The system thwarted my plans of an academic career; it made it clear I was not welcome at graduate school. After several years working in education, I was still scrapping the breadline and living out of my mum’s spare room. A career turned into an exercise in corporate bullshit and endless non-think. So much for the social contract; so much for doing what the system demands; so much for the advertised life of romance and intellectual fulfilment. What remained was another wasteland weekend with the family, with Gardener’s World, Antiques Roadshow and Time Team. I stuck pins in the map. Better that than in my eyes.
The first job that said ‘yes’ was in somewhere called Chachoengsao in Thailand. No, I couldn’t pronounce it either. All I found on Google were images of a white temple that looked like a layered wedding cake. It seemed as good a place to start as any. I bought a Kindle and a one-way ticket.