I often look at politicians from all political parties and wonder why they never concede in a debate. They refuse to consider the argument from the opposing party. In society these such leaders are viewed as strong but, you know what, I see them as weak. They pose a risk to society as they make decisions that may not always be right due to their inability to listen to the other side of the story and because of their desire to win every argument.
Society evolves and the needs of nations and the people changes with time, their needs therefore do not stay constant throughout time. This means leaders must be flexible to the the market and have an ability to listen to others and make the right choice. Ultimately, be willing to change if needed. How can the right choice be made if you are finding all the arguments in the world to support your position? Ego and ‘strength’ prevents them from changing their minds. It is where society gets it wrong.
I can win most arguments, I can then take the opposing view and win that argument too. You see it is just a big game in demonstrating your ability to influence other people. If you are compelling, have done your research and preempted possible challenges then you are likely to win the debate.
You may be wondering why I started this article with this positioning. Well it brings me to my time living in Thailand. By and large I thoroughly enjoy my time in Thailand, both my leisure time and my work. Casing point, I am sitting in a sauna and steam whilst basking in the sunshine around the swimming pool whilst writing this. I am feeling very happy and content at this point in time. I make a great salary that is well above most peoples in the UK and my living costs are far less, well they were far less, and this brings me to the cost of good education in Thailand.
I have two young children and I need to start planning their schooling and I refuse to send them to substandard Thai schools, it would never happen. So, I took a look at the international schools. Now don’t get me wrong some of these schools are out of this world and far better equipped that UK counterparts. Class sizes are small and the facilities are incredible. However this comes at a cost and I am looking at anywhere between 400k and 600k baht a year for both my children. That is around 1 million baht (over US$30k) a year schooling fees for my children who are not even 6 years old. I would expect these fees for universities!
I have no mortgage and my wife and I own both our cars, so our costs are low and our income relatively high. However deducting over 80k baht a month from my salary and my life would need to change. My life of travel, eating out every night and basically doing as I please would need to be cut back considerably. The reason I left the UK was to escape the rat race and improve my lifestyle, with this added cost it will feel like I am becoming tied down and hugely restricted. Basically, the feelings I had when living in the UK.
What are my options?
This all begs the question of what I must do to prevent this situation from happening. I refuse to have a life anything less than extraordinary, my parents died young in my life and gave so much effort to my brothers and I and all for what as their life was cut short? We must all do our very best to make the most of everyday and not accept anything other than the best.
– How can I stay in Thailand?
One of my options is to work harder and make more money here in Thailand. By the way I work incredibly hard now, it has taken some effort to get to where I am currently. So, although Managing Director for my media group I am now dedicating more time to the sales side of the business. The more money the business makes the better ultimately for me. In addition I am launching a new app in the coming months with a partner. This has set me back personally over 1 million baht, in hope of something very good resulting. It is a punt but if it works I could make me a lot of money. Secondly, I am in the process of another new generation media aligned to future trends, but again it will cost me money and so comes at a risk. But if I want to stay in Thailand what choice do I have? Now is the time to take a risk.
Let’s return back to the start of this article where I challenged politicians in their inability to change their position. I may well like Thailand but I am willing to change my position and go back to the UK. I do not need to fight in order to maintain my Thai dream, if it is not to be then I need to take control and relocate on my terms.
I have seen many of my friends in Thailand leaving to return back to their domestic countries but not on their terms. Financially it is a nightmare for them as more often than not they have not the funds in the bank or job to return to that is required to take their families back with them. It is tragic, I could not bear for one moment to be apart from my wife and children. It is for that reason that I will never let this happen.
There are lots of positives about returning back to the UK. You return to a more functional society and I get to spend more time with my brothers. My kids would get good schooling and would mix with like minded children. I was speaking to a fellow expat who is relocating next year back to Australia with his family, his said to me this. “Whereas in Thailand Thai families tend to be social-able within their tight family circles only, in the Australia there is more social harmony with each other. Kids will do sleep overs in other family homes, things like this are unheard of in Thailand”. I understood where he was coming from.
Living in Thailand does also come with frustrations. Thai and Westerners are different. I had a leaving meal for one of my staff the other day, he was moving back to Russia. The plan was to arrive at 630pm for 7pm start. Anyway my Thai staff arrived at 6pm which was early, which is something not associated with Thais in any other instances unless, like the case here, it involves food. They are always late to everything else. They ordered their food and had started eating even before the rest of us has arrived. They were oblivious to what they had done wrong and even sent messages to the company Facebook group letting us know their food was ‘aroi’ (delicious). It infuriated me, and yet they were blissfully unaware what they were doing was wrong. I still now cannot understand why they could not wait. Food to Thais is an obsession. This is just one example of what you need to tolerate living in Thailand.
Does a new chapter of my life beckon?
Again I want to refer to the opening paragraphs to this article. I love Thailand and defend it and sell the dream to everyone, it is what most of my blogs and vlogs are about on Dan about Thailand, but I am not afraid to change my position and change my life even if that it is a return to the UK. For me wherever I live should not compromise my lifestyle. With the high international schooling fees in Thailand that would happen, and I am not going to accept it. Neither will I compromise my children’s education by sending them to a lesser school in Thailand.
Life must be great and we should do whatever gives us a better life for our family and also ourselves. Today Thailand provides me this, but tomorrow that better life could rest elsewhere. Maybe the time is now approaching for me to make a new chapter of my life.