Monkey Abroad

Videos and stories of the life abroad – food, culture, travel & work

Leaving America

Leave America to Gain a New Perspective


Leave America to gain a new perspective in a foreign country. It’s a bit extreme, but the idea of it creates clarity of mind – knowing that in a few weeks, everything familiar will end.

Renowned French author Marcel Proust said,

“Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it – our life – hides from us, made invisible by our laziness, which, certain of a future, delays then incessantly.”

Being certain of a future destroys the richness of day-to-day life. But if you were certain that you’d die tomorrow, life would suddenly seem infinitely more precious. Seeing the world through this perspective in your day-to-day life would be exhilarating, but it has its pitfalls.

Certain duties that once seemed important would now appear absurd. Little tasks that once required constant immediate attention would be neglected. It wouldn’t be laziness. It’d just be the understanding that most first world problems are idiotic.

The challenges awaiting me in Thailand are a little more significant than their American counter-parts: the language & culture barrier, aggressive gangs of ladyboys, the possibility of being locked up in Thai prison for possessing a measly gram of marijuana. As my mind wraps itself around these new foreign hurdles approaching quickly, psychological secession from today’s mundane hurdles is unavoidable. The American Dream just doesn’t have the luster it once did.

Remember when tying your shoelaces was a challenge? This simple task used to be a means of proud accomplishment for you because you’d never done it before. But your childish enthusiasm for looping knots was appropriately replaced with apathy once you’d realized that it’s just another duty that everyone else also does each morning. Such is my life here, and that’s why I’m going to leave America. I’ve had enough of this apathy. The world is filled with shoelaces and I’ll learn to tie ’em all, one perspective at a time.

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. Good luck with your new adventure. It’s the perfect time for you to go. Be safe.

  2. Ce que nous trouvons exotique à l’étranger peut être celle pour laquelle nous avons faim en vain à la maison

  3. I see in my crystal ball….lots of living, loving, trying new foods, new friends, laughter and enjoying the moment.. Seize the moment every day!!!

  4. Hi Kevin!

    I am also signed up for the program with the American TESOL Institute that begins in September. As a petite 5 foot nothing girl my parents, and my obvious concerns are for my safety while living in Thailand. Would you say there is a cause for concern or should I generally be okay living abroad? Thank you for your opinion, and really awesome blog you have here! Very helpful 🙂

    Thanks :)!


    • Sam,
      Thanks for the kind words! To answer your question, I haven’t experienced one thing to make me believe Thailand is dangerous. And neither has anybody else in our ATI group (there were 42 of us, mostly girls). In fact, I feel much safer here than in the US. It’s such a beautiful country and a friendly culture. You’re going to love it here.

      ATI is a good program, especially if you have no prior teaching experience. Just save your money up and bring at least a few thousand dollars. Your money will go a very long way here, but it’s best to have a little cushion underneath you, in my opinion. Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Wish you the best,


  5. Hi how long do you think $50k could last a person in Thailand who’s not a crazy spender or partier?

Let me know what you think


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