I’ve heard people say that getting married young means you’ll settle down and miss out on your chance to travel and explore the world. But when I said “yes” to Cole at the beginning of our senior year of college, I knew I was signing up for a lifetime of adventures together. Three days after our one-year wedding anniversary we landed in Bangkok to begin the adventure of teaching English in Thailand.
Coming to Thailand meant boxing up all the wedding gifts that we had practically just opened, moving out of our very first place together, and leaving behind the familiarity of home. Even if our families weren’t thrilled about the decision at first, we are so thankful they supported us in following our dream of living abroad.
We immediately had a blast meeting a whole new group of friends together during the TESOL course in Hua Hin (read all about it here). However, culture shock set in when we arrived at our placement in the southeast corner of the Isaan region. It was just us, strange food, and an apartment full of bugs. I’m so glad I had Cole to support me during the challenging moments of adjusting to life here. Dealing with the frustrations of life in a foreign country is much easier when you have someone to vent to and inevitably laugh about it all with. Living together in Thailand has highlighted how different we are. For example, Cole’s ideal weekend is staying at home to catch up on sleep and recover from the week, while I would rather pack our weekends full of traveling and exploring as much as possible. Although being opposites can be challenging, it’s neat see how our unique strengths work together as we navigate life in an unfamiliar place. I can always count of Cole to drive us safely on the motorbike, handle foreign currencies, and act as our chief navigator. While I am the designated planner, researcher, and the only one of us willing to attempt speaking Thai.
Looking back on the last 7 months in Thailand, I can say that this experience has strengthened our marriage and brought us closer together. We spend so much quality time together from cruising around on our motorbike to teaching right next door to each other. Working together has brought many opportunities to make memories together and learn about each other. We love interacting with our students and talking with the Thai teachers at our school. Dinner most night is spent swapping stories about our kindergarten students and laughing about their adorable antics.
Living abroad has brought out qualities in each of us that we might not have seen at home: some good and some bad. The beauty of marriage is that we are both committed to each other through the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have certainly experienced countless good, bad, and ugly moments over the last 7 months in Thailand. I’m confident that we’ll return to America stronger than we came as individuals and as a couple.
Thailand has given us new friends, countless inside jokes, exciting dreams for the future, and hours of stories with which to bore our future children. We are so thankful to be on this adventure together!
Our story was originally featured along with several other couples on Greenheart Travel’s Blog. See all of the travel love stories here.