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12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap Paperback – November 9, 2013
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Top customer reviews
The book lays out some great basic level information for heading over to Thailand and how to survive once you hit the ground. It also shows you how easily you can do it, which most of us forget as we get wrapped up in the day to day grind of just surviving instead of thriving. There is a huge added bonus to the material if you're into diving or martial arts.
I spent a summer in SE Asia in 2004. I've been wanting to get back ever since and finally after a decade, I'm on my way, thanks in part to Johnny and his book. I found Johnny via a YouTube video showing one of his many apartments in Thailand. This lead to finding his blog, ordering his book, and now being a regular listener of his Travel Like a Boss podcast.
Like many others have stated, I feel like I have seen Johnny's growth over the last year through his videos, blog, and even a new book. It has been one of the most motivating things in my life this year, and has lead to a lot of personal success. I'm currently packing up my apartment, putting everything into storage and starting an eight week trip to Asia as a test run for running my company remotely.
Johnny, if you're in town when I make it to Chiang Mai, I would like to say thanks and treat you to a Paleo meal!
If you're looking to do Mai Thuy you may want to read it, but otherwise pass on it.
This is a personal account and Johnny shares almost everything. The level of transparency he displays is amazing. You really feel like you are with him for the entire journey.
There are alot of details that he shares and he breaks down everything giving exact figures to things such as living expenses, rent and tickets. But more importantly is the why for doing all these things. I wish I had found this earlier like 5 years ago.
One of the major learnings you can take away after reading this book is that whatever your age is, right now make the most of it and don’t waste another year hopping, dreaming or putting off what you really want to do. He even gives examples of what happens to those who wait. It’s because of this that I have made my own plans to go to Chiang Mai and spend time there at the end of this year.
The chapter on attending a silent meditation retreat was one that really resonated with me and I suggest for anyone in a corporate job or being too long in the rat race to read it.
To conclude: GET THIS BOOK. TAKE ACTION.
12 Weeks in Thailand: The Guide Book to Travel Cheap, Learn Muay Thai all while Living the 4-Hour Workweek
I'm currently on my own trip in Thailand, and this book started it all!
Johnny really takes you with him on his adventures around Thailand and gives you an honest account of what its all like. This book is a very helpful resource if you're planning to come here. (especially if you're into Muay Thai or scuba diving!)
I'm in Thailand now training Muay Thai and bootstrapping my online business. I got to hang out with Johnny and he's an all around great guy!
I highly recommend his blog (JohnnyFD.com) and his podcast (Travel Like a Boss)! Also, his 2nd book, Life Changes Quick.
Good luck everybody and safe travels!!! :)
But not Johnny.
This book (and also his blog) is one of the realest, truest accounts of someone who took the leap from professional office worker to online entrepreneur while...yup...living in Thailand to keep expenses low and the quality of life high. (12 Weeks, by the way, ended up being 5+ years for Johnny). From his first short vacation to how he became a paid scuba dive master to how he fought as a professional Muy Thai fighter, this book is entertaining and informative start to finish. I read it almost non-stop, over the course of two sittings.
A few other reviews mentioned that Johnny's style was too simple, too plain, but that's exactly why I appreciated this book. It's written honestly, by an average guy who achieved (and continues to achieve) his goals with hard work. Basically, the book reads as if Johnny was sitting with you over beers, explaining why he did what he did and how you can do the same.
There are a few reasons why I paid for this book instead of simply reading this blog / listening to his podcast for free:
1) Johnny proved he was legit over the course of many blog posts ~ he is so obviously living what he preaches that I wanted to learn more about his background. This book, in fact, is more background on his reasons for leaving the office and how he transitioned into a successful entrepreneur than the nuts and bolts of how he currently runs this ecommerce business (this business came into being toward the end of the book). This book is his journey, his struggle. If you're more interested his current entrepreneurial projects, read his blog and/or listen to his podcast. You'll likely come back to the book anyway just like I did.
2) I needed practical advice for living in Thailand ~ I'm currently en route to Chiang Mai, Johnny's preferred Thai city and homebase. There I plan to dedicate my time and energy to creating an online business similar to the kind Johnny's manages from Thailand. This book talks extensively about expenses (rent, food, transport, etc), what to expect culturally (even in the very different dating scene), where to live, and where to travel within the country. Though this books very much has a male perspective (Johnny's a dude afterall) I think it's equally relevent to females. Even the section on the Full Moon Party, a scene I thought I'd skip completely since I'm no longer a 20-something backpacker, were interesting and have me thinking, "Why not?" It's an unique experience. Throughout the book I was constantly bookmarking paragraphs in my Kindle. Soon I hope to visit some of the lesser-known beaches and dive spots Johnny' mentions.
3) I needed inspiration for my upcoming plans to start an online business ~ Maybe you're lucky and you're surrounded by postive, active, dedicated entrepreneurial people...but I'm not. Loves ones don't understand why I can't just tuck myself into a cubicle, buy a house, and be happy. Many of my friends are office professionals content with their 14 days of annual vacation. They have mortgages, fancy cars, and immerse themselves in TV series then talk about them with co-workers at Happy Hours. My other friends are travelers, like me. No mortgages or cable TV, but they---like me---have been stuck in the cycle of work, save money, travel, return broke, repeat. It's not sustainable. After struggling and saving some money, I now have an opportunity to move to Thailand to build that 'digital nomad' lifestyle that better fits my personality. This book is like a supportive friend, one who understands that maybe the norm is not normal and I'm not that crazy afterall. It illustrates that the lifestyle Johnny describes is not only possible...but fun. It's a difficult journey but even the hardest days are part of the adventure, and certainly more interesting than the alternative: a lifetime of office work, a few quick vacations per year. In short, whether you're going on vacation to Thailand or trying to drastically change your life with an online business, this book will motivate you to follow through.
This is the first review I've ever written on Amazon ~ that's how much I enjoyed the book. Don't expect it to be great literature, it's not. It's a friend urging you out of your comfort zone, to live more, to be more healthy, to meet more people, see more sights, and maybe, just maybe, change your life forever.