Hi, my name is Ale and until now I´ve been following a life plan that more or less was going in the direction I wanted…
Then out of the blue comes an e-mail one day “Hi, I like your eyes and your smile Do you think we can be friend?” a girl my age from Thailand has seen my picture on my MSN profile and wants to talk, “sure, why not” I say to myself.
Four months later we´ve found that we desperately want to be together, we chat for hours, talk on the phone, postcards, flowers and photos cross the world between us.
A love has born but there´s something that keeps us appart, it´s big, blue and planetoid in nature. Being slightly adventurous I take the lead, I´m moving there in December. I´m setting the stage to leave the life I´ve been following here and take wing to a new one in Bangkok with the woman I love.
I guess it should be scary, but by now I´m mostly used to the inflexions in my life and just look in a state of amusement as unforeseen events unfold before me.
I have the habit of gathering as much information as possible before doing something so I´d like to know about other doper´s experience in life reconstruction and the things one should expect of such a thing, and also if someone has any experience in living in Thailand.
Meanwhile I´d better start learning some Thai… “hong-nam-you-tee-nai?”
I know, I know… that was my first thought, to go there for a month and then come back. But I reasoned that, if all goes well during that month, why leave?; so I´m planning for the worst… eh… best, if all goes OK, I´ll stay there.
If things go bad I can always come back home, I know my job will still be here for me (heck, I may even get to keep my job while living in Thailand!), so I want to leave with everything arranged for a permanent stay.
As for she coming here, eventually we´ll make a visit, but I prefer to live ovr there, I love my country and I´ll miss it terribly, but Thailand is a gorgeous place too. I´m salivating myself thinking about diving in the Phi Phi islands.
When did he say that?
Maybe it’s just easier, logistically, for him to head out there.
I’m moving to the States (God and Immigration willing, that is) pretty soon, to be closer to my man. Not because he won’t move up here - it just makes sense that I move, since he already has a job and a place to live and everything, and I’m just finishing school and getting ready to set up a life of my own. I have nothing keeping me in Montreal, and I’ve decided I’d like to set up my life near him. But it’s not only about him. I mean, I’m going to have my own place, my career, and my life… but he’ll be close by and we can see each other more often than the once-every-two-months we’ve been managing so far.
Yes, it’s scary as hell. A new country, a whole lot of work and paperwork, and tons of stress, which I could easily avoid by staying put and establishing myself here. But I know that if I didn’t try this, I’d regret it. So I think I see where Ale’s coming from.
Ale, I wish you luck. Just a little advice: try to see this as a move to Thailand. Not just a move to be with the woman you love. Think of it as a life opportunity as well as a romantic one, and I think the transition will be easier.
True. I assumed–and I’m not sure how much of this comes from me and how much comes from the OP, which may have not at all implied this–that the idea of her visiting the US first, or moving to the US, was not seriously entertained. Assumption withdrawn. The rest of my point still stands: Why is there no no-strings-attached real-life visit first? Since this couple met online, they will see each other face-to-face and one or both may be completely turned off (by physical appearance, personality, etc.) but it’s too late because Ale already moved there. If this move to Thailand is based on this girl–and again, that’s an assumption, but I would bet on it if I were a betting man–and not a desire outside of the relationship to live in Thailand, I would (if I were Ale) spend some serious time getting to know this girl first, and I mean getting to know her, not just shooting emails back and forth. You’d be surprised how little you can read into who someone is after just having online conversations with them, not to mention that their appearance may be drastically different than what you got in the photo. Listen, I’m a big fan of the romantic notion of love and leaps-of-faith, and I’m not trying to be a buzzkill here, but Ale, my unsolicited two-cents is to slow things down and spend a lot of time face-to-face with this girl first. It sounds like you have the means to get to Thailand, and probably also to finance her trips here. My advice is, find some combination of the two, and spend a lot of time getting to know her a lot better before you make this leap. If this pairing has what it takes to last–and if it’s worth a move to the other side of the world–it will not die, but only grow stronger, during the intermediary stage of visiting and learning about each other.
Again, though, may the Force be with you whichever way you go.
Ale lives in Uruguay, not the US. Don’t ask me how I know, I had to do some serious detective work to figure that one out.
Ale, have you two met in person? I really, really hope so. I had an internet romance go down the tubes when we finally met - I’m glad it was just a few days visit instead of, you know, moving across the freaking planet.
But best of luck to you both. I hope it works out.
Fetus, I´m well aware of your concerns, I know that written words can be deceiving; I had the unfortunate experience of knowing someone on-line that turned out to be total disappointment, I guess there´s a disconect in some people when they talk about themselves, they paint an image of how they see themselves not how they are in reality; it´s I human failure of character that most people have in some degree or another. I´ve learned from that and I´m more weary now.
Now this current instance is something I deem fundamentally different; the level of emotinal honesty and maturity in which we carry our relationship is very reassuring, we talk about our mutual feelings openly and in a very forthcoming way.
Although it´s still a mostly online relationship there are also phone calls, letters, video conferences and other ways in which we are knowing each other; and as far as possible with the level of contact we´ve had, my feelings are sound and true, and so are her´s. I can tell for little things she does, like calling when she feels lonely or wants to hear my voice, or wiriting a postcard everyday or her plans to find a different job by the time I move so we can have more time to spend together (she has an insane workload), etc…
Oh, and don´t worry about her looks, she´s beautiful; not in the “What a hot babe!” sense but in that beauty that warms your heart and draws as smille in your face.
Besides, we have 10 months ahead to know each other even more.
Antigen best wishes for you.
Kyla, I hereby nominate you to the “Columbo award for detectivistic achivments - 2006”
I´m sorry to hear about your bad experience.
I guess it all boils down to a leap of faith, I think in my case it will take, as our resident Johnathan Swift reincarnated (Elucidator) would say, more leaps of faith than a nun on a trampoline.
I hope it goes well for you. Just make sure you have a plan for what you’ll do if things don’t work out with this girl. Even if you’re both totally honest with each other, you might discover that there’s no “chemistry” in person for some reason. Attraction can be very mysterious that way.
Almost twenty-one years ago I was faced with a similar choice. It didn’t involve moving around the world, but it did mean moving out of a very secure and settled mid-life situation into the unknown.
I too had met someone over my computer. We had never met face to face, but I felt that we knew each other very well. I thought that we knew each other even better because there was nothing physical to distract us – only the words on the page and the voice on the phone.
This was just before the internet, back in the days of the BBS – Bulletin Board Systems. They were like chat rooms. And of course there was email.
When I was the most frightened, the man I had grown to love said to me something like this: “If you come to me, maybe you won’t be happy in the end. But if you don’t find out, you will spend the rest of your life wondering ‘what if…’”
He was right.
It wasn’t always easy. But I am the sort of person that lives life with all of the stops pulled out and I had to know.
We’ve been married for over twenty years. He is the world to me.
You must be prepared emotionally for other options if it doesn’t work out. I did that. I knew there was no going back and I was braced for it. That is the only thing that I caution you about. Other than that, I think that there are some people who must live life as if it were a wild horse. Consider yourself a fortunate person for having the courage to pursue the dream!
I left my SO of fifteen years ten months ago. Moved out, got another apartment. My SO will leave his job and hometown to come live with me. I’m happy with the choive I’ve made.
However, one word of advice. Big live changes, live events as psychologists call them, take their toll. Even when they are happy changes. This testis widely accepted, and give you an idea how much stress is involved with moveing, amrrying, jobchanges etc.
So expect a backlash, some down time, when you’re settling in your new life, and know that it doesn’t neccesarily mean you made a bad choice when it does.
I picked up and moved to South Africa. My husband (who lives in Egypt) in South African, but for a variety of reasons, we decided that a move was a good idea. I showed up in the country knowing about 4 people, with 3 suitcases - completely uprooted my life.
I don’t regret it for a minute, and before I left, I had to decide for myself what seemed the most important decision: if things in my relationship went bad for some reason, would I consider having moved to South Africa a huge mistake? It turns out I didn’t see it that way, and saw it as a chance to really restructure my life for myself and have made the most of it.
So I guess my advice is, don’t move to Thailand if the girl is the only thing that would make it work. If you feel that you could be happy in Thailand regardless of where this relationship goes, and have nothing to really lose by doing it, then I say… Why not?
And yes, knowing how to ask where the bathroom is in Thailand is indeed a very useful thing indeed. I’ll be going in April, but I won;t be going to Bangkok or I’d offer to wave at random girls on the off chance that one might be her
One caveat though: I also strongly recommend a brief visit before moving out there, regardless. It’s one thing to move out there to be with someone who you know is currently a good match for you in real life (and believe me, the real-world aspect of an internet relationship is very different from the online one), it’s another to move out there, find out in two days that you’re not at all a compatible couple, and be stuck in a brand new country and have absolutely no one to turn to from the get go. Or worse yet, to feel stuck in a bad relationship because one of you feels obligated to now that you’ve made the move.
Indeed, "what if…"s are the worst thing in the world, looking back over my not particulary long life, most of my regrets come from things I didn´t do or say when I should have. "What if…"s haunt you for life.
I´m glad to hear that things went good for you, very inspiring.
I think I could handle a disappointment, I´m quite impassible to adversity.
I´ll keep that in mind, thanks for the advice.
Reminds me of what a friend told me about my job; I love it so I don´t mind working long hours through complex situtations, he told me to be carefull with that because enjoying so much what I do I may not notice how much I´m stressing myself working. I´ve been more carefull about my workload since then.
You are not crazy…
Now that we´ve gone through that, yes, I think I´ll like the place, although our present plan is to move to Chiang Mai on the north I simply love all of southern Thailand, it´s breathtakingly beautiful, the Phi Phi islands, Phang Nga bay, Kah Raya, Phuket, etc, etc… Not that I have ever been there, but I´ve always liked that part of the world. I love the sea and I plan to take as many weekends on those beaches as possible.
Besides, I intend to see as much of this world before I kick the bucket and South East Asia seems to me an excellent starting point.
You´re one smart cookie, aren`t you?
In any case, have you seen and heard what passes for a bathroom in Thailand? I´m wondering if I´d had too much trouble carrying a real toilet on my luggage?
My darling travels a lot around Thailand because of her job, so, wave away wherever you are.
What a great story!
Moving half around the world has to be scary as hell. I admire you for being willing to do it.
Don’t forget that if you don’t do this, you will spend the rest of your life wondering what if. So go.
Best of luck and I hope you will be very happy.