Could Your Quality of Life be Better in the Third World?

Could Your Quality of Life Be Better in the Third World?

Phil Hawksworth Hammock life

Hammock Life

I think so. Mine is.

I will tell you why…

Quick caveat: I’m comparing life to living in London, I assume it is much the same in New York, San Francisco, Sydney, etc. but not everything will apply.

Right now I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and my overall quality of life is better than when I lived in London.

First, lets define what I mean.

The things I talk about are what is important to me to have a high quality of life. It may be different for you and you need to work out the things that you do and don’t value. This will help you in deciding where is potentially the best place for you to live (it might be where you already are).

Everything is also relevant to where I am now. Living in Iraq or Chad might not be quite the same as Thailand.

Sunrise in London

Sunrise in London

Things that significantly effect my quality of life AND are better in Thailand

Weather: It really does, I LOVE London in summer, but it can be miserable in winter. Constant nice weather is of high value to me. I think I have at least mild seasonal affective disorder.

Freedom: In every sense, from the nanny state, health and safety, PC bullshit at home, to the increased freedom that geo-arbitrage gives me due to greater relative wealth.

Low downside to risk: This is a function of cost of living. In London I could never quite go all in, never invest or risk everything on a business idea because cost of living is so high, you are always weighing off against paying the bills next month. Here, cost of living is so cheap, I can literally work 1 day per week earning money and 6 days building for the future without too much discomfort.

Friendly people: Don’t know if its culture, because they’re Buddhist, because people have less and therefore are satisfied with less or what, but people are more friendly here. Big cities in the west tend to be lonely and overly competitive. Everyone is after a leg up and has little time to connect and be content where they are at right now.

New experiences: This isn’t anything special about where I am now, just of being anywhere new. I have a sense of adventure and wanderlust. This is significantly different to changing city in Europe.

Less rules & greater focus on personal responsibility: I love driving here, where it is every man for himself. I like that you are essentially responsible for your own shit and there is not a rule for how to follow the rules. Less PC, less nannied, less 1984 is good in my opinion.

Time flexibility: I like that I’m 6 hours ahead and can work in the evenings while it is working hours in the UK. I like that some coffee shops/co working spaces are open 24 hours. I like that you can party on Tuesday night. I like that most people here don’t have schedules and 9-5s so you can socialise whenever.

Laid back: London is a grind, constantly. Thailand is super laid back, I think I get as much or more productive work done because I spend less time chasing my tail and have more focus and clarity.

Thing that affect my quality of life but are roughly equal

Gym: In Chiang Mai we have excellent gyms, which is not the case everywhere of course.

Social life: I miss some old friends but I’ve made new friends I otherwise never would have. The general social scene is not as big or as much variety, but has more new and interesting things to experience.

Dating life: Not really different, there’s attractive girls everywhere.

Coffee: Again, not the case everywhere but here it is excellent.

Working environment: See above.

Like minded people: This place is the home of digital workers and I have met a few guys I really share a lot of values with. Plus everyone who ups and moves to Thailand or generally travels is of a certain disposition.

Sunset in Bangkok

Sunset in Bangkok

Things that don’t significantly effect my quality of life

Constant status signalling: I like having nice stuff and going to nice places, but it’s really not particularly important to me in the bigger picture.

Being physically close to friends/family: I’m something of a lone wolf with a sense of adventure

Familiarity: Different is better than same, generally speaking, for me.

Eating indoors: Just don’t care. Food is just fuel to sustain training and somewhat of a burden having to go eat all the time. Not a big fan of the ritual of eating

Hygiene and sanitisation (to an extent): Chiang Mai is well developed enough to the point that it doesn’t bother me. In a slum somewhere with a tin roof and sewage running down the side of the road it would be a different story.

TV & media: Very picky about the media I consume and never watch TV apart from sport anyway, which is still shown here. The internet pretty much nulls this nowadays.

Being able to drink tap water: Little things like this make some people home sick, but it is just part of daily life now and doesn’t bother me at all.

Cooking at home/for myself: Used to lose so much time cooking that could be better spent. It is easier to eat healthy and control what you consume, but it weighs off about equal.

Corruption and general government stuff: Small things don’t bother me. I’ve been fined by the police 3 times for petty shit, I know they pocket the money, but so what. I’m not going to move to North Korea anytime soon, there is a moderate level to which it just doesn’t effect my day to day experiences at all.

What about you?

Phil Hawksworth Travel

Better or worse than your office?

What about you, have you ever wanted to move somewhere new?

To get a fresh start or try something different?

To explore and push your comfort zone?

If you are thinking about doing it, I implore you to give it a go. The worst that happens is you decide you don’t like it and go back home – at least you tried. It’s a damn site more than most people do and I guarantee you would be a lot more content in your life at home if that were the case.

You don’t have to conform to the little box you have been indoctrinated in since birth. If you want to not have a job, quit and do something you love instead. I’ve never had a proper job.

If you want to see the world, go and see it. Now is as good a time as any. With the internet it is easier than ever, you can probably do your job or some variation of it from anywhere on the planet.

I promise it changes you. Whether you ultimately end up going back home to where you started or not doesn’t matter, you will be better for it.

Ask anyone who has traveled and they will all have the starry eyed reminiscing moment.

Have the balls to follow your dreams and get what you really want out of life. 


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