Well-massaged Digital Beach Bums

From an interview with a trio of YouTuber travelers about financing their travels:

5. What’s your top tip for someone trying to figure out how to make long-term travel financially possible?

If you want to travel long term, then you need to just get out there and stop stalling. There are plenty of ways to make money abroad. The city Paddy lives in (Chiang Mai, Thailand) has over 30,000 expats living there and most of them work remotely online. If you have skills that you can use on the road like photography, teaching, and anything online-based, then save up some cash, start traveling, and start hustling!!!

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard Chiang Mai described in this light: apparently it’s something of a Mecca for millennials earning a “passive income”–running a popular YouTube fitness channel and drop-shipping fitness equipment into Iowa, for example.

Here’s someone else, writing about the cost of living in Thailand:

I can live in Thailand, get massages every day, eat delicious and healthy foods, and do everything I want for about $25 a day and that’s while spending quite liberally and tipping.

If someone wanted to live cheaper, it certainly is possible. One expat I met told me he only spends $45 a month on rent!

The bottom line is: once you start viewing the world as a giant playground, the possibilities are limitless.

I’m all for the transformative power of world travel, but hanging out in an enclave of well-massaged digital beach bums in Thailand sounds like hell. And I’m not sure that “viewing the world as a giant playground” is the best use of globalism.


David's picture
David on December 12, 2017 - 15:26 Permalink

The gymnastic logic of some travelers is astounding at times - the second writer is able to reconcile that they're spending $25/day (presumable a fraction of their own income) and yet still see themselves as a generous tipper in a country where the per capita GDP is $6,000/year.

Clark's picture
Clark on December 12, 2017 - 21:20 Permalink

Sounds great to me. The cost of living analysis from most articles like this assumes you want to eat street food from dawn to dusk. Once you start eating with an eye towards long term health, costs rise predictably.

Laurent Beaulieu's picture
Laurent Beaulieu on December 13, 2017 - 23:57 Permalink

I know Thailand and other Asian countries where I lived and though it is true that many may think that compared to North America you can live cheaply, yes probably, but if any problem arise, health or otherwise, then the reality of the poverty of those countries hits you smack in the face. Also psychologically, you are always seen as a rich foreigner and nothing else, you do not fit in and you live with other ex-pats with all the down side this creates.

Brett's picture
Brett on December 14, 2017 - 09:26 Permalink

I researched spending the winter in Thailand for a client.... I reported back to him that it appeared Canadians can only visit visa-free for up to 60 days. How are these digital beach-bums actually living there long-term?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 14, 2017 - 09:53 Permalink

I have an American friend who has been living in Bangkok for more than 35 years. To allow him to remain there, he must leave the country on a regular basis, cross the border (to Cambodia, Laos or Malaysia), and then cross right back.

Clark's picture
Clark on December 14, 2017 - 19:24 Permalink

Since 2014 VISA runs are no longer allowed, so it's likely more complex for long term remote workers choosing Thailand as a destination.