It all started when the guys at Monetize Pros advertised a marketing apprenticeship position in Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of the main buzzing hubs for potential and existing digital nomads. I knew being in Chiang Mai would expose me to many high calibre people; therefore, I knew I had to get this job. All I had to do was find my way there, acquire a place of my own and they would provide me with not just a job, but an amazing opportunity in which I would be able to travel and work anywhere in the world after 6 months of apprenticeship. I had no choice but to apply as of course, this sounded like my dream job!
Somehow I was able to surpass 30 other applicants who were more qualified than I was, they had better skills and more experience but what made me stand out to Monetize Pros was my determination. My determination was strung from the best piece of advice that I ever received.
There are certain decisions we make in life that will dramatically affect everything and everyone around us, whether bad or good, and no doubt, moving to Thailand fell into the latter category.
Three weeks ago, I landed in Thailand, with no knowledge of what to expect. After only a few weeks here, I can certainly say I freaking love it.
If you are currently stuck in a rut and feel as if you’re missing out on something in your life, I believe that moving to a new place that is out of your comfort zone will help you find the answers you were looking for.
Here are some of the reasons why you should pack up your bags and book the next flight to Chiang Mai:
After living in Thailand for several weeks, I discovered that everything here is CHEAP and you definitely get more bang for your buck. A decent meal here only costs 50 baht. This is equivalent to $2 New Zealand dollars or $1.4 USD. At the moment, I’m living in a somewhat luxurious studio and only paying 9.5k baht/month ($380 NZD | $270 USD). However, if you’re looking for cheaper options, you can probably find what you’re looking for for around 5000 baht/month ($200 NZD | $140 USD). Getting around is also convenient and never a problem as you can hire a motorbike for 2500 baht/month ($100 NZD | $70 USD) or Uber, with each trip around 50 baht ($2 NZD | $1.4 USD).
I’m living pretty comfortably at the moment, buying all my meals, going out for drinks, and working out with access to an adequate gym. Expenses are predicted to be around $1000/month NZD for comfortable living, but with all my predictions, they tend to be nowhere close to my expectation.
2. Digital nomad / entrepreneurial community is big
My daily office is at Punspace, a co-working place (a shared office by people who are self-employed or working for different employers).
There is this quote by Jim Rohn,
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Being here, I am surrounded by so many digital nomads and entrepreneurs all hustling their way to achieving their goals. Their level of success, along with hearing their journey to independence is what I find inspiring. The community here is like a big family, with everyone being super friendly and willing to help each other out, even the fresh newcomers. Some of the well-known people in the community include Johnny FD, Chris the freelancer and my boss Karl Kangur – this dude is a badass, starting his journey at 12, he is a super smart and hard working person.
While living in New Zealand, I was never surrounded by people that had the same entrepreneurial mindset that I had. Sure, my friends are awesome, and I’m grateful to have them in my life, but they never strived to achieve something greater. They were all happy with their day job and would live for the weekend, a cycle that was never-ending. This is completely fine but to repeat this cycle week after week, it makes you question yourself, and you start to ask yourself, “is there something better that I could be doing with my time, or my life?” When I was still living in New Zealand, I was somewhat “pressured” to conform to their way of living, not because I wanted to, but because it was the only life I knew. I even had a close friend of mine tell me that I should stop being a dreamer and that I should get my heads out of the clouds.
I’m not saying that I “made it” or that I’m better than them in any disregard, but I feel that being within this community will help me reach my goals and achieve great things.
3. Interesting people and culture
The Thai culture, along with their people, is so different compared to the Western world. Even though I have been to Asia a few times in the past, there is a difference between going on a holiday and actually submerging myself in the culture by living here. I don’t know what it is but I find Thai people are generally more friendly compared to local New Zealanders back home, even if some of them try to rip you off!
Here are some things I have experienced, learned and witnessed within the Thai culture:
– Being hit on and offered to take the infamous ladyboy home.
– Being offered a happy ending after a Thai massage – I didn’t take it, I swear!
– Taxi drivers love trying to scam foreigners every chance they get.
– Bribed the police because I didn’t have a legal drivers license.
– After getting in a motorcycle accident with the police and ambulance turning up, I ended up in the back of a police pick-up truck, who ended up taking me to a shooting range.
4. Get shit done – coworking space
If you are trying to start an online business to fund for your travels, then Chiang Mai is one of the best places to set up your foundation and work your butt off.
As I mentioned before, I’m working at Punspace, a co-working space. I get so much more done here compared to working back home in New Zealand. This is because everyone is in their zone and trying to grind out as much work as they can. The office is always silent even with a room filled with 30 people. This forces me to shut up and do my work. No one typically interrupts one another because they are working for themselves. It’s sink or swim. If you don’t get work done, then you will sink and will be forced back to go home to another 9-5 job.
5. An entry way to other amazing countries
Being in Thailand, I am next door to other well-known Southeast Asian countries. This means that it’s super affordable to go and spend a few nights in another country. I could go to Vietnam for $80 NZD, Singapore $170 or Malaysia $120. A new adventure lies just around the corner, everywhere I turn.
6. Learn a lot about yourself
From my personal experience, I find I learn a lot about myself when I put myself in uncomfortable and unknown situations. Living in new places and gaining new experiences forces me to be aware and learn new things, something I would have never been able to do if I had stayed in my comfortable shell back home. What’s also great about moving to a new place, is that you gain new experiences, new friends and a new perspective of things. I’m a huge advocate for chasing new experiences over materialistic things because these moments in life is something that is priceless, and if you miss an opportunity, you may never be able to get it back.
So the conclusion is, come to Chiang Mai. Step out from your comfort zone. It doesn’t even have to be Thailand, it can be anywhere around South-East Asia, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, it can be anywhere around the world. As Confucius said,
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
You’ll thank yourself for it.
And if you’re ever in Chiang Mai, feel free to send me a message.
I will leave you with a video of my first week in Thailand and the antics we got up to before I started working.