Meanwhile: Thailand 2018

Hello and welcome, again perhaps, to my blog about retiring in paradise. It has been a very long time since I wrote anything here. I am not exactly sure why this is, but probably a combination of reasons. Without further ado, here is a quick update about me for the last 18 months and my retire in paradise for less events:

Since January 2015 I have actually travelled to Thailand 5 times. For the first 3 trips that I left Thailand, it was to “move back to  Mexico”. I was very hard on myself (aren’t we all?) and was disappointed with myself for not being able to choose a home country. Looking back I now know how ridiculous that thinking was.

First of all the fact that I COULD travel between Mexico and Thailand was in itself a wonderful thing to have. Second, I had the GUTS to do such travel. I am now 66 years old and I still enjoy the adventure with all its challenges. Fortunately, my health is still excellent, because I know that having poor health is a real game changer in our lives. How lucky I am to have this “problem” of choosing which country to live in!!

So about 18 months ago I decided never to say to myself or others that I have decided to “MOVE” anywhere. I simply say that I am travelling to such and such country or city and I am not sure for how long. having said this, I have decided to return to Mexico next week, for good. Ha ha ha. Uups, did I just break my own rule?

Khanom, nahkon sii thamorat, nst thailandI enjoyed living in Thailand this past year because I am/was living at the beach in Southern Thailand. The beach here is idyllic, coconut palms, smiling Thai faces and a very relaxed small town on the eastern coast of Thailand called Khanom. No Starbucks, few shops, a nice marketplace and a population of about 20.000 in the town itself. I rented a house here, 1 bedroom with a kitchen, bathroom and living room for 280 USD per month. This includes electricity, cable TV and an internet connection. Very inexpensive. I will write a separate post about this house and Khanom later.

So was there anything wrong with my newfound paradise? Well yes actually, there was not enough opportunity for social interaction. As I age I have found that I need companionship more and more. It’s not because of my age, its simply knowing what I need now. In the 3 years that I was living in Thailand, on and off, I had met 2 ladies who were very nice and I pursued relationships with. However, thier lack of English skills and my almost zero Thai language skills meant that conversation beyond daily pleasantries was impossible. For many, this sort of dialogue is sufficient, but not for me. I have also missed laughing and chatting about things that are American or British, an opportunity that would be impossible with Thai people. Thai men interact with me very very little, as opposed to Mexico where Mexican men with their families often would see me sitting alone enjoying a coffee or a beer and they would invite me to join them. This never happened in Thailand.

Laughter is a very healing fun thing to have in one’s life. Finding like-minded people to share similar situations and events from our younger decades is a powerful connection for me. Wit and sarcasm cannot be found in the Thailand language and trying to converse with Mexicans and introduce wit and sarcasm is very difficult for me at my Spanish level. I really miss this sort of banter with Brits and Yanks.

So next week I am flying to Mexico City to be at least closer to the opportunity of having these types of friendships. My friends and acquaintances in Mexico are many, many times more than I ever met in Thailand. It is my opinion that these cultural differences can make or break a lasting, healthy life in a chosen place to live.

About John Arnold