I visited Chaing Mai in January 2001, when backpacking around the world with my, then, girlfriend. We drove up there by an overnight train, and spent almost a week there, before trekking down south for a bit of beach-time before flying back to Denmark. Thailand was the last country on initiniary.

I do not remember too much from the city. I remember the clearly marked city walls (are whatever they were), the temples and the nighly market, which we visited a number of times.

Now, years have passed and the reason I bring up Chiang Mai is this: Recently I returned to Denmark from Spain because of a broken relationship. I do not have a job and I do not have a permanent place to stay. I am currently job-hunting, but so far have drawn only blanks. This does not really worry me at the moment, as I unemployment insurance. However, give it enough time, and this will become a real tough issue. Both moneywise, identity-wise, and vis-a-vis surroundings.

I am well-educated, fairly young, friendly by nature, and I do not really have any serious vices. So the future should look bright, right? Well, not necessarily so. I feel fairly stuck already, even though I have only been in this situation for 2½ months. I have been to a couple of job interviews already for positions that I would have taken. They have not led to any job offers, and while that is not in any was a disaster (outta five qualified applicants that have been called in for an interview, four are let go each time) these rejections take their toll. Not in a major way, of course, but with each experience you naturally start to think in terms of “what will and should happen down road in case I do not succeed in landing a job?”  

Your brain performs some weird tricks, sometimes. And the trick mine pulled today, brings me to Chiang Mai.

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I spoke to a guy online, and it came up that he currently lives in Pataya. A place I do not know anything about, outside what the rumors say. I asked him a couple questions how it was to live in Thailand, and what the cost of living was. Turns out decent accommodation was about $200. My guess is that Chiang Mai is about the same. Translated into European currency and language: A little dough will get you a long ways in that part of the world.

After speaking to this guy, I did some googleing. There are quite a few blogs online with diaries written by Westerners who have relocated themselves to Thailand, and who are making a living by teaching English. Reports about how easy it is to acquire a teaching job may not be 100% accurate or objective for that matter, however, it was exhilarating reading. Going off to a foreign country with no booked return flight has always been a boyhood dream, and I actually did it this summer. A broken relationship ended this adventure prematurely, and effectively cancelled most existing dreams.

My thinking is this: If I do not, within the foreseable future (7 months) land a good job (one I geniunely want) I think I should relocate myself to Chiang Mai. I have a degree in English, teaching experience, and so nominally, at least, my chances of landing a job should be fair. Financially, as I am not currently earning anything, it would be a challenge, but now impossible. I have some savings right now, and while they might dwindle ocer the next year, if I do not get a job, I should have some left come next summer. Additionally, there will be an unknown amount coming once my old apartment gets sold.

Move to Chiang Mai – would it be possible? Yes, I think so, this is mostly a financial challenge. Airfare + get settled + living expenses for a min. of one year would be required, I will need to do the math and figure out exactly how much that adds up to. Would it be desirable – i.e. not just a mind-trick performed by my brain because of my current situation? The answer, I think, is a little more hazy on this one. Yes, it is desirable from a number of perspective, and I genuinely feel that such move could be the right thing for me. Total independence has its attractions. Total loneliness is the risk.

More thoughts are swirling, and more will need to get down on paper. More tomorrow.

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