Engaging Thailand The Project: The Manifesto

Introducing The Project

I have been doing some work on where I want this blog to go in the future and that has seen much quiet contemplation followed by a considerable amount of writing. My aim is to take the blog from a blog and turn it into a project in a few different areas as explained below. From a project my aim is to turn it into a legacy, but that will take a while. The blog as such has become more than just Thailand based travel and information. In fact it’s now a combination of Thailand based content and information, life design and ”how to” information.

You can learn more about my aims below, but what with the other subject additions, the blog name Engaging Thailand is now even more appropriate than ever.

The blog started as a tips based content on food and travel in Thailand from our travel jaunts there and for our Thai food catering clients in the UK. However as things and life evolves I have found it increasingly difficult to keep my other passions from creeping in to the tips based travel and food content.

Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangkhalaram Temple Bangkok

For some of us discovering or re-discovering our passions can become a life long journey. I have always believed in starting with a plan, (but unlike in my younger years when the plan was everything), I now believe in spontaneity, flexibility and creating once you have started. In fact I even quite like the adage of start and see where it takes you. But whatever you do make sure you start. That is certainly what’s happened here.

The Addition Of Life Design

I can honestly say that I despise the 9-5 conventional working lifestyle and have done for most of my life. I can also say I hated having a job and a boss. The second side of things was sorted out very early in my life when I decided a couple of decades ago to become self-employed. I can probably say with 24 years under my belt of working for and (for the most part with myself), that I am now totally unemployable. Even now the word job sends me into a cold sweat.

I have always as such been designing life even if it was without the laser focus of today. I would design small ventures where we could dance to our own tune. These ventures were set up with travel jaunts to Thailand being at the forefront. Life design with a family and I don’t care what anyone say’s is certainly harder. Notice I don’t say impossible (as there are plenty of people out there doing it), but a lot more considerations come into play.

I am a lover of quotes, sayings and proverbs and you will often see in many of my posts a favourite  quote from the great Jim Rohn . ” If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.

So in actual fact there is nothing new about the term designing your life. In fact it has been going on a long time. I suppose the term ” life design” as such has become a bit of a buzz word with the introduction of the amazingly successful ”The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. The focus was very much about escaping the 9-5, live anywhere and providing practical tips and case studies on how to do it.


For me the term lifestyle design can mean whatever you want it to mean. It’s what ever you want your life to look like. If you want to design it around perpetual travel and being location independent that’s great, however if you want to design it by having a home base and taking off on occasional travel jaunts or as termed by Timothy Ferriss Mini – Retirements, that’s also great.

In my view being location Independent doesn’t have to mean that you are on the move all the time. But it can do. It basically means that you don’t have to be tied down to any particular place. For me it’s more about freeing up yourself. Having the freedom to choose. To me being location independent means you have your work, but you don’t have a job that keeps you tied to one place. It’s the sheer beauty of doing your work from anywhere you want with just the aid of a laptop and good internet connection. You could of course be home doing it, but with the freedom and flexibility.

For me I still enjoy my jaunts to Thailand and plan to take more of them in the future and for longer periods of time and to combine both work and rest.The UK will be used as a base and the goal will be to live a debt free lifestyle, beneath our means and mortgage free.

Beautiful Thai Beaches

Continued Learning From East And West

I have always been fond of self-improvement and personal growth and developed an insatiable appetite to learn. It’s  probably been a delayed reaction to spending most of my school days attempting to become George Best and traveling the country watching Manchester United play and Manchester United  is still a massive passion of mine. As you can see with my United blog.


When I say an insatiable appetite to learn I don’t mean the stuff they teach you in school. I mean about life and living. My problem though always has been  that I will have too many projects going on at once. It’s something I’m aware of and something I am constantly trying to do something about, but with little success. It’s just the way I am wired I guess.

So What Is The Next Stage All About

Well from a Thailand perspective it’s about travel, longer periods of stay in the country, Thai culture and Thai language

From a life design perspective it’s about designing your own freedom, what ever that may be. It’s whatever works for you. We certainly don’t all have to move to Thailand, but I hope there is something you can take from the processes here anyway. Whether you want to spend time in other countries or remain at home.

From a skill execution perspective, it’s about learning the ”how to”. It’s about a continued learning curve of lifestyle secrets from east and west. Where engaging Thailand also becomes engaging Asia.

So the blog posts come at you as a mixed bag containing all the above, because as I mentioned before it’s just in my nature. They come in the form of articles, interviews and step by step ”how to” processes. Maybe one day I will have to take it in a direction where I split it up, but at the moment no.

Floating Markets

Most importantly it’s always going to be  about people. Already we have heard from some terrific people on this blog who have given up their time to give me some terrific information in order that I can pass on to you. So whether in the future it’s an expert on a skill, a business owner in Thailand for recommendation or an expat living a fantastic lifestyle, it’s always about people.

That leads nicely on to an upgrade as not only is it about people, but it’s about helping other people. The real purpose is about helping people.

One of the main features of this blog is to inform, but in order to inform we must first learn. Learning is now the main reason this blog exists.

Alongside the learning sits meaningful experiences. It’s very much about meaningful experiences and not material possessions.

It’s about the ” how to” – discovering ways to do  something and experimenting to see if it works. It’s about experiments.

Finally it’s about asking the important questions

Imagine you are 5 years older and are now looking back on the last 5 years. What would you have liked to have achieved in the past 5 years? What experiences would you like to have had. The time for planning for those starts now. Think about your desired outcome and plan backwards from it. Does it take some work? Your darn right it does. It takes monthly, weekly and daily planning, but the journey is all part of the process.

Chris Guillebeau some 7 years ago set a goal to visit every country in the world by April 7th 2013 and has about 8 countries left to go. Read more of his excellent work on his blog. It’s a tremendous blog.


The Importance Of Time

Time is something we can never get back and needs to be taken notice of. It was Jim Rohn that said in his book ‘The Treasury Of Quotes ” Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than invest it”.


Accounting for time was an essential ingredient in an essay I was recently reading by Christopher G. Moore . The essay was called ” The Million – Dollar Man In Bangkok” and it was from his new book ”Faking It In Bangkok”. It’s about a top lawyer with substantial investments and millions in the bank who billed for 3,000 hours of service each year.

He made one million a year, but the idea of retiring was only an occasional passing thought and never acted upon. Was it that he loved his work? No, he found it to be exhausting and it had added appearance wise,10 years to his real age. The reason was that he had climbed the mountain of success and that was where he was staying. The fear of finding ways to replace those billable hours was too much. He had no life outside of his job only a reputation to guard.

At the end of the essay Christopher G. Moore points out that perhaps moving the clock forward 20 years and looking back on how you would have liked that last 20 years to have looked , would have given the lawyer a greater perspective. This essay is all about life design, organising time and experiences and one of the many superb essay’s in ” Faking It In Bangkok”. Incidentally moving time forward and looking back on how you would have liked it to have looked is a massively productive exercise.


Finally there was an interview Christopher G. Moore did with Legal Nomads a couple of years ago that I thought was superb. In the interview I picked out this classic quote by Christopher G. Moore that is exceptionally thought-provoking. You know sometimes you read something and it gives you a jolt. I think nowadays it’s known as an aha moment.

”Sooner or later we all come down to the end of our lives. When you look out of the window for the last time, and run through the choices you’ve made about your life, before that curtain comes down, are you content to let go knowing you had the courage to live the life you chose?”     Christopher G. Moore

To read the article in full (and it’s well worth it), click on the link below. The comments are excellent as well.


The Blog Becomes A Project

So what does it take to become the best you possibly can in all areas of your life. What makes one man live a life of fulfilment and another man live a life of complete mediocrity.

Finally, I don’t have all the answers, but I aim to detect those who do. Over the next 5 years I aim to find answers from my travels , experiments, experiences interviews and research from both the eastern and western world. I aim to ask experts and experience personally the answers on being all that you can be and living a life by choice in all ares of life.

Why not drop me an e-mail to

tours@engagingthailand.com and introduce yourself.

Further still let me know what it is that you would like to see more of from the subjects mentioned in this post or how I can help you.

With kind regards

Trevor Bide


For more information on Thailand




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