Canadian Expat Living in Thailand - Interview with Paul

Published: 5 Mar at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Thailand
Paul has dual Canadian/British nationality and has lived in Southeast Asia for the past 27 years. He currently lives in Thailand. Paul's career has been a mix of Information Technology and Motorsport Management. Paul's expat blog is called twitterings @ (see listing here)

A typical Thai Riviera beach.
A typical Thai Riviera beach.

Here's the interview with Paul...

Where are you originally from?
Walsall, U.K.

In which country and city are you living now?
Sichon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

How long have you lived in Thailand and how long are you planning to stay?
I've lived here for about ten months so far, and have no real plans to either move or stay. Thailand is a big country, and I may live in other parts in order experience new regions, or I may find a reason a stay put.

Another Thai Riviera beach.
Another Thai Riviera beach.
Why did you move to Thailand and what do you do?
I suppose the simple answer is: I needed a change. Before Thailand, I lived in Malaysia for 26 years, so it was easy to move a little ways north. At the age of 70 I'm supposed to be retired, but I still work as an App Developer and do some work in Motorsport Management.

Did you bring family with you?

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I left my country of birth, England, in 1976, so nowhere in the world is really "foreign." But there is a transition needed when moving to Thailand. The way people think is quite different than anything I've encountered elsewhere.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I'm something of an introvert and so don't really need many friends. I have a few, both Thai and expat.

This is Bert, my constant travel companion.  We've covered 14,000kms in five months.
This is Bert, my constant travel companion. We've covered 14,000kms in five months.
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
The area I live is known as the "Thai Riviera." It has spectacular deserted beaches, and great restaurants. If you like peace and quiet, this is place to be.

What do you enjoy most about living in Thailand?
The people. Smile and you've made a friend.

How does the cost of living in Thailand compare to home?
The cost of living compared with almost anywhere is very low. "Home" is Canada and I haven't lived there for almost thirty years, so I can't really compare.

Sichon, my home, is just a small fishing village.
Sichon, my home, is just a small fishing village.
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Thailand?
Sometimes it rains :-)

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Thailand, what would it be?
Try to empty your mind of the things you consider normal, and start to fill it with new experiences.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
I live in a fairly remote part of Thailand, so language is my biggest challenge. But I am also not yet in tune with the way Thai people think, and so reactions to situations can be quite different than I expect.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
If some unexpected circumstance forced me to return to Canada I'd freeze to death!

Temples are everywhere.
Temples are everywhere.
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Make an effort to learn Thai, but begin with the complicated written language. If you can't read the words, you can't understand the pronunciation.
  2. Smile. It's the solution to everything.
  3. If you want to see as much of Thailand as possible, be prepared for the fact it's a big and diverse country. It'll take time.
  4. If you are coming from a non-tropical country, you'll take a while to adjust to the heat. Remember that sweating is not a crime, and multiple showers per day are the norm.
  5. Never shout. Never lose your temper. In any discussion try to make sure no one loses "face."
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
In "Twitterings" I talk a lot about my tours around Thailand, which so far have been extensive in Southern Thailand, but have also taken me to the far North, plus neighboring countries. With a strong interest in both Motorsport and I.T., these topics are also featured from time to time.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
"Twitterings" has a Contacts tab, and I'm happy to hear from people, especially if I can help them in some way.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingPaul is a Canadian expat living in Thailand. Blog description: paul's ongoing twitterings about life, travel, motorsport, IT and more...
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