Taking this leap of faith and beginning a new adventure can be exciting yet terrifying! Even though I’ve only been living in Thailand for a few months, I’ve learned some valuable lessons that I would love to share with you in hopes that it will help you prepare for your adventure!
1. Not all days are going to be amazing.
If you look at any CIEE teacher’s social media, you’ll most likely only see the breathtaking views, fun rooftop bars, and exhilarating adventures. Unfortunately, not every day is as incredible as it seems. In general, social media highlights all the glamorous moments but hides the not-so-great moments. There will be hard days, days that you miss you home, and days you question what you’re doing in Thailand. That’s okay because it’s completely normal. Before you arrive in Thailand, prepare your mind for the days that will be hard. Remember your purpose of coming but also realize that not every day isn’t going to be amazing.
2. Don’t compare your experience.
This is something I have struggled with since being here. It’s so easy to see all of the other CIEE teachers doing fun things or traveling to beautiful places! There have been situations or school commitments that have prevented me from traveling on a weekend and I catch myself looking at everyone’s social media wishing I was there. Your experience is what you make it! Everyone is in a different situation so just make the best of what you are able to do! Not comparing your experience to the other teachers, will make your experience even better because you’ll have a better attitude.
3.Be open minded.
One thing I learned very quickly, is to be open-minded. Things will ALWAYS be changing, day by day and even minute by minute. I also have noticed there is a lack of communication a lot of times. Be flexible and don’t get your mind set on anything because chances are, things will change. Try to have a positive attitude when things change, or you are misinformed about something.
4. Make your room feel like home.
You are going to be spending a minimum of 5 months in Thailand so remind yourself that it’s okay to spend money on things that will make your room feel more “homey”. Even if you don’t think you will spend much time in your room, it’s nice to make it feel like your own. Put touches in your room that remind you of home or just spend some time decorating it.
5. Don’t be embarrassed if you get sick.
Unfortunately, everyone will experience getting sick at least once. The people at your school or friends in the community understand that we are not used to some of the foods yet. It’s nothing you should be embarrassed about because it will happen at some point to all of us. I brought charcoal pills from home to help with food poisoning and they have come in handy for myself and other CIEE teachers with me!
Moving to Thailand has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made but it isn’t easy. I hope these tips help you have the best experience because moving abroad is absolutely incredible and I think everyone should do it once! If you have any questions or need advice about anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on social media! I would love to help you take that scary leap of faith or help you prepare if you have already made the decision to move abroad!