If I move to Thailand what job can I do? Is it nice living outside of Bangkok? What about my children? It safe to live in Thailand? Is there hot water? Have you ever been bitten by a snake? The list goes on.
My answer is always the same - I can't possible tell you if you should move to Thailand, it depends on personal circumstances.
In the past I've recommended reading blogs in Thailand as they are often excellent sources of information. Bloggers covers many issues of life here, the good, the bad (the ugly?), regularly reading a number of blogs can help paint a picture of what life in Thailand *could be*...but again, it really depends on each individual.
This post is the first of two combining typical 'moving to Thailand questions' with the wealth of knowledge and experience in the Thai blogosphere.
I've asked a few questions to two bloggers who are planning a big move to Thailand. If you're making, considering the move yourself their opinions may be of interest.
So first up here is Talen from Thailand, Land Of Smiles.
The man behind the hugely popular (and recommended) Thailand, Land Of Smiles blog, Talen.
You are living in the USA at present but with aspirations of moving to Thailand. What is it that makes you want to move to Thailand?
Everything! The weather, food, culture and definitely the beautiful women. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I definitely feel like a better version of me when in Thailand. I can't put a finger on it but I think it has a lot to do with learning about and exploring the country. It's all so new and crisp and there is always something around every corner to delve into.Why are you waiting to rather than moving to Thailand straight away?
Originally I was going to make the move to Thailand 2 years ago but my mother became ill and soon passed away followed by my father's cancer returning. So, my plans were put on hold while I helped to take care of my parents.Do you have a plan or timeline for making the big move?
My father just recently passed away and as soon as the family takes care of the last of the estate issues I'll be leaving for Thailand. I'm hoping to hit the ground sometime in late July or early August.When did you first release your desire to live in Thailand full time?
Right after my second trip to Thailand in 2007.
My first trip was great but that was the first vacation I had in a very long time so I spent most of my time in bars. The second trip I really started to see the country and the cultural aspects of Thailand and I just knew this was the place I wanted to be.
I was talking about Thailand so much to anyone that would listen that I had to start the blog so I wouldn't keep annoying people.How often do you visit Thailand?
Aside from the past year I had been going to Thailand at least every six months since my first visit in 2006.
Talen and his other half Pookie
Do you have plans to work whilst living in Thailand? If not how do you plan to support you and your partner, Pookie, in LOS?
I've saved a nice nest egg to get me going and have been building a blogging empire (joke), But I do have a few blogs going that are starting to turn a decent profit that I am hoping I can live off of in the future.
If all else fails I can always be the second or third falang Kathoey to shake my stuff around Pattaya :)Hmmm...lets hope this doesn't inspire anyone, Talen.
Do you have any advice for those considering a full-time move to Thailand?
Definitely do your homework and make sure this is something you really want to do. Visit Thailand as much as possible and for as long as possible before you make the move so you understand what you are getting into.
The language barrier and cultural differences are a big stumbling block for many would be expats. I've spent a good bit of time up country in Issan as well as the more traveled areas of Bangkok and Pattaya and I have yet to run into anything that would put me off...including cold showers and squat toilets in Mukdahan.
Also keep in mind that while a lot of things like food and shelter in Thailand are very cheap by western standards there will be other expenses that won't be and shouldn't be neglected like health insurance, visa's and car or motorbike insurance if you live anywhere that isn't easily accessible to public transportation.
Another thing to consider is having a bailout plan. You never know whats going to happen with the government and visa rules have a way of changing quickly in Thailand.With the events of the last few months, I posed an additional question which is probably going through the mind of anyone considering a visit to Thailand, let alone coming to live here.
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?
Not in the slightest. Knowing I will be living in Red shirt country might add an air of danger, considering some of the conversations I have been having with Pookie over the last few weeks, but I don't think that I would
be worried about my personal safety at all. Besides I just got a new DSLR and I'm itching for some good pictures.
With the protests now all across the northeast it might give me a better perspective on the ground even though I have very real doubts about the UDD leadership. In all seriousness though I really hope for Thailand's sake that the worst is behind us and somehow the people can move forward and repair the damage somehow and get back to being known for the smiles instead of the violence.A big thank you to Talen. My condolences for your recent losses, I'm with you that right now family is one of the few things that would move me and the family back in the UK. In time, we shall see though.
Good luck with the packing and planning, Talen.
Check back later to this week to see which blogger's answers are part 2 of this mini-series.
UPDATE: By "later this week", I in fact mean next week (tease) as tomorrow is Friday already. My excuse? Am in Malaysia on a extended break, somewhat out of sync from the norm.