Glancing through my Facebook news feeds reveal a lot to me. In one stroke of my thumb on my mobile I can view 20 or so news feeds and in less than a minute I can see what my UK and Expat friends are up too, and I must say their lifestyles are poles apart.
More so than ever I have been looking at the option of relocating to the UK with my family, driven mainly be my Russian wife. The problem is the more I dig deep into what it would be like to return, the more it petrifies me.
My fellow Brits spend much of their time posting on Facebook about a TV show called ‘Love Island’. They all have opinions about who on the reality show they love and who they don’t. This kind of thing does not go on with my fellow expats in Thailand and the reason is the lifestyle is so different.
I spoke to two of my friends back in the UK, both now with a family so we are in the same boat. They confirmed that when they got home from work they watched TV in the evening, it was how they spend their leisure time. They also spoke about how they live for the weekends as this is when they have two days where they do not need to work. What a life, how could I possibly go back to such humdrum after creating a more extraordinary life?
In the UK much of the year it is dark and cold in the evening, so even if you wanted to go out the weather would soon put you off. Thailand is, on the whole, year round sunshine and as such expats spend a much greater period of their leisure time out and about. Sun makes you happy and the cold does not.
I am frantically trying to put a case in my head why a return to the UK would make sense and I cannot find any reasons, even the schooling debate seems untrue as International schools in Thailand seem far better than the public UK alternatives.
Convincing my wife is a battle I need to face, but it is very difficult debating when someone debates without rationale reasoning but is still adamant they are right.
The TV scenario to me sums up the difference in living in the UK as to living in Thailand. In the UK you have to live somebody elses life, even if a fictitious soap character, as you do not the opportunity to live a truly liberated free life, and besides it is mostly dark and cold in the evenings. The TV set in the evening becomes your only escapism from the grind of work. It is just not like this in Thailand, my family and I rarely get time to watch TV as we off doing something each evening.
This week for example after work here is what I have done. Been to the sauna and steam, went to a restaurant to eat, went to a shopping centre, went for a run along the beach and tonight I am going to watch an MMA fight in Bangkok. Every week I am doing something different.
Certainly I never really feel like living in Thailand is home as Thai authorities are always very clear in how we are treated and that we are nothing more than visitors, or ‘aliens’ as the correct terminology is. But get your head over this and who cares, I have lived here 12 years and not had an issue yet? So, what are the arguments for living back in the rat race, predictable life of the UK?
How can I possibly think this type of future in the UK would be a better one for my kids?
This blog is reaching out to all of you, what are the valid reasons for returning back to work and live in the UK for my family and I?
Over to you, please comment below.