How We Got To Chiang Mai, Thailand

December 10, 2014

You're moving to Thailand? Why are you guys doing that, you're


Over the past few months, Taiss and I have heard a lot of different views on our move. The vast majority of the responses has been positive, but it's hard to fathom how one comes to that decision.

In this post, I summarize a two-year journey that led us to Chiang Mai, Thailand. At the time of writing, Taiss and I have been in Chiang Mai for ten days.

how we changed to a digital nomad lifestyle

Moving to Thailand doesn't happen overnight; it's an organic process that builds over time. The decision was finalized in May, 2014, but the timeline stretches back even further.

Rewind to December of 2012. Do you remember what you were doing during that holiday season?

I do. I was reading.

Like many that travel and work from Thailand (among other countries worldwide), the spark usually begins with a book titled, “The 4-Hour Workweek.” I'm not saying I believe in a 4-hour workweek or even think it's possible, but the core message of the book lit a fire.

The author, Tim Ferris, talks about a world he created for himself—one filled with work and travel. Back in December of 2012, I had no clue how the hell this lifestyle was possible.

It seemed like a dream, and I was just crazy enough to chase it.

My brother and I spent that Christmas together with our family in Vancouver, Canada. We drove together all the way from Northern California (yeah, it's a long drive). We were listening to an audio book talking about entrepreneurship.

The momentum continued to build.

On the long drive back home, I remember typing into Google the following: How to start a blog.

One month later, my first website was up and running. While it had no hope or intention of monetization, the wheels continued to turn. It didn't happen overnight, but within a couple months time I had around 4,000 weekly visitors.

It was amazing. People were reading what I had to say. It's a strange feeling if you're not accustomed.

After sending a few emails to competing websites, one of the web owners reached out to me. He told me that his golf site was mainly for fun and that he made his money online from something called “affiliate marketing.

Okay, slow down, guy. You can make money online? I want it in!

I continued to dig into the subject and quickly found out there were lots of people earning their incomes from the internet. Now, I wasn't relying on one random internet guy, there were numerous examples. I wanted what they had: an online income.

leaving California to be digital nomads in Chiang Mai

Rob and Taiss Hiking

At this point, I was starting to believe that Tim Ferris was right. Maybe you can work and live anywhere you wanted. I told Taiss I was going to attempt to make a full-time living online. She saw the sparkle in my eyes and was 100% on board (it's huge to have that support).

The push to make an online living started in May, 2013. It didn't start off great. Every project I touched would fail. It sucked.

But, I kept going. I wanted the lifestyle more than anything. Taiss continued to support my efforts despite the failed projects.

Then things started to go our way. My websites started earning money. It wasn't much early on, but things were trending in the right direction.

Fast-forward to May, 2014. Earnings hit record highs. It was time.

Thailand was a place we vacationed at in February, 2014. We fell in the love with their second largest city, Chiang Mai. It's probably not the Thailand you envision. There are no beaches and the weather can dip into the high 50s during the coldest nights in December.

The phrase,“We're moving to Thailand”, became official in late May, 2014. The tickets were purchased in September and the rest is history.

Did we miss anything? Drop us a line if you'd like to know more.

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Shar Carry

So inspirational. I’m currently in your 2012 mode : ). As a mother I would like to find a way to take this mentality during holidays and school breaks (like summer break). I’m going to love continuing to follow your story!'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    Glad you were inspired! Thanks so much for following!'

Is your online income primarily from your blog, and if so, has it been enough to support yourself in Chiang Mai?'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    This blog is not providing us with any income at this point. We hope it will in the future. Our other blogs are providing some income that is helping us live in Chiang Mai.

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