Prior to the big jump and leaving Belgium, I obviously had to prepare quite some things. So after my trip to Thailand in 2019, I started planning everything. Here are the things I did.
Keep an Official Address
As I wanted to keep the Belgian nationality so I can fall back on the good social security if needed, I had to keep an official address in Belgium. Thing is, rent is quite expensive in Belgium. And I preferred not to pay rent every month for an appartement I don’t live in.
So I had to figure out a way to keep an official address in Belgium without paying rent every month. Most digital nomads put their official at their parents home. For me, that wasn’t an option. But my sister was looking to rent an apartment.
Since she’s still a student, she can’t officially rent an apartment without losing child support. So we got together and decided I would officlally rent an apartment and she would be living in it and paying the rent. Like that, it’s a win-win situation for both sides.
It took a while before we found an apartment but once we had confirmation that we could rent a place, everything else went quite quickly.
Quit current renting contract
Actually even a little before we found a place, I have quit the renting contract of the place I was living back then. Because of the contract, I had to rent the place 3 more months and pay a fine of 2 months rent for breaking the contract.
During these 3 months, I took some time to move to stuff over to the new apartment of my sister where I could store some of my things, throw away a lot of things and sell some stuff.
As soon as I had confirmation about the new apartment, I told my employer that I was going to quit my job and move to Thailand. For me, that was the hardest thing to do because I really liked my job and coworkers.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as digital nomad visa. So I’m forced to live and travel on a tourist visa. This also means I’m officially not allowed to work. It is a little risk I take, since in Thailand there have been regularly raids at coworking spaces.
Thailand does have an Elite Visa which allows you to stay for 5 – 20 years in Thailand without all the hassle a tourist visa has. However, an Elite Visa like that costs minimum € 16.000 for 5 years. For me, that option is a little too expensive given the fact that I don’t know how long I’ll be staying where.
So, my best option was to get a 6 month tourist visa with multiple entry. There is a single entry visa for 6 months as well but as I want to travel surrounding countries, the multiple entry is the better choice for me.
This doesn’t mean I can stay for 6 months in Thailand though. I can stay a maximum of 60 days in the country. Then I would have to do a so called border-run. I would have to cross the border to another country and go back to get a new stamp on my passport.