2006, the year I found Thailand – or the year Thailand found me. Unforgettable is not the word. For me, it was life changing!
I was invited by a friend on short notice and didn't know a thing about the place before I arrived. I even remember thinking, why am I going to Thailand? That question was soon answered.
On this first trip, it was all about Pattaya. It's not everybody's favourite place, but it's up there for me. The clubs, the girls, the late nights. It's what I live for!
I have since returned several times, as most people do. Mainly Pattaya but a bit of Bangkok too. And it just gets better every time. The people I meet and the experiences I've had, all make me want to keep coming back. I love the life.
I've generally just done the bar scene. Barfining girls night after night, usually in the early hours after partying with friends. The nightlife rocks in Pattaya and the girls are just a bonus. I do get attached sometimes. It's easy to, especially when you chase 10's every night. But that's life. I'm not a one woman guy. I just like to have fun. The girls seem to understand me easy enough.
There is so much to this wonderful country that I haven't seen yet. I've travelled with many friends from back home, some travelling around the beaches of Thailand. Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and so on. Not really my scene. I'm not really one for the beaches. Although a flight down to Phuket is certainly something that I will need to do some time soon. Can't believe I haven't got round to it yet. But I have a blast wherever I am, so it's quite easy to get sidetracked. The plans seem to go out the window as soon as I land.
Chiang Mai is another place for the future.
Mainly though, Bangkok is the place on my radar. I want to see it all. Last time I was only in the capital for a few days and just went with the flow. I feel like I missed out. There's so much I want to do, now I know what Bangkok is all about. Sure I went to the malls, and saw some proper Thai boxing. Done a few clubs, and a couple of fancy restaurants. Don't ask me where they were though, as I haven't a clue!
After spending so much time in the bars in Pattaya it was hard to get my head around Bangkok in a few days. But a bit of research and it's not so hard.
I've become friendly with quite a few Thai ladies through friends that don't work in the bars. Mainly living in Bangkok, which makes it more appealing. It's nice to know people and have a bit of familiarity. Even though it's that what I'm in Thailand to escape! Confusing ay…
I've lived a very satisfying life in the west up until now. But Thailand is where I want to be. The country and the culture fascinates me.
I've spent a lot of time over the last few years reading about Thailand, talking about Thailand, planning for Thailand. I got married back home shortly after my first trip, which lasted less than two years. Not what you want! But hey, it wasn't working out. I think if this hadn't happened I would have spent a large amount of the last four years in Thailand. But there is time for that. I'm only 25.
As I have generally lived my life to the full and have lived a relatively expensive lifestyle here in England, I don't have the kind of money sitting about in the bank to just disappear for a few years, unfortunately. So I am saving to do just that.
I'd like nothing more than to jet off to Thailand to live the life I love. Where everyday is my own. And soon it will be a reality. That's certain.
This brings me to the point of my submission.
After I have done just that and lived my dream. What then?
There is the possibility of getting a job in Thailand. Although I haven't explored how difficult that is to achieve. I'm learning Thai, not with any great success at the moment I might add! But I am gradually getting to grips with it. I plan to step it up and get a proper teacher when I am in Thailand long-term. It's something that I want to do, so that is a good start. Maybe it will help getting a job. It will certainly be useful to have under my belt. It would be nice to be able to read those road signs.
The other option would be going back to Europe to work, saving up for my next long trip, kind of like I do with my holidays now. It's not hard for me to find employment in my line of work. There is always work available. I know a few people that live this way. Are they happy? Who knows.
But what then? In the long run, will this lifestyle satisfy me? Can I go on forever in this cycle? It's all I want to do now, but things may change.
Does that mean my time in Thailand is just to fill a gap until something better comes along? I don't think so. I've chose this life. I've had all the options and this is my choice. Time will tell I suppose…
You're still young. Thailand is a great place for a holiday but if you want to stay long-term, you need to think long-term and plan long-term. "Living the life" DOES get boring and much quicker than you may think! Believe me, I've been there and done that. If you really want to stay in Thailand, you need to think long-term.