I have now been living in the land of smiles for over 15 years (shocking how time flies) and every year I value the decision to do so more and more. In fact I would go as far as to say that it’s the best decision I have ever made. I went from being a ski instructor in the French Alps to a teacher in BK earning 30,000 Baht a month. Some said I was crazy but it set me on the path to where I am now: a job where I get to help others create their ideal tropical lifestyle and having a beautiful family whom I love to the stars and back. The thai lifestyle is so ingrained to my being that there are some things I just could not live without and if i went back to life in the UK I would suffer without these things. I am going to leave out the weather as it’s a blatantly obvious one.
Number 1: Muay Thai
My life is very busy with work and family so I very much value any ‘me’ time I get and this time is usually time in the gym. Not only is Muay Thai great exercise it’s also very therapeutic. There is nothing to make you live in the moment more than avoiding getting punched in the face. It’s great for body and mind and you also learn how to defend yourself. Also, the whole culture around the sport is quite a thing to be a part of. I feel privileged to be able to train with these athletes and the whole camaraderie that goes with these spaces. Martial arts gyms are some of the most open accepting environments I have ever witnessed: it doesn’t matter if you are black, brown, white, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, athesist, we are all there for the same reason.
Number 2: Thai Massage
Closely related to number 1. If you are very active getting a Thai massgae at least once a week is beneficial to not only your physical health but your mental health too. There is nothing like switching off for a couple of hours while being ironed by a strong Thai lady. It can be quite a spiritual experience.
A 2 hour Thai massage is usually around 300-400 baht which is about 1/10 of what it would cost in the UK. If I went back to the Uk I would not be having a Thai massage every week which is quite a depressing thought indeed.
Number 3: Eating Out
This is quite possibly my favourite thing about living in Thailand: it’s so cheap and easy to eat out. The idea of eating out every day in the UK would be absurd; after spending a couple of weeks there in April it’s easy to see why. Bog standard fare is about 4 times the price of great food here in Thailand. With my life being so busy I am big on convenience so it’s so nice not to have to worry about cooking at home every night.
Number 4: Cheap Petrol
Self-explanatory: to fill my car up is about 1/3 of the price that it is in Europe. Plus here they fill it up for you, clean your windscreen and give you a free bottle of water. Happy days.
Number 5: Having a Swimming Pool
Whether you own or rent most expats in Thailand have a pool in their garden and it’s amazing. I swim in my pool twice a day, once in the morning for exercise to wake me up and then in the afternoon with my kids after they get home from school. It’s a great tool for getting them moving and away from screens 🙂