have been doing that for a few more months or years as at that time as I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and there were very few opportunities.
In my first month in Bangkok I really didn’t venture out of the area I was in, my focus was on Muay Thai, on my birthday decided to explore the city, and this experience was great, at the time Onnut BTS was the furthest station East of Bangkok so was pretty easy just to jump on and explore the city. I saw a lot of Bangkok, followed my guide book.
The day took a turn for the worse on trying to find my way home. I arrived by at BTS Onnut and tried to think how to get back to the condo area I was staying in, I said to a motorbike taxi Sukhumvit 65, which was no where near to where I lived. I realised that I had come to the wrong area and took the same motorbike taxi back to Onnut, it was now 11pm, a lot of places were closed, and was more difficult to find my way back. So I started to back track the way the Songtail had taken me. This was a long walk, a total of 4km. Along this route there wasn’t much just kept walking till I found Onnut Soi 30, Half way down this soi a man approched me on his motorbike and asked in Broken English where I was going, i told him that direction as I didn’t know the name of the condo I was staying at, he told me to jump on, I pointed him where to go. At the time I was scared but thankful because some random person just wanted to help me for no reason. He took me to just outside the Niran Condo area and I made my way back to my apartment.
This made me learn that I should always know how to get back to where I live, so for future reference I got of the trainers wife to write down the place in Thai and I kept this in my wallet so I could just show to a taxi or motorbike in future. Back then I didn’t have the ease of pinning a place into google maps.
I do feel truly blessed and happy I can live in such a great country!