Matt and I

As I sit in my one-room fifth floor Bangkok apartment, I contemplate ways to get back to Asia. And while I sit at my desk in the office, I frantically scour the internet; looking for ways to get back to Asia. Business trends, investment opportunities, job openings– you name it.

I know I must go home. I have to go. I have a mother family dying to see me. And a boyfriend. Even though we talk everyday, stay constantly in communication, the distance is starting to mount. Understandably, though. We have been apart now for seven months, or something. Once it hits a month, you try not to think about it. The more you think about the actual time that has passed, the harder it is. Sometimes it’s easier to just sweep the matter under the rug. “We Skype everyday, so we always see each other.” Yeah, but it’s not the same. (To actually have your body “feel” love, according to scientists, you must be physically together. Nonetheless, the science behind love is a whole other story for another discussion…)

And I still dream of ways to return to Southeast Asia in the future. “Is something wrong with me?” I ask myself. Why can’t I just go home and be happy? Because I’ll always yearn for another adventure, that’s why.

So now I am on this mission to persuade my boyfriend into what a fantastic career move it would be to relocate to Asia temporarily. Just a year, or something. I tell of all the business leads he could gain, the vast networking opportunities and the untapped market potential in some of these countries just starting to develop. I told him I would go anywhere, yes anywhere, as long as it was in Southeast Asia.

Although my boyfriend and I share a lot of similarities, in many ways we have differing perspectives. He is more traditional. Graduate college, get a good job, save money, buy a house, get married, have kids and grow older. He has fantastic financial sense. He is also very responsible.

On the other hand, there is me. I have a more roundabout way of achieving the “American Dream.” While I want a family and steady income, I want all of that down the road. “You are supposed to explore in your early twenties,” I say. In all honesty, we compliment one another quite well.

When my mind is set, it’s set. And right now it is laser-pointed at coaxing my beloved to set down temporary roots in one of the amazing emerging economies Southeast Asia has to offer. (Let the record show that in descending order I’ll consider: Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, and even Burma. Okay, so not anywhere as I said. Singapore is already very much developed, while Brunei and East Timor are just way too small.)

At the end of the day, however, I think the facts are persuasive in themselves. Southeast Asia does have tons of growth potential; I am not making that up. Working experience in Southeast Asia will look good on a resume; it demonstrates the ability to adjust to new cultures and environments. Living costs in a major Southeast Asian city (aside Singapore) are substantially lower than those in any US city. And I could go on.

Note: I love Thailand, but it is low on my list because I am already living here and I seek a new adventure!


Image Credit – Picture taken around September 2012 by Matthew Ciampa