If, you’re new to my Blogs. Welcome. If not and if you have been following my Blog, you are aware that I lived in Thailand for 18 Months. I thought I would write this Blog to share how I did it at the age of 40 and why I didn’t stay.
Wow seems a million moons ago, but it isn’t. In July 2015, we made the move to Thailand. Myself, Husband Mark and two daughters aged 12 and 14. Me and Mark had been to Thailand before a few times and spent a month and sometimes more, at any one time. We fell in love with the place. I’ll take you back before the move, where it all started. As we found when we returned from New Zealand our conversations went a bit like this:
ME – “Mark wouldn’t it be lovely to retire in Thailand, you know maybe 6 months in Thailand and 6 months in New Zealand”?
Mark – “That would be great Sheila, maybe in a few years”.
ME – Maybe we should buy a little apartment there so we can use it on Holidays and it will be there when we retire. We could rent it out as a holiday home when we are not there”!
Mark – “Sounds great to me we should”!
Next thing I knew I was on the internet talking to Realtor in Jomtien and arranging the appointment to see some apartments. With Mark’s words of encouragement. Flights booked we were off again for a few weeks but this time to look at properties. Yes, we found one and it was perfect. We bought it. It was not quite ready, it was about 80 percent through the build. Suited us just fine.
The next year holiday booked again, and we moved into our brand your new spanking apartment for 6 weeks. And we just loved the lifestyle and the weather.
It was always that sad feeling when we left. I know you are saying come on Sheila we all get that feeling when our holiday is over. You know we never want it to end. And you are right. And it was that normal feeling. I mean we all have it, it inevitable at the end of a holiday.
Back to New Zealand we went and carried on with our every day’s lives. But this time something changed. The kids were getting older. We had a business and dabbled in property in New Zealand, so, all in all, we had a good portfolio of properties. Me and Mark talked all the time. What if we could move to Thailand for one Year? Just one year! We could rent our house out, put all our belongings in Storage. Take the two youngest kids, and the older ones could follow us when they wanted. We could do this, couldn’t we? What is stopping us?
Nothing was stopping us. With a few adjustments financially, we could support ourselves for a year. We could retire for one year. Then we would go back to New Zealand and carry on. You know to carry on where we left off. Now the thing with me and Mark, it never takes a lot of persuasion by the other person. We were both on the same page. We were going to do it. We put a date on it – 6 months. We gave ourselves until June and we were going.
And we did. We packed everything up in boxes for storage. Put all our finances in order, rented our home out. Kept the business running with our loyal staff. And with the two kids in Tow, we headed to Christchurch Airport to live in Thailand for a year.
Now Thailand was amazing for the first year, again we made friends. And did voluntary work to a foundation called Hand 2 Hand that is run by an incredible Australian woman. The kids were settled in Private school (You would not put them in the Public schooling in Thailand) unless they were really young. We were putting our selves out there in the community. Going to the slums twice a week. Prison to talk to the prisoners on Monday mornings. Teaching the kids Zumba in the foundation. And English lessons to the students at Father Rays Orphanage. Oh, how can I forget to mention August, now I had this wee Boy that came to me at 3 months old until a year old 4 days a week. His Thai mum worked long hours and his dad was paralyzed. Don’t just think I took them in off the streets. Oh no everything went through the foundation.
Now come on you know it was not all Volunteers work. Oh no, there was lots of time to explore Thailand. Or lying on the beach for hours. And going for meals or lazing around the pool. After all, we came to Thailand to retire for 1 Year. And that is what we did!
The thing with Thailand all is not always what it seems when you go on Holiday. Living and Holidaying in Thailand are two different things. You get to see different things within your community. Not just on an expat level but on a Thai level as well. The paperwork was sometimes exhausting. And the border runs are OK. A day trips on a bus. But you are only allowed three to Cambodia. So that means you have to go to Vietnam or Lao. Which is not a day trip. Chanise, Chloe and Mark were not to bad as they were on a Student Visa. Mark studied Thai. According to the law if you are an adult and studying Thai then I think it’s maybe 30 hours a week. Believe me, this is not the case. No school for adults enforces this. And it’s an option if you want a Visa. But all this takes a lot of time. So border runs for everybody was a must.
Three months into the trip and Charlie (my oldest) decided she had had enough of Thailand and also followed us for a couple of months.
Before we knew if the Year was upon us. But to be honest we were no way ready to go back to New Zealand. We had closed the business up in NZ. Our house was still rented. And why would we want to give up this lifestyle if we didn’t have to? But things were changing, we were changing. We were getting itchy feet. Thailand was great. But there s one thing that was in my face every day. Prostitution. And when I say this I am not exaggerating. I mean it is honestly everywhere 24/7. Thailand never sleeps. It is busy. Day and Night. And another thing I found was there was nobody my age. Well, expats anyway. There were all a lot older than me. I mean normal retirement age 60 to 65. So I did find it hard to make friends. Yes, there was expat ladies club but again the ladies were a lot older than me.
I believe things happen for a reason. So as we’re getting itchy feet. Chanise came to use and said she would like to audition for the Premiere that was coming to Bangkok. You must have seen it advertised it was all over the internet. A Thousand of children turn up to audition. Not just in Bangkok, but they go all over the world.
Hell why not, “of course you can Chanise”! We drove the 2 hours to Bangkok and turned up at the auditions. Along with thousands of other kids. You better believe it she got through both auditions and was invited to a week at the Premiere in Florida in December. It was May. So let the training begin she had six months.
Our decision was made for us. We were not just going to Florida to for the Premiere. We were going to try to make a life for ourselves and live the American Dream!!
Just before I sign off my Two bedroom Condo is up for sale. Fully furnished and twenty-four-hour security. Two rooftop pools plus a large ground pool. Sauna, Gym. And its a bargain. See photos below. Also, the two pictures at the top are of the complex. You can get in contact with me. I can send you the link