Readers' Submissions

Thailand Saved Me

  • Written by Gapao
  • October 5th, 2018
  • 5 min read

I’ve always had a bit of troubled mind. I haven’t had so many friends and, for the most part, I have a distant relationship with my family.

This submission is about how Thailand rescued me. Rescue me from myself. And gave me a new perspective on life – and also a new view on myself.

I visited Thailand for the first time 10 years ago. I had a kind of life crisis. A time in my life where I just wanted to go away. I had just dropped out of college and worked odd jobs. I was so tired of my life. There was nothing I was looking forward to. And I couldn’t think of any means to improve my life or any people to seek help from. I didn’t dare to talk to friends or family about my dark thoughts.

Very randomly I ended up on a trip to, among other destinations, Thailand. I looked at several packages tours because I just wanted to travel and leave. The trip to Thailand suited me well because of its upcoming departure. I didn’t want to wait long before leaving. And Thailand also seemed exotic, far away in distance and culture, and with beautiful beaches, temples and so on. At least that is what I had seen in pictures and commercials.

I had a great trip and returned home three months later with fresh energy and ready to start something new. I went back to college and everything was good for a few years.

Five years later I hit another crisis in my life. I didn’t feel that I had anything to live for. Not that I considered suicide, but I certainly did not feel well. Again I looked for Thailand. This time I first read a lot about Thailand on the internet. I had never read anything about the country apart from a “Lonely Planet” book, which I found very dull. I suddenly found myself reading through the internet about Thailand. One day I ended up at a dating site. At that site I found my future wife. A few months after our first Skype meeting I flew over and visited her. Shortly afterwards we moved in together. First we lived together in Thailand and now we live together in my country.

I found my love in Thailand. The love I had always wanted and which I could never find in spite of persistent attempts in my own country. In Thailand I also found “a mysterious new world”. As I later found out, it was not so mysterious after all. But still it was fundamentally different from the world I knew. Not in all parts of course, but in essence Thailand was – and still is – markedly different from what I knew and know. For me Thailand has been about getting away from the well-known. Not because the familiar world as I knew it was – or is – bad or completely boring as such. But because it wasn’t enough for me. What I personally lacked was love – someone to love and someone who loved me. But also that life at home was without much thrill or excitement. I missed something larger and more in my life. So far there was nothing but the usual nitty-gritty everyday life. What I also missed was action and adventure in to the cultural wildlife. I found that in Thailand. Also because the people there were so friendly and interested in me. I know some of the friendliness can be ascribed to money. But also because, as a foreigner, I was different from them. In several cases I found that we had mutual interest in each other. It turned me on. Still today – 10 years after my first visit – Thailand still turns me on.

However, I now want to visit only once in a while. If I stay there too long or too often – like when I lived there – Thailand also becomes too boring and loses its taste – its salt. Therefore I am happy to visit Thailand now approx. once a year for a few weeks per time. And I’m mostly happy to go home again when the holiday is over. I do not dream about “everything Thailand”, but enjoy looking forward to my annual trip. The culture is exciting, but I would not like to be an integrated part of it – and stay permanent in Thailand. As a place to live, it doesn’t attract me any longer. Thailand can also become boring and too much like my everyday life at home. But after many trips there, Thailand is still like my second home. I enjoy very much going there. It is a wonderful country with a wonderful culture. Thailand has really saved me from my life. At least it would have been a very different life, had I not got to learn about Thailand.

Of course it has a lot to do with women, but also the culture there. Everything is more relaxed. For example, social relations are far less rigid and more direct. A thing I’m very happy about when we visit my wife’s family and friends. My own friends are also very direct, but it’s only after we have known one another for many years. You can be very honest with each other in Thailand and can speak openly with each other fairly quickly and about personal things. Socially there isn’t much facade. It may be different with politics and with the work-culture in Thailand, where things surely are better in my own country. But socially with friends and family, I think the Thai people have a better way of life; to be more relaxed and open.

Despite all the bad things many old-timers have to say about Thailand, there are many of us who fell in love with the country the first time we visited, who still comes back again and again. And even though we have previously lived there and now moved home to our home country again, we continue to visit Thailand. We can not completely let go of the country. It still got a “mysterious” grip in us. It proves that – after all and despite the negative things we also say about the country and the population – things are still unique and beautiful in Thailand. And its people are well worth to visit and enjoy time with.

 

The author can be contacted at : [email protected]