#1: The Friendly People & Their Hospitality
I am from New York, where it is widely known that the people are not always so friendly. Living in a small town in Thailand and seeing the same people everyday means you will constantly get many smiles and waves every time you leave your apartment. Regardless of the language barrier, it hasn’t been too difficult to communicate with the locals. They are always very approachable and eager to talk to you. My Thai coworkers are always looking out for the OEG teachers at my school, including myself. They ask us almost everyday if we have eaten breakfast and lunch and they always try to ensure that we are comfortable. The Thai teacher I share my office with also always brings me new Thai snacks to try. Everyone here is very generous.
#2: Markets & the Delicious Food
Number two and three practically go hand in hand. I live down the street from an amazing night market, which happens to be my go-to place for dinner almost every night. I will miss walking into this night market and being able to order a delicious chicken dish for 35 baht (basically $1). Going back home and having to pay $10 for 3 chicken tenders at basically any restaurant is less than ideal. Most of the food I order at the night market is pretty simple and made with limited ingredients, but I know I’ll probably never be able to recreate these same tasty dishes back home. Markets are all over Thailand. They are extremely convenient and affordable. Anything that we have back in the states simply does not compare.
#3: Affordable Prices
One of the best things about Thailand is how affordable it is. As I mentioned in #2, my usual dinners cost me approximately 35 baht (a little more than $1). I can buy a small iced coffee every morning for 25 baht, or get a slightly larger or fancier coffee for 45 baht. Of course, when you go to a mall and step inside a more well-know store, like H&M for example, you can expect similar prices to those in the United States. Name brand clothes are not any cheaper. There are also definitely more expensive restaurants that you can go to. My point is that if extremely affordable and delicious food (or equally stylish and comfortable clothes from markets) is what you seek, you will have no problems finding it here. Lastly, I love Thailand because traveling around the country is also very affordable and time-efficient. When you fly out of Bangkok, you can inexpensively get to the North or South within an hour and a half long flight. There are other affordable travel options too, such as buses and mini-vans. When I traveled around the North, I utilized the bus and mini-van options to hop around from Chiang Mai, to Chiang Rai, and then to Pai. On average, I spent about 200 baht (about $6) for each 3-hour bus ride. This would be far more expensive back home in the states.
#4: Endless Options of Delicious Coffee & Tea Drinks
Thailand has amazing cafés and coffee stands all over. I constantly see new stands and shops opening up in my province. I was already a coffee and Matcha enthusiast before I traveled to Thailand. However, living here has only fed my obsession. I have even embarked on a mission to try every Matcha or Green Tea latté and find the best one in Pathum Thani. There are so many varieties and they are all delicious. Before I came to Thailand, I thought I’d miss my regular Starbucks order, but now, I know it’s actually the other way around. I will surely miss all of Thailand’s fun drinks once I am back home.
#5: Most Importantly, This Job…
I will truly miss working with my students and my Thai co-teachers. Honestly, if Thailand wasn’t so far away from home, I would love to stay and work at my school for a while. I was fortunate enough to land a position here that I would have never gotten as someone straight out of college in New York. I love teaching my classes and helping my students with their school projects, allowing them to practice and develop their English language skills. I also enjoy being a useful resource to my Thai co-workers, as a lot of them come to me and the other English teachers to help them correct and revise their academic journals and such. This job makes me feel as if I am actually helping to make a difference. For that reason, I will truly miss this opportunity.