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Dare to Dream: A Thai Escort's Journey to Financial Freedom

Updated: Apr 14

It's 12pm on the 31st of October, 2022. I've just finished the last of the Money Maverick Academy Preview - when my LINE buzzes. LINE hasn't been a particularly good app for me this year. I used to look at it every day for 5 years. I've maybe looked at it twice in the last quarter.

It's weird that an app that I used to depend on so much...has become meaningless when you don't have someone you want to communicate with. least until it buzzes again, and I'm making sure it's not a mistake. Three words, "Don't be late" with "don't" being misspelled. The next message says "See you in the hotel," with a winky face. The last time I saw Nana was in December, 2021. She was briefly in Bangkok before flying back out to Korea.

Nana's been messaging me on and off for years. She sends me messages more on Facebook since it's easier to share - complaining about the stock market endlessly to the point that even I feel I have to step up my game. Our friendship isn't normal. Nana is an Escort - although if we're both honest, it's really just higher-end prostitution.

She hasn't finished high school - my parents paid for my private degree because I was too stupid to qualify for local or NIE.

She's a mother and working almost as long as I've been alive, but she had little to her name. Me, I saved up her entire lifetime savings while I was in National Service before I even got a full-time job.

We became unlikely friends through a one in a million, chance meeting.

I'd been through little suffering and much blessings compared to her, and it was only a little over 3 years ago that I was able to share what I could with her.

Between her savings, street-smarts and determination to apply what she learnt from me; she was able to achieve Financial Freedom after 2 years. You can read all about it at the link here or below.

I'd become accustomed to her treating me with a certain amount of admiration - from being her teacher and introducing her to Finance. It's a part of Financial consultancy where I have no mixed feelings about, only pride.

But maybe because our relationship was built such a foundation, we rarely talk about our personal lives. That's why it was so jarring, even for me - to see her interview with Seth.

To have a much clearer view of her hurts and struggles - laid out for the rest of the world to see, immortalized on the blog. I felt ashamed that I had never taken the time out to get to know her like Seth had.

I had told Seth I wanted to do it, but I kept putting it off...all the way till he had bought the blog, talked to her himself out of genuine sincerity and curiosity, and I bought it back from him, and still, nothing.

It was a human-interest article to me, not an investment in getting to truly know a dear friend. I was rightfully ashamed.

READ ALSO: Financial Freedom Lessons From A Thai Escort

I knew she was the first person I wanted to catch up with, before 3 days of business meetings ahead.

She asks if I want a beer. I tell her that I can order it through Grab or something once I check into the hotel. I'm wrong, because Bangkok has strict alcohol laws now and she thankfully amused, not mad, by my spectacular failure.

We sip on my Coconut-Welcome drinks in my hotel room and catch up.

Coming Back to Full Time Work in Bangkok

NANA: You know, I'm staying here tonight.

LUKE: What. No. My mum and my girlfriend would kill me.

NANA: (rolls eyes). Next room. My roommate has her boyfriend over in our apartment for tonight. Because I tell her I'm seeing you. You know how far Bang Na is?

LUKE: It's a little steep at 600 baht a night. (For Context, Nana spends about 80baht a day on herself most days)

NANA: Oh yes. But I also have the local discount.

LUKE: You got a discount on a room that already costs $25/night?

Financial Freedom: Nana's room for meetings
This room was an amazing steal, and 3 of my 4 scheduled meetings were in the area.

NANA: We're not all millionaires.

LUKE: Neither am I now.

READ ALSO: The Worst Investment Year for Money Maverick - Down By Over 40% and How To Avoid It

But why are you still in Bangkok? I thought you were just passing through.

NANA: No, I'm working here now.

LUKE: How come?

NANA: My mum, she's sick.

LUKE: I'm really sorry. How bad is it? NANA: She's ok. Eating well. She just can't really walk. She and my sister are in my house back home. My son visits them on some weekends. The medication is a lot and my sister isn't working, so I decided to go back to work.

Korea was nice, but not a lot of customers after a while.

LUKE: You were there a long time.

NANA: About a year. I had gotten used to it, too used to it. Maybe if I make a lot more money I will retire there instead.

LUKE: Why Bangkok?

NANA: My agency didn't think that the group (of escorts) was doing well enough to leave us there one more year (laughs). So, they wanted us back.

Continuing Escort Work

"If the 'release' (ejaculation) is in an area or in a way that could compromise your health more, you can charge more. Because it necessitates the need for the testing anyway..."

NANA: I was based in Bangkok for a while before coming to Singapore, so I'm happy to be here. When I was in Korea, I had many regulars in Thailand and Singapore message me on LINE telling me they miss me.

While my agency figures things out for us, I have private days with the regulars. I only accept full days now, and it has to be at a hotel. That way I only make one car trip a day and I know how much I can make. It's also nicer to be with customers who you are familiar with. I'm enjoying them and sex a bit more now because we get to know each other physically and mentally, since it's a full day. Food is free too.

I think I've been pushing safety boundaries a bit because we are comfortable (with each other), but it's usually very hard to enjoy sex otherwise. This is likely the best it's ever been (in her career).

LUKE: Anybody who you think might see this as something more?

NANA: None of the men are really (physically) attractive to me. (she laughs). But they're comfortable and sometimes everyone is happy. They are very kind to me. And my English, I think it's better.

LUKE: How much do you make in a month here?

NANA: For driving or for work?

LUKE: Uh, both.

NANA: I did about 60,000 baht last month on work for a few days, but it can be a lot more or less sometimes. It really depends how many days I get and how much some of them are willing to pay me, and what they want to do with me, or to me. Since it's not so much, I do a lot more driving and I made about 30,000 baht. It is not as much but I feel more free.

LUKE: What kind of activities determine a higher price, or how do you command a higher salary?

NANA: Comm-hah?