Well Eddie, Thailand could be a bit much for a first timer. Culture and language shock could initially discourage you from a rewarding thing you’re going to do for life otherwise. I left home (Australia) when I was 20-21 and in part it was being able to research and do most of it on the internet first that made it easier. Mind you this was Dotcom 1.0 era too so it had much more of a feeling of adventure to it.
If you’re American, try something a bit closer to home. For example Montreal/Quebec in general is “France on training wheels at a fraction of the price” that I think all North Americans should try . It’ll be sufficiently foreign enough to feel like you’ve gone somewhere but at the same time you can fall back onto English if you need to, even though it would be to the disgruntlement of many locals
By the way, much respect to building up to this point over the years. I feel much less frustrated at the few months of no luck and slow progress I’ve had so far. I’ll send you a msg