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Why I came: A retrospective on living in Thailand 1 year on.

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Its amazing that 1 year and 4 months has already past by since I packed my bags and re-located to pursue a new life. This wasn’t my first time to Thailand, as previously I had already been twice in the previous 2 years.

The Decision

At the time, I had just gone through a rough relationship. I mean rough, the stress of it caused me to experience all sorts of physical, mental and emotional problems.

The relationship finally came to an end and here I was, I had my own software related business that was already 3 years in and making enough money to support myself at least on a minimum wage if I stayed in Australia.

It was a perfect storm of conditions actually:

  1. Self supported via my income online
  2. No girlfriend to keep me down
  3. The house I was staying in was the family home, my sister moved in with her boyfriend and my mom was spending most of her days with her boyfriend. I was the only one LEFT in the house to make sure it didn’t burn down.

Then in 2015 Dec, my good friend got married to a Thai girl in Bangkok and he asked me to come up to be one of the chosen groomsman.

I had an absolute blast for those 3 weeks by myself in Bangkok. There is a lot more you can see and experience when you are travelling alone >cough< soi cowboy >cough<. The only other experience I had of Thailand was with a GF in tow…

Close friends at the wedding realized how much I was having and asked me “Why don’t you stay in Bangkok man?”

I didn’t take me long to make a decision, “yeah, why don’t I stay in Thailand, what do I have back in Aus that is better than being in here?”

Selling my shit

Eventually the wedding ended and I made my way back to Australia (via Japan of course).

It wasn’t a hard decision. I would make the surprise announcement to my shocked family.

I sold everything I owned and what I couldn’t sell I donated to the op shops.

  1. Sold my car
  2. Sold my computer/prized arcade machine
  3. Threw/donated everything else.

By the time I was done, I arrived in Thailand with just 15kg of luggage. 3kg of that was taken up by a retina mac book. 30 years+ of living in one country and I was able to reduce the totality of everything I “owned” to one checked in bag.

The best part of this process was that for every bit of clothing, furniture and momento I said goodbye too, my life felt less complicated, lighter and freer.

There really isn’t anything in life as awesome as the feeling of going light. Years of buying shit ties you down, even if you don’t realize it.

After all my affairs was tied up, I bought my one way ticket to Thailand and big bye bye to Australia.

Arrival Hall

I arrived to Bangkok just a week before the start of the Thai new year Songkran with 1 bag and 2 weeks of pre-booked accomodation at a hotel in Thonglo.

Arriving just before Songkran would prove to be a mistake as most business have reduced trading hours over the 1 week long celebration. This meant finding and talking to a real estate agent would be hard if not impossible. Consequently, my first week in Bangkok was lost to water fights, hot weather and waiting for people to go back to the office.

I knew that I wanted to stay in Bangkok and that I wanted to be central and near the cleaner more presentable part of Bangkok. This for me meant anything on Sukhumvit road starting from Asoke heading down the BTS line.

It wasn’t hard to find a real estate who spoke great english to help me out. I found her via the many apartment listing sites on Google. Once I sent a couple of emails to different companies an agent got in contact with me and she showed me around.

My initial plan was to find a place at Asoke, however it proved to be pricey at around 25k baht a month for a small apartment that was very old.

Eventually I had to give up the idea of Asoke and kept searching further down the line.

Phrompong was out of the question as there was no apartments in front of the BTS and it would be expensive for sure.

Thonglo/Ekkamai had some affordable places around 15k b a month but there was a good 10-15 minute walk from either stations which in the sweltering 30c+ heat was uncomfortable to say the least.

I knew I had to find a place in front of a BTS station no matter how far down the line away from Siam central I had to go.

Phrakanong was next up on the list, we are now 8 stations down form central, instead of the initially planned 5. I saw a nice condo but it was a sad 7 min walk from the BTS.

Next stop, Onnut.

Initially I wasn’t so sure about having to go down so far down the BTS line. It felt like I was leaving central bangkok and heading out to the boons.

The reality was this was completely rubbish as I was only 9 stops ie 25min away from Siam by BTS.

Put in another way, in Australia it would take me a train + bus journey of 1 hour for me to get from the suburbs into Melbourne city. This was normal. Even driving via the freeway was a 45min trip in no traffic.

For some reason my idea of “far” experienced some for of strange time compression once I left the land down under.

Eventually I found a great, new + clean condo right in front of the BTS for only 15k.

I was finally home!

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