Well, if you couldn’t tell by now (due to the lack of updates), I’m back in Canada. I flew back mid-May because I had the return flight paid for and it wasn’t extendable beyond 6 months. I could have forfeited my return, but then I would have had to come back to Canada in November since I would have had to renew my visa. I figured I was better off coming back here for the summer rather than the winter.
Anyway, none of that matters. I booked a one way ticket back to Thailand and me and my buddy (a pro fighter here in Canada) will be drinking gin and tonics and admiring sexually harassing the cute flight attendants in route to Bangkok on the 28th of this month. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked about going back.
Thailand is such a unique country and when you’re there, it almost feels like a fantasy. There’s nowhere else like it anywhere in the world. The place is just like a drug in terms of how addictive it is. On my past trip, I went there with 2 friends from Ottawa and right now, both of them are selling off their belongings and trying to figure out a way they can live their indefinitely.
It’s gotten to the point now that when friends make plans to visit, I have to warn them that the experience will change the way they view life back in the Western world. There’s this one guy I met while training in Phuket. He was from Montreal and before he came down, I would chat with him on MSN and answer his questions. He was nervous, he didn’t know what to expect and by no means was he unhappy with his current situation in Canada. He just seemed like your normal, every day type guy.
Well, he ended up spending 6 months in Thailand and he returned to Canada just one week after I did. Within one month of being back, he fell into a depression immediately booked a ticket back to the Kingdom. I’m pretty sure he’s in Bangkok right now. Apparently he found some sort of hustle (exporting goods to Canada) and he’s able to support himself over there. I guess when you want something bad enough, you can always find a way to make it happen.
This upcoming trip will be my 4th in the past 4 years so I’m definitely addicted too. Having been over there to train so many times, I’ve met a lot of other guys just like me (who come and go routinely) and we all have the same mindset about the place now. When we’re back in our home countries, we almost isolate ourselves and focus on making money so we can get back to Thailand as soon as possible and enjoy ourselves.
It’s come to the point where I don’t even enjoy a night out in Canada anymore. Thailand has ruined me (or just increased my expectations) in that aspect. A night out in Thailand vs. Canada is sort of like downgrading from a Maserati to a Honda, Beyonce Knowles to the random, slightly chunky, yet relatively attractive girl working the cash at Home Depot or like moving from a penthouse apartment to your parents basement; sure, there was a point in your life where you were content with the average car, girl and place to sleep, but once you’ve had it all, having to downgrade is a little disheartening.
And thus, the “reverse culture shock” experienced when returning home after spending time in Thailand is very real. It always hits me when I land in Chicago (as I always take the same routing). It’s like re-entering a completely different world. The people seem to be a lot more stressed out, standoffish and of course, much, much fatter. Now that’s not to offend anyone but damn, people in the West are fat as hell. It’s got to be all the processed food we eat.
The lifestyle in Thailand is just so awesome and care free. It makes you question the mindset that people have in the West. There’s so much social pressure here that everyone just follows suit and does exactly what society deems as acceptable. You know, the typical outline for life. First, you’re expected to finish college or university, which makes perfect sense providing that a) you’re in your chosen program because it’s what you ENJOY and not because you think it will define you as being “successful” and b) the program you’re enrolled in is a necessity for your chosen profession.
I have friends that went to university before they even chose a career path. They just went for the sake of going and ended up taking random programs like “leisure studies”. One time I went over to this guys place to convince him to come to the casino and he was like “no man, I can’t, I have a big report due”. When I looked on his little “work station”, he had this big book on bas fishing that he was getting information from. Bas fishing? Hardly seems worth thousands of dollars and 4 years of your life.
I know this other girl who’s working on a graduate degree. She’s the most overdramatic person I know and every time I check her screen name, it’s always something about being stressed out and hating life. Like really, if you hate it that much, then it’s probably time to get yourself on a different career path. People here place way too much emphasis on status and money and while money is important, it’s just not worth it if it means doing something you hate for 40 years of your life.
In Thailand, there’s a lot less social pressure. Who needs a BMW? Nobody cares. Just rent a scooter and you’re good. Nobody judges you there. I guess that’s where there’s so many “lady boys” around. It’s live and let live. If gay dudes want to alter their appearance to match how they feel, then whatever, the choice is theirs.
One thing I noticed is that Thai people really live in the moment whereas we’re overly concerned with the future – to the point where we sacrifice enjoying the present. We let our best years pass us in pursuit of being “successful”. In my opinion, dressing the exact same way as everyone else (suit, tie etc) and doing the exact same thing for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week (especially when you’re not passionate about what you’re doing or making any real difference in the world) seems unbearable. Fuck being a robot for the next 40 years. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed anyway so why sacrifice your time now – when you’re young and healthy – to get to a magical point in time that may or may not happen?
Maybe the day will come where I’ll want to settle down and adapt a more “typical” lifestyle. Maybe I’ll want to work a 9-5, get married, buy a house and plant down some roots and basically re-live the same day over and over (which is what I feel I’m doing now here in Canada) but until that time comes, I’m going to keep travelling, training and doing what I enjoy doing.
So, in about 3 weeks time, the “training journal” starts again and now that I have my other projects set up and running on auto pilot, this will be my primary focus. I’m going to pick up a new HD video camera so this time around, you can expect a lot more video footage of the gyms, the training, fights at the stadium, the nightlife and whatever else that I think will be entertaining..
THINKING OF GOING TO THAILAND TO TRAIN?
I’ve developed a 70 page guide that profiles everything you need to know about training in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. In the manual, I discuss the visa issues, the Muay Thai camps, the different areas, the transportation, the food, the culture and customs, the girls, the scams, the safety issues and most importantly, how to save a ton of cash along the way!
hey dude, been reading your journal for a year now? anyway, selling everything i own and moving to thailand this nov, thanks for the inspiration 🙂
I follow your blog all the time and have done for a couple of years now, 2 things, first not everyone in the west is so fat, everyone in America is so fat!!!!
second, when the time comes and you have no choice to look for a job back in the states what are you going to put on your CV for all the time you have spent in Thailand?
Yeah, people in America (North America), we’re the fat ones. Should have specified that, my mistake..
With regards to what I’ll do as a backup plan in case I ever have to look for a job, well, I got my education before (I’m 28 now) so I always have that to fall back on. Hopefully I won’t have to do that though because my entire time in Thailand, I’ve been building websites (which can always be sold off) and I’ve really gotten into the internet marketing thing. There’s lots of ways to make money and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work for someone else. I hope it doesn’t come down to that anyway.
“second, when the time comes and you have no choice to look for a job back in the states what are you going to put on your CV for all the time you have spent in Thailand?”
I bet you had a hard time being nice about this statement, eh Bill? =)
This is the best post I’ve read in a while as it sums up perfectly the reverse culture shock – the depressive moods, the bland food and dullness of life in general when you get home.
Sure, life back home for me in Australia is good, especially in summer, but it’s still the rat race. Although I’ve been going to thailand fairly regularly for my whole life, it’s only more recently with being in a day to day career job at home that I’ve really started to cherish the good life in the Kingdom. Despite the great muay thau gyms and trainers we have at home, nothing compares to training in Thailand either.
The idea of finding a way to make Thailand a more permanent part of my life is becoming more and more common in my everyday thoughts!
Anyway, great site and keep up the good work!
this has been the best post i’ve read in ages…
Hey dan, Please if you can email me i would like to ask you a few things….
it will be my first time ever in phuket.
1. i will travelling/training all by myself ( and need some survival tips!!!)
2. i dunno were i will be going or training at
3. i have read almost every single one of your post – and would like to ask about some of your exp.
4.would you kindly add me to msn 😉 like you did with that guy in your post ;D~~
Good to have you back!
Good to here that your going to be back at it again. Where are you heading to in Thailand this time?
Phuket or Bangkok?
Have an awesome trip man. Will be reading up on all your updates as they come in.
I’ll be traveling to Argentina in November to teach English. I’m a pharmacist by profession and although it is good money, I can’t stand it. After reading this article, I may change my plans for Thailand haha. After all, I am a Thai boxing junkie and if I’m not mistaken, Phuket is near the beach? I guess Bangkok would be ideal but I need to be close to water. Anyway, thank you for reassuring my notion to leave the States and it’s robot-like mentality. This is exactly the inspiration I needed at the moment!
This is one of the best posts I have ever read about the feelings that go through many of our minds when we return from the land of smiles. It’s really nailed it. This, and a funeral last week has really given me alot to ponder over. You’re only on this planet for a short time and if you’re not where we want to be, or with who you want to be with, you’re wasting your time.
Who cares about fancy clothes, fancy cars and expensive houses. Buy your freedom asap and hit the Kingdom as soon as you can.
I agree with you alot here, but you’ve certainly got one thing wrong big time..
I have been in Northern Thailand for 9 months now, and after seeing what I’ve seen here, this couldn’t be further from the truth –
“In Thailand, there’s a lot less social pressure. Who needs a BMW? Nobody cares. Just rent a scooter and you’re good. Nobody judges you there.”
People are so, so concerned about status and wealth… Girls will buy a bottle of black label, drink it, and then refill it with cheaper whiskey and take it to clubs to make themselves look richer… Men will live in absolute dumps as means of paying of a car so that they can look more successful… Maybe it’s a different story down South, but certainly in BKK and up north, it’s not like you explained.
Everything you said about people going directly to college/unvi is the same in Thailand. Thai people are about 10 million times more judgemental than westerners. If you cannot speak Thai then I understand why you think they are not but 10 of 10 times they are talking shit about you IN FRONT OF YOU hahaaha. I understand where you are coming from but bangkok is a very dark place under the surface. In the country(Isaan) though it is really Thailand because everyone is chilling and laid back, but BKK is like a rusty machine about to blow up into political upheaval at anytime.
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