‘Lifestyle migrants in Asia value happiness, health, and good friends far more than luxury goods’.
We have started to analyse the results of our online survey and we are going to give out a few results via this web blog from time to time.
The survey was for British people who live in Malaysia or Thailand (even if temporarily or part-time) if part of the reason for living there is for quality of life.
As we have said in the project description, lifestyle migration is movement of people for quality of life rather than economic or security reasons. It is an increasingly important phenomenon, with effects for migrants and locals, and for cultural and economic life. It has been studied quite widely in European contexts but has been overlooked in Asian contexts.
This project aimed to examine the motivations, experiences and outcomes of lifestyle migration for migrants in Malaysia and Thailand.
112 people responded to the survey. Of these, 54.5% were male and 45.5% were female. The vast majority were British or Irish, but a very few Americans, Australians, Canadians, and Dutch also responded.
(One of the things we have discovered is that nationality is not a straight-forward concept for lifestyle migrants – but more of that later)
Why move? Many respondents said they moved to Malaysia or Thailand because of the climate, the cost of living, in search of adventure, or quality of life. Some spoke of the Asian lifestyle, Thai/Malay people and culture, the opportunity to travel and experience a new life. If you believe what you read on some of the expat forums you would think the main reason was getting out of the UK. But in our survey only 6 people listed this as one of their reasons for moving.
Visitors. Lifestyle migrants seem to get a lot of visitors: 68% of survey respondents were visited by friends in the last year, and 53% had relatives visit.