As well as loving many things about Thailand, us expats do a lot of moaning about the Land of Smiles too.
It's probably mostly us Brits; we love a good moan! And a cup of tea.
The usual complaints relate to customer service, health and safety, cleanliness, bad driving and scams.
Seriously, I have noticed a trend though: The longer you are here the more you see certain aspects of living “back home” through rose coloured glasses.
You tend to reminisce about your homeland in the same way a tourist might read about it in a guidebook, and forget all those annoyances that pushed you onto a plane in the first place.
Conversely, living abroad can also make you appreciate your homeland more, and indeed that is why many expats decide to return after a while.
But for most, an extended trip home usually reminds you of why you made the move in the first place, and by the end of your trip you're itching to get back on Thai soil.
Thailand will always have an abundance of “Thainess” that just can't be fathomed – and that's part of its charm – but day-to-day the positives generally outweigh the negatives.
Anyway, here's my list of things I miss about Thailand when I go back home.
30 Things I Miss About Thailand (when I leave)
- Weather that enables me to be outside whenever I want (except rainy season).
- Fresh fruit and vegetables readily available in my soi.
- Fantastic outdoor markets.
- Generally very friendly people.
- Beach getaways to idyllic islands; just 1 hour from the airport.
- Being able to leave BKK and arrive in Chiang Mai, door to door, in less than 3 hours.
- Chilling in coffee shops with a book or my laptop.
- Hour long Thai massages for £4.
- 7-Eleven's everywhere. So convenient.
- All types of Thai fruit, except Durian.
- Pad Thai.
- Songkran. Not so much the water throwing but the vibe.
- The vegetarian festival that happens once a year.
- No parking inspectors.
- A metro system that rarely experiences delays or signal failures.
- Cool co-working spaces.
- Traveling everywhere by Uber for pennies on the dollar.
- Quirky Thai customs.
- Nice kids that are usually respectful to their elders.
- Visa runs to Laos.
- Fresh coconut juice.
- Wais, in all their different forms.
- Smiles, all 13 of them!
- Rarely feeling stressed.
- Speaking Thai.
- Cheap rent and utility bills.
- Dating great women (before I was married)
- Never having to wear more than a t-shirt.
- Geckos and jing jocks.
- Being spontaneous and not having to plan every aspect of my life.
Did I miss anything (no pun intended)? What do you miss?
To give this post some balance, I asked a bunch of friends what they would and wouldn't miss about Thailand. You might find that interesting to read here.