6 People Who Moved To Thailand – Their Stories

Are you thinking about moving to Thailand? If so, this article may just be the kick up the arse you needed.

If you want to get laid in Thailand for free, read this article.

When I talk to people who regularly visit my site, many talk about moving to Bangkok and some point – but never do. The reason usually tends to be because they are scared, but instead put ‘barriers’ in the way to why they can’t move to Thailand just yet.

So I figured I would do something a little different for this article and report on 5 people who have moved to Thailand permanently, or visit very often for extended periods of time. I have asked them all the same questions and perhaps their replies will give you the push to finally move to Thailand (or wherever it is you want to be).

If you’re thinking about moving to Thailand and need help, check out my Thai friend’s website here, she may be able to help you out.

1. A Farang Abroad

Since I am one of the thousands of people who ended up moving to Thailand, I figured I would start off with my own story.

Why did you decide to pack up everything and move to Thailand?

I had a full-time job working for some dickhead who didn’t even know my name. The people I worked with at the time were thicker than pig shit, were making me stupider and I hated getting up at 7:30am in the morning. I thought to myself:

“If I don’t get out now, where will I still be here in 5 years?”

I thought about living inThailand. A few weeks later I handed in my notice and booked my ticket. England was too expensive for me, I hated the 9-5 lifestyle and I knew there was more to life than this.

How much money did you come with?

If you know me or read this blog often, you will know I am tighter than a duck’s arse. I am on the safer side of life when it come to making #YOLO life choices like moving to Thailand.

pmc-afb

I landed in Bangkok with $14,000 to my name.

Did you have a job lined up – if no how did you find one?

When I moved to Thailand I had no job. Nothing lined up. Just a laptop and the plan that I would play online poker (played for several years before and made an okay amount of money to live in Thailand).

I started looking at teaching jobs but pretty quickly found that I am too lazy for that as I didn’t want to get into the 9-5 grind again. I kept playing poker and eventually started freelancing online.

Where are you now?

Around two years later with a brief trip to Australia, I currently spend at least 9 months of every year in Bangkok, Thailand. I make a full-time income online through freelancing and manage a few websites.

I spend 9 months of the year in Thailand, with trips back home to see the family. I generally visit 2-3 new countries every year as part of my visa runs so I am always out and about.

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I have no plans on changing my lifestyle at the moment and moving to Thailand was the best thing I’ve ever done.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking of making the move to Thailand but hesitant?

Stop being a bitch and just make the move to Thailand, or wherever it is you want to be (assuming you don’t like where you’re now). We worry too much about making decisions and wondering about the what-ifs. We all have a path we want to take in life, it’s just a matter of going on it.

2. AbroadWithAlec

Alec is a school teacher who I followed on Twitter and said he would be happy to take part in this article. To know more about Alec, click the following links:

www.abroadwithalec.com

twitter.com/abroadwithalec

Why did you decide to pack up everything and move to Thailand?

I had visited Thailand once before just as a backpacker and fell in love with the place. I was still in university at the time but I made it a goal to find a way to actually live here once I graduated. Discovered TEFL, graduated university, and was on a plane 2 months after graduation.

How much money did you come with?

I was lucky that I had just graduated university, so I had asked for all my graduation gifts to just be money. All-in-all I think I came over with about $800 or so (that’s a high estimate..)? Definitely a VERY small amount of money to move to a new country with, but I was desperate to make this happen so I didn’t really give a damn… Also had a credit card if I needed it, though I don’t suggest that route.

Did you have a job lined up – if no how did you find one?

No job lined up, but I wasn’t too worried. I was looking for a teaching job so I knew they were everywhere, it’d just take patience to find a good one. I spent 2 weeks in Chiang Mai looking for work but the pay was crap. Went to BKK for 2 weeks and the pay was crap. Ended up in a small town a couple hours north of BKK called Phetchabun. Had 4 job offers within 3 days. All were decent in their own right.


Where are you now?

Still in Phetchabun. I started out teaching Mathayom 6 but am now at a university. University is a bit less pay but the work and the students are 100x better. I’m making 28k a month from teaching, but I supplement that by doing freelance web-design for a company back in the states. Also do some tutoring and paper editing which can haul in a bit extra.

Thai money

A good month is about 38k (where I get a lot of web design work from home) which goes a LONG way in a small town. I can basically do whatever. Buy imported booze/eat western food/have a nice apt/etc. I can save anywhere from 5-15k per month depending. I am keen on going to BKK at least one or two weekends every month and well.. that drains the savings.

I also take a vacation every other month or so, I’ve been to Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Chiang Mai, Khon Khaen, Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Chang, etc. Heading to Cambodia next month.

Basically I save for a few months and then blow it all on a vacation. Or a I take a long trip to BKK and eat nothing but burgers, good beer, Mexican food, and spend a lot of time… enjoying the nightlife.

All-in-all I live a great life here. Far better than back home. Never really worry about money or anything like that.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking of making the move to Thailand but hesitant.

Well.. it depends on what you’re looking for. I came because I was tired of the grind in the US. I was beginning to tire of the culture, working shitty jobs for shitty pay, and let’s face it – the US is full of pretty shitty people (like most countries).

I knew Thailand would have it’s own set of problems, but I was looking forward to the challenge of adapting to a new culture (especially since I ended up in a fairly rural town). If you’re coming expecting a paradise then I would say check your expectations before coming.

Thailand has far more than its fair share of problems, and they’ll take adapting to. But if you’re coming simply because you genuinely want to experience new culture and are willing to accept the inevitable challenges that will arise, then by all means – give it a shot. I’m far happier here than I ever was back ‘home’.

If you’ve never been before I’d say come as a tourist. Relax, enjoy BKK, enjoy the beaches, etc. THEN make a decision about whether it’s a place that you could truly see yourself relocating to.

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Hope this answers everything, let me know if you need anything else.

My thoughts: Alec may not earn the biggest salary but from reading his replies he seems be very happy. Taking the more simplistic approach to life, Alec moved to Thailand with less than $800 and have worked out for him pretty well.

3. The digital nomad

The third person I’m interviewing on moving to Thailand is a good friend of mine. He was the first person I met when I came to Thailand and has written a very comprehensive thread on playing online poker in Thailand: http://www.rakeback.com/poker/playing-online-poker-in-thailand/

If after reading this thread you’re charged up about moving to Thailand, his article is a must read.

Why did you decide to pack up everything and move to Thailand?

I was looking for gap year teaching stuff in Thailand, the kind of thing everyone does when they have no idea what they want to do in life. I’d applied to Greece but it was full, then when reading some online gaming forums I stumbled across a Thailand thread. Guys my age were posting pics of nice apartments for only $200-$300 and stories about the Bangkok nightlife scene and girls they were banging. So I snap chose Bangkok.

How much money did you come with?

Pretty much nothing, about $1-$2000 in overdraft/credit, and I’d Skype my Mummy crying if I needed more. I had just graduated from a London uni and was basically broke.

Did you have a job lined up – if no how did you find one?

I did with the generic online TEFL company I applied to, but knowing what I know now that was a waste of the $500 fee or whatever it was, as it’s easy to find jobs once you land here. Plus they put me at a school out in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Where are you now?

Central Bangkok, I quit teaching and switched to freelance writing, which eventually became a fixed salary position with one company, an online gaming review website.

I make around $2000/month with them, double what teaching pays, for a quarter of the hours. For Thailand that’s a lot, I live in a 26th floor condo with gym, pool, sauna, tennis, squash, can afford to eat out every day and take holidays regularly.

South park digital nomads in Thailand

I quickly realized after getting here that it didn’t just have to be a gap year, I could easily just stay here forever (something which seems a foreign concept to friends back home, I get asked ‘wait, how can long can you stay there then?’) and support myself working online.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking of making the move to Thailand but hesitant?

Money goes a lot further here, and life quality increases, so I’d book a ticket and not look back. Friends back home found jobs in finance, and earn more in absolute terms, but after high rent costs in the UK, tax and student loan debts (both of which you can avoid by expatriating) it doesn’t go far. They’re stressed out all the time, just cogs in a machine.

My thoughts: Another person who gave zero fucked and decided he was moving to Thailand. It was a bit of a risky move moving to Thailand with no money but with a job secured and some balls, he is doing very well now.

4. Part Time Expat

This interview is from someone who spends his time divided in Thailand and back home.

Why did you decide to pack up everything and move to Thailand?

After 4 years studying at university, and another 4 years working professionally, I wanted a change in my life. I wanted some perspective on my life and the path I was on from outside. Then I could decide if the life I wanted to come back to in my country was the same one I left.

I gave notice at my job and booked my ticket with no plans whatsoever.

I had visited Thailand before and fell in love with the place. The relaxed culture, the ability of people to be flexible and accommodating in nearly every situation in order to avoid conflict, and the freedom to explore a foreign part of the world. Asia really is the new “wild west” where you can have a great life if you are smart about it, but if you aren’t smart you can just as easily end up broke or dead.

I stayed for a few months then returned to my country. The main reason I came back was because I got sick and wanted to properly recover, save some more cash and plan the transition from a 9-5 life to becoming a digital nomad in Bangkok.

How much money did you come with?

Around $20,000, more than enough to live comfortably for several months, do plenty of shopping, and travel to China as well. At first staying in hotels wasted a lot of money, if I had known from the beginning where to look for apartments and cut out the partying and shopping I could have easily spent half a year there on $10k.

Did you have a job line up – if no how did you find one?

I didn’t look for work in Thailand, just scoping out the different options. Working remotely with some passive income streams on the side seems like the best strategy. I deliberately left my computer at home and just took my phone, this made it hard to apply for jobs, in the end I thought it was better to just spend my time enjoying myself and plan these things later.

Where are you now?

Working in my country for a new company at a higher salary and remote work options, working on several web startup projects, and building an Elance portfolio doing small jobs, so I have the reputation to take on bigger ones in the future. I feel like I have direction in my life now and way more motivation and passion.

I cannot stress enough how valuable it is to take a break from your life if it is becoming routine and boring. It’s hard to see the hamster wheel while you are inside it, doing the same old things but not progressing or advancing. Perspective is everything, and throwing away all your routine gives you an opportunity to become an outside observer on your old life.

I will be back to Thailand this year, and do some more travel around Asia for sure.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking of making the move to Thailand but hesitant.

Go there alone, live in some different places, see if you like it. Stop worrying about your job, or your money. If you have more than $5k saved, you can go right now if you want to.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to stay in your comfort zone of job security, routine, saving money, buying a home, following the plan that society decided is what a young man should do with his life. But this is your life, it should be your plan. You don’t need any of those things to live a happy and fulfilling life and the sooner you break out of that illusion.

living in thailand

One day you will be too old or too sick to do these things. If you aren’t happy with your life today, if you don’t decide to make a change and follow through, tomorrow isn’t going to be any different. The life of 9-5 until retirement is a relic of last century. It’s your decision whether you want to experience the new way of living now, or watch your kids and grand kids enjoy their life and wonder why you didn’t do the same in your day. This is your day.

My thoughts: I think he summed up everything well and not a lot needs to be said. From coming to Thailand he has his goals set and is out to achieve them.

5. Full Time Poker Player

This was written by a micro stakes poker player living in Thailand.

Why did you decide to pack up everything and move to Thailand?

I never came across the idea of moving to Thailand, let alone the fact that I would like Asia. Never any interest just had the generalized thoughts that it was third world countries, dirty, smelly, poor, etc.

Then I found your blog and it changed my thoughts on what else there is out there in this big wide world.

From what I was reading and speaking to other people, Thailand had everything I wanted – Girls, Cheap living at equal or even greater standard of living, fellow poker playing friends and did I mention girls?

There was also nothing holding me back in my home country. I was still doing the same thing, wake up, SSS and then hit the comp and load up some tables. So I can do the same thing over in Thailand and then some.

How much money did you come with?

The first time I came with approx $3k. I didn’t really have a plan as it was my first time it was just trial and error and see what happens.

Did you have a job lined up – if no how did you find one?

I didn’t have any job or think of any plan B, I just assumed ill make enough playing poker.

Where are you now?

Unfortunately I’m back in my home country, poker did not work out so well for me but I am already in the process of making money to go back.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking of making the move to Thailand but hesitant?

With everything you need to plan. Best way is to get some primary resources, so try to speak with other people that have been or are living in Thailand and get an idea of what there lifestyle is like. There are also many blogs or forums you can check out online to read of story’s or ask questions.

If its possible always easier if you can meet up with a friend when you arrive to make you feel more comfortable. The first night I arrived I was a little worried but after the second day when I meet up with some friends I was fine and never looked back.

moving to Thailand

Also make sure you have enough for how long you want to stay. Id estimate around 1-1.5k a month just to be safe. If you plan to stay long term or permanent you need to make sure and be honest with yourself that you have a steady income or have a Plan B.

My thoughts: Moving to Thailand as a poker player with $3,000 is always going to be a risk as all it takes is one bad month for things to go down hill. I would have suggested that you found another job in the short-term or came with more money.

6. Life coach

This is the story of one person who got bored of life in England and had a girlfriend in Thailand.

Why did you decide to pack up everything and move to Thailand?

The reason I packed it all in and came was not just one reason,I was bored with life in England,I had been coming for a couple of years,had a Thai girlfriend and she wasn’t gonna come to England and she wanted to stay here in Thailand.

I first came 4 years ago,came alone traveled and ended up meeting a girl (I’m afraid she was your typical stereo typical freelancer,greedy and full of shit)I had not read private dancer or I would have been more switched on lol, so I learnt a lesson first time.

Met my current wife through a mate,and she is the complete opposite of the first experience(sweet,fun and focused with an intense passion for life,and most of all supportive,don’t let anyone say they are all bad here because  that’s a crock of shit)

So the hardest thing for me was leaving behind my two grown up son’s from a previous marriage(we are very close),but I believe life is for living so I though fuck this I’m going to give it a go and move here,I worked in retail as a coach/manager/bullshitter and whatever else name fits my profession.

So basically if I hadn’t came i would have regretted trying it.

How much money did you come with?

I came with $15,000 ,not a penny more, if I had less I still would have got on a plane and came to Thailand as I had made my mind up 6 months before I came I was going to do it.

Did you have a job line up – if no how did you find one?

No job lined up,was always interested in teaching and business coaching as that’s what I had done before. So when I arrived I settled for a month then basically hit the streets (you have to go out there and find it,it isn’t going to come knocking on your door here in Thailand)

Where are you now?

I teach mostly private through a decent contact I found. I have taught at the USA ambassadors residence for Kristie Kennys staff until she left,(will go back when new ambassador is about to arrive later in the year.)

Taught at a few hotels Peninsula is one of them,Medical companies and Ducatai motorcycles,I bring home about 60k (baht a month)very comfortable even here in Bangkok,not looking for a crazy life,Love to take off to Phuket or Koh Samet for a weekend and I’m happy.I run a Facebook group and twitter but to be honest its just for fun,don’t have a direction like you.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking of making the move to Thailand but hesitant.

As Nike say ‘just do it’ clichéd I know but one life,have a shot if you dont like it go back home,worst part here is all the moaning expats who tell you they have been here and know it all but all they do is complain. This place is awesome, it has its faults just like any western country, but so ilife here is fucking great. The people and everyday something makes me smile and I say myself ‘I love this place’

So my advice is please come to Thailand,give it a go with an open mind and enjoy it,you wont regret it.

My thoughts: With plenty of money and skills that he can put to use in Thailand, I don’t think he was ever in danger (except for his last gf) of failing.

Summary

These are just 6 stories of people who deciding that moving to Thailand was right for them. I am not telling to pack up your shit and come here, but if you have ever thought about moving to Thailand or anywhere else in the world, I hope this article has given you some motivation.

30 thoughts on “6 People Who Moved To Thailand – Their Stories

  1. Jim
    3 May, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Just at the right time for me Harvey , coming there soon , just putting in place the last requirements. Last assignment has gone off to the Open university , all being well , I should have a BA degree in my hands around August . Haven’t booked a flight yet, but was thinking of some time around September or October, that allows me a little more time to add to the funds. Won’t say how much I’m bringing but it will be up there with the higher ones in your article. I was thinking I would hang out and relax until the following May when the teaching season kicks off . I am 43 , and I am sick of the UK’s bullshit. Time for a change . Gonna just ‘do it’. Cheers Harvey , great read.

    1. 3 May, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Hey Jim, sounds like a solid plan. I would advise to have something to do on the from October until May. As all that free time and no work can burn a hole in your budget if you hate having nothing to do. Even something simple like a part time teaching gig or a bit of online work can do wonders for your state of mind and stop you from going out drinking every night (if you are that type of person).

      1. Ray Lockhart
        4 May, 2015 at 12:00 am

        All good reading! I spent January of 2015 in Thailand with my now fiancé. I totally loved the place, faults and all. I am now planning my “working” retirement and looking forward to becoming a Canadian expat, ASAP.

        1. 4 May, 2015 at 12:17 am

          Good stuff Ray, wish you the best of luck with everything buddy!

      2. Jim
        4 May, 2015 at 9:43 am

        Absolutely mate , Lucky for me I quit the drinking and ladies game a long time ago. No saint , just wised up , like yourself. Thanks for the good advice. I have seen from your other articles the importance of having a ‘healthy’ routine and something to focus on. Cheer’s Harvie keep the good work. P.s your info on finding cheap apartments is very useful.

  2. Nick
    4 May, 2015 at 1:47 am

    This is so convincing it hurts.. I’ve been wanting to move for the last two years

  3. Pat
    4 May, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I’m half breed UK-Thai with family in both countries. I was born in the UK and grew up there, apart from my black hair and slant eyes, I look, think and talk like a Brit. Been visiting/staying since a young age.

    Luckily I’ve never (had to) take working in Thailand that seriously, but the longest I spent without going back to the UK was 7 years – It was at a good time, 2000, and to be honest by then Thailand had about 5-6 years left of being a fun city .

    People say I’m lucky but looking back I wish I’d made something better in Bangkok and got off my arse.

    Big respect to you guys above who landed in Thailand and made something worthwhile.I’d kill for your ambition.

    Unfortunately many make the move almost skint because of some whore and I feel sorry for them, 95% of the time it goes sour and they take to TEFL-ing (usually with no actual TEFL certificate) with zero ambition, Thailand is tired of those idiots.
    You can see those kinds of guys on the skytrain, badly dressed, dour faced and if you get close enough, you’ll find they usually stink of booze and fags.

    How many farangs fly from balconies in Thailand? The stats are quite impressive.

    1. 4 May, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      What do you do now Pat if you don’t mind me asking?

  4. Pat
    5 May, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Not something I ever considered whilst in Thailand

    Counselling for those with drug/alcohol issues. Both satisfying and frustrating, but quite rewarding. Mostly working with homeless charities at the moment…

    If only someone would come up with such a service for Thailand expats, it would do ok I reckon!
    Probably better to set up in Pattaya, lots of issues there, as the expat customer base is huge

    1. 5 May, 2015 at 8:56 am

      That would be good, or some sort of center for anyone who is broke and has no where to turn.

  5. Patrick
    5 May, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I wanna move to Bangkok so bad… But there’s always not enough money in my bank account. Stuck in a dead end job that tests my endurance every single day. You’re living my dream life, Harvie.

    1. 5 May, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Hey Patrick, try and start working online or leverage your skills to be able to work anywhere? Hope you make it over here one day buddy!

  6. herpes
    5 May, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    cool stories, props to anyone who can come to thailand with only 3k and work it out somehow.

  7. Graham
    6 May, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Harvie,

    Based on these stories of guys showing up with less than 20K, I’m guessing a bankroll of over 100K USD is way more than enough to start out in Thailand and slowly transition to remote work, esp if you already have the skills needed ( software dev )?

    How long would 100K last a dude like yourself?

    1. 6 May, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Hey Graham, that’s plenty mate. I average $900-$1,000 a month, that’s with an awesome gym membership, eating out a few times a week and going out.

      $100k is more than enough to last you a good few years at least.

  8. Pat
    8 May, 2015 at 5:16 am

    The trick is not to rush to Thailand with insufficient funds, seen many guys do this (I’m talking less than £1000) and within weeks are at a loose end, and usually stuck with a GF too

    Thailand isn’t going anywhere, take time to weigh up options, read websites/forums and gain some knowledge beforehand. save some cash up, an extra year of saving may be hard and not sound so tempting, but it’s damn worth it… Take your time !!!!!

  9. 9 May, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Really liking your website bro, I just started my own blog sharing my experiences about being black in Thailand. It be cool to connect with you in the future!

    1. 9 May, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Hey Brah, nice site, sorry had to remove the direct URL, otherwise I will get random bots spamming my site.

  10. Simon
    12 May, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Thanks for this valuable information
    The different perspectives really help explain the picture
    Will be moving to Chiang Mai by October this year
    Making You Tube videos for Blogs

    1. 12 May, 2015 at 9:54 am

      That sounds like a good idea Simon, that’s something I had an idea about doing.

  11. 15 May, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    All these stories about moving abroad are so inspiring! I’m thinking of moving but, as you pointed out, I’m a little bit scary! I want to be more confident!

  12. Shawny
    8 June, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Great advice people I`m dying to move there I have been 11 times to Bangkok and surrounding islands and love the place, even though it has its problems like most countries I spose.
    Only thing was stopping me was it becoming too touristy and ending up like London.
    Koh Chang and Koh Samui were beautiful around ten years ago was thinking of settling in Koh Chang but wasn’t sure about the internet connection and potential monthly visa runs as they changed the laws recently. Any advice on this?

    p.s love the site a great help

    1. 9 June, 2015 at 6:14 am

      The information on visas is listed on my site in the menu bar above, Internet is pretty fast all over for the most part.

  13. James
    26 July, 2015 at 6:28 am

    First time I came to Thailand was 1994. So I was stoked to get a job with a Work Permit in 2002. The job paid 100,000 Baht per month and it was about the same as what I was earning in Australia.
    After 6 months of partying with colleagues who wanted to ‘initiate’ me into expat life and Supervising about 60 Thai tradesmen, I was fully burnt out. Thank Buddha the company went broke after 14 months, I’d put on 20 kilos and had to go back to my home country with my tail between my legs.
    But in those months, I fell in love with Thailand and returned as often as I could.
    Now I reside there again, but I work outside of the country on International projects doing around 4-6 weeks at work then 4-6 weeks at home in BKK. I still look for opportunities to regain a WP, but I’m not that worried about it.
    I’ll retire here and I’m saving for that now.
    My advice to anybody thinking of moving to Thailand is to get away from the tourist areas, learn to speak Thai and learn about the cultural idiosyncrasies. You will enjoy your experience much more, though you’ll always be Farang, at least you can get some Kwam Suk Thai.

    1. 26 July, 2015 at 8:04 am

      100k in 2002, that’s one sweet salary. Nice story and thanks for the input.

  14. James
    26 July, 2015 at 6:32 am

    PS: There are a lot of FIFO (Fly In / Fly Out) workers living in Thailand.

  15. Rick
    18 May, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    How long have you been “living” in Thailand? So I assumed you used the 2 months tourist visa which can be extended once 3 times a year? if you have been doing it for years, wont the immigration grow suspicious of you and refuse to let you in?

    Any tips for this to not happen?

    1. 18 May, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Never had this happen in the last 4 years I’ve been here. I do travel so often that I often need a new passport every 2 years or so also.

  16. karma
    20 August, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Good day peeps, I am planning on moving to Thailand soon (somewhere between the next 1-3months) and i was wondering if anyone fancies showing me around. I am almost 20 years old and will land there with few cash in my pockets but im not too worried about that. If anyone currently living there wants to help me with some tips dont hesitate to hit me up.

    1. 20 August, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Hey mate, I had to remove your email because spam bots will get it and email you to death.

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