Moving to another country is not easy, even if you are familiar with the place. Someone asked me what things I have learnt so far moving to Koh Lanta and I will try tell you a bit about it 🙂 !
Have Patience and do not rush a Thai person
Patience! This means patience with others and my self. I am that kind of person who expect everything to have happened yesterday. Here, things go slow and no one is stressing. I have learnt that (most things) will get done eventually, but maybe not on my personal time frame. You just have to take a deep breath and smile.
Saying goodbye to things I do not need
When we made the move to Koh Lanta we had to sell and give away so many things! Some things were harder to throw away than others but now, I do not miss my old stuff at all. It is such a liberating feeling to have just enough. I don’t need 10 handbags and I certainly do not need 30 pairs of shoes (especially when all I am wearing here are flip flops). I used to love shopping and I still do in a way, but Lanta isn’t really the place to shop and for me that is a good thing!
7/11 is your best friend
7/11 here is not like 7/11 at home. It is not expensive and they have just about everything you need! My kids buy sandwiches at 7/11 when I forget to buy breakfast (i know…), and they grill it for you! You can also get your lunch noodles or any snack you like. They have sunscreen, mosquito repellent, tooth brushes and toothpaste, shampoo, painkillers and wine! They even have Champagne! Love it!
I will never do my laundry again!
I hate doing my laundry. To wash and fold clothes for five people and then put it all back into drawers just takes forever! Here, you leave your Laundry to the laundry lady in the morning and you get it back clean and perfectly folded the next day. And all this for 40 THB per kilo! We actually had a washing machine in our house but we sold it… Can’t say I miss it.
Accept that you are an outsider
I consider myself to be a part of Koh Lanta community and I do think of Koh Lanta as my home. But, I am still a foreigner, a Farang and I feel like the outsider, because I am! The culture is not mine and the language is not mine. I am different because I am Swedish. It is sometimes uncomfortable to feel like an outsider, but I try to accept that I am and I try not to think about it too much.
Thai language is SO difficult
We started a course in Thai when we got here but I must say we were a bit too ambitious trying to learn a new language at the same time as we were trying to get to know our business. Thai language is so difficult and for me the words all sounds quite the same. One word can mean several different things depending on how you pronounce it. We did not finish the course but I did learn a few words and Thai people really appreciate you trying, even if you only know a few words like “hello”, “thank you”, “see you later”. The key to a country is the language and I am going to give it another try later this spring. Wish me luck!
I decided to be more happy when we moved here. This is not easy of course. I am a very restless person and my mind is never still and I often think of next step in my life. It is hard for me to live in the moment and to be content. I have really thought of this a lot and I am happier now! There are many reasons for this. First of all I have learnt that I have to work for my happiness and choose happiness. I also try to really appreciate the things that made us move here in the first place. The (small) things like take a walk on the beach when the sun sets, swim in the Ocean, walk barefoot, the fact that I do not have to deal with snow anymore and the joy of spending a day on the Dive boat.
My “problems” came with me to Koh Lanta, even if I thought I left them in Sweden
In some naive way, I thought I could leave some of my problems behind when we moved here. Of course that is not the case. I have the same arguments with my kids about the mess in their room, playing computer games to much, fighting with each other and not doing their homework… I am still very tired in the morning and I never know what to have for breakfast. Moving to paradise doesn’t mean everyday life is fantastic everyday…
Owning a Dive shop doesn’t mean you get to dive a lot
I love diving and thought that owning a dive shop gives you the opportunity to dive whenever you want to. That is not the case. There is simply to much to do in the shop. So many things we have to learn and deal with. I never thought it would be this much work to be honest. So far I have been diving twice since we moved here in august. Hopefully we will have more time next season, when we know our business better.
I smile more!
Thai people smile a lot. Whenever you meet a Thai person he or she smiles at you and of course that makes you smile back. I know not all smiles are sincere but it does have a positive impact on me, and because I smile more I feel better. Thailand is for sure the land of smiles!