Teaching English in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tassel turned to the left, parents cut you off, tired from studying, don't want to be chained to a desk just yet, those are the beautiful thoughts and events, which plant the seed for the idea to teach abroad. You're not sure how your parents will take it. Your family will call you crazy. You're told you're wasting years and losing time. Aren't you scared? It's not going to work out. You're throwing away good jobs, other people are going to get them before you. If you've worked so hard at college all these years, why would you throw it all away and leave?
Well, I have many responses to these questions. These are all the thoughts that went through my head and were asked by family members, friends and even strangers I just met for the first time.
Saying I worked really hard in college is an understatement. I was President of the AMA Marketing Club, I started the Hula Hoop Club, I studied abroad, I started a study abroad program, and I completed 7 internships and various freelance jobs on top of a full school workload. I knew there was still too much of the world to see before a signed a working contract in the U.S.
Moving to Thailand with my boyfriend and no job and no apartment was yes, the craziest thing I've ever done in my life. However, I'm only 22, so I hope to even top this, sorry mom. I can truthfully say that I wasn't scared. Shawn is the most relaxed person in the world, so I knew no matter what everything would be fine. And yes, everything is more than fine. I've never felt more fulfilled.
Everything was positive as we were leaving the states, the always sad "see you laters" and goodbye get-togethers, but we were ready. We needed to do this. In the beginning of our journey, it was always fun telling people at the hostel, we were staying at that "Yeah we're moving here." And at their surprise would ask if we had an apartment or job and our reply would be "We're working on it..." It was so funny seeing everyone else's reactions. Utter strangers were more worried about us than we were.
Everything worked out. Shawn and I are both happy with our jobs, we love our apartment and are very pleased with our salaries. If we had paid for a teaching English program it would have cost us $2,500 for our TEFL and to be placed with a job. We could have been placed anywhere in Thailand after paying that much money.
The best decision we made was to not have any expectations. Without expectations, you can't be disappointed. It's as simple as that. Without expectations, reality is the best case scenario. We completed our TEFLs because we wanted to teach and knew that was the most lucrative job. When Shawn received his position first, I was a little disappointed that we wouldn't be at the same school, but I knew that everything happened for a reason and something would come along my way. That it did. I'm happy with the school I'm teaching at and my coworkers have become my great friends.
What I've learned so far is that teaching is your ticket to the world. If you're looking for a way to escape your current situation and want to move abroad, teaching is the answer. Not only is it well paid, it makes the visa process, so much easier.
Be open to change. Skip the itinerary. Say yes.
If you have any questions about teaching in Thailand, moving abroad, or teaching anywhere, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to help you!