I’m Moving to Thailand

Dear Reader,

After months of putting up with my vague posts, theoretical questions, and general whining, let me give you something concrete:

On January 5th, 2010 I will be moving to Bangkok, Thailand.

kohphiphi

Thailand you say? Thailand.

Let me give you a little bit of background.  For the last year or so my buddy Ryan has been planning his round the world trip (same guy that wrote the Quit your Job, Move to Hawaii series here).  So for the last year, I have been thinking about joining him.  I really hadn’t made any sort of commitment, after all I was still in my job, and he has way more money saved up than I do.

If you had asked me a month ago what my plan for the new year was, I probably would have said it was a 6 month+ backpacking trip through Central and South America.

However, as much as I would still love to do that at some point, I have found my goals are shifting.  I don’t want to be in a new place every other night, and frankly I can’t afford to do that.  Over the next year or so, I am realizing that I have a very clear goal, that I am not sure I have ever actually defined prior to this.  My goal is:

“To create a lifestyle where I can make a living, while still enjoying the freedoms that location independence provides.”

Had I been travelling full time, I just don’t think I would have made much progress getting that business off the ground.  Sure I would have the time of my life with my best friend, but I don’t want to be in a position a year from now when I am down to $200 in savings, and no progress towards my goal lifestyle.  At that point, I would probably just chalk up my losses and get another desk job.

I don’t want that.  You don’t want to read about that.  So I am not going to let that happen.

So what am I going to do instead?  Well, moving to Thailand sounds like a pretty good idea!

You are probably wondering what made me decide on that locale (or maybe it is obvious), but a few of the reasons are:

  • Cheap cost of living.  Portland, Oregon isn’t exactly the most wallet friendly of towns.  Sure it is nothing like NYC or London, but in relative terms, it isn’t exactly the budget traveler’s mecca.  Also, as I have now adopted my frugal lifestyle, I have realized there is a lot I can live without.  Seeing as how I will be showing up with nothing more than a backpack, my computer and an adventurous spirit, I am going to put this new personal fiscal policy to the test!
  • It’s exotic.  I really wish I had a better reason than that.  But after seeing The Beach a few years ago, I knew I was destined to go sooner or later.  Bangkok seems like the ideal central location to be able to explore both the lush jungles of the north near Chiang Mai, as well as the white sand beaches and azure waters of the south.  Not to mention the city itself will be completely exotic in its own right.
  • If not now, then when? I am certainly not getting any younger, and I still have goals of getting married, having kids etc.  So the time frame to be truly independent and do something like this is shrinking.  NOTE: That isn’t to say you can’t do it with a wife in kids (as Mr. Adam Baker has proven and then some), but it definitely adds another level of complexity.
  • It’s the place to be! Cody Mckibben,  Adam Baker, Dwight Turner, Justin Dupre, and possibly Glen Allsopp and Diggy.  Now that is some good company to be around, and I am hoping to meet up with all of them at one point or another.

You could ask me for more details than what I have already given you, but frankly, I don’t have many.  The next six weeks will be spent doing some minor research and making sure my affairs are in order, but I am really just flying by the seat of my pants with this one.  It will be more interesting this way!  So if you have any suggestions, places to see, eat, stay etc.  PLEASE leave a comment or send an email.

So, now that I am moving to Thailand, I do have one more small obligation to take care.  My buddy Ryan will be starting a blog for his world trip, and now that I have essentially ditched him to pursue my own dreams, the least I can do is help him get his blog up and running!  He has identified five potential blog titles that he likes, and I offered to use Location180 as a sounding board for advice.  So if you could at the very least, vote in the survey below, and if you really want to help out leave him a comment with any other words of wisdom.

If you enjoyed this post, and wish to continue to follow my Asian adventure, you should be sure and sign up for my email updates and RSS Feed.

 

Nate November 19, 2009 at 8:19 am

Wow! Congrats on making this great decision, man. This is definitely a good choice to help your savings last longer, all while enjoying an awesome culture. Looking forward to hearing more about it as you figure out the details.

Joel November 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

None of them, cause I just registered them all! buwhahahahaha.

Just kidding :)

Getlostraveler.com definitely :)

Sean November 19, 2009 at 9:24 am

@Joel haha, yeah I thought that could be an issue, but I trust my readers are all honest people :) Thanks for the opinion!

Dena November 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

Congratulations on taking the leap! I can not wait to hear about your adventure. :)

-Dena

Tyler November 19, 2009 at 9:42 am

I wrote a whole bunch of things here, but really what it all boils down to is, “Congratulations and good luck.”

I’m really excited for you and look forward to reading about your progress.

You know this means we’re going to have to get a little more serious about finding a time to get together and jam before you take off.

As for your buddy, I voted for followmeeverywhere. I hope he bought those domain names already. I wouldn’t want someone to poach them before he decides.

Kristin November 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

Sean! So exciting! I can’t wait to hear how this unfolds for you.

Coffee meet up before you go! I’ll let you know when I’m in the area. :)

Cheers!

Alan November 19, 2009 at 10:09 am

Wild, Sean. Love hearing about personal developments like this, and super excited to follow along. Keep us all posted!

Colin Wright November 19, 2009 at 10:23 am

Love it, SO jealous man. You’ll have to say hey to everyone in person for me. Bear hugs all around.

Derek November 19, 2009 at 10:32 am

Alright! Good decision. I’ve been hearing so much about Thailand recently – probably because I read those guy’s blogs.

My 2 cents – make sure you blow off A LOT of steam right when you get there. Get some good traveling in, check out the beaches, and burn yourself out on that before settling down to work. Otherwise you’ll be anxious – that’s what happened to me in Panama.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll kill it. Good luck buddy and I might be seeing you guys over there sometime middle of next year.

Junshien November 19, 2009 at 10:51 am

Awesome! I was there a couple months back. Hope you’re okay with high humidity, mysterious food, and foreign cultures!

Martin November 19, 2009 at 11:57 am

Rock.

I’m leaving for Thailand in about a week. Congrats on pulling the trigger.

Kevin M November 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Apparently Thailand is the new lifestyle design hub. Good luck in your travels. I’m slightly jealous.

Jenna Santelli November 19, 2009 at 1:00 pm

SEAN:
CONGRATULATIONS MY FRIEND! I am so excited for you, and you have definitely choosen a great place. Thailand is such a beautiful mecca, full of vast culture, friendly people, beautiful beaches, excellent rock climbing and so much more. Man…I wish I was back in Thailand right now.

Besides that, you are starting a new aspect of your life and I couldn’t be happier for you. I get all jumpy and excited when I hear people just getting up and changing their lives. It is so cool to hear! Hopefully I’ll be the next one to do that after I complete grad school.

You should still come to the World Cup maybe tickets will be cheaper from Thailand. I have tickets to games and one has your name on it if you so choose.

I’ll end with a quote from Thoreau because I love him, and he is always appropriate for new paths in life!

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate.
Henry David Thoreau

Brandy November 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Good luck, Sean! I look forward to reading about your preparation for the trip and all of your adventures while you’re there.

Dan November 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Awesome news Sean, more meet up potential, it’ll be close though. Thailand really does seem like the land of milk and honey for us.

jforestphotos November 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Wow! Congratulations! I am SO jealous!

I can’t wait to be out of debt so I have freedom to take this sort of action. Thankfully, that is well on it’s way. I wish you the best!

Sean November 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm

@Dan Yeah there definitely won’t be any shortage of people to meet up with there!

@Jenna Thank you! I will definitely keep you posted about the World Cup as well, it would be awesome if we can still make it happen! Also, very good quote btw :)

@Martin How long are you gonna be there?

@Dan You bring up a really good point. Being only 24, I am lucky in the sense that I got out before my salary made things too comfortable, and my obligations are fairly limited. So I fully recognize that it is easier for me to do this, than it maybe for others. However I totally agree with what you said, that it can take some “unhappy time” before you are happy. I mean for me right now, I have cut back on all unnecessary expenses, and am trying to avoid going out to eat like it is the plague. I am ok being uncomfortable for awhile if I know that in the end I am going to get what I want. I think to a point, you have to be ok with that if you are truly going to make a big lifestyle change work. I appreciate the comment though, it is always nice to hear different perspectives from others in different situations. You should keep me updated with how things go for you, I would love to hear more about it.

@Derek/Colin Somehow I have a feeling our paths will cross at some point along the line, and I am looking forward to the day when they do!

@Tyler Yes, yes we do. I will send you a message here shortly to properly schedule a time!

To everyone else, thank you for the continued support! It means more than you know!

Pat November 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Have you heard of “The Four Hour Work Week?” Timothy Ferriss has a lot of useful ideas in his book that I think you and readers of this blog could benefit from.

If this book or author has been mentioned already my apologies.

Paul L'Acosta November 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Well, that’s a big step forward! I feel like I’m a bit late to come here and say congratulations but what the heck, gotta’ do it before you leave for bigger and better (and according to @Junshien, scary) things: Congratulations! –Paul

Earl November 20, 2009 at 1:34 am

I also agree it’s an excellent decision. Just make sure you make a schedule and stick with it, or else you’ll end up being lured into exploring the wonders of Thailand all the time and not spend any time concentrating on your ideas. Life is so good over there that it’s hard to focus on work sometimes! You’ll love it…

Roelof van Dijk November 20, 2009 at 3:40 am

Hey Sean,

I wish you all the best for this audacious step and please keep up the good work!

Greetings from Nanjing, China!

Roelof

Lauren November 20, 2009 at 8:20 am

I am in Patong Beach right now… Here’s how my last week has gone:

Monday – toured the Grand Palace and Wat Pho in Bangkok. Got grossed out in Chinatown and saw the biggest rat ever.

Tuesday – more of the same. Also went shopping at MBK and the Night Bazaar in Bangkok.

Wednesday – temples…and flew to Phuket.

Thursday – Laid on the beach and drank Thai beer…all…day.

Today – got attacked by crazy monkeys in the Phang Nga national forest and rode an elephant to a waterfall.

You really can’t beat Thailand. Have fun!

Izzy November 20, 2009 at 11:18 am

First off, I’m so excited for you – a friend of mine graduated last May, moved to Thailand to get his diving instructor’s license and is now happily making a fortune off of unwary tourists – he loves it!

One thing I have to say, however, is it’s not going to be as cheap (or easy) as it might seem, depending on how attached you are to Western items like decent socks and peanut butter. There’s no Wal-Mart equivalent over here! I’ve been living overseas for a few years (stationed in KL, Malaysia) and it’s taken a bit of time to get used to the people, the culture, the smells … ;)

So while I know you’re going to do great, I’d suggest giving yourself a little room to adjust. I can’t wait to read about it all!

Lisa November 20, 2009 at 11:20 am

Im moving to thailand too! im going out there to go to school in a couple months.
as for your friends website name, get lost rave is how i read that third one, so it totally wins!

Alex November 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Sean, stumbled upon your blog from GRS . . . Congrats on the big decision. Question though. After poking around various other blogs (like the other folks who are already living in Thailand), do you think (will you post) your thoughts on Health Insurance while “unemployed”/living in another country??

I’m sure that is something other independent lifestyle bloggers think about, but I was just curious to hear some insight/thoughts on the subject. Thanks!

Diggy - Upgraderealitty.com November 21, 2009 at 4:33 am

Hey Sean :)
Totally awesome man! I wish you the best of luck and lots of fun and adventure in Thailand. Thanks for the mention :)

I’m leaving to Europe in 2 weeks, really excited about that, although I must add that it is going to be more expensive than I had originally planned for. Going to cut into my savings a little but I saved up a year for this trip so going to make the best of it. After that Ill be back in south afica for a couple months (def wanna be here for the world cup. After that, there are no plans. I want to travel, probably asia because Ive never been there and its wallet-friendlier than other places.

Keep up the good work:)
Have a great weekend
Diggy

Karen November 21, 2009 at 8:05 am

WOW. This is even more exciting than reading about you quitting your job! It’s so inspiring to watch you make your dreams happen this year… Congrats on being to brave. I can’t wait to read about the adventures yet to come!
:)
Karen

Mary November 21, 2009 at 8:17 am

That is freaking awesome Sean! You are going to have an amazing time in Thailand! Congrats on making the decision and going on with the plan!

Sean November 21, 2009 at 10:36 am

@Diggy Europe is definitely NOT a cheap place to be right now, but do your best not to think about the money and enjoy the trip! Moving to Thailand is definitely going to be more expensive than I originally planned for, but I am kind of looking at it as an investment in my future. And once I am there, at least it will be cheaper than living in the states! I still have tickets for the world cup, and places to stay, so if I am able to make it down there I will definitely let you know!

@Alex Thanks for the comment! I think this is something that most if not all location independent bloggers struggle with. Figuring out the best route to take when it comes to health care isn’t an easy thing. For me personally, I am going to get a world nomads health plan. It is like $260 for 6 months and is mostly for big catastrophic injury or illness. Although it does provide insurance for lost luggage and a few other things. As I haven’t used it yet, I can’t tell you much about my experiences with it, but on the surface it looks good. Another option is STA Travel insurance if you are under the age of 35. Aside from that, I know my previous comprehensive plan doesn’t work abroad, so I will have to figure something else out when I get back.

@Lisa haha I will pass on the message! Definitely let me know when you get to Thailand, I am hoping to meet up with a bunch of people while there.

@Izzy I know a few people who have done that in Central America and are loving it. Not a bad way to make a living if you ask me. But yes, I definitely realize it won’t be as cheap or as easy as I might like to think. But hopefully with a little planning it will all work out

@Lauren Man, rough life you are living right now! I will have to add all of those things to the to-do list, especially that part about the crazy monkeys. How much longer are you there?

@Earl Couldn’t agree more. For the first few weeks of my self employment I was really good about sticking to a schedule. This week I kinda fell off the wagon a little bit, and getting re-engergized can be difficult. So I need to set a schedule from the beginning, and STICK TO IT.

@Pat I have definitely heard of the 4 hour work week. I think that is the book that spurred this kind of lifestyle for A LOT of people in this niche. I appreciate you mentioning it though, it is a good reminder to anyone who hasn’t read it, that it will be one of the best books you have read this year (or in your life)

Jonny | thelifething.com November 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Victory Monument is where you want to be mu friend.
Cheap accommodation, great transport links, good food and Cody is right over the road.

Factor about £500-600 a month total living costs depending on how much travel you do.

Cody McKibben November 22, 2009 at 6:01 am

Yeah Dwight, Jonny & I are all neighbors in Victory Monument now! Also, John Bardos from JetSetCitizen is due to be out here in February or so.

Ash November 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm

You said you were going to do it, and here you are! Congrats!

Clearly I know where my next vacation spot is going to be.

You’re the epitome of GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!! Love it. Good luck packing in the next few weeks!

Brandon Pearce November 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Congratulations!! Just one day after you leave, on January 6, my family is making the move abroad to Costa Rica! Not sure how long we’ll stay there, but Thailand is definitely on our list in the years ahead, as well. Sounds like an awesome place. I look forward to reading posts about your experiences. Good luck in all your adventures!

Rasheed Hooda November 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm

You Go, Dude!

Don’t forget to pack your guitar so you can jam out there.

Rasheed

Lauren November 26, 2009 at 5:21 am

We leave day after tomorrow. We are in Chiang Mai right now…I HIGHLY recommend it as a possible place to set up living quarters for a while. Cheap, laid-back atmosphere. Very expat friendly. Earlier this week, we spent some time in Railay. I highly recommend it as an easy weekend trip from anywhere in Bangkok. Fly into Krabi and then take a long-tail boat to Railay. A-MA-ZING.

NomadicNeil November 26, 2009 at 5:27 am

Make sure you drop by Koh Lanta (island in the south of Thailand)

Financial Samurai November 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Congrats on pulling the trigger Sean! What is the business you plan to do? Is it monetizing this site?

Cheers,

Sam-urai

Joe December 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Hey there Sean. I googled “I’m moving to thailand” and your page came up. I too am moving to Thailand in March of 2010. I’m doing it for similar reasons to the ones you listed. Plus, I have the added benefit of moving into my best friend’s apartment when I get to Bangkok. He left for a three month trip September 2008 and never came back.

I’ve in-fact been to Thailand several times. From what I’ve observed its an awesome place to live. I’m hoping to stay out there a year or longer depending on if I’m able to generate income, obligations in the US, etc.

Feel free to hit me up if you want to share ideas and kick the ball around.

Good luck!

Joe

Kyle December 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

“If you had asked me a month ago what my plan for the new year was, I probably would have said it was a 6 month+ backpacking trip through Central and South America.”
Lol, that is exactly what I am doing right now, though maybe for longer. I’ve been in Xela, Guatemala for the past 3 weeks and after Christmas I plan on going down to El Salvador. I’m wanting to set up internet businesses while I am traveling, so I am staying at various places for a month or more then moving to the next place.
Ultimately I would like to find a place I truly want to settle in. I don’t have any concrete plans when it comes to that. The goal is a place that it really to my suiting.
Good luck with your travels and lifestyle design!
Kyle

Tim December 9, 2009 at 10:25 am

Congrats Sean! that sounds like a blast. I just got back from Thailand Saturday, having spent 3 days on Koh Phi Phi, 4 days in Koh Samui, and 5 days in Bangkok. It is definitely an exciting place to be. I would recommend checking out the Grand Palace and Chinatown in Bangkok – they were the highlights for me. Koh Samui was definitely the winner as far as the islands go – beauty, relaxed pace, good food, etc. It is hard to beat!

You’ll have a great time.

T

Colin Burns December 21, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Hi Sean,

I just started reading your blog. About 4 months ago my wife and I (plus 2 kids in tow [a 2.5 & 4.5 year old]) decided to change our lifestyle and become more location independent. We leave Australia on about the 9th of Feb and head up to Asia for, well however long we like!!! From there we will head over to Central and South America before hopefully buying an RV and travelling around North America. We don’t know exactly what we’ll do or when we’ll do it, but a laptop in tow should be all I need to make a living whilst travelling the world and spending heaps of time with our young children.

We’ll be heading through Thailand so I’ll be sure to touch base, perhaps we can have a beer together :) . I have followed you on Twitter – I’m @ccburns.

I look forward to reading your other posts.

Cheers,
Colin

Jenna December 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Thailand is so much fun! Def. check out Ko Samui. And Cabbages and Condoms in Bangkok. Let me know if you need more suggestions.

Elke Gunst February 4, 2010 at 4:45 am

Just wondering, did your girlfriend move with you? Or how are you dealing with that?

Nate April 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Hi…I’m moving to Thailand in 10 days. I know it’s terrible timing due to the current situation. Just wondering how it’s working out for you.

Victor November 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

Come to Thailand but remember…you can only stay for 15 ot 30 days otherwise you need to buy an appropriate permit. Check with the nearest Thai Consulate. You cannot work and that includes a BLOG that makes money – it is regularly checked. Make sure you have full medical insurance – not a travel insurance that limits you to a number of days – that too is checked via your passport….but come and see….

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