Why You Should Leave Thailand in Your 30s

At what point should you consider leaving Thailand?

If you want to leave with your mental health in check, you need to leave within 3-4 years of living here, or when you hit 30~.

“What, leave Thailand, are you crazy Harvie?”

Yes I am, and if you’ve been here 3 years or longer, chances are you are too.

In this article, I talk about why living in Thailand is great in your 20s, why it sucks in your 30s, a few lessons I’ve learned living here and a 13 question quiz that will reveal if you need to leave Thailand.

Disclaimer: you may get feelings of anxiety if you make it through the entire article.

Thailand is perfect for 20-year-olds

Thailand (and Asia) is the perfect place to live in your early and mid-20s.

The cost of living is so cheap you can earn $700/month and be okay, or come here with a small amount of savings and make it last for years.

Living like a peasant in your 20s is encouraged, a shoe-string budget should want to motivate you to become financially free in your later years. I know lots of people who came here with little and now have more money than they know what to do with (thanks to the Internet).

You can easily visit nearby countries which are even cheaper than Thailand and explore the world on a budget. Every 20 something should do that.

Very few of us are making good money in our 20s and we’d rather explore the world and have fun than join the corporate world, Thailand is perfect for that.

If you’re a male, it’s a lot easier to play out your fantasies in Asia where girls actually give you the time of day.

For example, sleeping with freelancers on a weekly/monthly basis in your 20s isn’t an ideal life goal, but it’s not going to destroy your life if you stop at 25-28. You’ll have plenty of time to pull your ship back on track and avoid turning into a sexpat.

But if you keep sleeping with freelancers in your 30s, before you know it you’re a sexpat in your 40s with no money, poor social relationships and a mental mess.  We’ve all seen this person in Nana.

Maybe hookers are not your thing and you prefer dating girls and playing the field, again that’s perfectly fine but make sure you get that out your system before 30.

There are thousands of guys in Asia who live on dating apps in their 30s meeting up girls 2-3x per week because they are all lonely and addicted to it.

I read one blog where the author suggests you get drunk before you meet a girl if she is boring in text chat.

The addiction has gone so far that people are now meeting girls they don’t really have any interest in, if that is not an addiction, what is it?

You don’t get drunk, you just don’t meet her.

If you’re over 30 and have never had a serious long-term relationship (2 years or more), your relationship muscles are non-existent. You won’t know what to look for in a long-term partner when the time comes, some of you won’t know how to be faithful because all you do is chase new girls.

Getting bottle service and partying 3-4x per week is totally fine in your 20s, again these types of actions are going to cause you the least amount of damage at this age. Carrying on with these habits in your 30s is going to lead to an alcohol addiction, loneliness and deeper issues.

Being broke as fuck is fine in your 20s, it’s at this point in your life where you should have the least amount of money and life experience. It’s why you come to Thailand, to gain life lessons and to learn how to make money so you don’t work in an office. Being broke in your 30s is not fun, it’s horrible and will mean the rest of your life is always going to be a worry about money.

If you want to pick up girls by talking to them at parks or malls, do that but don’t spend hours each day learning strategies online making that the main focus of your life in your 30s.

If you have done the above in your 20s and are still doing them in your 30s, or plan to carry when 30 comes, this is what you should expect next…

All the things I mentioned above are degenerate activities, and they are fine to do in your early 20s. Let loose, have sex with a ladyboy, live on $400 per month, eat only street food and let a dudes blow you (if you want).

These activities should be a phase in your life, not a lifestyle.

If you choose to partake, do so for 1-4 years then STOP.

But very few people who live here long enough know when to stop.

Male culture in Thailand is very enabling

When you come to Thailand, the leash is well and truly off.

You can do whatever you want, and all your new friends are going to encourage you to push the limits.

Your family is halfway around the world and are longer here to put you in check, maybe that’s why you came here in the first place – to be free.

I can literally go out tonight, book a VIP booth at the best clubs in Bangkok, ask the waiter to bring the hottest girls to my table and have a hell of a night (and morning) for less than $600 with a group of friends.

I can stay in a lavish Bangkok apartment with amazing views and facilities, continually meet hot chicks each week and live the life of a playboy.

I can pop bottles 3x per week in clubs and pretend like I’m someone.

I can go to massages and get any service I desire.

I can spend $50 on a flight and do all of the above in a new location.

These are not difficult experience to obtain if you earn a modest income ($2000/month), but eventually these experiences turn sour and will impact your mental health.

For many they have already turned sour but they are oblivious.

A point comes where you need to stop doing this or you’ll become that guy:

  • who is a sexpat
  • who is always on dates
  • who has never had a meaningful relationship
  • who spends most of his days in his room
  • who everyone thinks is weird
  • who is broke
  • who only thinks about the next hit

For those of us have lived here long-term, many of us will fit into the above or know friends that do, I have fit many of them myself.

These are okay states of being in your 20s but are very harmful in your 30s:

Friends in Asia for the most part are enablers.

Because nobody really knows anyone so well, nobody is going to sit you down and give you a well-needed intervention.

Ask yourself when was the last time a friend came up to you and said your actions are self-harming and it’s time to slow down or stop totally.

You look around and everyone else is doing the same, so you think that’s normal, but it’s not.

I would estimate that at least 70%+ of men who have lived in Thailand longer than 3 years and are in their 30s have mental issues, it’s impossible not to have them unless you completely steer clear of every temptation thrown at you.

When I refer to mental issues I don’t mean you’re drolling by the mouth like some kind of retard, I’m talking about failing to grow up and take action on the next part of your life.

You know how in our 20s we used to say the 40-year-old expats are grumpy and bitter, the guys who decide to stay here for another 10 years will fill their shoes when the next wave of nomads arrive, if they don’t change their habits.

Why Thailand is not good in your 30s

Don’t get me wrong, I love Thailand.

I think it’s better today (2018) than when I first got here in 2012.

I just don’t think it’s a good place for your 30s, because it’s not set up for foreigners to live or grow without complications.

Your 30s should be a new chapter in your life, it’s time for meaningful experiences, not to chase girls you don’t really care about and lose precious years of your life.

The 20s you went full retard and I’m glad you had an awesome time.

In your 30s you need to get fucking serious about who you’re and what you want to become. In other words, it’s time to grow up.

For example, it’s very hard to do any of the following in Thailand or most parts of Asia:

Start a family – if you want to start a family in your 30s, private schools cost $30,000+ per year, air pollution sucks, cars have huge import taxes and the traffic is insane. With such an awesome nightlife and dating scene, it may cause you to never settle down.

This can be seen already by people who say “why would I ever want a girlfriend?” or men who are over 30 and never been in a serious relationship.

I’m not saying you must settle down in your 30s, but some of you will think about starting a family or having children at this age, and Thailand is not a great place to do that as a foreigner.

“Come on Harvie, 30 is way too young to start getting serious, we have until 35-40 before we to get serious”

Let’s say you plan to get serious at 35, you can’t just jump into a serious relationship, that takes time to build and you’ll need at least 2 years with a woman before you know if you want to spend your life with her.

At least 2 years if she is a Thai girl with all the cultural barriers you need to cross. It doesn’t happen in 6 weeks or 6 months.

If you plan to do that at 35, you better start looking for her at 29-30, because if after 2 years you find out she’s not the one, you still have another 2-year window to look again. If you start at 35, you won’t have as many options or desirable girls as you would have at 30.

The whole it’s okay for guys to start being serious late, we have up until our 40s and we can date 22-year-olds. That’s true, but what type of 22 year old is going to want to date a 40-year-old man who has lived in Thailand more than a decade? She is not going to be a uni grad or an intelligent girl, because they can do better.

What you’re going to get is someone who doesn’t work, wants to be looked after and honestly won’t make you happy.

Now let’s say you go a bit older and aim for a women in her 30s when you’re 40, there’s a good chance the girl has already been married once and has a kid, and if she doesn’t and is well educated and smart, she is not going to be looking for a 40-year-old man, she can get better than you.

If you do plan to get into a serious relationship late, keep in mind your options are severely limited, you’re no longer the young buck, but the mutton dressed as lamb.

Start a business – did you ever dream of having your own business? I did but it’s so hard to do that in Thailand because of all the red tape.  Yes, you can have an online business, but you can have that anywhere. If you do decide to start a business, in most cases you can only own 49% of it.

Investing – 30s is when some of us may consider making property investments for retirement, you cannot buy land or houses in Thailand, only condos which are overpriced and built poorly. Not great for those of us with large capital.

Serious relationships – if you want a serious relationship in your 30s, it’s very hard to start one, take it seriously or respect it given all the temptations here. Thailand is a great place to meet a serious partner though.

Find your passion – do you know what you love to do? What is the thing you enjoy doing the most in your life? Making music, writing, drawing, creating, helping others, running, cycling, cooking, yoga, weightlifting?

If your main focus in Thailand in your 30s is related to partying, meeting girls or staying in your room on the Internet reading forums or LINE group chats, your ship has gone off course.

Thailand has too many temptations to find your true calling.

Bad for finding friends or role models – the saying goes you’re the sum of the 5 people you hang around with most. Look at your top 5 friends in Thailand and ask yourself if they live positive and fulfilling lives, or if they are just degenerates.

Keep in mind you can be wealthy and even retired at 30 and be a degenerate.

Cost of living – at 30 you should be making enough money that the cheapness of living in Thailand should no longer be a factor.  If the low cost of living is a major factor to you living here after 30, you didn’t save or work hard enough in your 20s, and now you must get your finances in order.

Living in Thailand in your 30s with a low income pretty much kills your career and will typically stunt how much you’ll earn in the next decade.

Visa issue – There is no visa for 30 years old that lets you stay in the country without having to leave every 90 days. That’s fine in your 20s because it’s fun going to Laos for the first time, but having to do it every 90 days is just a pain.

If Thailand doesn’t help you with any of the above, what benefits do you gain by living here in your 30s?

I can’t think of any, all it does is turn your degenerate habits into a lifestyle.

You should leave Asia and go to Europe, Africa, South America, North America, Australia, India or any place you want.

Live in Europe for 5 years, you’ll learn a new way of life and experiences.

You should go to South America and learn a new culture, that will improve you as a person immensely.

Going to the USA or Australia (assuming you didn’t come from either).

By staying in Thailand in your 30s, you limit your growth potential as a person.

What I learned in my 20s living in Bangkok

You have a 1-3 year period in Thailand where you’re given a FREE PASS.

This free pass lets you do all the wild stuff I talked about above, with minimum consequences.

Once that window is closed, you will start to stagnate and go bad, like cheese that’s been left out too long.

I guess that’s why people tell me my blog stinks.

When I first got here I used to go out with friends 3-4 times per week, almost always we would get 2-4(1ltr) bottles throughout the night and often the night did not end until the sun came up.

I’d look like death and knew I was being judged by everyone on the BTS who was starting their work-day.

It was an amazing time and I wouldn’t change a thing, I believe many of us could write books about our life in Thailand in our 20s, maybe I will.

About a year or so of partying pretty hard, I thought to myself:

“What the fuck am I doing?”

I’ve been to every bar and club, I could predict what songs they would be playing on what nights, I’d see the same people in their week after week.

Then it hit me, I was lonely.

I did not like staying in my room because I did not like being alone after a few days, I had emotional needs that had to be met.

I need to talk to people and feel like I belong to a community.  Studies have shown that the 5 countries in the world where people live the longest were ones that had strong communities.

I’ve always been a good talker so for me it was not a problem meeting people. Some of you are not good in groups, so instead turn to dating girls 1v1 or sleeping with hookers to fill your loneliness.

That’s why some of you date girls with poor English, you don’t really care what they have to say, it just beats sitting alone in your room.

For me, partying was the easiest, most fun way to have these needs met. We were all young, we all had nothing interesting to say (what 20-25  year old does?), so drinking was the easiest way to be around each other and we can meet girls!

Little did I know in my 20s this would be destructive to my mental and physical health.

Asia gives you this zero to hero mentality, for as little as $200 split between a large group you can pretend you’re a rockstar for the night and get all this attention, but really I was just a loser.

Thankfully all this got depressing for me really early on.

I stopped drinking, I took up more positive things like reading, playing social sports like football, badminton, boxing and other joined other communities with shared interests. Now I’m getting my social needs in a more positive way and learned I had interests in things I didn’t even know!

There are studies saying Thailand is the #1 place for adultery and I don’t doubt that for a second.

I had the whole I’m never getting a girlfriend who needs that and the lol white girls why would I talk to them chip on my shoulder in my early 20s.

It took me a while to realize these ideas were unhealthy and part of the reason for me thinking like this was because visiting places like Nana and Cowboy just reinforce these ideas along with going out partying and dating. Later I realized it’s not Thai or western girls that are the problem, it’s me.

I am a fucked up person. We all come to Thailand because we are running away from something. We come here with huge issues (but we can’t see them), and using the FREE PASS, they compound and get even bigger.

I remember times when I was in my condo bored to do death because I had no meaningful business, hobbies, interests, passions or life goals and would spend hours on dating sites.  At the time I masked it as this is fun and the best experience in the world, and it was fun, until it consumed my life.

I realized all this early but I know lots of people who are doing this in their 30s+ or will do when they hit it.

I remedied a lot of these issues very early and now have a meaningful business, a daily routine, plans for the next 5 years of my life and the amount of degenerate stuff I do is pretty much at 10%<.  I’m not perfect and still have many things to work on, maybe I’ll save them for future posts.

I’ve lived here long enough to see that thousands of guys are going through the same shit, many on a much worse and deeper level because they’ve been doing it for so long.

I have met men who were in super toxic relationships before coming to Thailand,  or worse still they got no attention from girls, and now spend all their time with hookers,  learning PUA to pick up chicks, online dating apps, or treat girls like shit because they were hurt in the past and think men are better.

Thailand is an amazing teacher in your 20s, but it will kill you in your 30s.

Take the test to see how bad you’re

As awesome as living in Thailand is, there is a mental price you pay for living here.

Here’s the formula to work out how fucked up you’re:

Years – total time spent in Thailand.

Degen level – is totally unique to yourself and based on the number of degenerate things you do and frequency.

I created the quiz below to help you come up with your Degen Level, it’s not perfect but should give you an idea of where you’re.

Answer the questions, then multiply your score by the number of years you’ve been here.

For example, if your score was 15 you’ve been here 2.5 years then 2.5*12 =  37.5.

If you score over 45 you’ve got big problems. Leave a comment with your score below.

[WpProQuiz 1]

You’ve all heard the saying:

“I came for the X, but I stayed for the Y”

Let’s be honest, we all came here for the girls, just don’t make that your sole reason for staying here.

How many years of being a degenerate do you need? It’s time to start a new chapter and it needs to be great.

For many cutting down on their frequency is not enough, that would be telling an alcoholic to only drink a few times a week and everything will be okay.

Whether you agree or disagree with me on any of these points is totally okay. I wrote this article to create a dialogue with you all. Please leave a comment below with your own thoughts on living in Thailand and Asia in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

If you have a friend in his 20s-30s living in Thailand or Asia, please forward them this article.

If you're thinking about moving to Thailand and need help or advice, check out my Online Nomad Group by clicking here.
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