How It Feels To Leave Thailand

A few months ago I took the trip back to England to visit family and friends. I’d just spent 13 months in Bangkok and I needed a ‘system clean out’.

If you stay in Thailand for a prolonged period of time without going back home, I believe it’s a lot harder to mix with friends and family past the surface level the longer you hold out.

I don’t intend to be that guy who stayed in Asia too long.

Not to mention that Thailand has a habit of getting on your nerves and sometimes you need a dose of dull, boring, reality to balance you out.

It’s been a little over 2 months since I’ve been back and here’s a timeline of my feels.


The first few days

When I landed at London Heathrow, from the moment the pilot said:

“The weather today is overcast with mild rain and highs of around 4c.”

I knew I didn’t want to be here.

The weather was grey for the first 72 hours of my trip, not a single ray of sunlight was seen.


Where had I landed?

I’ve been told withdrawal symptoms from heroin is meant to be hell on earth, after 72 hours in England after a year in Thailand, I fully understood their pain.


Some people are stuck in this mentality forever hating their home country and feeling depressed, typically those who want to go back to Thailand but can’t for whatever reason.

The first few days were absolutely brutal.

I felt sad, depressed and like I made a huge mistake.

The last time I felt like this was during exams at school.

However, once I left my shoebox room and met up with my friend for some beers and Indian food, life was just about manageable.

Looking for things to do

There’s only so much time in the day you can spend jerking off to Game of Thrones, browsing web forums and being unproductive continually reading several pointless Whatsapp and LINE groups.

I was getting out of shape and decided it was time to round up the boys to play some football and badminton.

But the boys weren’t there.

I found it impossible to find 10 people to setup a football game or regular badminton partners. Everybody was busy, doing what I don’t know (I think it was because they were tired from working 8 hours a day, 6 days a week).

I live in a small city with absolutely zero nice restaurant or things to do.

If I head to a nightclub there’s a good chance I’ll see a fight, assuming the bouncers let me in if they like the look of my shoes of course.

I got so bored that I actually decided to write this blog post!

And then it hit me.

Life is one big, fat turd

Life is shit for the 99%.

If you don’t live in a tropical climate and are reading this from the UK/Canada/USA/Australia I’ll assume your life is shit too (unless you live in one of the few awesome cities in each of the locations mentioned).

Everyone I know in England works for someone else and pays 30-40% of their dismally low salary in tax.

If we add in their transportation costs, student loans and other bits and bobs, around 50% of their salary is out their pocket before it even goes in. #Brexit.

You can spin it how you want but life is shit for most people.

Unless you run your own business or are your own boss, most people whether they like to admit it or not are  simply coasting through life doing nothing other than feeding the system.

I live in small town and there’s nothing to do asides from going to the gym, and that’s all everyone seems to be doing.

Maybe that’s why there’s a huge gym culture nowadays, people have such shitty lives and no money that they spend hours each week at the gym.

For most people, the gym is just to fill a hole in their lives because the daily grind has voided them of all hobbies and interests.

I’ve almost never hit the weights in Thailand, but each time I’m in England I find myself getting a gym membership and ordering a bunch of supplements online thinking I’ll get swole. #IIFYM

Unless you’re doing a job you love or have a family and are providing for your children, life in England (outside London, London is great) is depressing.

I think that’s why people get married, life is so miserable that by having children to support, their suffering at least has a meaning.

If you’re working a job you don’t love and don’t have children to feed, I feel sorry for you.

And before you say:

“I don’t mind my job it’s easy”

That is just an excuse and waste of potential.

What are you doing with yourself? The last 2 months in England I felt were a total waste of my life if I weren’t here to meet my family.

Life is shit…but I’m Lucky

While extremely bored in England, I am enjoying my time with friend and family.


Because I know that in a few months I’ll be back in Thailand and traveling around Asia doing all the things I love without any of the stress. And the fact that in small doses England is fun (I’ve over exaggerated a few points above), just not sure I could do it for 40 years now I know how life is on the other side.

Only when I come back to England do I truly realize how lucky I am being able to be 100% free of the matrix. No bills, no boss, no stress.

What do you think? Am I making things out to be worse than they are, is the Western world really a great place to be if you’re not making bank?

If you’re having an awesome time then leave a comment letting me know, I’d love to hear your comments about what I’ve said. Everyone who I know who is happy at home is trying to pursue their passions, everyone else seems to be in the 9-5 grind drifting by.

If you agree with me, then what are you going to do to change your position?

21 thoughts on “How It Feels To Leave Thailand

  1. Paul
    10 July, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    what about thailand makes your life so much better?

    i find my life in thailand is pretty much the same as back home.

    work, hit the gym, hang out with friends… only difference here is i can roam hookers disco full with freelancers which really gets a bit old after a while

    thb after 2 years in thailand im bored as fuck unless i travel around

    maybe im doing it wrong or i need a system clean out myself

    1. 10 July, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Hi Paul,

      It really depends on your needs, Thailand is not for everyone. For me, waking up to the warm heat everyday, being able to play sports with friends on the tip of a hat. I’ve got so much choice if I want to eat out, I can visit beaches, waterfalls or get a massages everywhere I go. Fruit is cheap and awesome. Not having 50 letters come through the post each week telling me which bills I got to pay.

      Having a nice apartment in the center of town without paying thousands of dollars.

      The idea of being able to do this without working more than 15hrs per week is the icing on the cake.

  2. Wilco
    10 July, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Maybe Im lucky or deluded because I dont mind coming home to NZ every year. I have cool stuff to do that I can’t do in Philippines or Thailand and vice versa. Its the geographical triad of happiness. Or maybe its because Im not a sucker who works full time and I can do what I want.

    Im always reminded of the dull shithouse life when I drink in the expat bars in Manila with the middle aged Poms drinking away their pension who say they are going to die there with their local wife and dozen kids.

    1. 10 July, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Hey Wilco, I think it’s a combo of of not working FT and NZ is a great place to live (so I’ve heard). I’m from a town that was voted in the top 10 worst places to stay in the UK.

  3. Pat
    16 July, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I just done 4 months mostly in Bangkok but with several trips to islands, beaches and jungles. I feel smug putting up the pics on FB knowing that most of my 68 friends are doing the 9-5 slog in england and are always moaning about fuel costs, parking, late trains and immigrants.

    I missed the whole Brexit hysteria and much of Euro 2016 while staying in Thailand, and I’m glad I did. Eventually I of course came back to England to de-dust the flat and show my face. It’s not hell but killing time on long days can be a bit testing when nearly all my friends are working and paying astronomical rents.

    I am returning to the Land of Smiles in 5wks, and waiting for that is just about bearable, I can swim, work out and take long cliff walks in the, and cooking myself a gourmet meal each night is the highlight of my day, and of course skype with the GF who works the 9-5 existence in Bangkok but never moans about rent, travel, living costs or politics.

    I do my life about 60-40 Thailand/UK…Just about keeps me sane and to be honest, most Thai incompetence and idiocy does get to me and make me glad to get out for a bit.

    1. 17 July, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Your last line is why I always have to come back to England at some point every year :D.

      The fact you can do long walks around the cliffs tells me you live in a better part of England than me. There is no cliff walking or any type of walking unless I drive 35 minutes to a park, but who has time for that?

      1. Pat
        17 July, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        Cornwall does have its good points. I came here 4yrs ago to be near dad. If I was still in London I would of course see friends and recapture lost nostalgia. But moving forward is the way and most of friends now have families and a stable life while I mostly bum around.

        I haven’t made a fortune to be able to do this, far from it but at 42 and the imminent destruction of the planet, what am I gonna do? Save up until i’m 50 and sit on some Thai barstool moaning about what could have been?

        Thailand gets into your bones, no doubt about that, but it also gives me a great suntan I can show off in damp miserable old England

  4. Ian
    17 July, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Shorten your trips back to the UK.Two months is too long.3 or 4 weeks should be enough.
    I’m heading back next month…..For a week.

    1. 17 July, 2016 at 9:02 am

      1 Week for me it too little time as it takes 4-5 days to recover from jetlag. I think 2 months is the sweet spot for me with a short 4-5 day holiday to Europe in there somewhere.

  5. Scandibro
    18 July, 2016 at 2:38 am

    NEVER go back bro, I made the mistake and it’s the biggest regret of my life. Life in Europe sucks balls, all the little annoyances of Thailand is nothing compared to the massive life destroying bs you have to put up with here.

    I’m getting sorted out and leaving again next year.

    1. 18 July, 2016 at 8:55 am

      I do enjoy going back because the banter I get is great. I just need to move to a better city like London which would keep me sane for longer… but it would also tear my bank account a new arsehole too.

  6. Pat
    18 July, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I didn’t go back at all from 2003-10.

    Best years of my life, so far anyway.

    1. 18 July, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Each to their own. I find myself having to come back or I’ll lose my mind slowly… but then I find myself losing my mind when I’m back too. Maybe I’m just a messed up individual? 😀

  7. Alex S
    18 July, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    SEA is addictive. 12-15? long trips the last 6-7 years.
    But you better have a profitable game or infinite savings otherwise one reach a point where its not sustainable. So, until I reach economic independence in 3-4 years? which depends on work, creativity and agents (or moral if I pursue plan B,) I will cut back on travelling. To much pain returning to Europe.

  8. BrexitGuy
    27 July, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t know, it leaves an ambivalent feeling. For me you seem to be a guy which doesn’t care that much about the future and this ist something I admire. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    I personally can’t make this (huge) step towards location independence whilst I don’t have a proper plan how my old days will look like. If I imagine myself as some sort of digital nomad in my 40/50s in Thailand or somewhere else in SEA, writing SEO articles and fumbling around with SEA techniques on stupid search engines, then I don’t know.. this is nothting I could do to be honest.

    Right know it would be “okay” for a short amount of time. The “benefits gravy train” we have in western european countries seems to be too valuable to mee to just ignore it. On the other hand if I want to use it in my 60s I right now have to pay into those saving books etc.

    And this is where I always stuck and what causes me quite a headache. Harvie, what is you thought process on this if you would not mind telling here? Do you talk with your parents about this? If I would tell my parents about this they would just shake their heads and would think I’m crazy. Of course they don’t had those opportunities during their twenties etc. Things change of course.

    But If I don’t change anything I will fully regret it, I know this. The daily routine wears me off day after day. It’s like you described it.

    1. 27 July, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Who said I don’t care about the future? I’m actually saving quite a lot each month planning for retirement already, I would guess I save a lot more than the average person living in the UK in a well paying job. I’m investing a good amount of my money in various assets which I hope will appreciate over time and be my retirement.

      The thing is, nobody ever has a proper plan on what their retirement days will look like, nobody (well 98% of people). That’s the trick you see, people plan up for retirement and the next thing you know, you’re 65 with a broken body and aren’t in a condition to enjoy it.

      You say right now it’s okay for you to write SEO articles but when you’re 40 you want to do more. So then do more, you can do it anywhere. I came to Thailand earning $0 per month now I make more than I dreamed off doing a number of online projects.

      As for parents, I stopped giving other people the power to control my life. I’ve decided to live the life I want to live, not the life others plan I live.

      I hope that helps and if you want to ask me any more questions, just reply to this, cheers mate.

  9. Chris
    1 August, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Great Post…I’m amazed how humans all over the world think alike and I’m from a third world country India and most of us is sh*t too..which is to be expected as we are third world but I see the government propaganda working 24/7 in third world countries to convince us that first world people have an amazing life.

    I was in Germany last year and it was the most painful past of my life. The entire economy is designed to SERVE THE BEAST…Everywhere, we have to be a slave to the system. After all said and done, I was actually making less in Germany than India. Its too hard for anyone to believe because the Media control information. The taxes in Europe kills everything that you can dream off. It gives just that for you to serve the system. Thank God Thailand.

    I see Thailand the only place on earth which is balanced. India is too much enslaved by the beast. Its really really hard for free thinkers to find a refuge and Thailand offers that along with what Earth could give.

    I could have leeched onto German social welfare but in-process kill my soul.

    It should be the goal of every free thinking soul to move to Thailand or South East Asian country is what I feel. The coming time is going to be even more darker and one needs a place to survive on bare minimum yet keep his soul too….I think Thailand gives you that space.

  10. PattayaBozz
    3 August, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I just moved to Thailand for the pussy. Plain and simple. I mean, if it wasn’t for the pussy how many guys would still come to Thailand?

    Yes, I enjoy working online. I enjoy the low cost of living. I enjoy not paying taxes since I am outside my home country. I enjoy riding my motorcycle down the sidewalk and paying cops $30 to get out of most minor shit. The food is great and cheap. But brahhh, if it wasn’t for the massive amount of pussy available I probably never would have come. #pattaya

    If all of a sudden they passed a law that farang would get life in jail for fucking a thai women unless married and in possession of a legit long term visa – pretty much every farang in Thailand would be headed home in 48 hours.

  11. Some Guy
    6 August, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I used to like living in BKK when I was younger, also coming from Europe but being 30 now and having come back to BKK two years ago for a few months it’s just not the same anymore. Housing is the same when compared to the cheaper capitals of Europe (Budapest, Prague etc.) but the building quality is shitty and you mostly live on crappy unwalkable streets + visa hassles. Thais are also almost mentally retarded for the most part and just piss me off these days.

    UK is hell though unless you’re really really rich and it just slowly squeezes the life out of you for very little reward, so I get your point.

    If you like to party and live a chill life there is a ton more to Europe than the UK.

    In Barcelona you can easily rent a place for 500EUR a month and Spanish girls are easy.

    Same money in Malta where all euro sluts come to in the summer.

    Poland and the Ukraine are good value as well.

    If you’re only into Asian girls China offers a much better lifestyle imo, although it’s getting expensive in Beijing and Shanghai, but the girls there aren’t borderline retarded and some are actually marriage material if you’re so inclined, while I wouldn’t marry some thai peasant girl in a million years (it’s just a bad deal in general).

    1. 6 August, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      My biggest gripe with Bangkok is the crazy high rental prices, I think everything else is pretty spot on. Do agree that other parts of Europe are great to live in as well.

  12. Will
    7 September, 2016 at 5:10 am

    The trick is to come back to UK/London in the summer. Nothing beats a summer in London and I always really miss a day strolling around Soho! There’s nothing like Soho in Bangkok, which is rapidly losing its character and soul under the General.
    And this is the question, as someone pointed out earlier, how to keep from getting bored in Bangkok ? It’s now just a big shopping mall. I guess getting out of town regularly is the answer.

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