Goodbye Real World Hello 6 Months in Thailand- (why working remotely from anywhere in the world is easier than you think.)

welcometothailand

I’m Moving to Thailand !

I can’t begin to tell you how awesome it feels to finally have earned the chance to write this post.
In 2012 I was sitting in a hammock in Belize on a honey moon, I watched as chickens ran through the yard with tarantulas in their mouth. The river rippled near by and exotic birds sang like a symphony all around. We were getting first class meals made fresh every day just for us. A few days later we rented a 40 foot sail boat and cruised around the islands all by our selves hopping from island to island drinking fresh coconuts, catching fish and snorkeling wherever we wanted. Each night we would fall asleep under the stars in the middle of nowhere. as the trip was coming to an end i began to do a lot of thinking. I remember thinking, as i watched my wife appear from the boats galley in a blue bikini with 2 Champaign glasses, what if I could keep doing this forever? Behind her was a crystal clear bay with dolphins surfacing near by and the gentle rocking of the boat. we were all alone in paradise. A week later, reality hit, I settled back into my 1 hour commute to work, my 9 hour day as an employee followed by another 1 hour commute home, rinse and repeat this everyday for the next 10 months before i save up enough vacation time to do something great again. That day I made a promise to myself. My main goal in life was to find a way to live the life i wanted anywhere I wanted.  Today I am so proudly able to say, “mission accomplished!”
 
As I write I am sitting in a gorgeous wooden Thai style house that overlooks a runoff pool pointing towards the Chiang Mai mountains. It’s only now starting to sink in that I have 6 months here (before my visa expires)  to do what I love, create art and build my business with an added bonus of doing it all while in the tropics. Considering I’m able to continue my work and generate income online after this 6 months i will be off to a new destination to do the same thing.
 
1 year ago if you would have asked me if I would be living in Thailand today I would have reluctantly said probably not, but here I am. So how did I get here? The short answer is one baby step after another. I will get into that more in another post but for now I just want to explain why it’s so much easier than I ever imagined and why it really doesn’t make sense for anyone not to make their dreams a reality. 
 
 
Why so many people don’t do it.
Over the past few months while working at some “In house” freelance jobs to make a little more money before departure, I would tell people how is was leaving to Thailand for 6 months. The natural response for most was what? Followed by wow that is so cool? Followed by “I wish I could do that”.. Of course my response was ” well, why don’t you?” The most common thing people told me was it wasn’t  a good time, they were saving up for some big purchase like a house, the other common response was they were afraid of losing the security they had from their job. Or they had a family to feed ect. Sound familiar? I don’t really like to preach or tell people what to do, so most of the time I would just nod and say I understand. Because I do understand, I’ve been their and shared the same fears. Had I not devoted myself to fighting those fears 100% I would still have them and I wouldn’t be where I am today, able to make a living online with my art and be anywhere. the funny thing about it is it was easier than I ever thought it would be to accomplish. And I’m saving more money than I ever did in the states.
 
Why It’s easier than you think
First and foremost being artists gives us a huge advantage over most entrepreneurs, we are visual thinkers and are usually able to take an idea and visualize it quickly in one medium or another. This is a huge strength. Business is all about visualizing ideas and products and then presenting them to clients and/ or customers to tell a story that will inspire them to buy something. This can be true not only in the graphic arts but also in mediums like writing, music and performance arts. We are masters in stimulating the senses which is a great tool to have in any business, especially one based on selling and marketing art.
If you team this power with the power of the Internet, which is available almost everywhere in the world, you have a pretty lethal combination and an excellent advantage over most entrepreneurs. It’s just a matter of choosing a path and taking it.
The hardest thing about making this life possible is deciding to do so and not quitting, not listening to all the people who doubt you or don’t understand why you want to move across the world or why you want to quit your job and spend more time at home with your family.
 
mountain refuge

Why Thailand

So why did I choose Thailand? This is a question I get a lot. Bottom line you get the biggest bang for your buck. To begin with, I asked myself a few questions:
-What is my favorite environment ? ( I like tropical beach areas, but I had to settle for tropical mountainous because of the next question)
-What can I afford per month right now given my remote income. (I look at the worst case scenario should my plan A income disappear (freelance) I would need to support myself on plan b (tutorials) should that disappear there’s plan C ( childrens book sales)
These two questions get you pretty far and usually bring you to 2 to 3 location options once answered.
-Next Which area is safer ( Honduras is the number one murder capital in the world so that’s out.)
-Which area is more suited for my business needs (strong dependable wifi and comfortable working environment)
 
For me, northern Thailand, a tropical environment at a quarter of my normal costs that has the western technology but it’s own adventurous culture is so perfect for me it’s unbelievable. The only thing I’m missing is a white sandy beach, but 6 months from now I plan to have doubled my remote income. At which point the research will begin again, maybe southern Thailand where the beaches are everywhere or Indonesia’s Bali, both a little more expensive but very achievable.

 
Preparation 
Once i figured out where I was going it was all about preparation. in order for me to keep cost low and stay out of as many unexpected charges fees and costs as I could, I needed to do a lot of research.
 
– Travel costs- finding the best rate for flights (flight hub) 
– Overnight stay in China( taxi, room)
– Renting and Living costs in Chiang Mai ( looked to many blogs of people who lived there doing what I wanted to do, runs business from Chiang Mai. (ex. Johnny FD)
 
I used sites like Air BnB for booking the first week and Found and agent to show us houses and long-term rentals. We new this part would be better to do on the ground, so we only booked the first week of living in Chiang Mai prior to arrival.
 
As we got closer to departure we started looking at more specifics things, 
-what to pack, what luggage we would take for a tropical environment, 
-what equipment we needed for work, 
-what identification was needed for the trip and 
-what visa to get. 
un-registering the car, 
update my driver’s license and passport as they expire soon, 
-Travelers insurance.  
It sounds like a lot of work but spread out over a month or so it really wasn’t that bad.
 
Settling in
By the end of the first week in Thailand my wife and I have settled into a fully furnished 3 bedroom house complete with Internet, cable TV, electricity, water, maid service ect ect. It’s located at the base of doi supthep the largest mountain in Chiang Mai. The Total cost 550/month and better than anything I have been able to afford in the U.S. . The town is tropical has coffee shops, yoga, meditation centers, Buddhist temples, gardens,hiking trails, and is a quick scooter or taxi ride away from down town Chiang Mai. We don’t really cook as it’s cheaper to eat out.(probably one of the few places in the world you can say that) our daily budget is set at $20 a day and in general we usually com in under that. All in all right around $1200 a month for 2 people to live like royalty.
 
 Recap
So here’s a quick recap on what it took to move across the globe and the results I received from doing so
Actions:
Make the decision to go, Create the income stream(s), choose a place, pack, settle in.
Result:
I do what I love to do (create art) live somewhere new and exciting with my wife, I save more money than ever, I live like royalty. 
 
In closing, the final question I had to ask myself, the one that pushed me to make it happen, was not, how can I afford to go? It was how can I afford to stay? 
 
Does that make sense? I Would love to get your feedback in the comment section below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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