Happy New Year everyone! It’s crazy to think that 2013 is done with, which means it’s almost my 1-year anniversary in Thailand (Feb.1st to be exact). While trying to figure out where all the time went, I made up a list of some highlights and goals achieved (this is a very condensed list). This is also a reminder to myself to stay grounded and be grateful for the special opportunities life has afforded me.
- Obviously my biggest accomplishment involved leaving behind a stable job & all familiar facets of my daily routine – and trading it in for an ex-pat life in Thailand – to try something “new” and be out of my comfort zone.
- Did a 10-day silent meditation (vipissana) retreat at Buddhist temple Wat Ram Poeng, Chiang Mai.
- Enrolled in Thai language school with classes 2 – 3 times a week.
- Found part-time work for www.Aptivate.me – worked on projects for Chupa Chups and Movember (yes, the mustache fundraising campaign).
- Traveled to other countries in South East Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma/Myanmar.
I’ve always enjoyed taking a step back and analyzing my past to see how it has shaped my current situation, as well as my future. With that said, it’s interesting to see what I was doing exactly 2 years ago, January 1st, 2012. As someone that’s into self-improvement/ human optimization, I subscribed to various newsletters…one of them contained a motivational speech on how to start the new year right and be a better man. Immediately after watching the video, I decided to get off the couch and take action – try something new that makes me uncomfortable. I searched Google for Muay Thai and chose a gym. As you can see from the receipt, after my first free session on Jan.6th, I came back a week later to pay for another class. This quickly became a passion of mine, which ultimately lead me to Thailand.
Anyways, who is this man that became influential in my life choices? He is Johnny FD, author of the book “12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap” As a way to show my gratitude towards him, I purchased his book, even after I moved to Phuket. Below is my review, which unfortunately has been sitting on my hard-drive since March, 2013.
BTW – Johnny now has a few other blogs that are geared towards “life-style design” ie. Tim Ferris and The 4-Hour Work Week. They’re a useful resource to anyone considering a non-linear life or trying to get out of the 9-5 rat race (I wish these were around when I was grinding it out on Wall Street). Definitely recommend them plus they’re all free.
Book Review – 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap
Even though I’ve been following Johnny’s blog – www.myfightcamp.com for a while now and read almost every post he’s ever written, I still wanted to buy his book. He’s actually one of the few people that “enlightened” me about having a better life in Thailand (he’s a pioneer in that he did this years before me) and I wanted to support his new project.
Recently, I moved from NYC to Thailand back in January of this year, on a perm basis. The book was good to have because I could use it to refresh my memory on all the little details in terms of packing and preparing for my big move (I previously made a short one-month trip). The book is very comprehensive – it goes into detail as to where you should train, why, how to prepare, survive and make the most out of your experience, whether it’s one-month or one-year.
Although Thailand is comparatively cheaper than Western countries, Johnny talks about how to stretch your hard-earned dollars so you can stay here longer ie. tips on how to not get ripped off by taxi-drivers. He even gives potential business plans should you decide to live here and need to support yourself. The money you save will pay for the book itself.
Last year when I planned for my first trip, I spent most hours at work researching numerous blog sites for information (while my boss thought I was working, haha). For me, this type of reading is actually fun..but for some people, this can be time-consuming. I highly recommend picking up the book so all the information is at your fingertips in one-central location. It’s a quick and easy read as well.
My favorite thing about the book is not just the critical information needed to plan a life-changing experience in Thailand, but rather the personal stories Johnny is gracious enough to share with the readers. His experiences living “impoverished” off a fighters purse (income) and his romantic pursuits at the different island ie. Full-Moon party are very entertaining…big-ups to Johnny for having the balls to share these intimate details as I’m not sure I’d be able to do the same. 🙂
Do yourself a favor and stop being cheap (it’s only $9.99) – this book is for anyone thinking about visiting Thailand, whether you’re into Muay Thai or not. The advice can be applied to any traveler.