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I'm stuck in a predicament - to be a migrant worker or not to be one. To be in Thailand for less money but a far better social and family life, or the US for more money but social and family life that are much worse.
I'm living with my Thai girlfriend and daughter in Chiang Mai. I love my new family a lot, and my daughter is very attached and close to me. See viewtopic.php?f=11&t=31352
Now the major remaining issue is financial. Currently have a B.A. and got a TESOL certificate this summer as a backup. Also planning to take online computer science courses in my spare time.
My education visa expires in the summer of next year, and this fall will be my last semester in school.
I'm deciding between:
(1) Live in Thailand and work as an English (or Chinese) teacher for around $1,000 / month. This is so that I could get a proper work visa. I'm 25 now, and doing this long-term seems like financial suicide. Living costs are very low in Thailand, but taking up this kind of work won't leave you much money for the future.
(2) Go work in the US and send money to my family. Being isolated from your family for years isn't such a good option either.
I'm not yet ready to consider marrying and moving my family over to the US. This is a big, expensive commitment and it's not something I'm ready for yet.
I currently get online work from an American organization. But this doesn't get me a visa, and I am currently on a student visa.
Other Thai visa options:
Marriage visa: Thailand gives out 1-year marriage visas only if you deposit 400,000 baht (about $11,500 USD) at a local bank and leave it untouched in the same account for at least a few months. I do have this amount of money as an emergency fund, but I am very hesitant about leaving it holed up in Thailand. Not considering this as an option now.
Tourist visa: You can now do 2 double-entry 3-month tourist visas at most, if applying from Laos.
Education visa: 1 year, extendable for up to 5 years. Not doing my M.A. anymore due to the time and money it's going to take, and work opportunities that I'll have to miss.
Whatever you do, id stay in Thailand with your new partner. Its a no brainer. I find that if you sacrifice what you want cause of money, you always regret it. Always. Trading precious time and love for money is a very bad deal. Money doesnt bring happiness or fulfillment. It just keeps you from starving. Thats all it does. Thats all you need, food and shelter.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
That's not too bad, some people have to make it with that or a little bit higher in the US.
Unless you have a $60K job waiting for you or some scholarship, It's probably not worth it.
Needless to say, try to learn other skills.
How about a business visa? Maybe someone can write you the letter for a fee.
Here in Vn they changed the rules recently and I was pretty much forced to change to a business visa, about $300 for a 1-year/multiple entry.
1)Too much of one thing defeats the purpose.
2)Everybody is full of it. What's your hypocrisy?
Long time reader and lurker. Here's my opinion
1. Stay in Thailand if you can. Moving back to the US seems...well, you know.
2. Why the ever loving God do you have an older girlfriend? You are in f***ing Thailand. Keep her as a sidepiece
3. You work remotely? That's awesome. Supplement your income with TEFL a few hrs a week.
I do not know which organization you work for. What field are you in? You need to be scaling you income constantly. You have no assets either. You've f***ed up by tying yourself down. Some things to think about.
I work remotely on database / digitalizing / archiving projects requiring specialized skills (multilingual reading skills and certain technical computer skills required). I used specialized software to recognize all sorts of funny-looking characters and turn them into searchable Unicode. It's a niche field that I have successfully cracked into. This is done by careful networking, and none of my employers have ever posted job ads anywhere. Contact me privately for more details.
Teaching English is not my first choice, and I would do that mainly to get a proper work visa.
Scaler, I haven't tied myself down yet. Not married and I can leave anytime if something goes wrong with my girl. As for my assets, I have some good cash savings, a motorbike, and a modest car. No owned property though, since that ties you down as well.
And Winston, what you is said true, but for us HA'ers. For many people in developing countries, working in the US vs. a developing is a big no-brainer. They would pick the US any day.
I think the only reasonable choice for you at this moment is to continue to stay in Thailand, and to make sure you have a proper working visa.
Thailand is not visa-friendly for long-stay, except for retirement. Make sure you have a valid working visa, never overstay it.
Tourist-visa run over the borders is the very last resort.
I agree, moving back to USA should be the really very last thing to do.
In case of serious problems better to consider to move on, Cambodia, Malaysia etc. - stay a while and back again to Thailand.
Older girlfriend? Well, why not - a woman 40 in Thailand looks often better than a 20 y/o girl from USA.... I am serious about it, no joke!
Children are not a problem in Thailand, they have to respect the adults next to them. Co-habitation is not accepted in Thai law and there are no legal risks unlike USA, which will consider you similar as married after a few months.
In general an older single/divorced Thai woman with her own income, home and child is much more reliable than any young girl from a Thai village who sends all her money from the foreign boyfriend to her parents or gives it to her secret Thai boyfriend to buy drugs...
Falcon, worse comes to worse, going to the U.S. is not the worst thing. If you can find a good job, it maybe worth it to head back to the States. Plus, I don't think you're gf will 'westernize' that quickly, from having looked at her picture.
And besides, if you're not that serious about getting married, then just leave her in Thailand, and visit her every year or so. I get the feeling you're not ready for commitment yet, so why get married if you're hesitant about it?
She's a good lady, and I wouldn't feel that bad if I were to actually marry her. I can easily see myself having a stable marriage with her for decades.
It's just that getting married at age 25 is sort of an early big decision, at least for a Westerner.
I can stay for free at my dad's place in Los Angeles, but I don't have any networks there or jobs lined up there. My family just moved there recently so I don't really know anyone there. Typical service jobs in LA pay around $1,500 / month after deductions, and LA is exponentially much more expensive than Chiang Mai.
Teaching jobs in Chiang Mai can vary from 20,000 - 50,000 baht / month, with 30,000 - 40,000 baht (around $1,000) as the average. This is the kind of money I'm making by working remotely. The reason I'd get a teaching job would be to obtain a proper work permit, and it's not my first option.
So like the other posters said, it's only worth the move if I get a good white-collar job in LA.
My 7-year-old girl (she just had her birthday last week) and I are really attached to each other. It would break everyone's hearts if I were to take off for economic reasons. Anyone who has seen me and my little girl would see right away that we could easily be the best buddies in the world.
I had a terrible family life when I was young, and my new family life in Thailand is something that I have never had before.
This summer, I went to India for just one month, and my girlfriend and daughter would cry themselves to sleep every night because they missed me so much.
For overseas ethnic Chinese, the no-brainer answer is to work in IT, finance, real estate, or something of that sort in the US and not go back to Asia. But that can lead to a life for misery for people like us.
Family is more important but saying that it's common for some folks to work overseas and send money so their family have a better life but you miss out seeing them grow. If your really serious about this woman and her daughter. One choice is to bring them to USA . Find work in USA a good paying job sponsor her...but that's big risk because your bringing your girl to the west.
Other choice is find seasonal work that pays really well...this be tough but if you can but work 3-4 months in USA and go back to Thailand and work as ESL teacher but it might mean a better life for your future family.
Family SHOULD COME FIRST NOT JOB AND MONEY...
DO YOUR DHARMA..MONEY WILL COME...
Its through the women's energy money comes..not the other way around...
Get married to the women you love, take care of your daughter and things will fall into its place..guaranteed...
Don't think too much...You are doing great...TRUST GOD...He works...He controls everything...IT IS HIS SHOW...
Also, In India, its considered a blessing, if you have a wife who is elder to you. YOU ARE A LUCKY MAN TO HAVE A WIFE ELDER TO YOU.
HOWEVER, Do some astro check, see if you are compatible cosmic forces wise...Do Kundali Matching
Marriage is not a joke...Whole Cosmic Forces come into your life...Make sure you are aligned to higher energies..
Go here and check your compatibility..Its free...
Good Luck..DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY...You must do horoscope match...
It is your life, no one cares about it as much as you. This line, "This summer, I went to India for just one month, and my girlfriend and daughter would cry themselves to sleep every night because they missed me so much." sure seems strange to me. Is that natural?
Here's some ideas and thoughts:
a. Live in Thailand 6 months of the year as a tourist and make a living doing online work for the US company. But be careful to keep it under your hat. I think there have been foreigners who've been deported even for earning money online in Thailand. Technically I don't even that kind of work is legal unless you get a work permit which Thai government probably does not offer for digital nomads.
b. Live the other 6 months in nearby Taiwan working as a tutor and teacher. I think El_Caudillo does something like that. You could probably earn NT$60,000 - 90,000 per month or even more if you busted your ass a bit and sought out all avenues. What's important is how much you save. In Taiwan, your living cost is going to be very low, esp. since you have relatives there to live with, health care is almost free, and transport is super cheap, easy, and efficient. You would have an edge as an American who can work legally right out of the box (no need to apply work permit since I believe you are also Taiwan citizen right?).
c. As an alternative to b, you could consult with Lad about even more lucrative opportunities to work as a teacher in Saudi for periods of say 6-12 months.
It's actually healthy to get away from your family sometimes as long as not for years just to get a break and recharge your batteries. So the Taiwan option is good for that and perhaps you could fly over to visit them on certain holidays or take leave, maybe once every 2-3 months or so. By planning ahead, you could probably get some cheap round trip fares.
2. If ever you get the chance to earn serious coin in USA, say $80,000 or more per annum and with a reasonably fast track to 6 figures, it behooves you to consider sacrificing a few years for sake of your family's future. With strong enough STEM skills, you might be able to pull this off eventually. A certain amount of wealth would go a long way to improving the prospects of a better quality of life for you're wife and daughter. Everything costs money and with time, things just gets more expensive for the most part. You need to build for your daughter's future education, perhaps a house, and the retirement of your wife then you. Even Filipinos who tend to put family first understand the importance of money and wealth enough to sacrifice being with their family to work overseas and for the sake of life's practical realities. Winston can bandy his cavalier attitude towards money cus he's always been subsidized by his parents and always will be. Eventually, he will receive a nice inheritance.
1. I can't live with relatives anymore though, due to various family reasons.
2. I'm not a Taiwanese citizen and don't even have an Overseas Chinese certificate. However, since both of my parents are Taiwanese citizens, I am also eligible to apply for a Taiwanese passport, and then an ID card if I stay in Taiwan long enough.
3. Thais get to stay in Taiwan for 30 days visa-free now. I might also be able to move my family over to Taiwan, but then we're all gonna be foreigners there in an environment that I think they probably won't like to stay in long-term.
4. And is it really worth it to do it in Taiwan? Rent is more expensive in Taiwan, and in Chiang Mai, my rent is about $70 / month. In Taipei you're looking at maybe $300 / month for a tiny cramped room. Making 30k-40k baht is lower than 60k NT, but given the low rent and low cost of food at 30 baht per meal, I don't know if it's really worth that much to go off and work in Taiwan for that long. If I'm off for that long, I might as well go off and work anywhere in the world. Plus, Taiwan, except for Taipei, is not really the optimal environment for people like me or Winston either.
Last edited by Falcon on September 16th, 2016, 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Starchild, interesting point of view. I guess you're living in India now?
Strange question from you too.
Of course it is natural if your family genuinely cares about you. I don't mean loud crying, just some silent tears. It was the first time I left them for that period of time, and they've never experienced that before. I heard that on the phone, And no, it's not the kind of crying you get from Filipino relatives who put on a show in order to ask for money, haha.