THE LAND OF SMILES
In 2012, my husband and I packed up and moved to Thailand to teach English for 6 months.
At first, Thailand was a frustrating place to live. When we first arrived, our senses were immediately assaulted by sights, sounds and smells that we had never experienced and were not pleasant. It was hot, dirty and loud. Everything we ate made us sick, except the boring hotel food. The town that we taught in was small and barely anyone spoke English. It was an incredibly difficult adjustment from our lives back in the U.S.
After about a month, Thailand really started to grow on us. We learned some of the language, we figured out what foods we liked and didn’t like. We spent every waking minute of our free time travelling the country and experiencing the real Thailand. Our experiences always landed us in some situation where we needed help and the Thai people never let us down.
Thailand is called “The Land of Smiles” for a good reason. The Thai people truly are some of the nicest people I have ever encountered. We drove a moped (motorbike as they call them) around and it broke down on numerous occasions. We hitched rides with people and they fixed our bike so many times we lost count. We never felt unsafe and they never ripped us off or made us feel like idiots. From the people that helped us with our moped, to the guy who helped us find the McDonald’s in Chiang Mai, the Thai people are one of the many reasons we fell in love in their country.
We also love Thailand because it’s endlessly beautiful. Whether it’s the beaches and islands in the south, or the mountains and national parks in the north, Thailand does not disappoint when it comes to natural beauty. The country is also relatively easy to navigate with buses and trains that run daily to every destination in the country. It’s also the main travel hub to other Southeast Asian destinations such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. And the price just can’t be beat! It will set you back a bit to get there, but once you are there, your money can go a long, long way. There’s a reason it’s one of the top backpacker destinations in the world.
Thailand is an incredible place filled with lovely people, delicious food, beautiful temples and awe inspiring scenery. If you ever get the chance to go to that area of the world, put Thailand on the top of your list of places to visit. And spend as much time there as you can. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made and we will definitely be going back to our second home!
You can read about our 6 months in Thailand here!