I grew up poor. Like most poor kids I didn’t realize I was poor, it was only after I looked back as an adult that I knew. My family life was happy even though all five of us lived in a room that could be an American closet. I still remember eating eggs every day when I was a child (I’m serious, I ate eggs at almost every meal: fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, steamed eggs). I assumed everyone ate that many eggs until many years later.
Most people who have a story like this don’t leave high paying jobs … but that’s exactly what I did. I was fortunate to attend university and I majored in business. After university I got a job with a Japanese company and was making more money than anyone in my family ever had.
But I was miserable.
I wanted to go places, see things. I wanted my life to be more than a marketing associate in a faceless company. The money was good, but it wasn’t enough.
I decided to take a chance, I quit my job and called a friend who’d been working at a small hotel in Bangkok. She introduced me to the owner and I took a job as a receptionist for about a 50% pay cut.
But I was happy.
I loved talking with the guests and helping make their trip better. Offering suggestions and tips. I realized after a few years, this was my real passion. Helping others and showing them my country.
In 2014 I moved to Chiang Mai, a province in the north of Thailand, and it was my first time living outside Bangkok. I enrolled in the guide school at Chiang Mai University to get a guide license and learn how to better serve my guests.