Digital Nomad as a couple – does it work? Part 1.

Recently, I joined a Facebook group – Digital Nomad – Couples around the world. There are many couples working and travelling around the world. Some couples are like us: the boyfriend/husband is developer and girlfriend/wife is doing other things.

I posted this to the group to introduce ourselves:

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I feel really good that other couples choose similar way of living. So far I would say I love what we are now 🙂 I would like to summarize why I think, it works for us.

Attitude of living and working

I think this is the most important part. If I would imagine thinking differently from my husband about the way of living, I would feel uncomfortable and could not give 100% for anything. I would just do things or live the way he wants.

Luckily, our ultimate goal of living is the same which is FREEDOM.

Freedom in terms of

  • financial – we want to have enough passive income to have financial freedom. Assuming if I still work for cooperate: I would need to save 1 million and get 5% interest. Then I will able to live without working anymore. If I could save 30k Euro a year and 5% more every year, it would take me about 20 years. The bonus of promotion is substituted with the inflation.  It is sad if I think I have to work until I am 50 years old.
  • workplace – we decide where we can live. As we love travelling, learning new languages, new cultures, we would like to live in different places in the world.

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  • job – we decide what business we have. We know that we do not have the so called “employee mindset”. After working for more than 3 years in two companies, I know that I would love to do my own business.

To see how my ideas are realized is my happiness.

 

Quit job

For 2 a half years I worked as IT-consultant in Germany. I loved it very much although there were long hours of work ~60 hours per week.  I loved what I did and I never regret that I went to work for corporate. Why?

Because I learned a lot. All what I have done during work, I can use for my own business.I would not be able to define and optimize our business processes at all!

Having the mindset

However, it was not hard for me to make the decision to leave the job. It is pretty easy actually. You have your ultimate goal and you just compare what you are doing now. You will see if what you are doing will lead to that goal. See?

Corporate job will never bring me to my goal of life. The only way to reach it is quit what I am doing and have my own business.

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What if it fails?

It will fail I am sure. But I will not give up. Simon reads so many biographies of successful people. They have failed before. Why am I afraid of failing. I am more afraid of not having freedom.

Be prepared

We did not just quit the jobs, come to Chiang Mai, find business that suits us. We had a business before we quit and we thought the business was going to have a bright future.

During the time we work we had a side project. It once was our hobby. It generated little income so that we thought we could SCALE it.

We worked hard for the business we have now. We were there when we got bad reviews and someone told us that our products are not useful. BUT there are other people around the world who love our products. This makes us moving forward…

Take the first step

I wrote about how we prepared to come to Chiang Mai in my very first blog post. Preparation for Digital Nomad in Chiang Mai

I hope, you enjoy reading this. Let’s talk about part 2 next week!

 

 

 

 

 

Sin Sod -Bride price and wedding in Thailand

This article is about Bride price in Thailand or “Sin Sod”. I will describe traditional Thai wedding shortly.

Long ago… (my parent’s time) it was not a good manner that man and woman touch each other. They learned to know and love each other in e.g. temple festival. When it was the time that a man should have a family, a well-known and respected person in the village will ask the woman’s parents for an allowance for marry.

They will agree on Sin Sod which is gifts from a husband-to-be will give to the parents of the wife-to-be for their love, time, money to raise their daughter (ค่าน้ำนม).

When they agree on Sin Sod, the groom will prepare for “Khan Maak” (with Sin Sod) and the bride will prepare for the ceremony to welcome all men’s guests e.g. food, drinks, gifts.

There are two ceremonies: engagement and wedding. The engagement can take place long before the wedding. Nowadays, many families combine both ceremonies into one day to save a lot of costs.

There are many tasks on the wedding day e.g. monk ceremony (พิธีร่วมทำบุญตักบาตร), groom parade (แห่ขันหมาก), Sin Sod counting (นับสินสอด), paying respect to elders ceremony (พิธีรับไหว้), water pouring ceremony (พิธีรดน้ำสังข์) or tying wrist with holy strings (ผูกข้อมือ) traditional in Northern region and Isan, bride and groom in the bed room(การส่งตัวเจ้าสาว), celebration with a lot of drinks and food.

So long story short… we come back to Sin Sod.

How much should Sin Sod be?

This depends on family so we cannot say. Sin Sod can contain cash, gold, gold necklet, property etc. A rich family can request millions but can also ask for nothing. Nowadays, more and more bride families do not request Sin Sod. However, some families still ask for Sin Sod.

I heard few Thai stories that bride-to-be’s parents request a lot of money from the husband-to-be and this parent sticks to the tradition. For example a guy works in the office and earns about 30000 baht a month. The Sin Sod asked is 500000 baht which he needs to work about two years or much longer if he can save about 10000 baht a month. And they could not agree on Sin Sod. It is a sad story if they have to break up as he cannot pay for Sin Sod. 😦

Now we come to Thai woman and foreign man stories. There are different stories you can find online or in forum or Facebook groups. As you know, most of foreigners are seen as wealthy person. Maybe because these persons can effort for holidays, flight tickets, accommodation etc. So they should have some money.

So if you as foreigners are in love with Thai girls…

If the girl comes from a countryside or small village that everyone knows everyone (like my family, haha), often the girl’s family is proud of you. They will talk about you with neighbors etc. I think, maybe it’s because many people are materialistic and like to show to others that they are wealthy. (you may see some Thais that they have a lot of debt but live in a big house and have expensive cars). So if they have a son-in-law as foreigner (or a rich man), they will get a higher social status or get a lot of Sin Sod. The girl will have a better future and can maybe go abroad and live with her husband.

BUT this does not apply to all families!!!

My experience…

I am from a small village in Isan, from a semi poor family but a self-sustainable family (อยู่แบบพอเพียงตามราชดำริในหลวง). My father was a village head master so all villager knows my father. But our family is a bit different as we prefer to save money instead of showing our wealth. We do not have any debt 🙂 That means my father rides an old bicycle, we walk instead of riding motorbike to the market, we use things until they cannot be used anymore. I always wear a second hand cloths. So I am prepared for a German who comes from Southwest of Germany (Schwabe, they are known to be very frugal) ;D;D;D

My husband and I married in Germany and we will marry again in Thailand for my dad. One thing my dad told us is we should save money for our family. My husband likes and will follow this advice from my dad strictly. Haha.

So our wedding next year will be small, about 300 persons. Most of them are from my village. There are no Sin Sod, no Khan Mak but only the monk ceremony and the paying respect to parents and elders ceremony.

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Our wedding back in Germany

I am glad that my dad did not ask for any Sin Sod but asked only my husband to love and take care of me all his life.