New Year, New Chapter…Moving to Thailand :)

I retire!

It’s officially a wrap…Today I handed in my resignation with a smile on my face…for the past 8 years in NYC, I’ve worked for 3 different Wall St.  firms.  This past Spring, my MBA from Baruch was completed.  The next chapter in my life begins January 30, 2013 when I permanently move to Thailand.  🙂

1 year ago, I decided to make up a New Year’s resolution, which is rare, since I’m a firm-believer that self-improvement should be constant and not relegated to one day of the year.  This time I wanted to hold myself accountable in experiencing something new that was outside of my comfort-zone…thus Muay Thai was Googled and after reading some reviews on Yelp, Evolution Muay Thai gym in NYC was chosen.  The first class was not easy to say the least.  Mind you have I have asthma and previously experienced 2 separate incidents  of a collapsed lung.  But I got through it.  After a week of rest, I was interested in experiencing more Muay Thai pain…for the next 4-5 months, this process was repeated every Saturday or Sunday, as I would trek an hour from Hoboken into the city to get my fix…I only missed 1 class due to sickness.  At this point, my addiction was obvious.

After 4 years of balancing a full time job and grad school, my MBA was nearing completion.  And so began the process of planning some much-needed time off…My last real vacation was a year ago to Ibiza…so why not treat myself to a month long holiday in the birth-place of Muay Thai…Thailand!?!  I could train, sight-see and just relax…and it was long enough for me to really immerse myself in Thai culture, something that is very important to me when traveling, as I hate isolated resorty type of get-aways.  But in the back of my mind, I had also been looking for change…somewhere or someplace to start the next chapter in my life.  I found myself asking: did I really go through 4 painstaking years, just to change career paths, start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and grind it out again for the next decade?!?!  Am I prepared to make more sacrifices to my health and well-being?  The answer that kept coming back was a HELL-NO!

To be honest, I have good job with an Australian investment bank (don’t mistake this for a walk-in-the-park, the position is still very stressful and numerous times people have tested my patience) and live in a nice apartment.  During the recession, I survived numerous rounds of layoffs and was able to move into better positions.  But at this point in my life, it’s not about the money anymore…it’s not my main motivator, nor what makes me happy.  Now it’s about my passion, my goals and my dream.

So what exactly will I be doing in Thailand? Since returning from my trip 6 months ago, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this question and coming up with a plan (which usually occurred between the hours of 9-5, Monday – Friday, lol..kidding!)…

#1 – Obviously my passion is in Muay Thai.  I want to train full-time, meaning both morning and afternoon sessions, 6 days a week.  And with this training, step into the ring to fight, once or twice a month.   The form and technique that veteran fighters showcase, whether it’s during pad-work or against a live opponent, is both stunning and beautiful to watch. I want to achieve this same level of perfection…or get as close to it as possible.  My dream would be to compete at the Mecca of Muay Thai, Lumpini Stadium (Bangkok) before it’s set to shut down in 2014

#2 – Enrolling in a formal Thai language school to learn to speak, read and write.  Now that I’m going to be living here long-term, this is a vital step in fully immersing myself in the local culture…thus allowing me to further develop my relationship with the Thai people.

#3 – Working on my meditation/ mental strength training/ spirituality…during my last visit, I attended meditation sessions which helped me to relax and think clearly.  I also believe that there are valuable lessons to be learned from Buddhist values and traditions that are prevalent throughout the country…I not only saw this in how people act and treat each other, but could also feel it.  Eventually I’d like to attend a 10-20 day silent retreat.

#4 – Volunteer work ie. teaching English or working with orphans.  At my current job, I lead the “Winter Wishes” campaign, which collected holiday toy donations for kids throughout NYC.  I also helped teach a class at an elderly home on how to use computers and technology.  After Hurricane Sandy hit my home-community, Hoboken, NJ I spent a Saturday volunteering at city hall.  I realize that I’m blessed and don’t have to face certain problems, but there are still other people out there suffering.  I’m a big believer that everyone needs to do their part in helping the world become a better place.

#5 – Digital/ Internet Marketing…I did a dual MBA concentration in Finance and Marketing and plan on putting this knowledge to use through my side business ie. SEO  The work can be done via laptop, while sitting at the beach, ha.

I’ll leave with this clip I saw on someone’s Facebook page: What if Money didn’t matter

Sabai, sabai 🙂

-Chris

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