a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures
I think Thailand will always have a place in my heart because it was the first place I went to as an independent young woman. As mentioned before, Thailand was the logical choice for financial and visa reasons, but I was definitely excited about the beaches, the food, the culture – the backpacker lifestyle, basically. Who wouldn’t be? Who doesn’t dream of Koh Phi Phi beaches, temples and green curry? And luckily I got everything I was hoping for.
Thailand is a backpacker’s paradise. Firstly, there are loads of tourists and travellers and backpackers have been running around Thailand for decades, so these roads have definitely already been travelled. Travelling around Thailand is very very easy. So much so that cities like Bangkok are generally always full of tourists and if you are a long-termer you may get a bit fed up with the fly-by-nighters who crowd Khao San Road and get drunk and take off their clothes at every opportunity.
Another big plus is that the cost of living is low. Salaries are low in comparison to jobs in other countries, but in Thailand TEFL teachers get paid very well. Your living costs (if you live modestly) should not be more than %20 of your earnings, which leaves ample room to save to travel. Again, taking your money out of Thailand won’t do much good, but if you’re looking to spend some time in Asia, you’re good.
Depending where you live, there’s likely to be a beach or a mountain nearby so weekends are easy to plan. Even if you are in a big city (Bangkok, Chiang Mai) there should be something you will want to do or somewhere that you haven’t been yet – enough to keep you busy for months. Even if you spend your first few months close to the tourist areas, when you feel like it’s time (and there always come a point), take some time to find the local hang outs and you won’t be disappointed. Some of my most interesting nights were spent with my Thai friends at places called things like Love Shack, drinking whiskey soda, watching incomprehensible Thai comedy and eating chicken wings.
In a nutshell, Thailand is a great place to live and work. It’s not called the Land of Smiles for nothing (though that can get a bit tedious). It’s not a place to go to save to buy a house, but it’s an amazing place to spend some time, soak up some sun and get some teaching experience.