It’s one of my biggest dilemmas, and certainly is not my first blog on the subject: Is there going to be a point when I call time on my Thailand adventure and move on somewhere else? The simple answer to this is I hope so. The motivations, however, are perhaps not as clear as I initially first thought.
On a previous article, somebody made a comment that moving countries is largely an illusion and that there is no way they would ever choose to leave Thailand. I don’t agree.
Life and everything is all pretty much just an illusion full stop. Surely it is just how our brain and consciousness internalises what we see around us. To suggest moving to another country is not going to be any different is just not true. It is different and so has to be different.
I am a big fan of living in Thailand, as I was when I lived in the UK more importantly. I never run from the UK, I just fancied something different.
There is a reason for the timings of this blog as something happened recently to remind me that sometimes the reason for wanting a change is not only the country or location within that you live but the people and circumstances around you.
Maybe our reasons for wanting change is not why we thought
We should all be clear in our actions about our motivations for wanting change.
Many retirees who left their domestic countries may well have come to Thailand to escape the people and life they had, not the country itself. Somewhere along the lines, the rationales get blurred and people talk about how they are pleased they escaped their domestic country.
It’s world mental health day today (10th October), and it got me thinking. Maybe the reason we all make changes – be that move to Thailand, quit a job or leave a relationship – is all tied to our mental health.
If we see things positively then we enjoy what we do and where we live. If we are feeling emotionally compromised and unhappy then this negativity fuels our desire to make a change.
I am always up for a change in my life and have always put it down to wanting to live a variety of chapters in my life, but what if this wasn’t the reason. What if my real motive was to move on from my life that I was in during that moment? Quite possibly, without me realising, this could be true.
It would ring true and I throw the same question to you now.
If you asked me this time last week was I happy with my life, my answer would be a resounding yes. Ask me today and my answer would be less convincing, with my motivation to make a change far greater.
Emotions and perceptions make a huge difference in how we see our life, wherever in the world we live. We are all just human and getting a handle on our mental wellness is not always easy – so, we just need to recognise this and deal with it.
The mind is a complex thing. Let me park the mental wellbeing and consider another operative influencing our decision-making, our reasoning and intelligence.
I appreciate life is short and that I live as an alien in another country. Living in Thailand does have a trade-off. I need to update my visa each year, do a 90-days check-in, I can’t have a credit card or do online international transfers like locals can, I can’t vote in the country I live, I can’t own a house with land and I am a marginal group full stop. I can go on with this list, it is more extensive than many realise. Still, the benefits on balance outweigh the negatives.
With two young kids also I do wonder where best to build their life foundation.
It is inevitable to ask the question periodically: Should I be considering relocation back to the UK?
In some respects, once you have spread your wings once and become an ex-pat, that mental unlocking of being able to unshackle your life creates another issue. Oddly it is the realisation that you are in control of your life and can do what you want.
That then creates the issue of knowing you have a choice. Giving yourself this ability to have a level of autonomy and freedom, means you never truly know what to do next as you have so many options!
Oddly, if you were trapped in your life at least it would give you the stability not to even question making a change. It means you could just get on with your life and stop worrying about it.
So, did I answer the question of the motivations people become Expats and then also return home? Well, I think so and I think I have added a bit more dimension to it – and truth – besides the lip service answers we are told when we ask fellow Expats.
It’s not easy being a human being!