Reflections on Living in Thailand
This evening, I watched the orange moon rise as I rode along the coastline. It had been a long day, and I was finally returning from the immigration office. The sea waves roared and I felt warm inside. Often, I think “what in the world am I doing out here?” ‘Here’ is the middle of Southeast Asia, living in Thailand without a clue about the language (still), what I’m eating or where I’m going.
Moving to Thailand was not the easiest decision. It sounded a lot easier in theory than it actually has been in practice. I make enough to sustain a decent living; it isn’t much compared to the dollar, but it’s the sacrifice I’ve made for a less chaotic life. I work a full-time job in a small town where it’s difficult to find luxuries like cocktails, let alone people I can converse with. It’s not so easy doing touristy things here because I have a full-time job and make five times less than I did back home. But work is hard, no matter where you go or what you do.
I am often asked, “But the weather’s amazing, right?” My answer is “to each their own.” If you like 90° F heat then you’re going to love Thailand. But with the reality of life and work, you’re not always going to find yourself in perfect weather on a tropical beach. There are rainy days, too. And I mean really rainy. The wet monsoon season lasts for six months of the year here (mid-May to mid-October).
Moving to Thailand was not the easiest decision. It sounded a lot easier in theory than it actually has been in practice.
Sometimes, it’s simply raining on the inside. At times, my heart feels like its drowning. I feel so separated from the people I love most, and desperately hope that someone from home will reach out to me or return my FaceTime calls to take away this loneliness, this gloomy downpour of isolation. Such feelings are normal, though, during expat transitioning.
But tonight I drove my motorbike along the dark country road with a smile, not caring about where I will be at the end of the year or how I miss home. I felt good, alone, and accomplished. Bats swirled around me in the low light. Bugs smacked against my neck and helmet. The smell of the ocean was clean and salty. I drove home through empty fields and deserted buildings. On a road that divided slums from coastal resorts. A ginormous snake slithered on the road before me, and dogs on the side walked aimlessly, everything simply wandering. I felt present and happy. It’s moments like these that make me realize that I am evolving, accepting and living. Just as I should be.