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How is life for 3 ex-Expats who have returned to UK?


How is life for 3 ex-Expats who have returned to UK?

Chances are for many working expats that at some stage they will return back to their domestic countries, some via their own choosing and others just a shift in market conditions giving them no alternative. Thailand has long been lauded by expats as the lifestyle choice, so I was keen to find out how three former Pattaya working expats have adjusted to returning back to the UK.

What do you miss about Thailand?

Keith: “Obviously the weather is the main thing, the sun rising and setting at the same time almost all year round. I miss not having the opportunity of taking short breaks when not at work to some beautiful islands with a couple of hours drive from my home, I miss the great friends and acquaintances I made in the 15 years I was there, I miss my dog a lot, I miss the friendliness in my village, I always had neighbours, all be it expats, that I could socialise with at almost any hour of any day of the week! I miss waking up on a day off, taking my dog for a walk in the sun, then taking my daughter for a dip in pool. I miss the sense of relaxation and the lack of tardiness of Thailand, it was laughable “Thai Time”, I don’t really miss the food, my Mrs makes Thai food everyday if I choose to indulge.”

Razza: “This is a difficult one as there are so many things i miss but if I’m honest the biggest things is the people, I mean the close friends I made over the 10 or so years. And of course the days/nights out all the lads used to have. Those days unfortunately will probably never be repeated. Obviously playing and rehearsing with the guys in the band, the weather and the laid back life. Never seemed to rush about as far as work went. And not spending so many nights in doors like you do back in the UK. Always something to do over there, even on a mid week night. “

Matt: “I miss the sun, the bars, beaches and markets.”

Was moving back to the UK an easy transition?

Razza: “It was stressful ! But once my Thai wife got her settlement Visa it all seemed to go OK. I’m just on with her settlement extension at the moment. Again a little be stressful but I’m sure it will all go to plan, they just need lots of paperwork and not forgetting another 2,800 quid. 1,000 (37k baht) for the NHS, 1,000 for the extension…robbing b*stards… and 800 to fast track the decision which is also ridiculous if you ask me.

Matt: “After being in Thailand for 12 years it was a bit of a shock coming back to the UK but things have been pretty easy and straight forward. It is a different way of life you get use to out there but to be honest I think it’s better over here for my situation with one 8 year old child and another one due in November for the education alone it was the best option. When they leave school in Thailand there is not much option for work, they can get a good job with a salary of around 15,000-40,000 a month but in the UK it will be much higher. I know it’s more expensive here but it’s a better standard of living and better infrastructure around us. The kids will both have Thai passports so can decide for themselves once they get to that age where they want to live. The food over here I think is better quality and more options in the supermarkets and retail shopping as well more options I don’t regret moving back to the UK at all now.”

Keith: “The transition of moving back has been quite simple, I had a job within 2 weeks, a job I enjoy and that pays reasonably well, but be prepared, there are hand outs until you have spent 3 months here, and still to this day, all I have ever received is child benefit, £82 a month, which every child with a British passport is entitled to, I heard a rumour that when I first claimed it would be back dated to when she was born, this was not the case! my daughter loves school, her schooling has advanced to a stage where her maths is as good as the kids she shares a class with, although her English reading and writing she is about a year behind, but catching up on a monthly basis, she is 8 now, year 4, only having spend one full year in an English school I think by the time she goes to secondary school she will have caught up!

My Thai wife originally came over with our daughter and me, but after 6 months had to return as we were not married. In January, I then applied for a fiance visa having satisfied the financial requirements, she returned on her fiance visa 6 weeks ago, so now we will get married in the next couple of months and apply for the settlement visa in the UK. As you can imagine, this has been a costly process, as well as paying rent and supporting myself and my daughter over her, I need to support my wife over in Thailand, flights back and forth, £1690 visa fee for her fiance visa, visa company fees, and I have it all to pay for again, plus the NHS fees my my then wife, in a few months time!! All in all I reckon I will have spent almost £7000 on visa’s and flights before the year is out, that’s not including supporting my Mrs for the 5 months she was in Thailand this year, or the original visa and flights for all of us 13 months ago!!”

Would you ever come back to Thailand to retire?

Keith: “I do like the idea of that, my first priority is to get my daughter established in wherever she wants to be when she is of age, I would love the idea of spending every winter in Thailand as I get older, time will tell.”

Razza: “We’ve been back 4 times in the 2.5 years we moved away to visit family and friends. Was supposed to be coming back at Christmas new year to visit but, that baht !!! 30 something to the pound. Might have to pass and go to Spain Portugal instead, so much more value for money at the moment.

Retire back there? Doubt I could afford to retire back there Dan. Unless something drastic happens to the baht, but I have 20+ years till retirement mate so who knows.“

Having listened to these answers it reminded me of the fragility of being an expat. All three of these were friends of mine here in Thailand and yet, for one reason or another, all three left Thailand and returned to the UK. It is a sobering thought. Of course, expat lifestyle is hard to beat and the friends we make will leave a lifetime of memories – but, at some point, it is also likely to change as many move on to pastures new and that will leave empty voids throughout expat communities everywhere.

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december, 2019

01sepalldayTerre Et Mer at Caprice Restaurant Royal Cliff PattayaBeef. Lamb. Monkfish. Or a fancy plate of Bouillabaisse, We are serving them all at Caprice – A Taste Of Riviera.

01sep08:4631dec(dec 31)08:46Premium Cuts at Royal Grill Room & Wine Cellar Royal Cliff PattayaEnjoy our butcher’s premium selections at Royal Grill Room & Wine Cellar – Excellence & Heritage!

01sep08:5631dec(dec 31)23:56Exotic BBQ Skewers at Breezeo Royal Cliff PattayaTry our new Exotic BBQ Skewers and enjoy our chef’s special menus that are grilled to thrill!

01sep09:0731dec(dec 31)09:07Special Prime Beef Teppanyaki at Chamu Royal Cliff PattayaShowcasing one of the most popular dishes in Japan, try our new Teppanyaki promotion and let us bring Japan to you at Chamu – Japanese Corner.

01sep09:2031dec(dec 31)23:20Silk Road to Huang Chao at Huang Chao Royal Cliff PattayaDiscover Marco Polo’s favorite noodle dishes at Huang Chao – Royal Cantonese Cuisine

01sep09:5631dec(dec 31)23:56Flavours of Siam at Larn Thong Royal Cliff PattayaWe are serving world class cuisine from the 4 regions of Thailand at Larn Thong – Authentic Thai Traditions. This is your opportunity to explore the famous dishes from each region without ever leaving Pattaya!

01sep10:0631dec(dec 31)23:06Gold Medal Cocktails at The Bars of the Royal Cliff PattayaLife is good, especially on the weekend. Drop by and enjoy breath-taking views while you sip and savour our new refreshing cocktails.

01sep10:1931dec(dec 31)23:19World of Cupcakes at Café Royal Royal Cliff Beach HotelEnjoy the most adorable selection of cupcakes at our Café Royal located at the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel!

12dec(dec 12)18:0016(dec 16)00:00Wonderfruit 2019 at Siam Country ClubJoin us in December 2019 for an unforgettable five-day journey through arts, music, food and ideas in the serene and sublime Thai countryside.

13decalldayChristmas Northern Soul Night at Scooters Bar Soi 6Cant beat a bit of Northern Soul at Christmas time ;-)

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13dec18:3021:00BCCT Multi-Chambers Eastern Seaboard Christmas Networking at Amari PattayaBCCT, in cooperation with AMCHAM, AustCham, BeLuThai, CanCham, GTCC, NTCC, SATCC and STCC cordially invites you to Multi-Chambers Eastern Seaboard Christmas Networking

13dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

14dec18:3022:30Saturday Seafood Bonanza, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort PattayaSeafood lovers will enjoy the wide selection and variety of freshly grilled seafood including salmon, king crab, rock lobster, tiger prawn, fresh oyster trolley. The buffet line also features shrimp on ice, freshly rolled sushi, Thai noodles, Italian pasta, pizza, local Thai dishes, mouthwatering dessert corner and much more every Saturday night at only THB 1,299++ per person with half price for children from 6-12 years.

14dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

15dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

16dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

17dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

18dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

19dec18:3021:30Thirsty Thursday Pattaya at Avani PattayaTDThirstyThursday, Travel Daily’s legendary travel industry networking event returns to Pattaya on 19 December 2019, happening at Avani Pattaya Resort.

19dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

20dec(dec 20)18:0021(dec 21)00:00RCES Christmas Party 2019 at Siam Bayshore Resort, PattayaIt’s legendary among Rotarians and friends of the Eastern Seaboard and up till Bangkok’s Society.

20dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

21dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

21dec19:0023:00The 1001 Nights Dance Journey at Hotel Baraquda Pattaya – MGallery21st December 2019 we invite you to our Pre-Christmas show. Let’s all have a magical time travelling into 1001 Nights Dance Journey.

22dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

23dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

24decalldayChristmas Eve Party at Scooters Bar LK MetroChristmas Eve on LK Metro a great Party, and Scooters Bar LK would like to you to join us.

24decalldayChristmas Eve Party at Scooters Bar Soi 6“ts a Wonderful time of year, and Scooters Bar on Soi 6 would like to you to join us.

24decalldayChristmas Eve Turkey Set Dinner at Royal Grill Room and Wine CellarThere’s no shortage of holiday favorites at the Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar – Excellence and Heritage!

24decalldayA Royal Christmas Enchanting Gala Dinner at Royal Wing Suites & SpaCelebrate Christmas Eve at the poolside of the luxurious Royal Wing Suites & Spa where wehave put together a festive 4-course dinner containing delectable favorites and welcome canapes to start the festivities.

24decalldayChristmas Eve at Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort PattayaChristmas eve on Tuesday 24th December 2019 Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya

24decalldayWhite Christmas at Dusit Thani PattayaBe ready to Yo Ho Ho! during Christmas’s Eve at our... “White Christmas Dinner” in The Cascade

24decalldayChristmas Eve Party at Scooters Bar Soi BuakhaoChristmas Eve is always a great Party, and Scooters On Soi Buakhao would like to welcome you to join us.

24dec(dec 24)09:2125(dec 25)23:21Glittering Christmas at Hard Rock Hotel PattayaShine bright this season at Starz Diner. Enjoy the Great Charcoal Christmas Buffet with family and friends. Santa. Live Band. Christmas Carols.

24dec(dec 24)09:5325(dec 25)23:53Christmas Party at Hard Rock Cafe PattayaChristmas Carvery Buffet. Santa Challenge. Live Band. X’Mas Carols. X’Mas Vibe.

24dec(dec 24)17:0025(dec 25)22:00Christmas Dinner at Vespresso RestaurantChristmas Set Dinner on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th December 2019 at 5.00 PM – 10.00PM, no a la carte available.

24dec18:3022:00Winter Wonderland Christmas Eve Dinner at Holiday Inn PattayaCelebrate with a magic at your dinner table by magician Howard Posener, A gifts for the children from Santa and Santarina and much more on Chirstmas Eve dinner.

24dec(dec 24)18:3025(dec 25)15:00Christmas Festive at Pullman Pattaya Hotel GTis the sea-sun to indulge in a Christmas Eve dinner or a Christmas Day Brunch with beach front ocean views and a Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

24dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

25decalldayJolly Christmas Buffet Lunch at Panorama – Dramatic AtmosphereExperience the festive spirit with your loved ones as Christmas day features a spectacular Grand Christmas Buffet luncheon at Panorama –Dramatic Atmosphere.

25decalldayChristmas Day at Hemingways Jomtien

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25dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

26dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

27decalldayAlfresco A La Italiano at Rossi – The Godfather’s FavouriteEnjoy a leisurely evening with an Italian buffet featuring a selection of tasty antipasti, imported salami, air-dried ham, variety of pastas, home-made pizzas, and a sensational selection of regional dishes to name a few!

27dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

28dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

29dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

30dec19:0023:00499 Baht Buffet Dinner at Thai Garden ResortOnly for 499.- net per adult.

31decalldayNew Years Eve Party at Scooters Bar LK MetroIts out with the old and in with the new

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31decalldayThe Roaring 20s at Royal Wing Suites & SpaThis New Year’s Eve, experience an extravagant flashback to the Roaring 20s as we ring in 2020 with premium dishes, live music and classy cabaret shows.

31decalldayThe Flowering Inferno – New Year’s Eve Party at Hard Rock Hotel PattayaCelebrate the last night of 2019 and welcome 2020 in style.

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31dec01janTake Care Kids Charity New Years Eve Motorbike Raffle at The Loft Resort PattayaAll proceeds will be donated to Take Care Kids Charity.



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