Get to Know Nomad Series #3: the Nomadic Banker – Joel Todd
Working and Living in Bangkok as a Digital Nomad
Hey! What’s your name?
How old are you ?
I am 24 years old.
Where are you from ?
What is your education background ?
I studied Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, majoring in finance and accounting.
What are your professional experiences ?
I currently work as a Graduate Analyst in the Investment Banking and Capital Markets division at Credit Suisse in Sydney. Prior to this I held a number of casual customer service jobs while I was studying.
Why did you become a Digital Nomad ?
I took part in a university course which included a 3 week internship in Bangkok, working for Novotel Sukhumvit 20. Through this course I was informed of a further opportunity to come back to Thailand for a longer period as a Market Research Intern with aCommerce, an e-commerce solution consulting group. I jumped at this opportunity to live for an extended period of time in a city that I love. I saw it as a unique opportunity to experience a new work culture, make local friends and make my resume stand out from the crowd.
How do you work today ? How do you earn an income ?
I currently work as a graduate analyst in the Investment Banking and Capital Markets division at Credit Suisse in Sydney.
What are your best apps for working as a Digital Nomad ?
The biggest problem for any digital nomad is not knowing anyone in a new city. So any apps which overcome this are essential for any digital nomad (e.g. MeetUp, Backpackr, etc). The other important app is Line, as this is the app that all the locals communicate with.
Do you have an advice for anyone who wants to become a Digital Nomad ?
My main advice would be to make friends with locals as soon as possible and get them to show you local restaurants, teach you Thai phrases and help you understand the vastly different culture. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in Thai culture and help dispel the many stereotypes about Thailand/Bangkok that exist in Western countries. Learning the language is particularly important, not only for explaining to taxi drivers where you want to go, but also to show the local people that you are not just another tourist, but someone who respects Thailand and wants to have a more meaningful experience. The other piece of advice I would give is to give up on the tourist notion that if you’re in Thailand you have to eat Thai food for every meal to ‘live like the locals do’, because that isn’t how your peers will live. Try everything and appreciate the amazing melting pot of foods, bars, people and culture that is Bangkok.
Why did you decide to come to Thailand to start your Digital Nomad life ?
I wanted to live for an extended period of time in a different country and I saw moving to Thailand for an internship as a unique opportunity to experience a new work culture, make local friends and make my resume stand out from the crowd. The specific reason for choosing Thailand, and Bangkok in particular, was that I already had some connections in the city, I had previously been here and loved the buzz and energy of what is undoubtedly one of the world’s most exciting cities. Thailand is also very ‘tourist friendly’, meaning it is quite easy for English speakers to get around and most restaurants have English menus etc. There is also opportunities for English speakers as a lot of business is also conducted in English.
What is your typical day in Thailand as a Digital Nomad ?
My typical day in Thailand consisted of heading in to work at the ‘Thai time’ of 9:30 – 10:00 am until 6:00 – 6:30 PM, usually having lunch with my team and always leaving room for an afternoon ‘kanom’ (snack). After this I would usually head to somewhere new for dinner be it Thong Lor, Ekkamai, Siam etc with my local friends and then maybe go for a drink or dessert. On the weekends I would either do a short trip out of Bangkok or explore new parts of the city.
Can you give us some recommendations of your favorite places in Bangkok ?
My favourite restaurants in Bangkok are White Flower Factory at Siam Square One, Jham Jhun Bar and Bistro on Phra Sumen Rd (near Khao San), After You Dessert Cafe (multiple locations) and Holy Shrimp at the Ratchada Train Markets (Saturdays and Sundays)
Would you be interested in meRooms Services ?
How do you think meRooms can help you ?
meRooms can take the hassle and stress out of finding temporary accommodation for someone who is unfamilar with the property rental market in Thailand.
How much would you spend in your accommodation per month in thailand, based on your experience ?
15,000 – 20,000 baht per month, depending on size and location. Would also depend on my expected income while in Bangkok.
What are for you the most important things or services you like to see on meRooms ?
Transparency, photos, detailed descriptions of properties and the area they are located in, distance to public transport, cost (with explanation of all fees, charges, bills, internet etc), help in connecting and paying for all necessary utilities, level of furnishing.
Thanks a lot Joel Todd 🙂