Most people are constantly thinking “Man, I wish I had their life”. I’ve been guilty of it in the past. Every time I heard someone say they were going abroad and seeing the world I would say “One day I’ll get there”. This year is that “One day”. Back in the early spring time I was completely discontent with life. Constantly daydreaming and working a meaningless job that just barely paid any bills; I finally decided that now was the time to make my move. The timing wasn’t perfect. I didn’t even have the money, yet I was determined that I had to do this now or never. One day I just looked online, found a program to teach abroad, and sent in my application before I could reason myself out of it. I’ve tried to do the sensible, responsible thing for so many years, but I felt like this was my year to do something crazy, spontaneous, and for me.
This is the beginning of my second month in Thailand. I’m sitting in my office, looking out the window of my non-air conditioned office and making a lesson plan for next week. I teach 11,12, 13, and 14 year olds English. Sometimes I get frustrated because things are simply lost in translation here – but I’ve yet to be angry or cynical a single day here. I’m so incredibly happy that I’m able to let go of things that would normally drive me up the wall back in the states. My perspective of life itself is dramatically changed.
It’s not Thailand. It’s not my job. It’s not the people I’m around here. It’s the fact that I finally did it. Just sitting here in this office I’m not thinking about where I’d rather be – because right now, this is exactly where I want to be. I’m not envious, and I’m not jealous. Right now I want my job, my office, my life. For years all I could talk about was the jobs I wanted, the places I wanted to go, and the things I wanted to see and do. For once, I finally feel like I’ve taken a gigantic step forward in the right direction.
Each time I get online and see what everyone else’s weekend was like. They’re all baking for the holidays, visiting friends in other cities, having movie nights at home with their significant other – and they’re happy. Before I would have been jealous of this happiness, but now I’ve found what makes me happy. I love my family and my friends, and I do miss them, but this is what I’ve needed to do for so long. Yesterday I sat at the back of a train going to Bangkok with no rails or doors holding me inside. The entire time I was in such awe of everything I saw. All I could think was “how could anyone not want to be exactly where I am right now – how could you not want to be me?”. I live in a shack; I make about 600 US dollars a month; I travel by cramped trucks, buses, and trains without a safety feature in sight. America always claims to be the land of the free – but I’ve never felt freer than right now.
I know that many people would not like Thailand. They would look at the dirty streets and be disgusted. They would be aggravated that the people are not able to speak English. They would be sick at the sight and smell of many of the foods and markets. Each person has their own kind of happy place. I’m just happy that I finally found mine.
So here I am, living in Thailand, living my life the way I always wanted.