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Why Did Spending Time In Thailand Change Me So Much?


ukme

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O/Poster here. Great replies. I drove everybody around me "mad" when I returned to my hometown from Thailand, particularly the 1st time. It was Thailand this, Thailand that. On reflection I must have made myself look like a fool, I was totally unmindful of my behaviour, nobody really cared or particularly wanted to hear about my adventures. I sometimes feel ashamed about talking too much about Thailand in the past.

As a previous poster mentioned, the snapshot of the "potential" life that can be had in Thailand and then returning to the UK to the mortgage/milestone/ mentality or "normal" life and the resulting conflict can be somewhat uncomfortable, at times very uncomfortable.

As I mentioned previously, maybe it wasn't spending time in Thailand per se, just leaving Western Culture for a while...........then returning to "normal" life here in the UK that has caused so much of my conflict.

.

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As I mentioned previously, maybe it wasn't spending time in Thailand per se, just leaving Western Culture for a while...........

I spent 10 years sailing to six continents and changed more in a 3 week visit to Thailand than in those ten years.

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your a youngish man.. you dont sound like your gettin any pussy and your youngish. get good at gettin pussy and you will be a happy man. that will make life worth living mate, i guarantee you. dont let the anyone tellu otherwise. once ur good at dealing with people it will be much easier here too.

smoking good green now and again will keep you happy and tranquil. with excersise and pussy. now there is a good life

the persuit of tranquil i call it

good luck mate

:o

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Pardon me for jumping in without reading all these many helpful, thoughtful posts.

I moved from Chicago to San Antonio at age 18, and never lived further north than Okla. City since then. Climate was a big reason, and I kept closer to the equator. Did not really start traveling until age 42, and never stopped. Thailand is my fifth country to spend more than two weeks. Steppenwolf said, "It's never too late to start all over again."

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JayJayJayJay,

My advice to the OP is that he should not miss the life he has today, I have not advised that he should not plan a different life for tomorrow.

Happiness surely comes from within, but there are many outside influences of which the OP feels do not allow him to complete his happiness. He needs to hear that
.

I think perhaps there are a few 'Internal Issues' that it might be a good idea to lend and ear too.

Reading what the OP has added I think I'm beginning to see the reason why my employers (and many organizations that send people on overseas assignments) offer Post Assignment Counseling. I'm not being flippant here. Running around with emotions of hatred/aversion towards one's own home, culture, family after being on holiday to somewhere you liked ought at least give one cause to ask the question 'is this healthy?'

That you can find others suffering the same malady is not evidence that it is.

THe OP's sister observed that he "hates every one and everything". He also goes on to say this is a bit extreme. Given the OP has travelled many times, made his life in the UK and remains around family and friends, I believe (an assumption of course) that he is healthy and will make wise decisions. I don't make the same assumption that his sister is healthy, nor does she appreciate or understand the life experiences the OP has made. What the OP is asking to know, is it normal that as hard as he tries, he does not feel 100% at ease that his entire life will be lived in his existing enviornment. This was not a single holiday, and he's not recommending selling up the farm to move in with an Issan girl in nakorn nowhere, my take on this is he's not comfortable in what others are telling him should be his comfort zone. They are not right in my opinion.

maybe the OP have some problems in his personal life, he should arrange them first before he make an hasty decission.

My father gave me a good advise when I was his age,

"if you can't find happiness inside the 4 walls of your home, you will find it nowhere"

Interesting quote from your father, a good man Im sure. I believe the OP has yet to make his home! When he does he will be happy.

muaythaist, the alternative method : - )

To the OP, most of my posts are assuming you've a healthy mind. I read that into your posts as I feel your analysing the situation with a mature mind. I wish you the best in making decisions for the next few years ahead. dwhaigh99 has written a great piece that will help guide you in how to best approach family and friends at home. They have there lot and can't see why anyone would want to live in the next county, let alone overseas. Don't criticise or patranise them for being like that, embrace it, but at the same time set in place your own journey. Living a life of frustration and looking back when your 60 saying "I could have" will likely be the words of a bitter old man. GuestHouse has given you many words of warning, I support him, I also give you greater benefit of doubt and say go for it. Just make sure every step is a winner. The day you trip up and need to run back home for security is the day the naysayers will make it hurt the most. Plan well, and live life to the fullest.

Edited by jayjayjayjay
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I agree with many things said on this thread although the one thing people have to take into account is the initial 'love/liking' of countries and different surroundings. I've moved around quite a bit and the most common thing is when you first move to a place you think it's the best place you've ever been - however after time the routines which you used to do in the old places come back and you fall into the same kind of ruts you wanted to escape from. Or the alternative happens that you end up feeling stranded and lonely that the only thought on your mind is to return to your original environment.

But often then it's the Catch 22 scenario as soon you return to environments where they feel 'safe' and are totally familiar with the people and surroundings they immediately miss the place they come from!

I think I've lived in about 5 different places for extended periods of time, when I say extended I mean over 1 year and about 5 others for less than a year. I would say unless you live for at least an entire year in one place you'll never really know if the place is suitable for you or not - when I say 'LIVE' I mean really living i.e. working etc not just bumming around on the beach getting p*ssed everyday anywhere can seem great in those circumstances. The exception to this rule is place where you just do not fit in fullstop and you'll very quickly realise you do not want to be there, I felt exactly this way after 3 months in Rome!

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Hi

Read every post with interest and relate to many sentinents. My thoughts in my usual ramdom order :-

I too am sorry for 'splurting on' about LOS all the time to my UK mates. :wai:

100% of the UK female friends thought I was on a 'sex mission' and understood nothing about Thai culture.(I wasn't BTW) :D

Most Thai's are tied down to debts just like westerners with mortgages. In the words of The Eagles "When you call it Paradise, you can kiss it goodbye."

'when we' 'When we'. In the UK I felt alone. After living here(Surin) 2 years, I have more friends than I made in the previous 48 years in the UK. :D

I too lived & worked in S.E. England. I changed occupations, never again worked in 'an Office' and left the office mentality behind. :D

When my dad died, I bought a motorbike and changed my circle of friends and 'got out and about' instyle!! what Im trying to say is big changes can be made locally too. :P

Like the Seaman said :- I had a month in LOS and it changed my life more than the many other beautiful countries I have visited. :D

Finally, remember if you expect to make no money in Thailand, you will not be disappointed, ENJOY :o

Chok Dee

:jerk:

Dave

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Hi

Read every post with interest and relate to many sentinents. My thoughts in my usual ramdom order :-

I too am sorry for 'splurting on' about LOS all the time to my UK mates. :wai:

100% of the UK female friends thought I was on a 'sex mission' and understood nothing about Thai culture.(I wasn't BTW) :D

Most Thai's are tied down to debts just like westerners with mortgages. In the words of The Eagles "When you call it Paradise, you can kiss it goodbye."

'when we' 'When we'. In the UK I felt alone. After living here(Surin) 2 years, I have more friends than I made in the previous 48 years in the UK. :D

I too lived & worked in S.E. England. I changed occupations, never again worked in 'an Office' and left the office mentality behind. :D

When my dad died, I bought a motorbike and changed my circle of friends and 'got out and about' instyle!! what Im trying to say is big changes can be made locally too. :P

Like the Seaman said :- I had a month in LOS and it changed my life more than the many other beautiful countries I have visited. :D

Finally, remember if you expect to make no money in Thailand, you will not be disappointed, ENJOY :o

Chok Dee

:jerk:

Dave

yes,follow the heart,sometimes being practical or overly cautious,can spoil what could be a really great experienc/adventure.

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"if you can't find happiness inside the 4 walls of your home, you will find it nowhere"

This is what it comes down to, you're ultimately alone with yourself at the end of the day- cultivate happiness there. You can go off on tangents your whole life trying to avoid doing this, but u'll end up just wanting more and more and feeling dissatisfied.

A certain location, society, country doesn't mean shit, what culture you're living in has absolutely nothing to do with your happiness. Thailand doesn't make you happy. It all comes down to people.

I remember some quote from a movie, "seeing the splendid Vale of Kashmir alone is like seeing an empty valley, it is when you see it with the right person that it becomes truly beautiful"

You've obviously found a good girl in Thailand or are shagging a lot of them (no harm in that), that's what makes you happy, not Thai culture vs UK culture. I for one am a 'grass is always greener' person- I have grown weary of Thailand when I'm there, but when I'm in the US, I yearn for it or other locations.

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To the O/P, what exactly are you waiting for in the UK? If you feel the need to go back to Thailand, why not do it and see how it goes?

Plan? Legal? Solid advice meant in a positive way, but I would advise not to think too much about that side of things, but I tend to be a little more spontaneous... at the same time, don't go to Thailand expecting to suddenly feel great either... the other posts about 'happiness within' etc. are also valid.

Working in Thailand will also become tedious, the routine will continue to exist (unless you can do something you are passionate about and would happily do for free)... but your quality of life will be greater... more free time, nicer climate etc.

Good topic and solid advice given showing many different aspects/philosophies... TV doing what it does best :-)

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It happens to everyone. The only difference with me is I keep explaining how Korea is better than Thailand. I'm no different from the Thailand is better than (insert my home country here). Same, same...but different.

I saw an amateur video of a Pattaya girl talking through the whole thing and it just makes me not wanna go back. People ask "Why do you even post here?" Same reason you do...just sightly different.

One day you might be like me, finally go to a new place then come here and say it's better. In '05 I was the was guy loving Thailand and teaching fighting off the haters. Now I'm the pro-Korea guy. Tomorrow I'll be pro-Japan. The year after that I'll be Norway. Then I will say nothing beats the UK 2012.

Edited by Tyree D.
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Been here for 5 years and hate my home town now.I go home for a couple of weeks every year and i am bored out of my mind.Everybody seems to talk about each other and want better car,house etc.Thaland doesnt suit everybody but its good for me.

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I understand. I felt a great loss after I left Thailand in 1970 after two years of working in a US Army finance office in Bangkok. It was as if a close friend had passed away but I thought all would be well if I could get a University degree and back to Thailand with a better paying job. I got the degree and a job that could have sent us to Thailand but never got the transfer as they weren't sending people to Thailand from the part of the US we lived in. My Thai wife and I have been together now for 39 years living in the U.S. so that feeling about returning to Thailand has abated and other commitments now make it difficult to return to Thailand. Best of luck in planning your new future that has been shaped by your experiences in Thailand.

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Well, I was going to roundup our best thoughts here, as many posters

have offered some excellent cautionary advice, but responding to ukme

took up enough space and time for now. Since this a recurring sort of post,

maybe I can just copy and paste my response into future replies to such posts.

ukme writes:

> Growing up and living in a small town in England for the 1st 25

> years of my life Thailand was a HUGE adventure for me. My trips have

> revealed a lot about my small town life here in the UK,

> particularlly how tedious and boring it is.

Oh, I felt the same way about spring break from college at Ft.

Lauderdale. Vacations are always lots more fun than schoolwork or real

work. I also tended to confuse fantasy with reality. I dreamed of Ft.

Lauderdale and my good times there. I talked about it and people

couldn't understand why I thought it was so inherently great, apart

from its obvious desirability as a vacation destination.

Later I went back and worked in Ft. Lauderdale as a mature adult. Yes,

I really did, on a project for the Social Security Administration. And

that was a totally different experience. The scenery and weather were

still great, but now it was just as boring, or as exciting, as the

city I'd left.

I bet even a small town in the UK has some interesting, highly

educated, and even traveled people, at least, though there may not be

so many activities. Move to London? But then, we have posters who

claim that London is boring. And we have Assies who say that Australia

is so-o-o boring. Neither country, it seems, has ANY entertainment,

clubs, societies, movies, TV, concerts, pubs with great ale, universities, dance

halls, bookstores, continuing education, scenery, historical sites,

anyone to befriend, sex, museums, or libraries.

You see, ANY activity, if it's in the UK, is by definition boring to

the obsessed with Thailand. That's what, in the end, makes this

viewpoint so laughable, not to say self-evidently unbalanced and

unhealthy.

>It's like my travels changed my whole

> belief system and outlook.

Maybe you should work to change them back.

>

> People seem narrow and "small - minded" here.

Rather, you've become more narrow-minded yourself in your obsession. Wait until you

realize how small-minded Thais are! There's no comparison, really.

> It's like I went away

> on these massive adventures

Yawn. They weren't by any stretch "massive." (Well, maybe there were

brief encounters with some comparatively massive protuberances

undescribable on our granny forum.) But you wanna get massive, go

climb Mt. Everest. They were exotic--to YOU.

>I feel like I just can't identify with

> life here anymore.

As you would if obsessed with anything else. Suppose quantum mechanics

were the be-all and end-all of your existence. (It is for some geeks, I

suppose.) Probably your town wouldn't have anyone knowledgeable enough

to discuss the subject or understand it, unless you lived near a major

university. (I gather you don't?). Yes, you'd feel you couldn't

identify with anybody who wasn't into quantum mechanics.

>

> I've develpoed an aversion towards so much that it has almost become

> a neurosis -

Yep. Now you're gettin' on the right track here.

> Cultural norm's, values, expectations, the

> materialistic system, celeb culture, mortgages, cars, British women

> (sorry girls!), sporting events etc

But what makes you think Thailand doesn't have the same? Why do think

Thailand's are somehow superior? I hate to tell you this, but--they

aren't. In fact, they're at least as bad--but more generally even

worse--than the Western versions. Of course you may not be able to

realize this unless you live here a few years, and, especially, work

under some Thai bosses. Then you'd realize that you should have spent

those years building a career and financial security in the UK.

You omitted ALL the obvious and undeniable advantages of the UK. And

most amazingly, you omitted all the welfare systems. In the real world

there's sickness and old age. And they're quite costly, too.

>

> My friend recently bought a new car and brought it round to show me

> and I had to fake it, I had no interest in the car whatsoever. Same

> with my Sister showing me her newly decorated house - not

> interested.

Oh, but Thais absolutely love cars! In fact, you don't get much

respect unless you own one, that's how materialistic they are. Doesn't

matter if you want one to USE--no, you and especially your

girlfriend/wife need one to SHOW. Thais love the superficial

appearance of wealth even MORE than Westerners. Hence all the gold

necklaces, etc. Didn't you see them? Buy one?

And most Thais would love to have the financial wherewithal even to

AFFORD a mortgage. They'd be more than happy to pay a mortgage to have

a house, the bigger the better. Give most Thais a free ticket to the UK and a job

paying UK rates, and the whole country would empty out--if they could take

their families with them too.

Oh--you'll need a house here, too. But you won't need to worry about a

mortage because the Thais won't give you one. And they won't let you own

the land underneath your house, either.

When Thais show you their new cars or their houses, what will you do?

> The

> thought of spending the rest of my life here feels me with dread.

Well, obviously you'll need to grow up and find something useful and

interesting to do in the UK--a country with infinitely more

opportunity and variety than Thailand. Get a degree in ESL and work

with immigrants? Thailand is best experienced on vacation anyway, when

you're spending money. Move here when you've got an independent income

to spend.

> remain within the confines of my family unit, I don't have kids but

> my Mother, Siblings and so on.

It's a shame not to appreciate one's own family, when so many people

would wish they had one such as yours or any family in fact. Maybe

you should take them to Thailand with you next time.

They can see some of the superficial charms of Thailand, and perhaps

they can also correct some of your more irrational effusions.

> I feel closer to migrants in the UK than I do my fellow Countryman,

> feeling like an alien in my homecountry and all that.

And you could feel exactly the same way had you chosen some other

obsession.

> I'm not particularly

> keen on the English as a race either, always felt like I was born in

> the wrong Country.

Oh, I can agree that they are generally pretty vile, but the best, who can

be remarkably urbane, are mostly located within the UK. Outside, such

as in Pattaya, they're much worse, ex-hod carriers and such, always

complaining and looking around for proper pork scratchings and

Branston pickle. Nothing to talk about but--sorry, granny rules forbid

that topic here. THEN what will you do? However, you have a lot of

Scots and Irish around in the UK, plus all the immigrants.

After you live in Thailand you'd most likely find you would not be

particularly keen on the Thais as race either, especially when you

daily encounter their xenophobia (and, yes, racism) that shows you,

you farang, how little real regard they have for you.

Have you noticed how middle- and upper-class Thais don't smile at

strangers, including other Thais, unless for business reasons or a quick

"excuse me?"

> It's just that my time away prized upon my eyes to a whole

> new world

'Tis new to thee. Sigh.

>

> I am under no illusions about Thailand. The rose tinted glasses came

> off a long time ago

*Poot geng, krab*! On the contrary, your posts show that you are very

much full of illusions. Reminds me of that fine Joni Mitchell song,

"The Last Time I Saw Richard."

It's SO classic. Chapter 2: Problems With My Thai Girlfriend

> Admitedly my trips to Thailand were in part "running away" from

> something I can't quite define.

I think we're getting to the root of the problem here. I suggest you

see a psychologist.

> One of the most difficult things about returning home is being back

> in the 9 -5. It seemed like a MILLION miles away whilst in Thailand

Ah, reminds me of my Fort Lauderdale spring break all those years ago.

But surely anyone feels something of the same after a fine vacation.

Who doesn't hate coming back to the 9-5 after a vacation in Hawaii or

Las Vegas? Now I really enjoy my trips back to the States, in which

Thailand and all its mess seem a blessed million miles away.

> Close "friends" and even family members are full, excuse my french -

> of shit.

They surely aren't. Take a look in the mirror.

>

> My youngest sister (23/24 years) comes out with some much crap that

> I can't even be in the same room as her. She says/thinks that I have

> the problem.

And so you do and you've admitted as much. She's right, you see.

Probably loves you a bunch, too.

> although subtle the same shit was coming from him too. I recently

> ended the friendship for reasons that he wasn't even aware of.

Sigh. Good friend gone now. For what? Go now and apologize.

>

> After returning from Thailand I have become somewhat of a recluse.

Not a bad idea until you can get a grip. Why lose more friends?

>On reflection I must have made

> myself look like a fool, I was totally unmindful of my behaviour,

You see?

> nobody really cared or particularly wanted to hear about my

> adventures.

Exactly. And why should they? It's YOUR obsession, not theirs. Give

'em a break. Stop boring people.

> As a previous poster mentioned, the snapshot of the "potential" life

> that can be had in Thailand and then returning to the UK to the

> mortgage/milestone/ mentality

Thailand has the same, and it's worse. Sometimes it boils down to the

"eating/milestone," never mind "mortgage/milestone," mentality.

> or "normal" life and the resulting

> conflict can be somewhat uncomfortable, at times very uncomfortable.

But adults learn to cope. Buck up, stiff upper lip and all that. I do

recommend you see a counselor or shrink before you make any big

mistakes. Also, working with immigrants might be something you'd

enjoy. But it's best not to idealize anybody, any place, or anything.

>

> As I mentioned previously, maybe it wasn't spending time in Thailand

> per se, just leaving Western Culture for a while...........then

> returning to "normal" life here in the UK that has caused so much of

> my conflict.

Look forward to next year's vacation. In Greece.

Edited by JSixpack
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you'll come through it again on the other wise. You actually haven't spent enough time in Thailand. Its all rosy for you right now, even if you think "thats rubbish I know it has bad sides like blah blah..". You havent had enough time to get a grip on your true feelings about the place and should not trust them until youve spent a year or several years more here. Dont burn bridges back home just yet.

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I am under no illusions about Thailand. The rose tinted glasses came off a long time ago - Personal experiences in Thailand and the reading of topics/posts on Thaivisa have been hugely educational.

It's unlikely you've lost them yet. Its clear from your original post, and I know exactly how you feel as if you go back to 2004 in my posts on this forum I pretty much said the same things. I was convinced I was right that I had a balanced view but I simply hadn't had enough exposure in terms of days on the ground to be able to know what the hel_l i was talking about. Fast forward 6 years on, I still love the place but I laugh at my own previous naivete. And I will probably do the same again in 6 more years.

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The OP has got a lot of good and diverse responses. It should help him decide what to do next. The time for dithering and wringing of hands has gone. 33 is not old, but it's not all that young either if a person wants to establish himself and have a substantial career and, in most cases, a family life.

I'm not sure about the suggestion to the OP to solve his problems first and then go off to Thailand or wherever. I was very alienated at the age of 24 and went off overseas at a whim (a friend was going and suggested I go too). It was impulsive but it seemed to work, as I remained overseas for 7 years, went back home for 25 and have been living overseas again for 8 and have never felt that kind of alienation since. Getting out of a negative situation may be escapism, but it can also work.

PS I wonder how many people who get up and leave their native shores are from military or otherwise mobile family backgrounds. I was, and lived in several countries and states in childhood. Having lived in 3 different countries and 2 states in adulthood, my feeling is - and I believe there's some research to back it - that a military childhood is good for expanding one's world view etc, but weakens one's sense of identification with your original community. That doesn't mean you feel badly about your homeland, of course. You just feel different about it from the stay-at-homes.

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PS I wonder how many people who get up and leave their native shores are from military or otherwise mobile family backgrounds. I was, and lived in several countries and states in childhood. Having lived in 3 different countries and 2 states in adulthood, my feeling is - and I believe there's some research to back it - that a military childhood is good for expanding one's world view etc, but weakens one's sense of identification with your original community. That doesn't mean you feel badly about your homeland, of course. You just feel different about it from the stay-at-homes.

I normally make a point of not reading medical textbooks for the obvious reason that afterwards I am convinced that I have everything from malaria to rickets, etc etc. And psychology books are worse. But I did pick up some useful comments from a publication by Michael E. Gerner Ph.D (consulting psychologist) about characteristics associated with an "internationally mobile lifestyle", particularly children who grow up in such an environment.

Positives

1. Family closeness

2. Cross-cultural understanding

3. International career orientation

4. Language ability and interest

5. Travel orientation

6. Openess and desire for change

7. 3-dimensional world view

8. More academic higher achievers (I am sure that can be deabted with reference to family circumstances)

9. "Service desire" for career

10. High tolerance for ambiguity

11. High flexibility, adaptablity

12. Less dogmatic authoritarian

But ....... Negatives

1. Re-entry alienation and misfitting

2. Rootlessness

3. Need for change, exotic experiences

4. Less emotional closeness in relationships

5. Insecurity in relationships

6. Unresolved grief and sadness

7. Developmentally "out of phase"

8. More individualistic, egoistic

9. Social self most integrated only with those of a similar mobile background; with others a "divided self".

Edited by dwhaigh99
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Sometimes when filling up at the gas station back home (in Austin), it takes me an extra second or two to remind myself to actually get out of my car to fill my own tank.

:o

LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

THAT WAS A GOOD ONE MAN!!!!

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Read JSixpacks advice...then re-read.

You've become self-obsessed....Ukme...It's all "me me me" :o

I have to admit to travelling a bit...But no-where "changed" me like Thailand...

But maybe there's somewhere else in this world that you'll love even more... :D

Open your eyes...... :D

RAZZ

Edited by RAZZELL
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Been here for 5 years and hate my home town now.I go home for a couple of weeks every year and i am bored out of my mind.Everybody seems to talk about each other and want better car,house etc.Thaland doesnt suit everybody but its good for me.

I've been here for well over 10 years, and like you, it's good for me, I love it. :o

Edited by davyboy
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To the original post i feel the same and always wondered if other people thought the same aswell?

Everything came to me as one big shock after doing 3 tours of afghanistan losing lots of friends and being wounded in action i found it very hard to fit in with the norms of the west where people are more concerned with what britney spears is doing!! rather than what young people of there country are sacrificing everyday....

all i know is im happy here!! i will have a family soon and all i like to think of is tomorrow is another new day.. :o

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I'll do my best to articulate my thoughts. Briefly, in 2001, I went to Thailand for the 1st time. I was 25 years old at the time. I quit my job and returned later that year for 9 months straight and I've been back a couple of times since. I am now 33 years old and have spent about a year in Thailand made up of 5 seperate trips.

Growing up and living in a small town in England for the 1st 25 years of my life Thailand was a HUGE adventure for me. My trips have revealed a lot about my small town life here in the UK, particularlly how tedious and boring it is.

Family and Friends have noticed significant changes in me too. A friend said that I'm like a totally different person since I've discovered Thailand and my sister recently said that since returning to the UK I "Hate everyone and everything". Hate might be a bit extreme but I certainly have become averse to lots of things here. I just can't figure out why? It's like my travels changed my whole belief system and outlook.

People seem narrow and "small - minded" here. It's like I went away on these massive adventures, returned home and nothing or nobody has changed.

Although I was lucky? enough to be born in The West and should be happy with my lot I feel like I just can't identify with life here anymore.

I've develpoed an aversion towards so much that it has almost become a neurosis - Cultural norm's, values, expectations, the materialistic system, celeb culture, mortgages, cars, British women (sorry girls!), sporting events etc

I feel like one of those Gi's unable to assimilate back in their American Hometown after Vietnam - "Every time I wake up I think I'm back in the jungle"

My friend recently bought a new car and brought it round to show me and I had to fake it, I had no interest in the car whatsoever. Same with my Sister showing me her newly decorated house - not interested.

Maybe it wasn't Thailand per se, maybe just experiencing life outside of the West. I thought my travels would have settled my restlessness and that I could then just plod in with life here in the UK after getting it out of my system, but my experiences have had the opposite effect and I am more restless than ever! The thought of spending the rest of my life here feels me with dread.

Any similar experiences??

[/quot

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There is no cure. In the same way that ex alcoholics still state that they are alcoholics who choose not to drink.

I am really sorry but in this life you have to be selfish. I was not and in parts am not and I have paid and will forever pay a heavy and sometimes seemingly unbearable price for that. Most people do not have the "balls" to step out of the mainstream. Some people step out and find that they cannot step back in. I don't think it has anything to do with growing up and far more to do with taking control over your desires and if your desires conflict with the desires other people have or expect for you then you have to be strong enough of character to make your own chioces and not just follow their lead.

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I came to live in thailand aged 24 and am still here some 8 years later. I can relate to what the OP is saying, having also hailed from england originally and having gone through the frustrations of surburban English lifestyle. I stayed in thailand, managed to find a way to make money here, which isn't really that easy with all the preverbial hoops to jump through.

As for Thailand; Putting aside the obvious attractions such as weather, beaches, girls, there is a certain image that newcomers to Thailand have of Thai people. The image that the Thai people are different from back home, everybody smiles, everbody is helpful. The image that people are nicer, more friendly. The longer you spend in the kingdom the more you realise that the people here are just like people back home or in any other nation. The people back in england are nice too!! They are all just people with expectations and needs that need to be met.

For business reasons I will have to go back to the UK soon to work. And you know what, I feel quite nostalgic about the move. Looking forward to it. Looking forward to conversing with people in my own language and enjoying the things that I once took for granted.

The grass is always greener!

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OP

You originally asked, "Why Thailand changed you?" How much you dislike where you are now. But you haven't said what you think makes Thailand so great.

Couldn't help noticing the reference to girls.

Been in Thailand for one year, five trips over seven years!!

If your unhappy, maybe it's just 'cause your unhappy. Don't put it down to a country. Try somewhere else in Blighty, or elsewhere!! Maybe try visiting a few other places before you decide.

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Reading this post again I get the impression that the kind of feelings that the OP mentions - Hating the Uk, loving Thailand etc have little to do with Thailand or England and more to do with his general sense of physchological well being. These kind of feelings are like a backpack, you take them with you wherever you go. If he OP comes to Thailand to live chances are he will lose a bunch of money and become another cynical expat - and we got loads of those here already. :o

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