Much as we’d hoped we could extend our stay in Bangkok and the expat life another year our contract comes to an end in January. So it is we start the countdown to heading home to New Zealand.
It’s not without mixed feelings for everyone in the family. Bangkok has been home for nearly two years. We’ve made friends, settled into life, explored Thailand and Bangkok always knowing it wasn’t going to be forever.
There are no regrets embarking on this adventure with our kids. It’s definitely been unsettling to do the move and will be unsettling again to move back but everything in between has been a blast.
For me it will mean a bump back to real life in Auckland. No help around the house, baby sitter on tap, nor lots of women friends with time on their hands. Back to work, one hand daunting, another exciting. Finding that elusive work, family, life balance again.
It’s the wrench from the community we’ve built. The good friends I’ve made and the school the kids have settled into. That will be the hardest.
I will leave behind the many fascinating parts of life here, like walking the khlong, exploring the neighbourhoods, markets, Thai people and the great varied food.
My son, the biggest kiwi in the house, adamant since we left New Zealand that we’d return, is who we’ve seen realise that this is it. He’s got a great group of friends. A great school, teacher and class. And unlike leaving Auckland where we return twice a year we’re unlikely to return to Bangkok in the near future.
He’s happy to be going back to New Zealand, his cousins, grandparents and friends. His outdoor life, maybe some camping and maybe even that treehouse! But he will miss, and be missed by, his friends.
We return to our home, our friends, our family and the outdoors of Auckland and New Zealand. The kids are going to the same school I went to as a child, new to them and I’m sure scary to start. They will make more friends. I will try to stay connected to our Bangkok friends.
We take with us experience, language, adventure and many many memories. I hope this experience stays with our kids, even just a little. Enriches their life experience. And this won’t be our last adventure I’m sure.