Have you been thinking about packing your bags and heading to a new country to start over? Do you enjoy having beautiful views, delicious food and affordable living arrangements? You may be surprised to know that Thailand has a very large expat community and you can find people from all walks of life including business executives, teachers, students, military, families, retirees and those who just wanted a change in living conditions who moved to Thailand for a little fun and adventure. When you arrive in Thailand, you will find many must see places where you can catch glimpses into nature and wildlife or even enjoy fun times indoors with friends or family.
The Cost of Living
Thailand may be one of the more expensive Asian countries in the area, but when compared to the United States, you will most likely find things to be very affordable. If you enjoy dining out, you’ll be happy to know that for less than $2 USD. That’s right, a meal for less than what you might pay for a bottle of water in the U.S. Wine can be a little expensive, but a cold glass of Thai beer with your meal will only run a couple dollars more. The cost for utilities is around half of what you pay in the U.S. and rent can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars monthly to a little more than $1000 USD monthly depending on location and the size of the apartment.
When it comes to groceries and other typical needs, you can expect to pay less for most items when you shop. Milk and dairy products can run a little higher than in the U.S., but staple food items like fruits and vegetables, water and bread will cost at least 20% or more less. You will enjoy taking time to shop for fresh foods at the local markets as they can be exciting due to all the vendors who may be competing for business. On a good day, you can save quite a bit of money if you use good negotiation skills during a shopping spree.
Working in Thailand
As a foreigner you can find work as teaching English or in volunteer work for local non-profits. If possible, it’s always great when you can transfer with your U.S. based company to work in Thailand. Many expats work freelance jobs online while others come to Thailand to start new business such as restaurants and lounges or sales businesses that can hire locals. Investing in the country with a new business is something that the Thai government will enjoy as you will be able to provide income to those who live in the country. Local jobs do not often pay very well, so it is important that you have a steady source of income to live on each month to afford your living expenses.
Finding a Home
It is a good idea to plan a quick visit to Thailand before you move. If this is possible, you can get in touch with a local real estate agent and begin the search for your new home. Some will say to search on your own, but with a realtor, you can often locate the best homes for rent or sale that you would not find on your own. Best of all, a licensed agent will know the areas that match your personal preferences, budget and lifestyle the most so they can show you the homes that you will probably like the most.
Packing for the Move
For many people, a move overseas means packing a suitcase or two, or even packing as lightly as a backpack, and hopping on a plane for the move while leaving all worldly possessions behind. For others, it will take lots of planning to engage an international mover to help pack and ship personal property for the move. Be sure to check prices to see if you will be better off buying new items when you arrive or it will be wise to ship things over. It can be very expensive to ship personal goods overseas.
If you have considered bringing a car to Thailand when you move, you should know that it is not always an easy task to import a car, especially a used car. You can visit this link from a1autotransport.com for quotes and to gather more information on car shipping, but chances are that when you ship a car, you may want to consider shipping a small car and one that is new, or at least within three years of the date of manufacture. If you own a new vehicle that has not yet been registered in the U.S., you can import without an import permit. Used cars are required to obtain a permit from the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce and a permit is not easy to obtain. To import a car, you must stay in the country for no less than one year and have a non-immigrant visa as well as a work permit. Thai residents may import vehicles if they can show they have owned the car for at least a year and a half while living abroad.
It is a good idea to spend a little time checking out various places in Thailand before you decide to settle down in a home. A home may look appealing on the first inspection, but you should stay in it for a week or so to see how the neighborhood is and to make sure it is where you really want to live. Once you find the area that you genuinely like, take time to thoroughly inspect any home you are interested in and never sign any paperwork until you know this is where you want to live. Thailand has so much to offer, and aside from the natural beauty and low cost of living, it’s one of the best places globally to fully destress and relax day after day.