This digital nomad left the U.S. for Bangkok and lives on $8K a month

Jesse Schoberg started plotting his escape from Elkhorn, Wisconsin, the place he was born and raised, when he was a teenager. “It’s your typical small town in the Midwest: small, quiet, not too much adventure,” he tells CNBC Make It. “I always knew that I wanted to get out and explore the world.”

The 41-year-old entrepreneur has now been residing overseas for 14 years, splitting his time amongst greater than 40 international locations — and he has no plans to return to the U.S. anytime quickly. 

Schoberg bucked the conventional path of attending school and securing a 9-to-5 job, as a substitute selecting to maneuver to Madison when he was 19, sharpening his coding expertise and serving to companies with their web site design and improvement. 

By the time he turned 27, nonetheless, Schoberg started to really feel stressed. He determined to maneuver to a new metropolis and researched flats in Austin and Denver, however his thoughts saved drifting to Panama City, the capital of Panama, the place he had “one of the best vacations of his life,” as he remembers. 

He moved to Panama City in 2008 and lived there for six years earlier than packing his luggage to journey the world full time as a digital nomad, a motion he had discovered about, and was impressed to strive, throughout a work retreat in Curaçao. 

In between his travels, Schoberg now calls Bangkok residence. He relocated to Thailand in December 2021 and shares a one-bedroom residence along with his fiancée, Janine. 

“The quality of life in Thailand compared to the United States, is much better for 90% of things and more stress-free,” he says. “It’s also a lot easier to afford a luxurious lifestyle.”

Becoming a digital nomad

Schoberg has constructed a formidable profession as an entrepreneur and net developer, incomes a six-figure wage every year — however his success did not occur in a single day.

When he first moved to Panama, Schoberg introduced the net design and improvement agency he established in the U.S. — and his record of shoppers — with him. 

In 2013, Schoberg and two of his buddies who had labored with him on earlier tasks for the agency, Jason Mayfield and Laura Lee, created DropInWeblog, a software program start-up that helps web site homeowners add an Website positioning-optimized weblog to virtually any platform in minutes. 

Today, DropInWeblog has an all-remote employees of 12 staff, with Schoberg at the helm as CEO. 

Becoming his personal boss gave Schoberg a extra versatile schedule, and he used his newfound free time to journey: After visiting a number of international locations in Central and South America, together with Colombia and Costa Rica, he determined to take a look at Asia, residing for quick stints in Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines (the place he met his fiancée on a Tinder date). 

In 2015, Schoberg stopped in Thailand — and he instantly knew he discovered his new residence. “When I got to Bangkok for the first time, it just had that pulse that felt familiar to Panama City … there’s just this incredible energy on the street and with the people,” he says. “I knew right away that Bangkok was going to be my Panama City 2.0.” 

Schoberg and his fiancée have been splitting their time between Mexico City and Bangkok as he waits for his Thai Elite Visa, a 5-year renewable visa that prices about $18,000 and provides you limitless entry to Thailand in addition to entry and exit privileges. 

‘I dwell a lot higher right here than I did in the U.S.’ 

Since transferring to Bangkok, Schoberg has been capable of spend extra on journey, eating and different hobbies in addition to increase his financial savings. “While I can afford a pretty nice life in the U.S., I live a lot better here than I did in the U.S.,” he says. “The level of services that you get here — fancier movie theaters, nice cars — completely blow away what you get in the U.S.” 

As an entrepreneur and CEO, Schoberg earns about $230,000 per yr. His greatest bills are his lease and utilities, which collectively are about $2,710 every month. Schoberg and his fiancée dwell in a one-bedroom residence in a constructing with a non-public fitness center, pool, co-working house, restaurant and each day cleansing service. 

He and Janine spend about $1,900 every month on takeout and eating out, usually ordering meals from native eating places on a well-liked app referred to as Food Panda. Schoberg’s go-to meals are khao soi, a coconut curry noodle soup with braised rooster, and pad krapow, a spicy basil rooster dish. Both meals normally value $2-$3, Schoberg says, and native eating places will usually give long-term prospects reductions. 

The meals scene, he says, is a “huge plus” to residing in Thailand, and certainly one of the predominant causes he selected to maneuver to Bangkok. “Bangkok has an amazing culinary scene, you have pretty much every type of food in the world here,” Schoberg says. “Just around the corner from my apartment, there’s a Belgian sandwich shop and a Korean barbeque joint.” 

Here’s a month-to-month breakdown of Schoberg’s spending (as of June 2022):

Rent and utilities: $2,709.52 

Food: $1,900.52

Transportation: $197

Phone: $40

Health insurance coverage: $280.39

Subscriptions: $78.48

Discretionary: $2,669.37 

Total: $7,875.28

The Thai tradition and individuals are “much friendlier and more relaxed” than in the U.S., Schoberg provides, and whereas English is spoken in the extra well-liked vacationer areas, like Bangkok, studying Thai has given Schoberg “a huge advantage” as a foreigner.

He attends two Thai courses per week, which prices $269.44 a month, and stresses that “you can really engage in the culture and have a better life” in Bangkok in case you’re capable of perceive Thai.

As a new resident, Schoberg continues to be exploring Bangkok and all that it has to supply, together with its many malls, parks, eating places and live performance venues — certainly one of the magical elements of residing in Bangkok, he provides, is that it may well really feel such as you’re residing in two completely different cities directly. 

“You’ve got the street-level city, which is your food vendors, people running to work, taxis and motorbikes,” he says. “And then there’s this sky city that’s happening in the skyscrapers, with fancy rooftop bars, working spaces and malls … here, you have the contrast of the Chanel store to the 20-cent pork skewer being grilled on the street.” 

Planning a lifetime of journey 

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