You’re moving where??!

That’s the first question I and anybody get when informing friends, family, and/or strangers about moving to Thailand (as if they didn’t hear you properly). And then expect them to not have heard you properly because then they will ask “Do you even speak any Taiwanese?”
Hopefully you will just smile and say “Fluently.”
Of course you don’t speak Taiwanese or Thai or anything else but English most likely. Will it help if you learned some? YES. but it’s really difficult.
Why are you moving to Thailand? That is a question only you can answer. To each his own.

I am moving to Thailand because I get stuck in a rut in Florida and I am not happy there! I have a passion for traveling and experiencing new cultures and such. Teaching English is a great way to do it..and so I am.

I knew I was moving to Thailand about a month before I actually did. I didn’t have a job officially until about 2 weeks before I moved. This does not leave room for scatterbrain-ism. It also doesn’t leave time for a visa.
The school I have been hired at is helping me with my visa application. Until it is complete, I needed:
1. A copy of my passport
2. A copy of my degree
3. A copy of 3 months of statements (to show I had money in some form or other)
4. A copy of my transcripts
5. My TEFL certificate

Just in case I had a copy of my birth certificate, my social security, my driver’s license, and a few extra passport photos.

I found out AFTER I moved that I need my ORIGINAL diploma… I did not expect that.. so my darling mother will hopefully send that my way (along with some more Icebreaker mints.. those are pretty popular amongst other teachers).

Any blog will tell you that things are pretty cheap here. It’s true! But for those of us ladies who are blessed with curves, it is wise to come prepared. Be prepared to sweat. A lot. And often. When I heard people showered 3 times a day, I thought that was because they had a sweat issue. Being from Florida, I thought I could handle it. Nope. I sweat just as much and shower accordingly.

Ladies: I recommend packing some moist towelettes and baby wipes. Keep them with you at all times (not all bathrooms have toilet paper. and the bathrooms are a whole other story.. please read that entry when it is written.)

Getting back to PreThailand. Make sure your bank and credit card companies are understanding COMPLETELY that you are MOVING to Thailand..not just visiting. They will not hesitate to freeze your account after buying one plane ticket. Also, for those with Wells Fargo, they can send you Thai currency (Baht) before your trip so you have some money already. You can always exchange at airports and banks, but sometimes it’s nice to see the denominations and have them ready.

  • Bring a pair of bathroom slippers… you never know what you’re stepping in.
  • Mold and mildew are especially prominent. Prepare accordingly.There are mosquitos! If you are not used to mosquitos, the best plans are to have plenty of mozzie repellent (I’ve been using a lemon-eucalyptus combination that works magic), bug bite lotion, and unscented lotion. Perfumed bathroom lotion and body wash will attract mosquitos.
  • loose clothing is appreciated more than tight fitting (all the sweat is not pleasant with a shirt or jean shorts clinging to your skin)
  • Shirts that cover shoulders are popular here. The girls wear tiny shorts and skirts but ALWAYS have their shoulders covered. (See the fashion entry when it’s out)
  • Makeup is nice, but almost unnecessary with all the sweat and humidity.
  • Vegetarians: this is a very difficult feat. Especially in the beginning. I’ll explain more in the food entry.

    You are going to stress before moving… this is normal. You most likely won’t know much about where you’re moving to except what you read in Lonely Planet and other random blogs. That’s okay! You’ll learn more when you get there.

Remember, you’re going to the Land of Smiles… so smile! Thailand is a pretty cool place.  (so far)

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