12 Reasons Why You Should Visit Thailand Before You Move There
Don’t even think about moving to Thailand before you haven’t traveled to this country at least once.
I am serious. You also don’t buy a car before the first test drive.
It sill fascinates me that some guys think that Thailand is this magical place where milk and honey flow.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s true that living in Thailand can be beautiful and fulfilling. But it’s not the utopia that some people expect.
How do I know that?
Well, I live in Thailand. And I am in a relationship with a wonderful Thai woman who I love with all my heart.
I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and I know from my own experience that there are at least 12 reasons why you should visit Thailand before you move there…
- You Shouldn’t Believe Everything People Say
Do you know what my mother did when I told her that I’m going to move to Thailand?
She freaked out. She was afraid that her son would die in this terrible Third World Country. She’s never been to Thailand and she doesn’t’ know it any better.
If you ask ten people about living in Thailand you get ten different answers.
It’s important that you make your own experiences and form your own opinion. The only way to do this is by seeing this country and its people with your own eyes.
- Seeing isn’t the Same as Experiencing
The second types of people who plan to move to Thailand without knowing anything about the country are the ones who watch one or two documentaries. This is even more dangerous than asking your mother.
There are only two types of documentaries about Thailand. You either see a paradisiac beach with happy tourists, or you see a group of sleazy men in go-go bars.
That’s the picture that you get from Thailand when you rely on documentaries. You see nothing about the incredible culture, the food and the wonderful women who have never worked in a bar.
Don’t move to a country before you know the whole picture.
- It’s Not as Cheap as You Might Think
Since Mark Wiens from Migrantology published his famous article about living in Bangkok on $285.06 per month, everyone thinks that Bangkok is the cheapest place on earth.
Well, yes and no.
You can live extremely cheap in Bangkok and even cheaper when you go to the countryside. To be honest, I never spend more than $700 a month. But I’m a minimalist and if you want a Western standard of living, $285.06 is not enough.
I’m a big fan of Mark’s writing, but there are too many people who think that they can live like that even though they can’t.
You need to know how much money you really need and the only way to find this out is by living there for a certain time and documenting your expenses.
- It Takes Time to Save Up Money
I can’t even tell you how many people I met on meetups in Bangkok who told me that they recently moved to Bangkok. I just have to ask one simple question and I know immediately if they have the chance to make it.
“How much money do you have saved up?”
If the answer is “less than $1000”, I already know that they won’t make it, at least when they don’t have a job.
Getting a job or building a business takes time.
My advice: Visit Thailand, see if you like it and save up some money before you move there.
- It Takes Time to Learn the Language
Can you live in Thailand without learning Thai?
Yes you can, but then please don’t complain when you have to pay more for certain things, or when you can’t find Thai friends.
It takes time to learn the language. I’m still struggling. But if I hadn’t traveled to Thailand before moving there, I would have never realized that learning Thai is so important.
- You Need to Take a Look behind the Mask
It’s easy to spot someone who just arrived in Thailand for the first time. The sentence “I can’t believe that everyone is so friendly” says it all.
The expats who live in Thailand know that not every smile is honest and that some Thai people wear a mask of friendliness, especially when they talk to foreigners.
Believe me, it’s very important that you travel to Thailand and look behind the mask, before you make deals with the wrong people and marry the wrong girl.
- You Need to Familiarize Yourself With the Thai Culture
Thailand has an amazing culture, but it’s different from the culture you and I were born and raised in.
Without traveling to Thailand and without experiencing the cultural difference, you will never know if you really want to live there.
Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the Thai culture before you move to this beautiful country.
- Being a Tourist is not the same as Being an Expat
Life is always easy when you are on vacation.
It’s easy to say that Thailand is a paradise when you sit on the beach, sip cocktails and get a foot massage. But that’s not real life.
Tourists can relax on the beach all day, but unless you inherit a fortune, you can’t do the same as an expat. And to be honest, relaxing at the beach can get boring pretty fast.
If you think that living the tourist life in Thailand is the same as living the expat life, you are up for a surprise.
- You Need to Understand that Not all Thai Women are the Same
What I’m about to say now could save your life.
I’m not joking. You wouldn’t be the first guy who messes up his life because he falls in love with the wrong Thai girl.
I already told you that I am in a relationship with a wonderful Thai woman. But have I also told you that she comes from a wealthy family, is educated and financially independent?
She’s the complete opposite of the type of girls that most Western men end up dating. Yes, I am talking about bar girls.
Visit Thailand and see the difference for yourself. It might save your life.
- Delicious Food Can Be Dangerous
You shouldn’t move to Thailand before you haven’t tried the delicious Thai food. And no, I don’t just say this because the food is so good.
I also say this because the food can be dangerous. If you eat street food all day long, you can easily ruin your health. If you’ve never been to Thailand you might not know it but the hygiene standards on street food stands are not the best.
Try the local food before you decide to move there. You don’t want to spend your new life on the toilet.
- You can Make Friends Before You Move Abroad
When I traveled to Thailand for the first time, I went on one meetup after another. In fact, I met so many people that I now have more friends in Thailand than in my home country.
The fact that I already had a social circle in this country made it so much easier for me to pack my suitcase and to move there.
Honestly, I wouldn’t want to move to a new country without knowing anybody.
- You Can Talk to People Who Tell You the Truth about Living in Thailand
This is the most important reason of all.
Not every website, blog and documentary about Thailand tells you the truth. And don’t even get me started on the advice from people who have never been in this country.
In order to decide whether or not you really want to move to Thailand, you have to talk to people who tell you the truth.
Travel to Thailand, meet a few expats, and listen to what they have to say. That’s maybe the best advice I can give you.
(This article was written by Sebastian Harris. Sebastian is the mind behind GlobalSeducer and has guest blogged for well known websites such as Lifehack.org, Elite Daily and Thought Catalog. A maestro in his own respect, it’s a real pleasure to have him on here sharing some gold nuggets of advice with you.)