In this guide I will teach you how to give up everything you’ve ever loved or valued to become a digital nomad in Thailand.
This is not a decision to be taken lightly.
You are sacrificing your friends, family, job, benefits, medical insurance and all of your winter wardrobe.
Of course, there are many good reasons to travel the world with a laptop.
Not least the opportunity to brag about it, every day, to anybody who will listen.
As every digital nomad knows, the hardest part of this journey is taking that first baby step.
Don’t worry, though, daydreamers. D’Bag is here to help.
Making The Decision
“How do I know for sure that I need to go and find myself on an expensive foreign adventure?”
If you really want to find yourself as a person, you can’t go to Spain. It has to be somewhere in Asia, and you must remain at least 100 meters from any Sheratons at all costs.
Besides, it’s a proven fact that getting smashed in South East Asia, surrounded by fellow Non-Thais, is marginally cheaper than the same act in Majorca, Tenerife, or Kavos. If we just discount the airfare.
You’ll know when you’re doing it right — you’ll hear the sweet racket of Chang’d-up Aussies all around you.
Being around Thai people will also help you grow as a person.
Petting a baby elephant in the wild, for example, is more than an adventure; it’s a statement to your Facebook Friends:
“Guys, it’s 7am for you, and I’m already feeding bamboo to a wild beast. #LIVING.”
Coming Out To Your Loved Ones
Ultimately, your loved ones need to know that you will not accept their time-failed choice of staying put in successful careers, in homes that they own, in communities where they belong.
- Life is about making immediate changes, whenever you can.
- Life is donning a wig to ‘Ladies Drink Free Night’, just because you can.
- Life is exploring Laos at least once per quarter.
Not everybody will understand this will to live. We must stand firm as we address the unbelievers.
The key is to be passive, but also aggressive.
“Mum, I’m moving to Thailand.”
“Why would you want to do that?”
“Because I am not designed for my 9-5.”
“But son, how will you make a living?”
“I will earn money from the Internet while blogging about my success.”
“And if that doesn’t work?”
“Digital nomads aren’t supposed to work, Mum. That’s the point. We are born to travel. Live free. Eat cheap. Sleep in somebody else’s Maid’s Quarters.”
You may detect a sense of slight disbelief as your friends and family come to terms with this revelation.
They will have questions, for which you will have no obvious answers.
Now is a good time to leave the room, pack your bags, and get heavily vaccinated.
Getting to Bangkok
Once you arrive at Suvarnabhumi (via overnight stay in Delhi), freshly minted with a triple-entry tourist visa, your first assignment will be to assess the lay of the land.
For this, we use the trusted authority on all things Thailand:
Register an account, upload a creepy avatar and start networking immediately.
The best way to endear yourself to this community is to offer marriage counselling tinged with outbursts of “I hate white women, too.”
Understand that while the majority of ThaiVisa is held together by Viagra and steel plated hips, these philosophers do know a thing or two about what it means to embrace famine abroad.
Their wisdom will prove invaluable on your bus trips to Cambodia.
At no point should you reveal your true intentions.
“I’m a Digital Nomad who works on the Internet.”
Everybody knows the ThaiVisa Forum is set in 1974 — any mention of the Internet will be treated with disbelieving guffaws.
Digital Nomad Career Options
At some point in your transition to successful Digital Nomad, you will need to consider income.
Income is a touchy subject for many of us.
The key is to ensure that you have enough of it to survive in the wild, without compromising your true belief that it is better to be poor and free than rich and on holiday.
Here are some career options.
1. Become a travel writer.
You don’t need to be a great writer to be a great travel writer.
You don’t even need to travel.
You simply need to record your mundane thoughts, wherever you go, whenever you go there.
Remember to project these thoughts to all available social networks as soon as you fall inside the perimeter of a workable Wifi connection.
As everybody knows, travel is a waste of everybody’s time without at least 50 likes.
2. Compete at much lower rates on UpWork/oDesk.
Now that you have left your Western home, you can afford to bid for freelance projects on much lower rates than would have been acceptable in your past life.
If previously you were willing to work for $20 per hour, now you can be thrilled at $10.
If previously you would work 40 hours per week, now you can try 80.
This is part of understanding the new culture, AKA forgetting your previous culture.
Remember: It is healthy to be in financial decline. Especially in your 20s.
3. Become an English teacher
Because nothing says digitally nomadic like “I look after 45 kids, five days per week.”
4. Offer life consulting
Digital Nomads need to recognise that, literally, millions of people would also give up everything they love to follow in our footsteps… if only they knew how.
Sprinkle your Facebook feed with a steady onslaught of sunset photos and cocktails on the beach.
Share any negative headline you can find about your former home, complete with token snide remark that you won’t be returning anytime soon.
As the proletarians slowly accept your superior lifestyle in a distant land, they will start to inquire:
“How can I become digitally nomadic too?”
“Can I get started being homeless on $100 per month?”
At this point, hit them with the left hook.
“I’ll tell you everything I know, for a small fee…”
Just remember, the key to a long and fruitful career as a Digital Nomad Life Consultant is to ensure that nobody — absolutely nobody — gets to meet you.
We are nothing without mystique.