Being a digital nomad for several years was one of the most enriching experiences in my life, and I would say our time spent living in Chiang Mai in Thailand were an essential part of that whole experience.
Chiang Mai was ground zero for digital nomads back then, although now there are many other good options. It was the platform we needed to both launch me and my wife’s life together as a couple as well as grow our business.
No wonder I think back very fondly of our time in Chiang Mai and Thailand in general.
However nowadays I’m seeing a trend of too many people being sold the dream of living in paradise and earning money with little or no skills.
I also think that perhaps the Thai government have not handled the increased interest from foreigners that well. People wanting to go to Thailand and work from there have a harder time now getting visas and the exchange rates are not as good as they once were, decreasing the overall attractiveness of the place.
My word of warning is that Thailand and other Asian countries are not necessarily the paradise that Instagrammers describe. Life is rougher there in many ways than what you are used to back home in Europe or the US. You will need to adapt and you better have some savings and skills if you want to live comfortably without worries and actually enjoy the good sides of these places.
I think the video below sums the point I’m getting to quite well:
Basically, if you want to be a digital nomad, by all means consider it and explore the options, but do it because it actually fits in with your goals and ideals and not because other people are promoting it as the ultimate lifestyle.
What works for them will not necessarily work for you, reality is not always what it looks like on Instagram, and nothing comes for free. You will have to work hard and adapt yourself in many ways, but if you can do that it can be a very enriching experience that will serve you very well for the rest of your life, whether you decide to become a permanent traveler or settle down back in a more conventional place in the West.