Expat life in Thailand – a balancing act

We all come to live in Thailand for vastly different reasons. Sometimes love, sometimes an adventure, sometimes escaping something at home and sometimes for business. Our journey to the Land of Smiles, and then our settling in, can be fraught with shocks, cultural and financial. Here is one man’s story as told in ExpatLifeInThailand…

by Shane Irvine

I didn’t come to Thailand to escape the US and I didn’t come here to get married. I came here on a whim. I ended up getting married and living here nonetheless. My life in Thailand’s ‘land of smiles’ has been a balancing act. I’ve had to examine and consider the benefits of living in Thailand compared to the drawbacks of living here.

One has to weigh both the positive and the negative.

While living and trekking in Nepal for several months, I had been introduced to a Thai woman online through a good friend that knew her. After messaging back and forth for several months I decided to meet her during a visit to Thailand. I came with the intent of spending a few days in Bangkok and thereafter going to Pia.

One thing leads to another and a year and a half later I’m married and living in Bangkok. Still haven’t made it to Pia, yet.

Living in Thailand means that learning the Thai language is a priority. If you don’t learn the language, you are dependent on others to interpret for you.

Sometimes we build visions in our mind of what a place is going to look like and we have mental fantasies about what’s going to happen. Daydreams can be the joie de vivre that give us hope for happiness and ultimately becoming content with our lives. But, we know in the back of our minds that there is a difference between our fantasies and our realities. Nonetheless, I love living in Thailand and I want to stay here, at least for now.

As I say, Thailand’s not for everyone. You have to balance the positive with the negative. In my case, as long as I’m not looking for normal, Thailand’s my kind of place.

Read the rest of Shane’s life in Thailand HERE.

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