Picture from my second trip to Thailand in 2001. Me and Helge having fun in Pattaya.

How did i end up here?

This is the short story of my life in Thailand. I could probably write a book about my experiences here, and i might share some more details with you in my blog. But this is how and why i`m still here.

Picture from Nam Nao National Park near Petchabun in February 2004. 8 degrees on the top and fog. It is possible to freeze in Thailand too sometimes.

Burapa Pattaya Bike Week 2004. 5.000 bikes riding together throught the city. A great memory.

Somwhere in North Thailand in February 2005. 

May 2020. Back with new bike and on new adventures. 

15. January 2001, my friend Tom Erik and i, decided to meet our friend Helge, who was already living in Thailand. We stayed for 14 days, and was not really sure what had hit us until we were on the plane home on January 31st.

We had also met a lot of other Norwegians in Thailand, specially some people from Bergen, who was seasonal workers and lived in Thailand 6 months a year.

I thought that sounded like a good idea as i had wanted to leave the cold Norway for a while… I headed home and straight in to my boss office, asking him if he could give me 6 months holiday a year, instead of 5 weeks that is normal in Norway. The answer was of course NO!

Ok, then i resign i said. I already have my next flight to Thailand booked. He didn`t believe me at the time, but i handed it in by writing and he was stunned. You are really crazy, he said to me, but gave me his blessing and wished me good luck. I stayed my resignation period of 3 months, and then i was off to Thailand again for a 2 months holiday. After that, i went back 6 months a year, for the first two seasons until i got my first job in Thailand, starting an IP-Phone business for a Norwegian company in 2004.

In the meantime, Helge and our seasonal worker friends started riding bikes around Thailand in 2003. We had our base in Pattaya, but was mostly on the road somewhere, and i joined them as often as i could. In the period of 2003 to 2008, we made more than 200.000 KM and visited most major cities and places worth seeing in Thailand.

In 2009, i started my own travel agency and the plan was to specialize in MC Tours as i also had a seasonal work in the US, guiding MC Tours on the famous Route66. The idea was to make Thailands Route66 and arrange big bike tours around Thailand.

It was not easy to make a living on only MC Tours, and especially when our office was in Pattaya, and the real MC experience started near Chiang Mai, 900 KM away.

VIP Tours became a travel agency, and i established contact with Big Bike Tours Thailand, who was a newly started MC Tour company in Chiang Mai. They delivered tours and cared for our clients in addition to their own, and we had established a good cooperation. VIP Tour became more and more an agency for visas, business developments, law service, IT service and many other things, and i was operating it until 2016 when i got a great offer from a real estate company, who wanted to employ me and also offered to buy my agency.

At this time, i had lost a lot of time and not rode any motorbike tours for a long time, and i worked with the real estate company until end of 2019. Then i decided i was burned out, stressed and wanted my life in Thailand back the way it was supposed to be. I resigned, and decided to take a year off, spending the time on personal development and looking for new oportunitites. I took the year off, rode many great tour and had a lot of adventures. Now, because of the pandemic, it seems like it can become 2 years off, as the borders are still closed and the tourism in Thailand is at zero.

I am still here in Chiang Mai, planning and working on new business oportunities, studying leadership, personal development, cultural defferences and more. And in between studies,  exploring and riding the beutiful roads and taking in the scenery of the most perfect place to ride on earth… NORTH THAILAND!

Tom Stenshavn

15. october 2020