5 Years Later

Expat Living in Chiang Mai

This morning, a Sunday, I woke up in a basic, concrete beach bungalow at a dive shop on the tiny island Koh Lipe in southern Thailand as the friend I’m staying with got up to go take customers out diving. I took my sweet time getting ready then walked a little ways along the beach through the sea at high tide to get to a nearby resort where I ordered coffee, a coconut shake and set up my computer to do a few hours of work outside facing the Andaman Sea.

This is not a normal day for me. Usually I’m not on an island, usually I try to not open my computer on Sundays (though usually unsuccessfully), usually when I work it’s not outside on a beach in that popular “living the life” scene freelancers and digital nomads seem so proud of. There’s sand everywhere, sun glare and, for me, working on the beach doesn’t make the work more enjoyable, it makes me more annoyed that I’m on the beach but have work to do.

That said, versions of today are now much more common than five years ago and in stark contrast of spending a Sunday dreading getting up on Monday morning.

I landed in Chiang Mai on a one-way ticket five years ago. And promptly proceeded to cry and hide in my room.

Now, many years, jobs, and too many plane tickets to count later, I’m finding myself still in Thailand. I thought the hitting the five year mark last week, I’d have a lot to share and say but instead I was too busy thinking about clients, running around Chiang Mai and Phuket with visitors, piecing together 12 flight bookings for the next coming months, and slowly working through what feels like a hundred steps to set up a business in Thailand (more on that soon). I’m not feeling reflective; I’m trying to get onto the next thing on my to-do list or the next flight (and hoping I’m doing and scheduled everything correctly…I’m sure I messed up at least one of the plane tickets).

I am, however, still very aware that the past five years have been pretty great, difficult, surprising, rough, confusing and, above all, much, much more interesting than the few years I previously had and for that I’m grateful.

Living in Thailand

For some posts that are actually a little more interesting and insightful, try:

Top photo by Lightworks360



  • Posted June 27, 2016
    by Randall Hamilton

    So it goes! Rarely to the best plans ever work out to be what they were supposed to be..sometimes much better..and other times..less than expected.

    Will be coming to Chiang Mai for a month or so as a base. Then headed into Laos for some background on a book in reference to the air war in Laos and “The Ravens” who flew FAC (forward air control) in Laos in support of the ground war.

    Currently, ascertaining the logistics of long(er) term accommodation and general “WTF”.

    Nice site…good luck/RH

    • Posted July 6, 2016
      by Alana Morgan

      Thanks for reading, Randall – hope you enjoy Chiang Mai!

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