My First Day in Thailand: In Pursuit of the 4-Hour Workweek Lifestyle

I can't believe it has been four years, but I still remember my very first day moving to Thailand to pursue the digital nomad, internet marketer lifestyle.  It was sometime in November 2008 and the trip from San Francisco to Koh Tao Island, Thailand was HORRIFIC, but some how despite all that, it was the best day of my life.

My decision to come:

I had a good job, two cars, and a great social life in Los Angeles.  I was also working 50+ hours a week, was unhealthy, overweight and stressed beyond belief.  So I made the decision to move to Thailand and live the simpler life while building my muses, online businesses and pursue internet marketing.

The Journey:

From San Francisco's Airport, I left on a Sunday night.  Flying to Taiwan then to Bangkok.  18 Hours of flying time wasn't the most fun, but I knew the journey would be worth it, and it was something I needed to do.  But then once in Bangkok, I had a 9 hour overnight bus to catch to the ferry terminal.  It was now Tuesday night and I haven't slept properly, brushed my teeth or showered since Sunday.

The last part of my trip was a 3 hour ferry ride from the mainland to the island of Koh Tao.  There I met an Expat named Shane.  He was an older guy from England who has been living there for a few years now, married to a Thai wife.  He offered me a beer while waiting for the ferry, which turned out to be the worst experience of my life.  Turns out drinking doesn't mix well with the November monsoon season, and the worst sea sickness I've ever had.  Shane insisted me sit upstairs in the VIP room because the main galley would smell like warm vomit from everyone else throwing up.  But it was freezing and I felt like I was dying.  If it wasn't for his 1980's starter jacket he let me borrow, I would have been even more sick.  A few hours of torture later, we arrived at the island and I felt like I wanted to die.

The closest restaurant to the pier was called the Safety Stop Pub and although eating was the last thing on my mind, I just needed a place to sit so I joined Shane for breakfast.

The little island I spent more than a year living on when I first arrived.

Surviving the trip to the island:

After breakfast, I felt a little bit better, but desperately needed to lay down and pass out.  I paid my bill, which was shockingly expensive as I had imagined food in Thailand to be dirt cheap and dragged my two giant rolling luggage suitcases up a hill to the very first hotel I could find.  I overpaid but didn't care, and passed out in a dingy large room with a broken sink which was literally laying on the floor of the bathroom.

It was now Wednesday afternoon.  I had started this journey on Sunday and three days later, sick as a vomiting dog, I finally made it,and it was nothing like I had expected.  Food was expensive, my hotel room costed as much as a Motel 6 back home, the weather was gray and gloomy and the island looked more like a shitty port town.

Waking up in Paradise:

The next morning, I woke up and the sun was shining.  I walked 10 minutes north to the main beach area and found myself in a tropical paradise.  I found a long term bungalow, which was literally a bamboo bungalow, set back a bit from the beach in a coconut plantation. I paid 5,500 baht ($184US) a month for the room, not including electricity.  Life was instantly better, in fact, it was awesome.

I spent the next two months doing absolutely nothing.  Destressing from my crazy lifestyle back in Los Angeles, I decided just to do what I wanted to do and soon my dreams about becoming an internet millionare were put on the backburner.  I didn't even have WiFi in my room and had to go to a local coffee shop with my laptop to check facebook.

Paradise present day:

Four and half years later, I still remember that day as well as I do any other.  I'm now living in Chiang Mai, a nice town in the north of Thailand, sitting in a coffee shop and actually making money from my internet marketing efforts.  It's finally time to start really opening doors and making that big cash that will allow me to start traveling to countries such as Sweden for the summer and South America just for fun.

If you want to read about my first 4 years in Thailand, the traveling, getting drunk with beautiful Swedish girls at beach parties, learning to Scuba Dive and eventually getting paid for it, and following my dream to become a professional Muay Thai fighter, read my book - 12WeeksinThailand: The Good Life on the Cheap

I hope your first day in Paradise is going to be better than mine without that horrendous three day trip.  But either way, it was worth it at the end.

Warm Regards,

Johnny F.D. - Follow my journey

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