There’s something about Thailand that just keeps calling us back.
Our original plan for this year was to travel through Europe taking in some of the countries that we haven’t been to before and finish the year off with a 6 month stint in the U.S. that would consist of 3 months in Vegas (yes, I did just say 3 months in Vegas!) and a 3 month road trip from the east to the west coast.
Well, seen as I’m writing this in a co-working space in Chiang Mai, it’s quite obvious that our plan didn’t go the way we originally thought it would.
Having been to Thailand on two occasions before and having lived in both Phuket and Chiang Mai, we kind of thought we were done with this place.
But, having spent most of last year in south America reminiscing about the time that we spent in Thailand, we knew deep down that a return to our favourite country in the world was inevitable.
We’ve been here 2 months already and we feel right at home.
Thailand is a country that has many faces, some of which some would argue are incredibly negative. But, for us, it’s the pluses that count and Thailand is a place that we feel happy spending time in. As a girl who finds it extremely difficult to choose an outfit to wear on a night out, let me try and put into words what I think are the Top 7 reasons to live in Thailand…
1. The people
Thai people are among the friendliest and the most gentle that we’ve encountered on our travels. Incredibly warm and genuine, it’s just a nice feeling to live among such good people. For the most part, I feel that the Thai people have embraced the large influx of expats that have flocked to their beautiful country, which for me is something I feel very thankful for.
From the girl at the seven eleven helping me to count out my small change to the man who found the keys of our scooter and tracked us down to return them to us, we experience the honesty and the kindness of the locals on a daily basis.
2. The Food
As we like to eat well and know that we can enjoy a nice meal whenever we want to, food is something that’s very important to us when we travel. I’m not being dramatic when I say that Thai cuisine will literally blow your mind.
The Thais are known for creating dishes whose ingredients, when eaten on their own, can stink and look totally unappealing, but when joined together as part of a dish, these ingredients create a fusion of mouth-watering flavours.
And if we don’t want to eat a freshly prepared papaya salad or a delicious Thai Green curry, we can just call Pizza Hut and get a takeaway delivered.
When it comes to food, for both variety and local cuisine, Thailand is waaaaaay above any other country that we’ve been to.
Like most western countries, Ireland is a country that forces its residents to abide by its infinite number of rules, regulations, fines, taxes, expectations to live a certain way and fees. So many restrictions can lead to a person feeling constrained which in turn can affect their ability to think for themselves and grow into the person that they want to be.
On the other hand, Thailand is somewhere that, despite the absence of the immense amount of regulations that we have in Ireland, the majority of people still go about their daily lives making responsible decisions and doing good.
Freedom is something that myself and Carlo strive to achieve in life – the freedom to choose how our day pans out, freedom to go where we want to go and the freedom to be able to work to build our dreams and not someone else’s.
As cliché as it may sound, we do feel a great sense of freedom here and it’s a feeling that we never take for granted.
4. Great for Business
To clear it up, Carlo wasn’t really working on top of a rock but it does make for a cool office, right?
To put working in Thailand into context…
Us + fast internet + comfy co-working spaces + awesomely smart and motivated people = Increased productivity + new business opportunities
We’ve only been here a little over 2 months and our online businesses have flourished and we’re already in the early stages of starting a brand new business venture that we’re very excited about.
The people whom we’ve met in Chiang Mai over the past 2 months alone have inspired us in so many ways and we’ve learned so much valuable information that we will take with us and use to better our businesses and ourselves. Charlie & Brittany from TheTradingTravelers, Adam & Hannah from GettingStamped and Dave from TravelDave have all played a big part in making our time here in Chiang Mai so productive and enjoyable so big thanks to them! Being away from family and friends is difficult at times, so it’s nice to have found friends that we really click with.
5. Cheap Living
I love that our money goes so much further in Thailand than it did in any other place that we’ve visited.
Although some say it’s difficult to find cheap short-term apartment rental in Chiang Mai, we used a really good Real Estate agent and had zero problems. Our apartment is in an excellent location, it has all the amenities that we wanted and it comes in at a cost of €420/$470 per month, which is pretty darn good.
I love the fact that I can pop into one of the salons and get a manicure, a pedicure and a 1-hour massage for less than €15.
And after feeling like we were constantly watching what we ate in south America due to the cost of eating out, it’s nice to be able to go out for dinner without worrying about how expensive it’s going to be.
While we’re on the subject of money, we’re currently using some excellent software called YNAB to track our finances and we’ve decided to give our email subscribers access to detailed monthly income reports that will go into depth about how we manage our money and the cost of living in Thailand.
(Interested in knowing more? You can sign up here!)
From paradise islands to lush forestry, the landscape in Thailand is simply stunning! Need I say anymore?
7. Feeling Alive
As strange as it may sound to some, walking down a busy market street in Thailand feeling the constant fear of being hit by a tuk-tuk or a piece of flying fruit makes me feel alive.
There’s no logic explanation for ‘feeling alive’, but for me it’s the feelings, experiences and the things that make me feel energised and passionate and get’s me thinking about life and the many different aspects of it.
It’s May 3rd and my calendar tells me that we’ve got 3 months left before we leave for India and I already feel kind of sad about leaving. Our plan for the rest of our time in Thailand is to enjoy it and make the most out of all of the above while being careful to appreciate every single day of this not-so-normal life that we’re living.
Drop us a comment if you have anything related to this post that you’d like to share with us!