Moving Targets ...

In a recent email I was reminded of a conversation that took place sometime last year.  A reader sent me an email laced with some very kind comments about my blog and shared with me revelations about his own relationship with Thailand.  In my pursuit of the middle ground I acknowledged the feelings of excitement and anticipation as one enters into a new phase or adventure in ones life. 

As a balance I remembered those who had tried and failed for whatever reason in their Thai adventure.  I noted that Thailand is not for everyone and only time and trying would tell.  As a final thought I suggested that one is always shooting at a moving target.  What you think you want now, what you will want or need at the beginning and what you may want a few years down the road...may end up being very different things.

I was moved he took the time to bring me up to date and acknowledge that I had perhaps been on target with my “moving target” remarks and that after retiring and having time to ponder...the moving target topic often came up.  I find these kinds of exchanges rewarding and sometimes thought provoking.  This time it has led to a post about moving targets.

So there one stands cloaked in the trappings and accomplishments of ones life and for whatever reason Thailand presents itself as a potential target.  There can be a time lag between that first sighting, aiming and finally pulling the trigger.  Often we miss with the first shot but the hunt is on and we are hooked.  Not only is the target moving through space and time but we are moving as well.  In the case where moving to Thailand is the target, it is easy to become overwhelmed by ones focus on the minutiae and logistics of making that move.

Just as the young bride-to-be obsesses over the big day there is often little thought for what comes after.  I have lost count of how many people I have known who thought Thailand was the answer to their prayers, the ultimate target, just to discover their target looked very different in the light of day.  After a brief honeymoon phase, Thailand sometimes loses the charm it once possessed in the eyes of the dreamer.

It is no ones fault that life is fraught with uncertainty and change as it persistently marches toward its undeniable conclusion.  Some will proclaim their circumstances to be different.  Others will do endless research in their pursuit of perfection.  Some will leap blindly into the abyss with insufficient thought or preparation.  Some will be led astray and taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals.  Some will be lucky for lack of a better word.

Though I am guarded when it comes to giving advice, I will say this.  Take baby steps.  Don’t sell everything and move on a whim.  Don’t commit everything while leaving yourself no exit strategy.  Do expect fluctuations in currencies, health and relationships.  Do embrace uncertainty and be comfortable with the fact that you do not know how things will work out.  Know what your options are if things don’t go as planned.  Endeavor to enjoy the ride while viewing your target as more of a directional beacon to guide you down your path, rather than as a final destination.

There are success stories and train wrecks aplenty.  Just remember, whatever happens you are in for one hell of a ride and you need to write your own story and take responsibility for whatever happens.  Take aim and fire.