This is my very much delayed monthly report for May 2019.
It’s been quite the month for me as I’ve been busy every weekend and didn’t really get to sit down and reflect on the previous weeks.
I’ve been settling down in Chiang Mai and working almost full time now on freelance Projects.
Life’s been very predictable lately, but I really don’t mind because I moved around in Vietnam a lot.
I’ve been back in Thailand for almost 2 months now and felt that time was flying quickly. In fact, it already makes me nervous thinking about planning my next trip again, because I really enjoy my routine here.
It’s so hard for me to imagine how some people move to a new country every month while trying to get some work done. Not only is that draining the bank account quickly but also uses up a lot of mental energy. You may see a lot of new places but you never really ARRIVE in a place.
After Burning Season Vibes
The main reason why I left Chiang Mai in the first place was to escape the Burning Season. I wrote about it in my previous Monthly Update. Since months, the Air Quality in South East Asia has been fairly terrible as all countries are struggling with the same challenges.
But since May, I am so grateful that the Air Quality has improved dramatically, thanks to some rainy days. The PM2.5 Level has been going down almost every day and it feels amazing to go outside and breath fresh air.
I can’t tell you how freeing it is, not to check the air quality index every day and see if I need to wear a mask. A feeling, I honestly forgot about, since I left Europe.
The Laptop Lifestyle Work Life and Creating Healthy Habits
As I mentioned earlier, May has been a busy month for me in terms of freelance projects. I spent most of my day working for my client in Europe. Since I want to take some time off in July and August, I agreed to work every day in May and June. As a result, I realized that I spent most of my time inside my room and only went out when I was hungry….like a cave man.
Occasionally, I would trade my room for a coffee place but even then, it’s still about sitting on my butt all day.
The fact that I’m sitting in front of the screen all day long isn’t the biggest problem for me, but rather the little amount of movement.
I think, this is a challenge that most of us knowledge workers face, regardless of being location independent or not.
I knew that I had to change something about it, in order to stay healthy and not get fat and blow up like a fugu.
So here are the small changes I implemented in my daily routine to stay fit while working from my room:
1) I drink a lot of water
One of the most important things is to stay hydrated. I bought multiple small bottles of water and distributed them across the room. This is one of the most important Habit hacks: Make it obvious and easy. By distributing water bottles all over the place, I found myself drinking much more. Yes, shame on me for using so many plastic bottles. I know. I feel bad. But I reuse them every day since my apartment complex offers free water refill.
2) I bought a Fitness Mat
Or call it Yoga Mat if you want. I placed the Yoga Mat in the middle of the room and use it for body weight exercises throughout the day. Since I have the mat, I found myself doing push ups and sit-ups every day consistently. It’s especially helpful when I take a short break and get away from the screen.
3) I use my chair and bed as training equipment.
Last month, I started to look more into calisthenics and body weight exercises. Especially for in-between Gym days, these are good exercises to move your body. I leverage my chair and my bed for various exercises, like tricep dips or leg raises. It’s obviously not helpful to improve your cardio but at least you can build some muscles. If you are constantly traveling for business, I recommend you to look into this, since every hotel room has a chair and a bed.
4) I eat more fruit
To keep my hunger and junk food consumption to the minimum, I kept a big bowl of fresh fruit on my table for easy reach. This is a huge thing for me, since the nutritional value of streetfood is fairly low. Since Hanoi, I didn’t feel very healthy, so having fresh fruit available 24/7 now, is like a huge blessing.
5) Walking to dinner
Because I’m sitting in my room all day, I motivate myself to leave the bike at home and just walk to dinner places in the evening. As a rule of thumb, I research dinner places that are not only in 5 min walking radius but try to find places that takes me 20-30 min to get there. I recommend to make this a habit because it helps to explore new areas and walk the food off after dinner so you don’t sit your butt flat on the couch in front of the TV.
Traveling in May
While I was working mostly during the week, I tried to take some time off on the weekends and escape the city. Lately I spent most of my weekends with a lovely lady I’ve been seeing for almost two months now.
One weekend we went down to Pattaya and another we went up to a national park in the north of Chiang Mai to sleep in floating houses. It’s been a fun ride and I really enjoy planning my trips together and exploring new things. This is what I’ve been missing during my travels in the past. It’s nice to have someone to share moments together and come up with ideas where to go next.
From what I’ve heard, Pattaya has some sort of a bad reputation. It’s known to be very touristsy and heavily focused on nightlife and everything that comes with it. In Pattaya, you probably get to see all the prejudices of Thailand. Old white guys and young thai ladies.
Because of that, we avoided staying in the popular center areas and looked for a neat places further north. We found a beautiful little hotel called Swiss Boutique Hotel. It has a nice pool and the rooms are very comfortable and clean. Since we only had 2 full days, we wanted to take things slow and just see the Sanctuary of Truth and spend the rest of the time at the beach or at the pool.
Si Lanna National park
Not too far north from Chiang Mai is the Si Lanna National Park. This one was never on my list, but I’m happy that it was suggested as an easy getaway for the weekend. It was the birthday of some expat girl and I happened to be invited as well. We ended up to be a group of 20 people and it was actually not as chaotic as I expected. I really enjoyed staying in the nature and being disconnected for a while. It makes it so much easier to really appreciate little things like the sunset or sunrise.
Expenses – 1724.61€
I was actually hoping that May would be less expensive than April to save up some cash for my Summer travels. However, it turned out to be my most money sucking month since I started traveling and not because I started dating and went on fancy weekend trips.
No, it was because I had to freaking drown my phone in the Pool in Pattaya. Long story short, my “old” S8 could not be revived and so I had to spent 800 bucks on a new smartphone. Stupidity has a price tag attached.
If you actually deduct the 800 bucks from the total amount spent, I was actually living quite frugally last month. But here is everything in detail:
Online Business in May
To my surprise in May, my traffic was slowly going up again. In my last monthly report, I wrote that I just changed all my products and optimized my SEO. For months now, I haven’t really produced new products. After doing market research in April, I finally started to ramp up the number of products in my store. I’m not entirely sure if that contributed to the small traffic growth but I’m happy about it nevertheless.
May was also the month with the most sales so far. I made around 180€ in Revenue but that’s not all profit. What’s left are a bit under 30€. It’s amazing how little is left after deducting all expenses and fees. So, whenever you see someone making 6 figures online, ask yourself the question how much is actually left?
For June, I’m actually looking to dive deeper into my life here in Thailand. There is still so much more to explore in Chiang Mai and so far, I only scratched the surface.
My Visa is running out mid June (in actually 10 days by the time I published this article) and I’m thinking about extending it for another 30 days. My big travels are coming for July, but I will talk about it in more detail in next months update.
So stay tuned and see you next month.