Stuff I'm not looking forward to when I return to USA
It wont be very long now as my time in South East Asia will soon be coming to an end. I've been in Thailand since before Covid started and in those years I came to the realization after much deliberation that it is not a good idea for me, mostly financially speaking, to attempt to stay in this country or this part of the world given what my employment options are. I of course would prefer to stay here rather than rejoin the western world but I have to face the reality that staying here and working for peanuts would be almost certainly very damaging to my financial future. Just like a lot of the people that I have met here that have stayed as teachers for a long period of time, I think I would end up eventually being a burden on my family if I don't go and "get a real job."
So although the end date has not yet been determined, I have decided to not renew my contract with my school as after the summer break is complete. Then, my return date to USA will likely be determined by immigration here and other countries in the area that I may or may not even visit.
Being over here for a few years has really opened my eyes about what is truly important in life. I feel as though many Americans, including me before I saw the other side, are "doing it wrong." There are a number of things that I haven't had in my life that I am really not looking forward to being subjected to once I rejoin the race that is the western world.
Inflated prices on everything
When you first come over to a place like Thailand you will probably be amazed with how cheap everything is. Honestly, the most expensive meals that I ever have are at places that I previously went to in order to get a cheap meal like McDonalds or Burger King. It is extremely easy and common to get a good lunch over here for a dollar or two and this simply doesn't ever happen in the USA.
I will probably go through some sort of reverse culture shock when I get back there because I have grown accustomed to going into a minimart for a cold drink and can do so with a dollar or less and do so with confidence. Street food in particular is really inexpensive and as far as I can tell this must be illegal back in the states because other than the occasional food truck, I've never even seen street food available in USA. They probably claim it is for hygiene reasons but I would be willing to bet that it is more so because of permits and taxes aimed at benefitting property owners.
I'm gonna have to re-introduce myself to my own kitchen once I have one back in the states because meals eating out are just crazy expensive. I would imagine that one night at a cheap place like Applebees costs as much as it would for me to eat out for a week here in Thailand.
The obsession with politics
I haven't paid much attention to it since I have been outta there but the little bit of time I spend catching up on what my friends are doing using social media I can see that the total obsession with politics continues with almost everyone I know. People are just outraged all the time regardless of where they personally sit politically speaking and I know for a fact that I am not going to get bogged down in that. I'm hopeful that I can find a group of friends that will not talk about this in public because people get so crazily upset over someone not agreeing with them on something. Also, it all just seems so futile to me and I think there are a lot of ways to better spend your time than just being angry all the time.
I have my own opinions about the issues of course, but I don't feel the need to wear it on my sleeve and it isn't the entirety of my personality.
I fear that people are just going to be angry all the time when I get back there and I hope that whoever I end up with will respect that I don't want to talk about it. I'm really not looking forward to this being a part of my day to day life.
We all have to work. This is just the way of all life anywhere on earth but from what little I experienced when living in USA before leaving to explore Asia, I remember that people's lives totally revolved around their work life. Maybe I am just a bit lazy but man, I don't want to play that game. I am kind of dreading starting a career of some sort but I know I have to do it. I'm hoping that my experience overseas and the fact that I would really like to return to it someday is going to somehow inspire me to put my head down and get the job done, save a bunch of money, and always be aiming for the future goal of being able to retire early and get my ass back over to a place like Thailand to live permanently.
I know that I am going to get sucked into the rat race. Hell, the above statement shows that I am already planning on it. Hopefully my experience over here and the love I have for a simpler and cheap life will encourage me to avoid purchasing things that I do not need and instead will just focus on saving as much money as I can.
It's going to be a reverse culture shock for me returning to USA. On one side of things it will be nice to have everyone speak the same language as me but I am not looking forward to how outright mean people are back in my home country. In Thailand it seems like most people are kind by default but back in USA the opposite seems to be the case.
I hope it isn't as bad as I am imagining it is going to be and that I am able to roll with the punches and find something that I don't absolutely hate for a job. Maybe it wouldn't be a terrible idea for me to get a teaching certification and have a look at getting my hands on one of the really special "real jobs" that exist in Thailand. If my original plan fails, I can see myself doing exactly that. I think just a few years of not living in the USA has kind of shown me that there is a very good chance that I don't want to live there at all.