Man ditches UK for ‘cheaper’ sun-soaked hotspot with three-bed villa and pool

A man has moved to Thailand to live in a three-bed villa with a pool and Jacuzzi as "it’s cheaper than London" and saving him £9,600 in rent every year.

Richard Klein decided to relocate to Chiang Mai in June after travelling round Asia and falling in love with the country. The ex-athlete had been travelling with his sister, Santa, since October 2022 and they had both initially wanted to move to Barcelona, Spain, before settling on Thailand.

Richard quit his job as a compliance and emigrations officer after making more money as an Amazon seller – and realising he could work from anywhere online.

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He and Santa now live in a three-bedroom villa with a pool and spend £700 on rent, pay £2.50 for their water bill and £25 to £30 on electricity a month. His family had been splashing out around £1,500 monthly for their home in Twickenham, south-west London – double that of the rent now in Thailand.

Richard said: "I found in the UK every person you meet is going through the system and not sure what they are doing. You have the ability to express yourself in Thailand. It’s cheaper and the weather is nice. There are lots of digital nomads here."

The brother-sister duo are currently living in the country on educational visas; Richard is learning Thai boxing, Muay Thai, to comply with his.

He said Thailand’s cost of living is very cheap and added: "Shots are £1. You can drink all night long and not spend more than £30. It’s £1 for a dinner."

Although he's warned that having a business online "can get a bit lonely", he's also been quick to urge others to move out and work remotely. He said: "It’s a very different walk of life. It’s a beautiful country. I’m really glad I moved. I wouldn’t change it for the world, I don’t have any regrets. You feel alive out here."

Richard plans to stay in Thailand for the next few years, as he also manages parties on several islands near Chiang Mai, but wants to keep travelling and living in other countries. He said: "The world is your oyster."

While not everyone can quit the daily grind and head abroad, according to one seasoned traveller we should all be aiming to go on holiday at least once a month.

Mel Anyamene, 24, has spent £9,000 on 12 holidays in just one year – and says everyone should take time off once a month to have a break from work. She set herself the challenge in November 2022, booking her first trip in January to Malaga, Spain, before subsequently heading to Dubai, Lisbon, Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, Miami in the US, Nigeria, St. Lucia, Grenada and Cyprus. She says she was able to afford them as she lives rent-free with her parents.

Mel, a consulting analyst from London, said: "I made a New Year's resolution to travel to 12 countries in 12 months in 2023. I wanted to explore more. I've been continually in education for a very long time and since I had just started my grad job – I thought it would be the perfect way to spent my money. The money will come back – experiences won't. I'm supposed to be enjoying myself. Everyone should be taking time off at least once a month. Take time off for yourself."

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