How to Immerse Yourself in New Cultures

Randy is a software developer who decided to pack up his life and move to Thailand after running a business for 10 years out in Los Angeles. In the beginning, he was a complete novice to Thai culture but over the past years, he’s learn to cook, talk, and walk like he’s Thai! He now shares his version of stunning Phuket with travelers who are lucky enough to book his experience.

by Randy, Vayable guide and software developer

I couldn’t even pick out Thailand on a map, let alone speak the language or understand the culture. My understanding of ‘Thai’ began and ended with a delivery of fried spring rolls and a ginger chicken dish to my Los Angeles home. I was as green as possible when I began a new life in the ‘Land of Smiles’ over 6 years ago.

Although there is a wide international culture living in Phuket, and English is widely used, I made the decision early on to immerse myself in Thai culture. Thai natives were so happy all the time, and I was determined to find out the key to happiness for myself. After 10 years of running a stressful business, my first goal was to get in shape and take care of myself. With an entirely different diet, work schedule, and exercise regime, I was able to turn my health around, giving me an entirely new energy for life.

I had my Thai friends take me to local outdoor markets where they shopped, showing me the amazing and colorful ingredients used to make some of the world’s best dishes. My friends taught me how to prepare and cook these meals which included delicious natural fruits, vegetables, and herbs that could satisfy all of my cravings without fat, preservatives and artificial flavors that often accompanied the food back home.

Because my friends were primarily Thai, I pushed myself to learn the language and asked them to speak to me in Thai as much as possible. Through a lot of patience and a few embarrassments, I have been able to pick up the language, and have began reading and writing some Thai as well. Thai people are incredibly respectful and willing to share their culture with others.

Thai culture has taught me to slow down, enjoy every day as your last day, and be happy with what you have. I try to continually push the boundaries of my comfort zone in order to be able to enjoy new experiences. Living in another part of the world has not only opened my eyes to new languages and food but also to entirely new ways of life. Now I want to share this new way of life with travelers who are lucky enough to visit my new hometown.

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