As follow-up to last week’s Q&A with Talen, from Thailand, Land of the Smiles, we have a new soon-to-be expat in the hot seat.
Using himself as a live human guinea pig for aspiring birds looking to fly south and settle in Thailand, he are the experiences and opinions from a top blogger...Martyn, aka Hoo Don, from Beyond The Mango Juice – another Thailand blog which comes hugely recommended from yours truly.
The man himself, Leo beer in hand
You are living in the UK at present but with aspirations of moving to Thailand. What is it that makes you want to move to Thailand?
I've been travelling to Thailand for over ten years and fell in love with the country on my first trip, first day is probably the truth. I love the easy laid back way of life in the Land of Smiles and the warm sunshine is a huge bonus too. I'd be lying if I said money doesn't come into it because it does, even at today's poor exchange rate my UK pound still has a lot of value to me in Thailand.
Why are you waiting to rather than moving to Thailand straight away?
Money. Quite simply I don't have enough savings or equity in my property to make any move long term. When I do spread my wings and fly I want it to be forever and one day more. The thought of returning to England years later with no money and having to find work at say 60 years of age frightens me. Being skint with lots of wrinkles is really scary.
Do you have a plan or timeline for making the big move?
I have a stock answer instead of a plan. In about three years time. Ask me the same question next week, next year, in two years time and I'll give you the same stock answer. When I do make the move I think it's going to be a spur of the moment decision. Wham, bam, here I go. I've always been a gambler and I'm currently trying to load the dice in my favour, believe me one day I'm going to throw them.
‘Wham bam’ was very much the approach the missus and I took when moving over from London, though a rough plan had been in place for a while. Has served us well to date...I’m not much of a planner whereas she is a woman.
When did you first realize your wanted to live in Thailand full time?
Literally from day one, when fit young women chase you down the road screaming 'sexy man' it kind of makes your mind up.
I’ve never been chased down the road (ladyboys not included), am I living in the wrong place? Well given I’m a (happily) taken man we can safely same I’m in the right place. Or perhaps just not chaseable?
How often do you visit Thailand?
Three times a year. Generally April or May, every September and Christmas. I have had extended stays in Thailand in the past of a couple of months and my longest stay was four months. Nowadays work commitments allow me a total of about 7-8 weeks in Thailand each year.
Do you have plans to work whilst living in Thailand? If not how do you plan to support you and Wi?
I would love to find work in Thailand but basically I haven't got the skills they require. I have thought about taking a TEFL course and teaching English but I believe you need a university degree to legally teach English in Thailand. That's something I haven't got and I really can't see any other work opportunities for me out there.
To support myself and Wonderful Wi I would need savings and income from renting out my property once the mortgage has been paid off. Putting a question like that to me makes me wonder if I'll ever make it to Thailand full time. You bastard (joking).
Frustrating though it may be, the rental income approach is a proven one which a few people I know use to supplement additional incomes. Worth the wait in gold...or, indeed, Thai Baht.
Martyn and his other half Wi
Do you have any advice for those considering a full-time move to Thailand?
My advice is in one of my previous answers and that's simply make sure you have enough money to survive until you reach a good old age. And one day more.
Given the recent political turmoil in Thailand, which has claimed more than sixty lives, do you find yourself reconsidering your decision to move to Thailand?
My move is a few years away but if it was next week then I'd try to rebook the flight for tomorrow. The current crisis which is suffocating Thailand has been building to a head for a number of years and so I have weighted that into my thoughts for a long time now. The UK government issued a warning not to travel to Thailand shortly before my trip this month but I knew I'd be 100% safe and that proved to be the case. Most countries have their own threat of 'terrorism' and I consider Thailand's scenario to be a lesser threat that most other countries, and that includes the UK.
Give me a half decent pension and as the song says 'I'll be there.'
A big thanks (and good luck with planning) for Martyn for these responses from a while back. This post was delayed so long it began to rival an ASEAN summit meeting.
As stated last week, this interviews serve to answer of one most frequently asked questions (to me, at least) – “should I move to Thailand” – all responses and discussions are therefore welcome.