A common question I get asked is “What is it like living in Thailand?”.
My answer to that question is best summed up in the following picture:
But what is life like for me living in Thailand? Well let me tell you.
It’s like living in a bubble
As I don’t own a TV, I hardly know what is going on around the world. Whether a drone is being dropped on a school in Afghanistan or police in American are beating up black people – it doesn’t really affect my life. I don’t visit news sites and unless something comes on my Facebook or Twitter feed, I have no idea what is going on, nor do I want to know.
I am living in this ignorant bliss completely unaware that the whole world is fucked. I just stroll along each day listening to Joe Rogan podcasts eating $1 noodles giving 0 fucks while making huge gains in the several Bangkok gyms.
I don’t get stressed out like I once did in the UK about Russia starting WWIII or all that shit about the recession affecting our lives, global warming etc. Sure these are important topics but they are all out of the scope of my daily life, they either don’t affect me right now or are things I have no control over.
After I went ‘dark’ from the news, the biggest worry of my life is whether Nok is going to increase the price of her somtam from 30 baht to 35 baht.
Thailand is not scary
Every time I go home people ask me if Thailand is dangerous, whether you can drink the water, use the ice and stupid stuff like this. Thailand is pretty advanced and the people who usually ask these types of questions are people living sheltered lives.
As long as you don’t ride a motorcycle, be a douche bag and look both side before you cross the road, living in Thailand is a piece of cake. It is not scary, the culture is a friendly one and people for the most part are nice.
I need western friends
As I don’t want to learn the Thai language, I find more and more that you need western friends when living in Thailand. I’m quite an introvert and usually think everyone is a wanker until they show me otherwise, but having western friends you can talk to on a regular basis is very good for the mind and mental psyche.
If I haven’t spoken to someone in a few days I do feel a slight mental deterioration and an urge that I must talk to someone. I get a jittery feeling that I need some sort of advanced dialogue.
Luckily I play badminton, squash and tennis almost daily with friends so this never is a problem any more.
A friend of mine who lived here before said you meet people who have been in Thailand way too long, and seem a bit off. After living in Thailand myself for a long time I think not having mental stimulation is a big part of it.
Many guys have come here in the past and fell in love with Thai women, they had no western friends when they arrived and years of speaking in broken English has made them go a bit wonky mentally.
It’s very important to be around people you can have banter with or talk to for a few hours.Most Thai people I know have a good understanding of English but our cultures are very different to get a meaningful conversation going in English.
Money ain’t shit
Earning a western style salary living in Thailand is like:
Asides from bill bar scams in Nana or Soi Cowboy, I almost never worry about the price of anything. Most beers will cost $1-$6, food $1-$15 and I can catch a taxi to wherever it is I want to go without thinking twice.
You do get that kind of ‘living like a King’ complex here, I feel I get treated a little bit better at hotels and posh restaurants than I would back home. I can buy a bottle in the bar or club and it won’t cost more than $45.
Having said that, I don’t spend more than a $1000 living in Bangkok, but don’t blink twice when I get given a menu.
Trusting people is hard
With the introduction of cheap flights and super successful Thailand travel blogs like mine, bring with it some weird kunts. I’ve met some really creepy people in my time living in Thailand, some who have scammed others out of money, been a victim of scams or other types of drama.
When moving to Thailand most people don’t really know anybody and the barriers for making friends are lowered as a result. People quickly meet each other and become ‘good friends’.
You need to be careful with that, I feel I am a good judge of character but some people are total newbies when it comes to this and end up getting scammed or hustled.
You need to have a routine
If you don’t have a routine in place, Thailand can become the devil’s playground, especially for single guys. I’ve known people living in Thailand who went broke after a few months because the lack of a routine/self control. This is the first time in their lives they are free of work and study and have no idea what to do with their time.
So they end up drinking every night, meeting girls from Thai dating sites and all the other stuff people get up to when living in Thailand. The thing is you really need a routine in place have a sustainable life in Thailand.
My routine is something like this:
- 10am – knock one out
- 10:15am – Have my breakfast and bullet proof coffee
- 11am to 2pm – Work on my online projects
- 2pm to 2:30pm – Eat lunch
- 3pm to 4:30pm – work on my online projects
- 5:30pm – Hit the gym and play sports for 2 hours
- 8pm to 11pm – have dinner or meet friends or read a book
- Midnight – Knock another one out and go to bed
This is hardly an epic daily routine but it’s one that ensures I am living in Thailand for a long time. A large percentage of people who come here just wake up at 2pm, eat and spend their whole time on the Internet until it comes time to drink and head out into the Bangkok nightlife.
While this is fine and pretty awesome for short-term stays of 1-3 months, if you really want to be living in Thailand for longer periods of time you need a proper routine, else you will go crazy or spend too much money.
Even stuff like learning Thai, Muay Thai, joining a gym and going tovarious Bangkok Meetup groups is a good way to get a routine sorted. A routine does not have to involve work.
Freedom is amazing
I have no boss, my mom isn’t telling me to put the jizz filled socks under my bed in the wash nor do I have any responsibilities. I can do what I want, when I want. I am the man!
This gives me a sense of relief and calmness. While you can obtain ‘freedom’ back home it comes at a much higher cost. You need to be in the rat race for several years saving up, apartments are expensive, everybody around you is in the Matrix mindset and nobody encourages you to do what you want (which may be to live in Thailand).
Instead they tell you to keep working the job you hate to earn money because that’s how we play the game. Ain’t nobody got time for that –ain’t nobody!
The people I interact with have subscribed to the same philosophy of life as me, the energy and vibes are almost always positive and we kind of support each other doing our own thing.
The idea of buying a house, getting married, having children, getting a job with a pension is stupid to us. We would rather live in the now and do what we want then play it safe and do what society tell us.
Common sense is all you need living in Thailand
Before you decide to live in Thailand, read a few blogs and websites to understand how things are done. There are many people who move to Bangkok and before they know it are dating a Thai bar girl and eating through their savings.
Understand the culture, what is expected of you, common tricks such as Bangkok taxi scams, how to act and you will be fine. Even in 2015 it amazes me how many people don’t even do the basic amount of research before coming to live in Thailand.
Thai visas are the biggest stress I have
Visas anywhere in the world are annoying but even more so when living in Thailand. I am currently on a tourist visa which lets me stay for 3 months before I need to leave and re-enter. This is cool at first because you can visit other countries but after a while it gets pretty tiring.
When you’re living the life of Riley, 90 days comes up pretty often, you could get an education visa but I am not to big on learning Thai.
Here was a report on my last Thai visa run in Bangkok.
England is shit – but I don’t hate it
Another thing people ask me when I go back home is:
“I bet you must hate being back?”
The first time I left Thailand and went back to England, yes I hated being back. The reason I hated it was because I still had a job in England and knew that living in Thailand was not even a possibility then.
Now when I go back I really enjoy it.I get to see my friends and family, live rent free, eat all the stuff I can’t get living in Thailand and just do a whole lot of nothing. I am going back soon and am really looking forward to it.
One reason I enjoy going back is because I no longer see England as a prison sentence, I am free to walk in and out as I see fit.
While the grass is certainly greener in Thailand, I think the “I would never go back to my home country, it fuck sucks” attitude is not necessarily the best. It only makes you depressed or angry when you do leave Thailand.
That’s what living in Thailand is like for me, what do you guys think? Have anything to share?