Money Infant

Baby Steps to Financial Freedom

How it All Started (Thailand Tuesday Installment #1)

Several readers have been surprised that I am writing from Thailand and that it is a permanent move for us, not just a vacation. I’ve had questions about why Thailand and how did I decide on Thailand as well as what the move was like and what I’m doing currently in the Land of Smiles.

So I thought why not start a weekly series where I can give you all the gory details of my love affair with Thailand, the process of setting myself up for the move, selling our stuff and saying goodbye to the States and what’s happening in our life here now.

So without further ado…

I should start at the beginning which was in 1997. I was 30 years old and had never been out of the country, but thanks to hard work and some luck I was heading off to Singapore to assist with a new office opening there for my company. Needless to say I was excited and a bit nervous.

Singapore was amazing, but even more amazing was the side trip planned by one of the companies directors. The last weekend in Singapore he suggested we headed to Bangkok for a long weekend. It was a short 2 hour flight and we would be back Monday for work. Holy cripes I thought, Bangkok. I was just getting adjusted to my time in Singapore and now I was off to Bangkok, the fabled sin city of SE Asia. Of course I agreed and we headed off to Singapore Airlines to book tickets. The next morning we were in the air and on our way.

Truly I had no idea what to expect from Bangkok short of insanity. You remember that song “One Night in Bangkok“? Well so did I and I had visions of debauchery and endless parties. It turns out that is part of Bangkok, but it is so much more than that as I’ve learned over the years.

After landing we were whisked off to our hotel, The Mandarin Oriental. Yes, one of the top hotels in the world. It was good to be traveling with a company director.

A short time later, checked in and showered up I got my first real impression of Bangkok. I still remember stepping out the doors from the air conditioned and mildly British Colonial atmosphere of the Oriental. It was like being tossed into a sauna and punched in the face all at once. Even though it was December (supposedly the cool season), the heat and humidity was phenomenal. After 5 minutes I was covered in sweat, but to tell the truth I hardly noticed. Bangkok was alive.

One thing you immediately notice is the press of humanity on the sidewalks. Hordes of people moving both ways, stands set up seemingly everywhere and selling everything from the expected food items to clothes and shoes, dvd’s, souvenirs and all manner of other items. Then the sounds hit you…a constant murmur of foreign voices, motorcycle engines, horns and bells and traffic and yells. Almost simultaneously you notice the strange smells, some delicious, some exotic and some downright repellant. This is how Bangkok assaults your every sense when you take to her streets for the first (and even the 100th) time.

And in that moment I fell in love with the city. Some might claim it to be bright lights, big city syndrome but I had been to New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC and most recently Singapore. All great cities in their own right, but none capturing my heart like Bangkok did in that moment.

Subscribe so you can keep up with my story of falling in love with Bangkok, planning to move there from the States and finally making the leap and how it has affected me since. Look for part 2 in your inbox or RSS reader next Tuesday.

16 Responses to “How it All Started (Thailand Tuesday Installment #1)”

  1. Modest Money says:

    I’ve always dreamed of one day moving somewhere foreign to run my online business. Other than the costly move, it would be a great way to cut back on expenses and pay less tax. I’m interested to hear more about the decision to actually move permanently to Thailand.

  2. Nick says:

    Very cool stuff. Can’t wait to hear parts 2 through…

  3. retirebyforty says:

    Bangkok can definitely cause sensory overload. Asian cities are so much more lively than American cities. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, Seoul, are always so full of people at all hours. Maybe I can drop by and say hi the next time I’m in town. :)
    Can you write a bit about the education plan for your children? That would be my biggest worry.

    • Sure feel free to drop by next time you’re in town. We have a little while until our daughter will be in school, but yes we have been planning and yes I will certainly be writing about it.

  4. Mike Hunt says:

    Hi MI-

    What are you doing out here in BKK? I’ve been living out here for 6 years already since moving from the USA- basically have been in senior level mgmt positions every year. Am in a position to retire soon, if not now, but am still employed so am sucking it up for the 12-14 hour day each day.


    • Just enjoying myself Mike. Playing with the baby, writing and socializing online, enjoying the lowered stress levels, taking advantage of the cheap beach destinations and myriad of delicious foods and occasionally enjoying the great nightlife. If you are in a senior management position then you are probably living a pretty good life here in Bkk :-) I’m sure your weekends make it worthwhile to suck up the 12-14 hour days.

      • Mike Hunt says:

        Normally we do get away about once a month and do 2-3 trips abroad each year. Really like to get out of the country over Songkran, after enjoying it in country one year, it gets pretty old- Bangkok is dead quiet and everybody is on the roads- too much…

        This weekend will be a trip out to Pattaya.

        Are you learning the language?



        • We get away maybe once every 6 weeks. It’s tough and somewhat stressful to travel with a 20 month old anyway so we are mostly better off just staying and treating ourselves on the weekends. As far as traveling abroad…again the 20 month old and the 20 hour trip to get here put us off on any long plane trips for some time.

          Been here 4 times for Songkran and still enjot it. This will be the first time for my daughter and we are quite looking forward to it.

          I am slowly learning the language. Thank goodness so many in Bkk speak Engrish!

  5. Taline says:

    Kudos to you for making the move! I wish you and your family the best out there! I will be looking forward to your updates :)

    • Thanks Taline. So far it’s been scary, exciting, fun, stressful and most of all incredible! Hopefully the updates won’t disappoint.
      And good luck to you in building your real estate empire!

  6. Shilpan says:

    Sounds like a great decision. Good luck!

  7. Aloysa @ My Broken Coin says:

    Wow. I am surprised. I did not realize you were in Thailand. I would love to go there one day. Actually I am planning to travel to Asia next year (if we can afford it.) We wanted to go in May. Is it a really bad time to go: rainy season and all?

    • Yes, please come and visit Thailand it is a beautiful country with wonderful people. May isn’t too bad rain wise, but it is the 2nd worst month heat wise. Temps during the day over 100F and humidity of 80%+. If the heat doesn’t bother you too much then May is a good time to come because it is out of season and everything is cheaper.

  8. Financial Samurai says:

    I look forward to reading this entire series.

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