Perhaps I’m suffering from ‘rose-tinted glasses syndrome’ but it does seem to me that Thailand is the home of a lot of ex-pat late bloomers. There is plenty of bad press about the nasty foreigners who come here and run amok, but what about those who begin the most successful period of their life? I’m not talking here so much about financial success, although there is undoubtedly that too, but more about happiness and finding worthwhile things to do. I mean those people who come here in middle age (and a lot older) to live a life that is more satisfying than anything they knew before.
Thailand Takes You Out of Your Comfort Zone
In a previous post I discussed the possible reasons why there were so many ex-pat writers in Thailand (see here). I said then that one of the reasons for this phenomenon was that Thailand tends to attract dreamers. These people who may not have thrived so well in their home countries but begin to blossom in Thailand. Living in a foreign country pushes you out of your comfort zone; you have to try a new way of life in order to survive long-term. Thailand also makes the ideal clean canvas because it is so different from what a lot of us westerners are used to at home.
It is Never Too Late to Bloom
A late bloomer is an individual who finds success late in life. There are many examples of such people. Raymond Chandler didn’t become a writer until he was 45 and Brendan Gleeson didn’t start acting until he was in his late thirties. Probably the most famous of all is Colonel Sanders who didn’t start his restaurant chain until he was well into his 60s. I might not like what he does to chickens, but there is no doubting his inspiration to those of us who aspire to be late bloomers.
It is possible to become successful no matter how many candles are weighing down our birthday cake. What better place then Thailand for people to find this great happiness? If we are willing to give up our secure lives to go live in a strange land we may have already taken a step along this path. Normality and predictability seems to starve creativity so sometimes you have to give your life a good shaking.