I first met Lindsey during Songkran in 2016. We appeared to be the only people over thirty in the Gecko Bar. Immediately hitting it off, we bonded over a love of Muay Thai and disdain for the drunken shenanigans of the twenty-somethings around us.  A Canadian, in this incarnation she was living in the Arctic and working as a prison guard but before, she was a real life girl fighter.   When ruminating about her return to Canada, she speaks of the reverse culture shock to which many people can relate.

A certified nutritionist and personal trainer, Lindsey reflects on life in the West, “I’m high right now. I just had the best workout I have had in months. Staying with my sister on the base, I got to watch her workout on her lunch hour with her unit after I was done my own. It was so good to see the team working together encouraging each other. I really wish Corrections had that for officers. It’s a shame how unfit someone can get working a 12-hour shift. Any job that promotes working out is doing their employees and business a huge positive. It boosts morale, teamwork, and long-term health.”

It’s a shame how unfit someone can get working a 12-hour shift.

When she lived in Thailand she fought for and worked at Rawai Muay Thai where she helped visiting farangs get the most out of their exerc-ations. It was during this time that she fell in love with the local culture. An added bonus to being based in Thailand for several years was the opportunity to explore all the neighboring countries at her leisure.

She encourages other would be globalcreators to, “Always be grateful and open-minded.” It’s hard to imagine the sheer number of the local cuisines, traditions, festivals, and languages she learned to navigate as a Westerner fully submerged in Thai culture. With co-workers who often spoke limited English, she took the opportunity to learn Thai—not an easy feat. While it was nice to be welcomed into the families of her local counterparts she looks fondly back on her time spent in the company of other long-term expats. “Sure, there were the occasional American or Canadian who came through the gym, but I learn a lot about Sweden. There we always so many Swedes—visiting for a week, a month or a year,” Lindsey playfully reminisces.

Even removed from her beloved Thailand, Lindsey, maintains her internationality, by continuing her relationships with animal rescue foundations in both India and Thailand. With her upcoming return to Khaolak for at least six months, she is looking forward to resuming her work on behalf of the local orphanage by leveraging her position and connections at the gym to encourage more foreigners to contribute funding for the children.