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Thread: Going Abroad or Staying Here?

  1. #1
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    Going Abroad or Staying Here?

    My boyfriend and I met through mutual friends in 2015 and ran in the same circle of friends since then. It wasn't until this January in 2017 that we began talking more. We talked for about 4 months before we went on our first date in May. Since then, we have been inseparable. I truly believe this person is 'my person' and I have a good feeling that we will work out long term.

    Before we began dating, I mentioned moving to Thailand to teach ESL for one year after I finish my Master's program in 2018. He knew this before we dated and I was set on going, hoping that he would be on board with it, but I didn't want to force him. We had a talk recently because he has had second thoughts about going. His reasoning is financial circumstances, selling his things, losing his apartment (which is in a good location, good price) and the chance that there will be more strain if we go together and he has nothing to do for work. He plans to quit his job as a city council aide at city hall once the year is done. He is a photographer, filmmaker and graphic artist and owns a business. He understands the difficulty of adjusting to life in another country and would rather me choose whether I want to go (he wants to me to weigh my options but is completely supportive either way).

    I will complete my Master's in ESL next May and plan to go abroad sometime that same year. If we go together, there would be strain on the relationship, we could fall apart and resent each other. If I go and he stays, long distance would be impossible and couldn't replace the physical aspects, and we could lose momentum, as in we could change within in a year and become different people. If we stay here together, I could resent him for not going (which I don't think will happen), we could move together and I plan to pursue my teaching license anyway. I thought he gave me an ultimatum that if I went to Thailand, we'd have to break up. But he said that is not the case. He wants me to know that it would be extremely difficult to stay together if we had to do long distance.

    The political situation in Thailand is quite unstable and I've been warned by some older folks to not go. I could just travel for a vacation, but that is it. I have family and other connections there, so it would not be difficult to find work. However, I run the risk of losing my boyfriend if I go. And who's to say if we will work out if I DO stay? I can't say that for sure either.

    When we talk about this subject, I get emotional because I think about how much I will miss him and the possibility of breaking up

    Should I give it some time and weigh the options before I make a decision? Is he right about everything? What should I do?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I think you should go. This is what you wanted to do, have planned to do for a fair while. You want to be a teacher and ESL is a great thing to do. Yes a year is a long time but if your relationship is meant to be, it will survive you being apart. I also think you may resent him if you dont go.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Snny's Avatar
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    I've been in your situation. I'm in America and had multiple teaching job offers in Japan for a one year contract. The schools found out about me through personal connections from my friends who were already teaching there and wanted to stay in the country. I was being offered more money than typical exchange teachers (even compared to American school teacher salaries) because of my teaching degree and having a few years of teaching experience for the positions. I've always wanted to travel to Japan (especially Akihabara, Osaka, Mt. Fuji, several castles, and a couple islands) so badly.

    I had a boyfriend. He was not American and came from Asia. He did not want to go back for similar reasons your boyfriend expressed (no job, no language skills to make himself marketable even though he worked in medicine). Therefore, he could not travel with me. He then proposed to me (he didn't know I had job offers lined up). So I had a choice... stick it out in America and find a job here; or make better money living in Japan, but be lonely, lose a 7 year relationship, and potentially fall into suicide (Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world).

    I outweighed my options, turned down the Japanese teaching offers with regret, and got married. I was LUCKY I did not accept one of the teaching positions because it was in F-kushima (ENA censors the name of an actual city??? weird!!). I could of been dead.


    I am no longer teaching or seeking an educator position because of the instability of the education field. I couldn't find a stable job market in it with all the budget cuts and ridiculous amount of job politics getting in the way of job security. I eventually got my master's degree, am now working in a career that helps people with disabilities function in a local community and find employment, and am an expecting mother. I wish to visit Japan and my friends who are there, but it will be awhile once my child is old enough to travel/stay with grandparents (I am afraid of coming into contact with the radiation).

    I can't tell you what to choose between the two. A career is important, but if you really think your boyfriend could be your potential husband then you may have to reconsider your career path. This is something you really have to figure out what makes you truly happy. Everyone around your age has been in similar situations where they had to choose between a career and a relationship.

    Take this time to reflect. You got roughly a year before you can set your career in stone- and even then you may not be with the same guy months onward. In addition you should start applying for jobs around the beginning of your last semester to see if you can get a job locally (or within the country). Have a backup plan in case you can't go to Thailand. Even you said that the country is very unstable, so it could get worse.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I wouldn't put such a heavy weight on this or project any 'stuff' on it to make yourself miserable. See if BF would like to vacation there with you while you explore your options--and he explores his. Either or both of you could end up with an entirely different take on who'll want to go there, who won't, and when.

    Work some flexibility into your potential outcomes. The country will still be there whether you opt to go there in 1 year or in 10 years from now, your ESL teaching skills can be used anywhere, and BF could decide on your vacation there that an extended stay for a good part of your trip might be feasible and desirable--or not.

    If you have family there, then your connections won't dissolve should you decide to delay your trip there for another year or more, and you may find a place you'd like better to work while BF may find that location to be a place he'd agree to visit and learn about.

    There are any number of possibilities, so I wouldn't force a lock on any of them unless and until you can harmonize one of them into a workable solution for you and BF.

    Head high, and write more if it helps.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Snny's Avatar
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    I recently came across a couple thread on Reddit about abroad teachers. Someone wrote about a negative experience teaching in Thailand. Thought you should know...

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  7. #6
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    [QUOTE=Snny;6882533]I recently came across a couple thread on Reddit about abroad teachers. Someone wrote about a negative experience teaching in Thailand. Thought you should know...

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    , this is nice of you to share.


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