Digital Nomad in Thailand

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  • Overview

    Being a digital nomad in Thailand will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Thai culture without needing to take a break from your job. Most other digital nomad programs provide short-term stays in a number of different countries, but these short stays don’t allow you the opportunity to really get to know the culture or language before you’re on to the next city. With a home base in Hua Hin, ongoing cultural and professional learning opportunities, and the freedom to travel as much as you’d like, this program allows you to fulfill all your career and travel goals!

    Greenheart Travel’s program is ideal if:

    • You’re currently employed and location independent
    • You want a culturally immersive experience but don’t want to teach English
    • You’re interested in being a digital nomad abroad but want some support
    • You’re looking to be part of a community of like-minded travelers

    Program at a Glance:

    • 3 or 6 months
    • Housing, co-working space, insurance and orientation included
    • Monthly professional development workshops
    • Couples and friends welcome!

     

  • What is a Digital Nomad?

    A digital nomad is a person who has the ability to work remote from anywhere in the world – they are also called “location independent.” Digital nomads are not required to work from a physical office to perform their jobs, and their hours are flexible, so working from a different time zone does not create any issues. Many digital nomads work in marketing, design, consulting, and freelance writing, although if your job is almost entirely done on your computer, then you can be a digital nomad too!

    There are a ton of benefits to working remotely including lower cost of living, ability to travel cheaper and more often, personal and professional growth and development, and increased independence.

    Some digital nomads move abroad on their own and work from a rented apartment and/or local coffee shops. This program is different – it gives structure to digital nomads, like accommodation and a co-working space, a community to connect with, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture through volunteer opportunities, workshops with local experts and simply by having a home base in Hua Hin, Thailand!

  • How It Works

    The mission of this program is to provide a culturally immersive and community-oriented experience for 3 or 6 months, to those who are location independent. Unlike similarly structured remote work programs, this program is not solely focused on what you will get out of the experience or how many stamps you’ll collect in your passport, this program gives you an opportunity to make an impact on the community which you will live in abroad, allowing you to make real and ongoing connections with individuals you may otherwise only meet in passing if you were just on vacation.

    This program does not provide paid work – it is structure, support and a community abroad for those already employed and able to work remotely.

    Located in Hua Hin, Thailand, this program empowers digital travelers to immerse themselves in Thai culture while still being able to continue with their careers. Digital travelers will stay in private accommodation, co-work in a traditional Thai house with other digital nomads, and have the flexibility to travel and experience life in Thailand!  This program also offers professional development workshops as well as philanthropic opportunities throughout the program by matching digital travelers with local businesses to assist in projects as they are needed.

    Travelers’ day-to-day will not be scheduled or monitored, but our in-country staff will coordinate monthly group activities, workshops, volunteer opportunities and assist with anything travelers may need while they’re on the program. We have over 20 permanent, on-site staff who have lived in Thailand for a number of years that are available 24/7 during the program.

  • Program Dates

    October 14, 2019 – January 3, 2020

    Holidays During This Cohort

    Loi Krathong  November 13
    This holiday is also known as the famous Lantern Festival where people all over the country release lanterns into the sky and send floating krathongs down the river. Celebrate this holiday locally in Hua Hin, or plan ahead and go to the epicenter of the holiday up north in Chiang Mai!

    The Late King’s Birthday December 5
    The Late King had been the longest reigning monarch in the word prior to his passing in 2016, and was considered a father to the country. His birthday is celebrated as Father’s Day each year on December 5 and the biggest celebrations are right in Hua Hin, where the royal summer palace is!

    New Year’s December 31
    The Thai New Year is actually in April, but there are still plenty of places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Thailand. Islands like Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Phi Phi are an easy trip from Hua Hin and are popular destinations to ring in the New Year on the beach!

    2020 Dates Coming Soon! 

  • Eligibility

    • Ages 21+
    • Citizen of the US, Canada, UK, EU, Aus, NZ, or South Africa
      • Due to visa restrictions, citizens of other countries may be accepted on a case-by-case basis
    • Currently employed or self-employed with the ability to work remote*
    • Be in great mental and physical health
    • No criminal record (with the exception of traffic or other minor violations)
    • An adventurous attitude and strong flexibility are a must

    *Why do I need a job?

    While the focus of this program is cultural immersion, all the digital travelers will be living and working in the same spaces. We want to foster an environment for everyone to learn from each other, continue with their careers and experience Thai culture. Although Digital Nomads have the freedom to take vacations around Thailand and surrounding countries whenever they’d like, we want to ensure that the accommodations and workspace in Hua Hin are reserved for those who need a productive place to work.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    • 3 Months – $3,400 ($800 start-up fee* + $866/month)
    • 6 Months – $5,000 ($800 start-up fee* + $700/month)

    *Start-up fee covers your pre-departure and arrival support, setup, preparation and arrival orientation activities. The monthly fee will cover your accommodation, co-working space, insurance and monthly activities. 

    What you get:

    • Co-working space
    • Accommodation (private room)
    • Medical insurance for duration of program
    • Airport pickup and transfer to Hua Hin (~3 hour drive)
    • Group arrival orientation and welcome dinner
    • Cultural activities throughout the first month include:
      • Thai culture and history lessons, Muay Thai, Thai cooking class, Market tour, Thai language classes, beach BBQ
    • Monthly cultural or professional development presentations with local experts on:
      • Sustainable and ethical tourism in Southeast Asia
      • Stray animal problem, causes and solutions in Thailand
      • Thai politics and the Monarchy
      • Challenges and solutions of Thai education system
      • History, conflict and culture in Southeast Asia
    • Optional excursions in or around Hua Hin each weekend
    • Thai SIM card
    • Assistance in setting up a bank account if needed

    Our Support and Services:

    • Visa Assistance in applying for the Non Immigrant-O visa ahead of arrival, including visa paperwork and extensive directions and support.
    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from Kara, your program manager! She has lived in Thailand herself and will be able to answer all your questions and tell you what living in Thailand is really like! She will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in Thailand.
    • Online webinar logistical orientation before you leave
    • Highly experienced team of 20+ in-country support staff members
    • 24 hour in-country and emergency support for duration of the program, including 24 hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.
    • Lifetime job placement assistance in Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, China, or Myanmar if you decide you want to stay and teach.
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 

    Additional Expenses You’ll Need to Cover (Estimates):

    • Airfare to Bangkok ($800)
    • Visa fee or any costs associated with obtaining documents required for the visa ($100)
    • Meals and daily transportation in Thailand ($5-$7/day)
    • Electricity at accommodation ($50/month)
    • Phone usage ($30/month)
    • Travel fund (at least $1500)
    • Visa run ($200) only for those staying longer than 3 months

    Payment Details:

    • $300 Application Deposit due to move onto the interview
      • Refunded only if you are not accepted*
    • $300 Commitment Deposit due after acceptance
      • Confirms your spot on a start date
    • Remaining Balance Due 6 Weeks Prior to Start Date:
      • 3 months $2,800
      • 6 months $4,400

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Itinerary

    Month 1

    You’ve finally made it to Thailand! You will fly into Bangkok where we will pick you up and transport you directly to Hua Hin, which is about a three hour drive, depending on traffic. In Hua Hin, you’ll check into your room, settle in and wait for the other digital nomads to arrive. We will have a welcome dinner that night where we’ll also go over the next weeks’ activities. The first week will include a tour of the neighborhood and coworking space, program overview, ice breaker activities, a beach barbecue, and tour of Hua Hin.

    Weekday activities are spread out to allow those who aren’t taking time off work right away to be able to continue working throughout the week. No activity is required, but we do encourage you to attend everything if you can!*

    Orientation Activities (1-2/week)

    • Thai language class
    • Presentation on Thai culture and history: Part 1
    • Muay Thai class
    • Thai Cooking class

    Workshops

    • Expert on Eco-Tourism and Development in Asia: Invisible Costs of Tourism in Southeast Asia.
    • Rescue P.A.W.S Head veterinarian Dr. Aey on the stray animal problem in Thailand: Causes and Solutions

    Optional Local Weekend Excursions (Digital Nomad’s responsible for these costs)

    • Temple Caves at National Park
    • Market Tour
    • Volunteering day at Rescue P.A.W.S animal rescue
    • Day Trip to Elephant Safari at Kuiburi National Park
    • Hua Hin Vineyard Visit

    *The exact monthly schedule for your group will be confirmed closer to your start date.

    Month 2

    After about a month, you’ll be settled into your routine in Hua Hin and maybe have some travel plans in mind. We understand that your job is your main responsibility, so we don’t want to overwhelm your schedule with too many program-sponsored activities. However, we want to ensure you’re learning as much as you want during your time in Thailand, and we want to make it as easy as possible! We have resources for classes you can sign up for in Hua Hin on your own, like weekly Thai language tutoring, Muay Thai classes, kitesurfing, etc.

    Group Activities 

    • Presentation on Thai culture and history Part 2
    • Potluck Dinner Nights (2)

    Workshops

    • Principal Toom on Challenges of the education system in Thailand and possible solutions
    • Presentation: Dr. Michael Volpe PhD on Thai Politics and the Monarchy
    • Skill Share days (2): Sign up to share a skill others may be interested in or attend a class hosted by a fellow Digital Nomad!

    Optional Local Weekend Excursions (Digital Nomad’s responsible for these costs)

    • Trip to Artist Village
    • Visit to Pala’U Waterfall
    • Food Tour of Hua Hin
    • Khao Tao Temple for Dharma talk and meditation with head monk

    Volunteering 
    For those who are interested in volunteering their professional skills with a local NGO or non-profit, we can match you with a number of organizations who would greatly benefit from pro-bono work. Digital Nomads interested in volunteering should be able to commit at least 5-10 hours/week for the duration of the project.

    Month 3

    This month will have the lightest schedule, but that leaves you plenty of time to be productive and get as much travel in as possible before you leave! At this point, you may already have consistent volunteering hours each week as well as any classes you have signed up for, so you’ll still have a packed schedule!

    Group Activities 

    • Potluck Dinner Nights (2)
    • Farewell Dinner

    Workshops

    • Michael Volpe, PhD on History, Conflict and Culture in the Southeast Asian Region
    • Skill Share days (2): Sign up to share a skill others may be interested in or attend a class hosted by a fellow Digital Nomad!

    Optional Local Weekend Excursions (Digital Nomad’s responsible for these costs)

    • Trip to Friends of Wildlife
    • Overnight trip to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
    • Volunteering day at Rescue P.A.W.S animal rescue
  • The Community

    We have over 20 permanent staff in Hua Hin, Thailand. Most of the expats on staff have been in Thailand for a few years, but some have been living there for up to 15 years. Together, we run Teach English abroad, Marketing Internship, and Volunteer Abroad programs and the office that coordinates those programs will be just next door to your work space. There is already a large community and network you will be joining within the Hua Hin community.

    These staff will be there to introduce to you the city, culture, and make sure you are always well supported and having a good time! The resident pups on campus, Nom Sod, Pudding and Pumpkin will also be there to greet you at the co-working house each morning!

    Along with the other digital nomads and the permanent staff in Thailand, there’s also a new group of teachers arriving each month for their TESOL training and placement in a Thai public school. As a digital nomad on this program, you will always have other people to hang out with, a quiet space to work and plenty of opportunity travel!

    Permanent Staff in Thailand

  • About Hua Hin

    Your home base will be in Hua Hin, Thailand, a coastal city about a 3 hour drive south of Bangkok. Although not as well-known as some other southern Thailand destinations like Phuket, Koh Phangon or Koh Samui,  Hua Hin is a unique Thai city to settle down in and get to know. Thai people have been coming to Hua Hin for family weekend getaways since the seaside town was popularized in the 1920’s by the royal family, who built, and still use, the Klai Kangwon summer palace, just down the road from the Digital Nomad home and co-working space.

    Hua Hin has definitely grown in popularity over the years, and there are plenty of westerners and western food throughout town, but the city hasn’t lost it’s charm or authenticity. There’s still an abundance of night markets, street food stalls, cute cafes, Thai Buddhist temples, and miles of quiet and uncrowded beaches off the Gulf of Thailand.

    Due to it’s popularity with Bangkok residents, transportation in and out of Hua Hin is cheap and practical, giving you easy access to the rest of Thailand and surrounding countries for weekend trips!

  • Accomodation

    Private accommodation is included for the duration of your program – this will be booked and paid for on your behalf prior to your arrival. All Digital Nomads will live in the same building, which will be a short walk from the co-working space. You will have your own room which will have either one or two twin beds, a desk, a dresser, bathroom (with western toilet), a mini-fridge, air conditioning, high-speed WiFi, and a small balcony area. The co-working space will have a functioning kitchen that you are welcome to use during the day, but you won’t have a kitchen in your room. A microwave and electric kettle will be available in the building to be shared with the other Digital Nomads.

    You will be responsible for paying your electricity each month, but as long as you keep your lights and air con off while you’re not using them, it shouldn’t be more than $40/month.

  • Work Space

    The co-working space is exclusive to travelers on this program and is located down the road from the accommodation and across the street from the Thailand staff’s office in Hua Hin. In a traditional Thai-style home, the house has multiple co-working spaces as well as one private office available for reservation throughout the day. The house is equipped with high-speed WiFi, a functioning kitchen, air conditioning in the offices, two bathrooms and two outdoor seating areas with WiFi.  

    The house is next door to Wagging Tails cafe, a local coffee shop whose proceeds go towards helping Rescue Paws, a non-profit dog rescue located in town!

    The house is located within a 20-minute walk of the main square of Hua Hin with plenty of restaurants and the nightly market, and a 5-minute walk from the beach. Hua Hin has a small airport, bus terminal and train station with cheap and easy access to other parts of the country for weekend travel plans.

  • FAQs

    How do I know if this program is right for me?

    You should do this program if you:

    • Have wanted to live abroad again or for the first time but you’re not sure if teaching English is a good fit
    • Want a culturally immersive experience that allows you to make an impact on your host community
    • Already have a job that allows you to work remote
    • Want to skill share with like-minded digital travelers
    Can I go for less than 3 months?

    The mission of this program is to provide a culturally immersive experience to those who are currently employed and don’t want to leave their jobs or for those who want to experience life abroad but not sure teaching English would be a good fit. It can be difficult to have a truly immersive experience in just 4 weeks, as many travelers can still be in the beginning stages of culture shock at that point. By committing to 3 months abroad, you’ll allow yourself to fully experience Thai culture.

    Will I be alone?

    Nope! You’ll be living in the same housing and working in the same space as a number of other digital travelers. We accept couples and friends, but the majority of travelers come to Thailand on their own, so it’s very easy to make friends!

     

    Is Thailand safe?

    Thailand is a very safe country. In fact, most of our teachers and travelers report feeling safer in Thailand than they do back in their home countries. Just like in any country, you should exercise some caution: be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings, don’t walk alone late at night, etc.

    The most common crime in Thailand is pick-pocketing and other petty crime in busy, tourist areas. When visiting tourist attractions, keep an eye on your wallet/purse and don’t be afraid to politely decline a product or service if you feel you’re being drastically overcharged.

    Do I need to know Thai?

    Nope! It is not necessary to speak Thai to apply for this program. However, having some knowledge of the local language will, of course, benefit your day-to-day life, help you negotiate, understand the culture and allow you to connect with people in your community. You will receive some introductory lessons to the language during orientation, and you can opt to take private lessons throughout the program if you’re interested in learning more!

    Will I have insurance?

    You will be covered by comprehensive international medical and accident insurance through Greenheart Travel for the duration of your program as part of your program fee. This will cover you for most medical expenses you could incur, like prescriptions, ER visits, doctor visits, dental accidents, and hospitalizations. If you want to extend your plan, we’ll provide the link to purchase additional coverage.

    When should I apply?

    We take applications as far as one year in advance and accept applicants on a rolling basis. We can usually accept you within 2 weeks of applying, no matter how far in advance you’re wanting to leave. Deadlines are 2 months before each start date.

    How do I get a visa?

    You will need a Non-Immigrant (O) visa for Thailand which is a volunteer visa. Before you arrive, we will provide you with a visa invitation letter along with very detailed directions on how to apply. If you have a question, Kara is always available to help with the process.

    The visa cost will be $80 USD or $100 CAD. The entire process to apply and be approved just takes 1-2 weeks and is very simple and straightforward. We will provide all the paperwork, directions, and help you through this whole process so it’s nothing to worry about!

    For those staying for 6 months, you will be required to do a visa run to a neighboring country. Our in-country staff will assist you with setting up this run and you should budget about $200 USD.

    Are there any vaccinations I need?

    While there are no required vaccinations for Thailand, we recommend that you see a doctor or travel clinic for advice on vaccinations. We highly recommend obtaining Hepatitis A and B, as well as Typhoid before arriving.

    All travelers need to consult a qualified medical practitioner or travel doctor about taking malaria medication when traveling to Thailand. However, we’ve been sending teachers to Thailand for over 5 years and we have not had any teachers suffer from malaria, but we cannot guarantee 100% that you will not catch it. Wearing bug spray everyday is the best defense against mosquito-borne diseases.

    Will someone be there to pick me up at the airport?

    Yes, you will be picked up at the airport, unless you are traveling independently before the program begins. In that case, you’ll be given the details of where to meet the group!

    Are flights included and booked for me?

    No, flights are not included in the fee, and you are responsible for arranging your own flights/transportation to Thailand. You may book your flights once you’re accepted into the program, and we will let you know when you can do so!

    What meals are provided throughout the program?

    Meals are not provided during the program, with the exception of the group dinner at the end of orientation week. You will be required to pay for your own meals for the duration of the program. Most meals in Thailand are very cheap and usually will cost around $1-2 USD if you’re eating Thai food – eating Western food is much more expensive and it’s recommended you eat Thai food as much as possible.

    Can I bring my children and/or pets?

    No, you cannot bring your children or pets.

    Can I use my credit/debit card in Thailand?

    Major credit cards are accepted by hotels and large stores, but cash is the ideal method of payment almost everywhere. Typically establishments will only accept credit cards for large purchases, so plan on paying for most things in cash. You can use your ATM card to withdraw cash from a bank account back home when you need access to more cash.

    Will I have a bank account in Thailand?

    This depends if you’d like one or not. Most travelers find that they are able to use their debit/credit cards from home, as there are ATMs everywhere when you need cash. The staff in Thailand can assist you in opening a bank account if you decide you want one.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application Here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.

    3. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.

    5. Submitting Your Documents: Submit your required documents (below) at the link provided.

    6. Skype Interview (Approximately 10-15 Minutes):  Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    7. You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within a 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    8. Commitment Deposit: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Thailand!

    Required Documents To Apply

    • Application (done online)
    • Copy of Passport
    • Resume
    • Criminal Record Check
      • A federal background check is required upon acceptance onto the program. We’ll provide you with a guide on this process.
  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to the program manager, Kara? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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