Have you ever had a moment where you knew you needed some type of a change to get you out of a funk or bad habit?
After the hurricanes, life changed and almost everything on the island became a challenge. Work was harder. I had more children to see. I was at more schools that I had to drive too. Plus, the lack of internet to be able to access files was practically non-existent. Driving felt like life or death on every road due too the lack of stop lights/stop signs. Even obtaining basic necessities could take a full day, and in extreme cases, it could take a couple days.
That was me back in February. I just didn’t feel like I was in a good place and knew something needed to change. The greatest challenge came when I needed to decide where I wanted to move and what was I going to do.
When I first started thinking, Arizona was first to come to mind. After all, it is where my family lives and it is where I spent majority of my life. I could move there and know I’d be happy. But when I truly started putting my heart and my head together, the pull to Arizona just wasn’t there.
It took a few days before a past roommate’s story came to mind. When our house in Seattle decided to each go out separate way, one of my roommates took the opportunity to move abroad to Thailand to teach English. I started doing my own research and reached out to her for more information. It didn’t take me any time before my heart and my head started lining up. I knew this was the decision. This was the change I needed.
The opportunity to learn to speak a new language, put myself in difficult situations, and change careers slightly had me intrigued. Plus, getting changes to travel on top of that meant I was sold on the idea. My heart, soul, mind, everything lined up. This was it.
I immediately went online too apply for the position. I decided to use a recruitment type company called Greenheart Travel. Greenheart Travel is a non-profit organization that runs an extensive amount of programs for people of all ages. These programs include but not limited to homestays, exchanges, teach/work abroad, and volunteering.
The decision to use a recruitment company, like Greenheart Travel versus independently moving abroad to find a job came easy. I liked known I would have support in obtaining the necessary visas and work documents. Plus, it gave me the peace of mind knowing I was guaranteed a job. They even provide assistance with setting up accommodations, completing and obtaining the appropriate TESOL certification, setting up a bank account, setting up a phone number.
Something I later learned is that Greenheart Travel partners with another company based in Thailand called XploreAsia. They are the physical company doing the ground work here in Thailand from the TESOL certification to the placement. I didn’t mind getting “shoved” from one company to another, because it was an seamless process. I never felt left behind from either company.
Would it have been cheaper just to move to Thailand and find a job? In all honestly, probably, but a job wouldn’t be guaranteed. I LOVED knowing I was already going to have some sort of income shortly after moving. Plus, having someone assist me in finding the job, took a lot of stress out of moving abroad.
Applying and Saying Goodbye
I started the application process in February and had my official interviewing in March. By June, I was able to pay for the cost of the program in installments which I finished. I had purchased my plane ticket in July. And by August, I got ready to officially leave my home of two years.
When my time came to an end on St Thomas I was immensely heartbroken. I was saying goodbye the children I truly adored and teachers and colleagues I respected. I was leaving behind an amazing group of lifelong friends and a workout community that I loved. A new adventure was waiting for me and I was ready to pack up my life and move to Thailand.
I am writing this story to you from Chiang Mai, Thailand. It took me a while to compile my thoughts about how I wanted to share my “WHY” and my “HOW” I made the leap into moving to Thailand! It has only been 12 days and I’m in love.