Welcome to our A World In Motion series. The last two years have been a time when many people confronted the significance of mobility and borders – in our own personal lives and the lives of others. With much talk of people arriving in South Africa, it is also important to acknowledge that many South Africans move to other countries too. Our world is one that is in motion.
We chat to Siya, who moved from South Africa to Thailand
Why did you decide to move to Thailand?
I moved to Thailand because I was longing for an adventure. I needed a change of scenery and wanted to meet new people.
What do you do there?
I am an English and Drama teacher at a Thai Christian boarding school
Have you found it to be a welcoming country and city to live in?
Thailand is very welcoming. There is a big expat community in Bangkok. Thai people are also very welcoming – it is very common for them to greet you, ask ‘have you eaten?’ and offer you food. There are some difficult moments, but the good outweighs those times.
What are some things you have done to help with your integration into the country that you are now living in?
When I moved to Thailand, I took a Thai culture and language class. Skateboarding in the skateparks and befriending the Thai skaters helped me improve my Thai language abilities.
Do you think it is important to make an effort to integrate into the new society you find yourself in?
I think it’s important to integrate yourself. because integration leads to the understanding of different cultures. learning the language and understanding people
How is your life there different from your life in South Africa?
Life here is at times a little easier. Transportation is so convenient and it is cheap to travel around the country. The cultural differences can, at times, make things challenging, but you learn to work around that.
What do you miss about South Africa?
I miss my family and friends, the food, the people, music, Cape Town, and Jozi.
Do you see yourself moving back to South Africa in the future?
Yes, I want to live in Cape Town again for the climate, the beauty, the mountains and the ocean. I want to live in Johannesburg again for my family.