Whatever your age when you make the move away from your domestic country and land in Thailand you will end up feeling younger, and not for reasons you may think.
No, I am not talking about the ‘sexy man’ comments you may get in some of the beer bars, although by the same token I am sure the cries of ‘papa’ don’t help your ego by the same token! I am talking about a shift of positioning that goes on between your domestic country and Thailand.
This shift of positioning involves you on the age index between fellow expats. The last poll run on Thaivisa.com ascertained the average expat age to be 55 years old, whereas the average age in the UK is 40 years old.
Take me for example, as a 44-year old I am below the average age for an Expat in Thailand and by some margin, yet if I were to live in the UK I would be older than average.
I didn’t need the facts, I could see for myself!
My rationale for this blog was not based on facts by the way either but an observation. Every time I go back to the UK, I actually start to feel older. I was in my local pub and there were a group of youngsters enjoying a beer there too. Now for starters, I viewed them as ‘youngsters‘ – when did this happen that I was no longer a youngster myself? – and secondly, by default, the concern was where this now placed me in the social ecosystem? I concluded that I had now become ‘middle-aged’, and I hated the reality check.
I needed to get back on that plane to Thailand to preserve my youthful position in society.
I also feel that there is less expectation to act in a certain way when you live in Thailand, by that I mean in the UK there is kind of unwritten rules for knowing your place in society. These rules we unknowingly conform too, this absolutely applies to your age. When you escape this in Thailand you are freer to act as you please.
The reality is for most of us Expats we are no longer spring chickens, but sometimes when reality hits home that you are getting old, it becomes a bit frightening. Living in Thailand allows me – and others I am sure – to remain ignorantly and blissfully deluded that we are younger than we are.
In the space of what seems a blink of an eye, I have moved from young to middle-aged; and it is a reality check of just how short our precious lives are. It also helps reinforce and validate my decision over a decade ago to change the chapter in my life by moving from the UK to Thailand.
Now fast forward that decade and it brings me to my position now. Thailand has been good to me and for me, I have cherished my time here and now have a beautiful family. But still, that nagging question remains – however old I may look or feel – when should I move on to new pastures? Life, after all, is short and precious and there is so much still to discover.