You clicked on this post because you want to live in Thailand, or at least you’ve thought about it. Maybe you’ve taken the plunge and you’re already here, maybe you want to commit to the idea but you’re scared to take the final step, or perhaps you just enjoy reading about it.
Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that the life of a muay Thai fighter in Thailand is a totally crazy job. Sometimes you have to take a step back from it just to realise the ridiculousness of what you’re actually doing.
I mean, let’s think about this for a second…you’re getting paid to climb into a ring and fight people…in a foreign country…in front of thousands of people…you just lost and gained 12kg of bodyweight in 48 hours…and your opponent is still bigger than you are. WTF.
Muay Thai is a crazy sport, wherever you do it. But there’s something about Thailand that is just… just epic. A fighter’s life is incomparable to any other.
If you want to experience the rush, then here are a few things that may encourage you to finally do it. I used lists like these to fire me up before I made the move to Thailand.
12 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Live in Thailand
1. You’ll grow as a person – It’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Traveling will help you learn so much about yourself, and you’ll do things you never thought you could do. Traveling isn’t without its ups and downs, though. I’ve had some great experiences while living in Thailand, I’ve had some bad ones too! But you become wiser from the experience and you’ll be a better person for it.
How many times do you face your fears in your day to day life? How often do you push yourself to the limit physically and mentally? How much do you really know about yourself?
2. Your job may be taking over your life – I don’t care what anyone says, being obsessed with your job is pretty sad. It’s awesome if you enjoy what you do, but your job shouldn’t dictate what you do outside of it. If it’s stopping you from doing what you really want to do then it’s time to make a change.
Let’s be honest, most of us will be working until the day we die anyway. What’s the obsession with working so much when you’re young?
3. A fighter in Thailand doesn’t know what stress is – Being a full time fighter in Thailand, or even just training full time in Thailand is the most liberating thing you’ll ever do. When you live as a fighter in Thailand, the only thing you have to think about when you wake up is going for a run and getting yourself to the gym to train. No bills, no worries, no responsibilities.
I used to be obsessed with adding qualifications to my CV and getting the perfect job to earn good money to buy a nice car and a TV and a this and a that. But I’d still just spend month after month paying bill after bill and working my ass off to still be broke. Do something you love every day, not something you hate. Why be average when you can be awesome?
4. Living in Thailand costs less than where you’re living now – In most cases, every expense that comes out of your monthly pay packet right now will cost LESS in Thailand. The only real exception is training costs, as these are pretty high for foreigners in Thailand. Everything else including food, accommodation and transport are cheaper in Thailand.
5. You’ll make friends for life – Travelling allows you to meet interesting people from all walks of life, not just the people who have been doing the same jobs and drinking in the same bar for the last ten years. You’ll meet like-minded people who share the same passion as you and understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I still don’t think my family understand why the hell I do this!
6. Fighting is the most fun you’ll ever have – If you’re a fighter you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an addiction. After I’ve had a few days off training all I want to do is fight again. What could be better than getting paid to do it? It’s a totally crazy job. Fighting makes you feel alive, and it’s a job you’ll never forget.
7. You can eat Thai food every day! – You’ll discover new dishes that taste amazing and they’ll become some of your favourite things to eat, even when you leave. Believe me, Thai food is really addictive!
8. You’re unable to dedicate enough time to muay Thai – To progress in any sport is difficult when you can only dedicate an hour or two per day to it. If you don’t even have an hour or two a day, it’s going to take years to see even a tiny bit of progress.
Let’s put it into perspective; you may train for 6 hours per week at home (312 hrs per year) vs training for 6 hours per day, 6 days per week in Thailand (1872 hrs per year). If you’re training in Thailand you’ll potentially progress 6x faster than at home. That’s not mentioning the amount of fights you’ll be able to get in Thailand over the course of a year. You can fight way more regularly in Thailand, and that’s where you’ll learn the most.
9. Create amazing memories – What are you going to tell your grandchildren when you’re older? Will you tell them about the time you handed that report in to your boss, or will you tell them about the time you… [fill in the blank].
10. It’s not “real life” – I eluded to this in a recent post I wrote on training in Phuket; when you’re travelling, especially in Thailand, it just feels like a fairy tale. At home, I always feel like I should be doing more or progressing in this or that for reasons x, y and z and blah blah blah. The only thing worthy of that much thought here is muay Thai. Man, I love muay Thai.
11. You’ll regret not doing it when you’re older – I left England to fight full time when I was 28, and even then I was gutted that I didn’t do it sooner. I honestly felt like I had wasted my entire life. I know that’s extreme, but it’s the truth. I wished I had left school and moved straight to Thailand to fight.
If I didn’t do it then, I would have got to 30 and regretted not doing it sooner. Of course, you don’t have to fight, but it’s never too late to get out there and give it a go.
12. You’ll be happy with less – Life is so much more fulfilling when you strip away all the crap.
When I was living as a sponsored fighter, the highlight of my day was cooking my chicken and rice in the evening, and I loved it. I trained, I felt great, I got fed, and I was having the time of my life. What more can you ask for?