From the time I began traveling on my own at the age of 17, I have heard from all the naysayers and those who were content to travel from their homes in the U.S. to another state, or Canada or Mexico. When I first moved here, my friends and family questioned my motives. Some believe if you move to Thailand or somewhere else in the world, there is something wrong. You must have a reason for running away.
Yes, I have a reason — I want to see the world.
People who read this blog and watch my videos actually know very little about me. I have a family, my personality is straightforward and blunt, I have lived in Thailand for 18 years, and I might seem to be happy-go-lucky. Some people think they know this much and my personality on YouTube is my personality at home or out and about. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Simple as that.
What do I do every day?
I answer emails, YouTube comments, and take care of my social media — this takes and hour or two per day. Then I will write for anywhere from an hour to four hours. Sometimes I'll write something for my blog, other times I'll work on one of my books. Depends on how I feel.
Of course, I'll eat breakfast and lunch at some point, sometimes at home, sometimes around town or in The Mall. Some mornings, instead of writing, I'll pick a place to photograph, grab my bag, and go.
My YouTube videos usually take a couple hours per day to shoot, edit, and upload. Three to four times per week I'll look over my photos, edit, classify, and upload any I feel are worthwhile.
At the end of each day, or on weekends, I spend a few hours with my wife and two sons. By this time, I'm usually worn out. Whenever possible, I'll squeeze in a little private time and watch documentaries, or a movie, and conk out. If this isn't enough, I'm now including exercise into my day.
One other thing I do that takes up quite a bit of time is research. I spend hours researching projects and places I want to photograph and figuring how much is necessary to take these trips. There's a lot of little things I need to do every day — I don't know how I would do it if I were back in the US working 8-10 hours a day. But then, things would probably be quite a bit different.
What are some things people might be unaware of?
For better or worse, I am a fly by the seat of my pants sort of guy.
I love reading literature by Hemingway, Conrad, Michener, Mailer and recently, Stephen Clark.
Although I can be very lazy at times, most of the time, I work until I cannot stay awake any longer.
I am an insomniac.
I am rocker through and through, but I like blues and classical music too.
Both my wife and I are the same — we are always doing something — type A personalities.
So what's my point?
If you're young, or not of retirement age, and you plan on moving to Thailand, in this day and age you better have a plan, a back-up plan, and a second back-up plan. You should also have some marketable skills. The old days of teaching English are slowly becoming a thing of the past. For the time being, if you have a TEFL certificate and/or a degree, you can get by quite well and prosper. But in the coming years, more and more Thais will speak English and the Thai government's requirements will get more difficult. Come prepared — financially, mentally, and career wise — that's my point.