Buddhist Cycle of Life (Tibetan style painting)
Buddhist Cycle of Life (Tibetan style painting)
Perhaps to some, it's tempting to browse over this article and quickly conclude that you've been there, in all phases of this so-called FARANG CYCLE OF LIFE AND DEATH IN THAILAND. You like to tell others you know already and you know about loosing face in Thailand too, by the way. Yeah, you're the THAILAND EXPERT and some of us know things better than others. But again, this is not a competition game to exceed others in who knows life in Thailand better. It's a tool to investigate yourself and if there is any 'fight' at all, it's between you and your mirror of the outside world or it's the fight-to-abandon-the-fight between you and your subconscious where you are both finally aligned.
To take myself as an example, I guess I'm in my 8th phase of making CHOICES and interestingly that corresponds to my 8th year in Thailand. As said before, I've made drastic changes in my life's direction after a 9-year cycle. I haven't found new opportunities in Thailand yet, so perhaps my life in Thailand is over next year.
For Chiang Mai Locator, by Mark C.
This article reflects an opinion of the author and does not portray the position of this website. Agree or disagree or have anything to say? Add it here as a comment.
|Mark Davis Posted on February 22, 2017 at 04:37:00|
"No matter where you go, there you are"
No place on this planet is a paradise, we make it up as we go along... I've been in Thailand a number of years and yes, I've been through your 9 phases for expats and I am still here and not planning on going anywhere... I've punched in / out of 50+ countries and lived in many of those places, so my perspective is not from an uneducated or inexperienced point of view... At the end of the day, you have to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with what you see and no, a place is not going to change that... I can honestly say that my life is much better in Thailand than anywhere else I have been, so here I stay... chok dee na khrap...
|medusa Posted on October 17, 2016 at 15:46:56|
Life will finally becomes meaningless whether you are rich, poor or whatever.
If only the farangs get together to help the poor Thais farmers, form a society that goes out to poor farmers and help them, then you have something to look forward in life. It would be a long term project that will takes up quite a bit of your time. You will find your true character in this selfless giving without expectation of anything in return.
|Law Posted on May 05, 2016 at 16:56:27|
Been here a bit over 4 years.
Wife & I have decided to go back to our home in the States
Many things we love here in Thailand most of all the people
My wife is Thai but since being here I have learned to read/write & speak Thai quite well.
I think that helped my view of Thailand a lot.
It was nice talking with Thai folks about many things & I will miss that most
But now there are many reasons to leave
From the lack of government to the visa requirement getting harder & harder each year it seems.
Just trying to get an appointment without a paid agent is near impossible in ChiangMai
Even though I get a 1 yr extension each year based on marriage to a Thai
I still need to check in every 90 days..If not 2000 baht fine
If I go to another town & stay more than 24 hours I again need to check in by law & file forms TM28 & the owner of where we stay even if the owner is my wife needs to file TM30 or again a fine
If I want to even go visit a neighboring country I need to buy a re-entry to Thailand permit
My wife on the other hand when she lived in the US had a 2 year temp residence visa period
Then a 10 year perm resident period
No further contact needed with Immigration there...Want to travel? go ahead...
During her 3rd year there she became a US citizen now she freely can move anywhere
in the world on that passport as well as keep her Thai one too.
Here I can never own a home just a condo which we just sold.
I can never be a citizen ( oh yeas they allow a few per year but having seen the requirements I know
I would never be one chosen/paying for it) So always a guest on a permit that can change day to day
Overall we just feel it is time to leave
Medical here seems cheaper till you use it then you find holes in it & also
you find the medical business here is like many things not really on the up & up
But a $$$ extraction process
You need to be aware that in a true emergency you will be held to make a decision
& things can slide so very quickly
It is not like our countries where they care for you period & work out payments later
or even allow assistance
Here you make clear up front how you will pay or you will be only stabilized until that is clear.
It was a great 4+ years & I will always remember them.
But time to go :)
|Spirit Posted on March 28, 2016 at 07:42:00|
Very well written article with a lot of truth in it.I'm now in my tenths year in Thailand without any break. Maybe I'm in phase 8 since a while but I'm not sure yet.
I learned a lot and living here changed me for sure but others have to tell if positive or negative.
There're still some reasons to go on staying in Thailand but sometimes it's very difficult for me to bear some obstacles. I know now that I can never be an integrated part of this society. This makes it in some way easier for me to go on but some dreams are already lost.
Wouldn't it for the love to my wife I guess I wouldn't be here anymore.
I'm not home sick and going back home isn't an option for me. Where to go instead? Which country could give me back some of my dreams?
Wish everybody good luck and don't miss your path.
|Jen Posted on February 27, 2016 at 00:39:32|
I will be leaving soon to go back and live in my home country. I made the choice, its time to go. I simply could not find enough reasons to stay. Yes, its cheap to live here, but the quality of life is not better. I will definitely miss Thailand, but I will be back as a visitor, not to live here again. Good luck to all on their journey.
|Jen Posted on December 31, 2015 at 04:48:27|
P.S. I also think the longer you stay the harder it will be to leave, ie to make that decision - seesawing between the phases. Lots of expats run out of money too and find themselves in a corner with no options/choices at all. Another point to remember is that this is not our home, it is their home, we are only guests here so really its accept their culture or leave and stop whinging. I have grown tremendously by being here - my character has grown and I am so much more accepting of so many things - and I have realised that money isn't everything - living cheaply is not everything, not by a long shot.
|Jen Posted on December 31, 2015 at 04:30:38|
I guess it takes longer to go through the phases if you have not lived in a third world country before or done a lot of travelling around the world - it just makes you more aware. I also think the phases go faster if you are quicker in grasping what is really happening around you. I don't believe the phases come and go that much, maybe some minor parts but not all. Once you recognise something for what it is and accept it, you naturally move on to the next and so on.. I think every expat should read this article. The poster is right, the universe decides what is needed for us (and sometimes its not what we want), and we just have to pay attention to the signs and follow that gut feeling - otherwise we get stuck in the same old cycle.
|andy Posted on December 31, 2015 at 03:51:25|
It is nice to be able to organise and categorise the feelings of living in a foreign place, I certainly recognise some of them. Unfortunately, life is not so simple, each phase can reappear and disappear in no particular order, can dominate for a time, to be replaced by another phase which you have placed earlier. There may be some progression in the order you state but not necessarily
|LivinLOS Posted on December 31, 2015 at 03:11:23|
Superbly written.. I tend to feel that by the later cycles (if you havent exited of course) you experience mini cycles of the previous ones often, its not that you go through them and pass them, but they simply become absorbed into the routine of life. After 15 years here I still have days of delight or comfort zone, I still have irritation and complaint, I still have the wish to change, or acceptance, etc etc on a near daily basis.. Yes your way of tacking a problem changes but you still have those experiences.
I also cant help but smile a little at commenters 'up to phase xxx' in X months.. I think a lot of the truth of this piece is the depth of those feelings over long time.. I have also seen the 7 year itch in many expats come and go, the barrier period where many call it quits.
Great piece, well done.
|Jen Posted on December 30, 2015 at 11:08:27|
I am in my ninth month in Thailand and I feel I am up to phase 8 - I suppose everyone is different but I have travelled extensively. I am returning to my home country in March and at that time will make my decision as to how much longer I will stay on here, or whether I will leave in the latter half of 2016. Yes, it has been an interesting interlude and I never came with the belief I would stay for all time but wanted to try and see how it would work out - I came with the idea that nothing was permanent and different choices could always be made - or I could change my mind at any time I pleased. - I have also come to the realisation that living cheaply is not everything, and certainly should not be my main reason for staying on here. I find the expat lifestyle that so many embrace here to be superficial and shallow and really don't have much time for these people, but I do mix with them as a need for company and English conversation from time to time. If I decide to leave, I will not feel like a quitter - I will feel like a winner because at least I gave it a go! For your info, I am a retired single woman aged 68 - it has not been an easy road here. A great article, and I think the phases themselves were quite accurate and I could identify with them easily. Whatever I decide, I will not be afraid to make my choice.
|yocahuna Posted on December 29, 2015 at 15:03:29|
Well done, Mark. Been in Chiang Mai 2 months but am already at Phase 7 with 10 months to go on my lease. Wonder what Choices i'll make when that time comes?
|lem Posted on December 16, 2015 at 01:30:59|
What a beautiful article. I think that wherever you go you experience all those phases. The new opportunity phase is very important because it means that your new perception about the world is actually functional. You have something to do. You have a new hope. Kinda like Star-wars films. The first three were great. The second three were so so or just ok. You gotta pass the franchise to another level and try to Awake the Force. Who knows? Maybe it works even better (in a different way). Cheers Mark.and good luck.
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