We Are Moving to Thailand! (+ How We Decided Where to Live)
After months of discussion and planning, Stefan quit his engineering job yesterday. I am so proud of him for taking a gigantic step towards this new lifestyle he wants to experience. What this means is the entire plan we've been conjuring up for months is actually happening. We're moving to Thailand! If you told us both two years ago that we'd be headed to Southeast Asia together, I'm pretty we would have laughed our butts off. Stefan?! Quit his comfortable job and move abroad? Hilarious.
But, amazingly, that is the place we're at today. Ready to explore the world, meet new people, and try our hand at a fresh life path. For the first six months in Thailand, we've committed to being English teachers, but we've left the time after that open to whatever feels right. I'm going to continue my marketing coaching on the side, and we're both going to explore more location-independent career options- work that we can do from anywhere in the world with just a computer and an internet connection. The exciting possibilities are endless. My mind is blown right now.
It all started this past winter when Stefan and I were discussing where we should move this summer. Our lease would be up, and we were both sick of the Miami hustle. Thinking that Stefan would want to stay in the United States, I made an entire PowerPoint to help us solve this dilemma of where our next home should be. I did extensive research on job opportunities, rent costs, and the general lifestyle of different cities. I spent hours creating a presentation for him that featured information on several places I thought he would enjoy most. The list included areas like Oregon, Colorado, DC, and Massachusetts. But at the end of it, he turned to me and said, "We're young and have no responsibilities holding us down. This is the perfect time to travel. Let's do something a little crazy."
I was never expecting an answer as surprising as this, but it's exactly what makes life with Stefan so interesting. Since it's no secret that I'm completely obsessed with traveling, this idea was music to my ears. It was settled. We were going to live abroad. Now we just had to get the ball rolling...
Originally, Stefan and I thought we were going to teach in South Korea. We got super pumped about that idea (delicious kimchi everyday!) until we found out that we'd have to be married to be guaranteed a teaching placement in the same city. That threw a wrench in our plans, so we had to consider other options. Though Stefan and I are engaged, we didn't want to rush a wedding this summer just so that we could teach in Korea together. So that's how we came across Thailand instead, since they don't have that rule.
As soon as I started researching Thailand, I knew I wanted to move there. Long-term, short-term, whatever... I just had to experience it. The natural beauty is breathtaking, the culture is fascinating, and the overwhelming response from Americans who live there is that the Thai people are incredibly kind and welcoming. Plus, everything is crazy cheap there. I'm sold.
At the end of September, Stefan and I are moving to Chiang Mai (Google image search it!), a cultural hub in the beautiful, mountainous area of Northern Thailand. The first week that we're there, we'll be doing a cultural orientation with about fifty other English teachers. We'll also get to go on a few excursions such as to an elephant sanctuary and to one of the city's stunning Buddhist temples. Then, for three weeks, we'll take part in a full-time TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) where we'll learn the fundamentals of being a great language teacher. After completion, we will be placed at a school where we'll teach for about 25 hours per week until March. Our school placement could be on one of Thailand's gorgeous tropical islands, in a rural mountain town, or in bustling Bangkok. We have no clue where the employment openings will be yet, but the unknown is part of the fun!
I don't know if we'll succeed or fail. I don't know if we'll love traveling long-term or hate it. I don't know if we'll enjoy teaching or not. I just don't know, and I'm not afraid to admit that. What I do know is that we're going on a grand adventure.together- one that we'll remember for the rest of our lives. One that we'll be proud of when we have dozens of thrilling stories to tell our future children.
During our hardships in Thailand, Stefan and I will have each other for love and support. And we'll make plenty of memories that will bring us joy and laughter. Along the way, we're going to learn many new skills and build friendships with other world travelers. We'll be open to where those opportunities bring us in the future. We purposely have no grand plan or expectations for the next few years. We're going to grow as individuals and as a couple while gaining new abilities as we travel along.
I can't wait to see where this experience takes us, and i hope you'll be here on Gutsy Girl Living to join along on the adventure. If living a travel-based lifestyle is something you're interested in, I hope we can be an inspiration and resource for you to buy that plane ticket and just get going. Let the excuses fall away. See you abroad!
If you could build up the courage to move anyplace in the world, where would you want to go? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a beautiful week,