For Sharon Bazant, writing is a form of therapy.
That’s why the Cloverdale author penned a book on the lessons she learned—about life and herself—while living and working in Asia.
“The whole process [of writing] was cathartic,” Bazant told the Cloverdale Reporter. “I needed an outlet after my experiences in Bangkok.”
That outlet eventually turned into Nine Years In Bangkok: Lessons Learned. The book is a memoir about Bazant’s near-decade stretch in the Thai capital.
Bazant worked as a teacher at an international school and her husband worked for a UN agency there. Both, she said, quickly became subdued by the politics of being an ex-pat and suffered from the heavy-handedness of superiors.
Bazant said living in Thailand became as much about survival as it was about just trying to build a life and just trying to enjoy the pleasures found along the way.
Published in November, 2019, she said the book chronicles her journey of heart and mind through those nine years as she fought against a coworker trying to steal her job, as she fought against the cultural shock of living in Asia, and as she fought against herself.
Bazant goes into the ins and out of her struggles and as she survived both minor bumps and major pitfalls. She said each chapter ends with a list of life lessons she learned as she leapt each hurdle. She added the book also includes travelogs of the couple’s jaunts across Southeast Asia.
“I go through a lot of very difficult situations with people,” she said. “I was betrayed by a colleague—they were trying to cut me off at the knees all the time—because they wanted my job. It was a tough situation.”
Bazant started writing the book in 2006 after her and her husband moved back to Canada.
She used her traumatic experiences working at the international school to kickstart the book, but soon, she said, life got in the way and she tucked her manuscript away for a decade.
She opened it up again in 2017 after being inspired to continue when she took a writing course.
She said she hopes readers can identify with the book.
“There is a tremendous amount to be gotten out of the book because every chapter ends with a lesson.”
She said, for the most part, women will strongly identify with her writing, but she noted there is also a lot for men to draw from the story. She added travellers of all ages will find interest in the travel sections.
She said it is the book’s underlying theme that she feels will resonate most with readers.
“No matter where life has taken you, you can change your life. No matter what age you are, you can change your life.”
Find out more about Bazant’s book by visiting her blog, thebazantblog.com.
Bazant’s book is available online through booklocker.com.