In the weeks before Christmas, I flew to Shanghai with every intention to blog about my experiences, working from the Chinese metropolis. The People’s Republic of China, however, had different intentions. Here is the report of my time behind the Great Firewall. China turned out be different from what I expected and was told.
My first week of working remotely from Thailand has just come to an end: time for an initial assessment. Leaving Belgium for a 3 month stint in Thailand did feel like kind of a gamble. While packing, all sort of questions popped into my mind. Would the internet connection be up to par? Would I be able to call Belgian telephone numbers without my location being noticed? Would the time difference be problematic? Would customers notice and have objections? Would it be problematic leading a team remotely? Was I gambling with my career? Personal issues also lead to some pondering. Would I be able to adapt to living in a completely different culture? Would my rental house be adequate? Let me reassure you: all is well. More than just well. Let me tell you why.
While working in South-East Asia, or any other part of the world for that matter, it’s always sensible to get an extension cable with multiple outlets, a ground connection (3-pin plug) and especially power surge protection. It covers you a. when only one socket is available b. in case of an unstable mains supply c. in case of static build up and consequent shock. Remember: fried notebook equals one-way ticket home. The one in the picture cost about EUR 7.5.
For years I’ve been contemplating a way to spend a lot more time in Thailand. My fiancée is Thai and I do love her country a lot. However, I am not insanely well-off, am not planning to retire any time soon, do not wish to bail on my succesful carreer, nor do I want to forfit my situation in Belgium or do I resent my home country. Sounds like I want to have my cake and eat it too, doesn’t it? For a long time, that is exactly what I thought. But at a certain point I stopped researching other people’s solutions online and started paving my own way to the Land of Smiles. I’ll explain my approach in this post and take you along for the ride, with my feet firmly on Thai soil. You’ve guessed it, I have succeeded in my goal. 🙂 My objective is to inspire more people to chase their dream. This story will be most helpful for people in their late twenties to mid fourties, when retirement is still far away and a carreer path has been established.
As some of you might already know: I’m about to spend a few months in Thailand, working as a Digital Nomad. Working remotely raises quite a few practical issues and I’m glad to share my recommendations to resolve them.
Working as a Digital Nomad in Thailand has long been in a grey legal area. Most of the remote workers have been using Tourist Visas, without (any real possibility to obtain) a Work Permit. While, in reality, such activity was de facto allowed: any such individuals were left alone or were immediately released after explaining the situation. Rumours existed that a police regulation instructed officers to allow the nomads to carry on and supposedly Police information sessions confirmed this, but no documentation ever surfaced. Recently, the Thai Council of State straightened this out. Excellent news! All details are available if you continue reading.
Kingdom properties currently offers a 20 year Visa (well, 4x 5 year multiple entry) if you buy a condominium in Pattaya. Apparently this also includes the Thailand Elite membership with more benefits. Eventhough buying a not-yet-existing condo on a plan, remains a bad idea … it does show promise for the future. On a similar note: I am preparing a breakthourgh article about Visa requirements for Digital Nomads. Stay tuned! More info about the condo-visa scheme on Coconuts Bangkok, Property Guru and Pattaya Property.