Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Thailand
Reload this Page >

Expats working in Thailand [Split from Thailand Air Pollution problems]

Expats working in Thailand [Split from Thailand Air Pollution problems]

Reply

Old Mar 29, 19, 3:53 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 1,529
Originally Posted by nydave11 View Post
How much can these Digital Nomads be making?
I hang around some "digital nomad" web forums, and most of the new people are one major health event away from having nothing.

I see and know people that scrape up a few thousand US dollars and then travel the world until it runs out, often times picking up odd jobs here and there to eek out a few more months.

You really need to have multiple sources of passive income. If you can get a stream of $1000 a month, then yes, you can do the $20 a day challenge until you need medical treatment.
CrazyInteg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 19, 8:11 am
  #32  
Original Member, Ambassador: External Miles and Points Resources
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Digital Nomad Wandering the Earth
Programs: UA 1K/MM refugee to cheapest business class fare, SPG Lifetime Plat, CBP Global Entry, #datelife
Posts: 47,914
Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
I hang around some "digital nomad" web forums, and most of the new people are one major health event away from having nothing.

I see and know people that scrape up a few thousand US dollars and then travel the world until it runs out, often times picking up odd jobs here and there to eek out a few more months.

You really need to have multiple sources of passive income. If you can get a stream of $1000 a month, then yes, you can do the $20 a day challenge until you need medical treatment.
We've met several digital nomads/expats like that.

We took a different approach: https://readyjetroam.com/2018/11/15/...the-world-llc/

Our time in Chiang Mai was pretty much fully dedicated to sourcing 11 new SKUs from China with a goal of doubling our net profit this year: https://readyjetroam.com/2019/02/19/...in-chiang-mai/

That said, I've made a total of $3.56US affiliate income. So I'm good for about 1/5 of a day in Chiang Mai on that $20 a day budget!
kokonutz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 19, 11:30 pm
  #33  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Programs: Frontier 50K elite, EY silver, DL estranged 1MMer, Spirit VIP, AA/UA (and CO,NW) once gold now dirt.
Posts: 25,482
Originally Posted by nydave11 View Post
How much can these Digital Nomads be making? Google Adwords+ some affiliate links and maybe some Youtube views = not a lot of money. I used to live in Vegas and saw the grinders using 2/1 blackjack coupons and other gimmicks to eke out what they called a living. they were happy to not have a "job" or work for someone. I never saw so many people work so hard at not working.

If you can make a living from doing what you like, more power to you. I would love to be able to see the world, post about my experiences and get paid, but I think the market is a little crowded.
Don't look now, but an election is coming up in the U.S. next year, and in the last one of those you had people MAKING UP news stories and posting to fake news sites (literally fake news) in hopes it could go viral and trigger monetization with the Google Adsense. There were a few Americans motivated by money who did this, and the Washington Post famously did the story about Macedonian teens doing it to make money. It was tried on both sides but it quickly became apparent which side was much more inclined to forward links without vetting. So expect a return in 2020 because it'll persist until the social-media and other safeguards make it stop, and I have more confidence in money-motivated Macedonians trying to find a way around guardrails than I do with Zuck.
RustyC is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 19, 12:08 am
  #34  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Programs: Frontier 50K elite, EY silver, DL estranged 1MMer, Spirit VIP, AA/UA (and CO,NW) once gold now dirt.
Posts: 25,482
Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
I see and know people that scrape up a few thousand US dollars and then travel the world until it runs out, often times picking up odd jobs here and there to eek out a few more months.

You really need to have multiple sources of passive income. If you can get a stream of $1000 a month, then yes, you can do the $20 a day challenge until you need medical treatment.
I was a bit better funded at $60/day after taking a buyout at work in 1996 and projecting a year traveling. If only the Internet was more-developed at the time, but I did get stories of having to go to real lengths (like dark corners of Telekom officies) to use a single terminal to connect to then-new Hotmail at speeds resembling 9600 bps, which was nonetheless cheaper than the $1/minute long distance calls. Ah, the good old days.

Then, just as money was running out, the baht crashed and it turned into a once-in-a-lifetime purchasing-power opportunity that was so good I drew some money from the IRA to extend, which is normally a terrible idea. OTOH, it was to take a hit anyway in the dotcom crash and it actually might have been better to take out more.

I did do a sort of austerity challenge in Pattaya that came in around $31 on the back of a $10/day hotel (aircon, cable TV, frig), but had too many food splurges. Chiang Mai was slightly cheaper then but too boring once you got through with treks and the like. It hadn't quite blossomed.

Didn't know it at the time, but it was a kind of privilege to be among the last travelers to be able to experience the crashing kind of boredom that used to be possible in Asia, back when cable TV was new there, newspapers could be a primary source of news, backpackers had limited options for western-imported entertainment ("video night in Kathmandu") and places could seem like the end of the world. It was also the peak period for the Lonely Planet guides.

Susan Griffth, BTW, was the author/guru then for the "Work your way around the world" bit, but I was just far enough into my 30s to be a real curmudgeon about that (and hadn't been too happy in the later days of the job working for The Man). It was a more jaundiced view in that invariably the jobs were either the teaching-English variety or, in places like New Zealand, the fruit picking or bartending type.

So many more possibilities today...
RustyC is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 19, 9:51 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nomadic; Asia
Programs: BAEC, Delta SkyPesos, VS FC, SQ KF, AA, HHonors
Posts: 1,749
There's a lot of ground to cover here.

I've called myself a digital nomad when I was making money. As I grew tired of negotiating for humane rates in writing and lost patience with payouts "We need this urgently in 72 hours - but we'll take 10 days to approve the invoice and 2 days more to transfer the money," I consider my time at this point a sabbatical to rebuild.

Thailand generally draws in a cross section of all sorts along the digital nomad spectrum. I've "only" been there twice for a total of 5 weeks in the past year (heading back for a month on Friday, though). I've met digital marketers, programmers, writers, web developers/wordpress guys, Amazon FBA/e-commerce, day traders, crypto-currencies dudes, remote employees, English teachers, and import-export people. Not too many "start up" types versus what I expected, though that does make sense in hindsight. This doesn't include the numerous tourists who invariably show up at meet-ups (although as a FTer, meeting a KA pilot in Phuket was cool).

The amount of relatively empty posturing and struggling is profoundly depressing. The full-stack developers and remote employees tend to do the best. E-commerce varies based on the competency and passion of the person. IME, the sort of person willing to go to DAC or CAN to negotiate with manufacturers tends to be more successful than generic dropshippers playing around with a Shopify. One of my clients is a one-man digital marketing agency that presents himself as a larger multi-person outfit. He subcontracts to Upwork as needed. Part of me raised an eyebrow at the ethics of this. As "time" has worn me down, the realization that we are all descended from the survivors rather than the saints has allowed me to look upon his approach with greater sympathy. And even he needs to use Upwork when business is slow. Another client and mutual friend of the aforementioned digital marketer is a Canadian web developer who hasn't had a great 2019...fewer clients, payment issues, and a flood of ultra-low cost competition from South Asia.

While there are definitely hierarchies...I try not to operate along those lines. Without knowing someone on a fairly intimate level, it's difficult (with digital nomads) to know just how well they're doing - or how far up Fecal Creek they are. Further, I am too conscious and ashamed of my position on expat totem pole to cast stones. In a rare example of forthrightness three weeks ago, I assiduously attempted to dissuade an American in Danang from taking up freelance writing. He was a state school PoliSci grad working in China as an English teacher. I told him about my dismal Q1 '19 earnings, advising him I someone with bylines on a national site, and told him that his writing future included soul-crushing rates on Upwork less a 20% cut. A dazed stare followed by "So, I should move to plan B?" gave me hope.

I have a lot of queries about long term sustainability about this lifestyle. Chief among them: What happens to these people in the event of a 2008-style international recession/econ crisis? So many of these people rely on discretionary spending.... Will Chinese parents continue spending 200+ RMB on laowai online English "teachers?" Will consumers keep spending on your e-store's tchotchkes? Will small businesses keep retaining you for $$$ per month to get more Instagram likes? Will they be willing to pay someone they've never met in person $$$ to (re)build a website when their own sales are down?

I have to cut this short to take care of some other correspondence. Au voir for now.
kokonutz and RustyC like this.
Amelorn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 19, 12:09 am
  #36  
Original Member, Ambassador: External Miles and Points Resources
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Digital Nomad Wandering the Earth
Programs: UA 1K/MM refugee to cheapest business class fare, SPG Lifetime Plat, CBP Global Entry, #datelife
Posts: 47,914
Originally Posted by Amelorn View Post
There's a lot of ground to cover here.

I've called myself a digital nomad when I was making money. As I grew tired of negotiating for humane rates in writing and lost patience with payouts "We need this urgently in 72 hours - but we'll take 10 days to approve the invoice and 2 days more to transfer the money," I consider my time at this point a sabbatical to rebuild.

Thailand generally draws in a cross section of all sorts along the digital nomad spectrum. I've "only" been there twice for a total of 5 weeks in the past year (heading back for a month on Friday, though). I've met digital marketers, programmers, writers, web developers/wordpress guys, Amazon FBA/e-commerce, day traders, crypto-currencies dudes, remote employees, English teachers, and import-export people. Not too many "start up" types versus what I expected, though that does make sense in hindsight. This doesn't include the numerous tourists who invariably show up at meet-ups (although as a FTer, meeting a KA pilot in Phuket was cool).

The amount of relatively empty posturing and struggling is profoundly depressing. The full-stack developers and remote employees tend to do the best. E-commerce varies based on the competency and passion of the person. IME, the sort of person willing to go to DAC or CAN to negotiate with manufacturers tends to be more successful than generic dropshippers playing around with a Shopify. One of my clients is a one-man digital marketing agency that presents himself as a larger multi-person outfit. He subcontracts to Upwork as needed. Part of me raised an eyebrow at the ethics of this. As "time" has worn me down, the realization that we are all descended from the survivors rather than the saints has allowed me to look upon his approach with greater sympathy. And even he needs to use Upwork when business is slow. Another client and mutual friend of the aforementioned digital marketer is a Canadian web developer who hasn't had a great 2019...fewer clients, payment issues, and a flood of ultra-low cost competition from South Asia.

While there are definitely hierarchies...I try not to operate along those lines. Without knowing someone on a fairly intimate level, it's difficult (with digital nomads) to know just how well they're doing - or how far up Fecal Creek they are. Further, I am too conscious and ashamed of my position on expat totem pole to cast stones. In a rare example of forthrightness three weeks ago, I assiduously attempted to dissuade an American in Danang from taking up freelance writing. He was a state school PoliSci grad working in China as an English teacher. I told him about my dismal Q1 '19 earnings, advising him I someone with bylines on a national site, and told him that his writing future included soul-crushing rates on Upwork less a 20% cut. A dazed stare followed by "So, I should move to plan B?" gave me hope.

I have a lot of queries about long term sustainability about this lifestyle. Chief among them: What happens to these people in the event of a 2008-style international recession/econ crisis? So many of these people rely on discretionary spending.... Will Chinese parents continue spending 200+ RMB on laowai online English "teachers?" Will consumers keep spending on your e-store's tchotchkes? Will small businesses keep retaining you for $$$ per month to get more Instagram likes? Will they be willing to pay someone they've never met in person $$$ to (re)build a website when their own sales are down?

I have to cut this short to take care of some other correspondence. Au voir for now.
Interesting perspective, Amelorn.

The only MAJOR piece I think that's missing from your musings is passion for travel.

We started our business in a very bespoke manner SO we could travel. For us, we are living our dream lives and traveling where we want, when we want for as long (or briefly) as we want. And making enough money from a couple remote businesses to break even (our income defines how lavishly we life the following month ).

When I look around at and think deeply about the digital nomads we have met what strikes me is that they don't have the benefit of age and experience that we do. I mentioned Simon and Erin from Never Ending Voyage upthread. They launched in their early 20s and 9 years later are still going. They are the first to say that this makes them the exception - and I think what sets them apart is their pure passion for travel...when that's the addiction you do what you must to feed it.

I think launching a DN lifestyle in your 20s or early 30s is very different than launching in your 40s as we did. We brought decades of business experience, connections and, bluntly, resources to the lifestyle. We also know ourselves and what we want out of life.

This is a theme we've talked about a lot and that I intend to write about it in our blog once the notions have stewed a little bit.
kokonutz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 19, 12:31 am
  #37  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Hyatt "Giggity-Giggity", DL Silver, UA Silver, HH Diamond, IHG Plat, BW Diamond
Posts: 24,882
Iíve been a brick and mortar merchant/mail order seller since the mid 80ís. I started online sales in the 90ís, including eBay. Expanding to Amazon 7-8 years ago was just a natural extension of my previous business activities.

Being able to travel has become much easier with Amazon FBA. Stocking Amazon with 3-4 months worth of stock while I traveled made an income stream much more stable.
kokonutz likes this.
Jaimito Cartero is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 19, 9:32 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nomadic; Asia
Programs: BAEC, Delta SkyPesos, VS FC, SQ KF, AA, HHonors
Posts: 1,749
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Interesting perspective, Amelorn.

The only MAJOR piece I think that's missing from your musings is passion for travel.

We started our business in a very bespoke manner SO we could travel. For us, we are living our dream lives and traveling where we want, when we want for as long (or briefly) as we want. And making enough money from a couple remote businesses to break even (our income defines how lavishly we life the following month ).

When I look around at and think deeply about the digital nomads we have met what strikes me is that they don't have the benefit of age and experience that we do. I mentioned Simon and Erin from Never Ending Voyage upthread. They launched in their early 20s and 9 years later are still going. They are the first to say that this makes them the exception - and I think what sets them apart is their pure passion for travel...when that's the addiction you do what you must to feed it.

I think launching a DN lifestyle in your 20s or early 30s is very different than launching in your 40s as we did. We brought decades of business experience, connections and, bluntly, resources to the lifestyle. We also know ourselves and what we want out of life.

This is a theme we've talked about a lot and that I intend to write about it in our blog once the notions have stewed a little bit.
I deliberately omitted the travel aspect.

In my (limited) experience with DN gatherings & co-working spots, I noticed that travel enthusiasts like we are....are rare. Most other people tend to be tourists in town for a few days curious about the perma-wanderer lifestyle or de facto expats who don't move around all that much - they have a proper lease, a core friend group in town, and often a local girlfriend.* Some might have a second locale they spend part of the year in for visa run reasons, but that's about the extent of it. It's a form of a curated Western life grafted onto Thai, Balinese, or Vietnamese root - to take advantage of the cost savings.

In a year, I've done: TYO, HKG, HKT, DPS, BKK, KMG, RGN, KUL, BNE, AKL, LPQ, REP, DAD, KUL.

As for the age point, my observations line up with yours. DN-ing seems to be a 22-early 30s game. I'd argue that these years are most sympathetic to experimentation, and the speed of change in "online money making" favors the non-burnt-out years. The nomads I have met in the 35+ range tend to be DINKS or divorced. The typical 40-something American wouldn't see the lifestyle as feasible due to the mortgage, marital issues, kids in school, career stuff, "what will I do with my stuff?", "I don't want my organs stolen by foreigners," "How will I pay for college when Timmy goes in three years?", "How will my medical issues/therapy appointments/etc work while traveling?" Taken one at a time, there are solutions to each of those issues. Taken together, it's easier to do the laundry for the upcoming week, mentally push aside laptop-on-beach fantasies, and get on with life.

I won't assay to judge whether age & experience trump youthful creativity/desperation to gain an economic toehold or vice-versa.

*Overwhelming percentage of DNs seem to be men.
kokonutz likes this.
Amelorn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 19, 12:02 am
  #39  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Programs: Frontier 50K elite, EY silver, DL estranged 1MMer, Spirit VIP, AA/UA (and CO,NW) once gold now dirt.
Posts: 25,482
You've also got tons of both locals and expats trying to do traditional self-fulfilled e-commerce...hang out in a post office like the Nana one for much time and you'll see 'em.

It's easy to envision someone retired on Social Security only and wanting to pick up extra income as long as it's not a real pain to do. You can also be based at or somewhat near a hub like BKK and do the ULCC round-trips as your travel rather than going point-to-point.

A decade or so ago a retired friend who also played the mandolin ran across some beautuful mother-of-pearl encrusted ones in Vietnam and was considering selling that. He even could test them first. Unfortunately if sent by air there was some problem with pressure differences and they'd crack.
RustyC is online now  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread