I first arrived In Chaing Mai, thinking it would be a good place to rejuvenate, renew, and rest. The date was April 1st, 1990.
I was totally exhausted burned out after ten years of running a successful alternative therapy practice. The practitioner became the patient as it were.
My plan was simple. Spend 3 months in Thailand and then move on to living and working in Japan.
The Eureka moment hit me at around the two month mark while staying in Chiang Mai. I’m totally burned out. What madness possessed me to consider working and living in Japan at this time, I asked myself. The answer was indeed sheer madness. I continued living in Chiang Mai for another month.
Ever since then, I have spent every winter during the past 22 years living in Chiang Mai. I truly believe that it has contributed in no small measure to my excellent health and happiness. I have a strong aversion to the cold. Being in the extremely cold, slippery streets in darkness for many months does not agree with me. Toronto summers and Fall, on the other hand could be quite lovely if it wasn’t for the gridlock of traffic and unpleasant transit system-often late,filled with loud, rude passengers, drivers and daily delays.
In the past two years I have been meeting many North Americans and Europeans who have come to the same decision as myself-to live outside the Western country. of their birth to enjoy a better quality of life. The American contingent appears to be the largest group.
Many are retirees,with many having taken early retirement. Perhaps, this population makes up the greater number of ex-pats in Chiang Mai.
Like me they have found a quality of life one can only dream of in their Western home cities.
Yesterday, for example , my partner had a massage and a facial. I had a two hour massage. The Thai Therapist came to our home. It was quiet and peaceful. There was no extra charge for house calls. The therapist was happy not to pay a fee to an establishment thus making a much greater profit. She also did not have to deal with the office politics of the establishment. She was with us for over five hours. Her charge was a mere $20.0 dollars. I gave her a six dollar tip.
Her work is excellent and is comparable and superior to many body workers (massage therapist) charging 20 times as much in a Western country.
My partner and I eat in an organic vegetarian ,restaurant every day. The average meal with fresh juices does not cost us more than five dollars apiece and usually less.
Here at my writing cafe , which will remain nameless; I’ve just finished a double chocolate piece of cake which has many healthy ingredients except the all purpose flour. I wandered to the back where the bakery is and had a chat with the baker. I explained to her that she could substitute the all purpose flour for something other than a wheat flour to make the cake a superbly healthy product. I gave her the website of ,”TheHealthyGourmet.com” and told her to check out some of the free recipes.
This site was put topgether by a woman who dreamed of becoming a Medical Dr.; but after a brief exposure to the training, she left and was determined to support people in bing healthy through healthy eating. She has done miracles to the many traditional recipes that we have come to love but are very unhealthy. I highly recommend her site if you are interested in your health.
There are many, “Digital Nomads” -the term designated to workers who earn a living with their computers. Many are IT professionals working for companies from the cities they lived in before coming to Chiang Mai. Others are copywriters, magazine writers, travel writers and bloggers.
A number of others who have established businesses here. Some do import and export. Others are in the tourist business with Thai partners.
Having been globally travelling for the past 45 years and visited 35 countries , I have found Chaing Mai to be a fascinating place to live and meet the most interesting collection of people.
Many people come here in transit; but end up never leaving or returning home to settle their affairs. Three to six months later they return to live in Chiang Mai on a permanent basis.