Thailand has become the place that you visit on holiday and never want to leave. And for a lot of us, we don’t! It has that hold on you and won’t let you go. For years and years westerners have been travelling to Phuket and settling down and calling it home, and we don’t blame them! Summer all year round, beach on your doorstep, cheap living and friendly people… sounds like a dream to us. But living as an expat in Thailand is very different to visiting as a tourist. The honeymoon wears off and real life sets in!
If you’ve got a profession, for example a doctor, teacher or project manager, chances are you’ll be able to slot in just fine. Working for an established company often means that they can sponsor you and help you apply for a work permit which allows you to earn money in Phuket.
If you’re a digital nomad and do all of your work remotely online, then Phuket and Chiang Mai are your places. All cafes have wifi and there is a huge digital nomad scene. Cafes and co-working spaces are heaving with people and become the new “office”. As this kind of work is not sponsored by a Thai based company, it’s hard to get recognised as a worker by the government and therefore harder to obtain a work permit and permanent visa, and the last thing you want to do is mess with the Thai authorities! So do your research and make sure you’re prepared before coming to work in Thailand.
As an expat living in Thailand earning Thai money, you start to become more aware prices. Visiting as a tourist from a western country, everything from food, to transport and accommodation is cheap! However once you break the barrier and step into the expat life, things seems less cheap and budgets start happening.
Expats have the time and means to immerse themselves into Thai culture and local Thai people. You become friends with Thai’s rather than just seeing them as workers, and you get to learn the hidden streets and gems rather than the main tourist hotspots.
Thailand is a dream place to live as an expat, but always do your research and come prepared!