• Jen Knight

Behind the Scenes of My Expat Life in Thailand

Updated: Apr 1, 2019


After living in Shanghai for 4 years, we decided to move in 2017 for a new adventure and a breath of fresh air (literally).


We planned to travel around Southeast Asia for a couple months, then pick our favorite place and move there.


Phuket was our first stop, and after travels to other places like Chiang Mai, Hanoi, and Hoi An, we ended up right back where we started.


What's not to love about beaches, clean air, lightning-fast internet, and a laid-back lifestyle?


I will share a bit more of our life here so you can get a sense of what it's like:


House and neighborhood


We live in a neighborhood in southern Phuket called Chalong. I love it because there is a great mix of expats and locals, and we are close to everything we want and need.


Our house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom with a small private pool in a quiet little community. There is security, a nice mix of Thais and expats, and friendly neighbors. We have a community manager as well who can take care of any problems.


Motorbike travel times from our house:


1-5 minutes to the daily necessities: coffee shops, restaurants, and convenience stores.


10 minutes to my gym and the amazing healthy exercise street called Soi Ta-iad (aka Soi Muay Thai). There you can find everything from Muay Thai centers to crossfit gyms, vegan restaurants to paleo kitchens. Everyone is super fit too so it's good motivation.


10 minutes to my husband's office in Rawai. He works for a company that manages dozens of Airbnb and other rental properties, and his job is to oversee a team of colleagues who take care of all the Chinese guests. They definitely keep him busy!


10 min to my favorite foreign grocery store Villa Market. In the same complex is also a Boots pharmacy, Starbucks, nail salon, and a large home improvement store called HomePro.


10 min to Chalong pier, where you can catch a boat or just hang out at one of the dozen restaurants and bars along the water or on neighboring streets.


15 minutes to the beach, Our favorite is Nai Harn, but we are also about 15 minutes away from Kata beach, and 20 minutes away from Karon beach.


20 minutes to the central mall that has a nice movie theater, lots of restaurants, decent clothing outlets, an excellent international grocery store, and bookstores with English books/magazines.


1 hour to the international airport, which has a surprising amount of nonstop flights directly in and out of the country.


Yummmm Thai food

Daily life


Getting around. We do ride our motorbikes everywhere, although I have been a bit more cautious since my motorbike accident. Helmets are a necessity! Taxis are easy to get through the Grab app.


Food. Although I cook a lot at home, one thing I love about Phuket is the variety of restaurants. You can find great local Thai food, and cuisine from all over the world: Italian, Turkish, Chinese, American BBQ, and everything in between.


Adventuring. There is so much to do! We definitely take advantage of living in one of the top tourist destinations. Once a week we take a day to explore and see new things.


Things I love


Weather. It is consistently hot and humid throughout the year, which I have adjusted to and now love. No seasonal wardrobe changes required! During the rainy season the weather can be unpredictable, but you just don't leave the house without a rain jacket and umbrella, no big deal.


Cost of living. Compared to San Francisco and even Shanghai, our cost of living is significantly lower. Unless you are buying imported goods, literally everything else is much cheaper here: housing, repairs, phone plan and other bills, housekeeper, transportation, etc.


Internet. Since I depend on wifi to run my business and coach my awesome clients, reliable and fast internet is critical. We have super fast fiber-optic internet from 3BB, and it is amazing. It is faster than anywhere else I have ever lived, and it is only about $20 per month!


Things I am adjusting to


Animals. I am super squeamish about animals, and the reality is that if you want to live in Thailand, you will have to deal with snakes, cockroaches, mosquitos, ants, etc. It's an actual jungle out here.


Cultural adjustments. This goes without saying. A few examples: In Thailand the work week is 6 days long, leaving my husband and I with only one day off together. Visa stuff can be really confusing and complicated. Communication and making new friends takes more effort.


Distance from home. There are no nonstop flights from Thailand to the US, so getting home requires time, energy, and money. If there was an emergency back home in Northern California where my family lives, the soonest I could get there would be around 27 hours door-to-door.


Overall, we love our life here! And luckily I have all the coaching tools I need to help me manage any stress or overwhelm that comes up ♡


Working with me can help

If you are struggling in your life abroad, book a free discovery session with me. We will work together to get clear about what you really want, determine what is holding you back, and identify powerful actions you can take to feel content and fulfilled in your expat life. Book here: https://calendly.com/jenknight/free-session


About me


Hi, I'm Jen! I am a US expat currently living in Thailand with my wonderful husband.


I always strive to learn, grow, and be the best version of myself, and I'm so grateful I get to spend my days working with amazing expat women like you:


Women who are smart and want to reach their goals, but need help overcoming obstacles so they can create their best lives abroad.

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©2020 by Jen Knight