Tieland to Thailand

Quit Your Job – Sell Your Stuff – Travel Abroad

..."We spent last year selling everything and paying off thousands in consumer debt, planning our wedding, and ultimately figuring a way out of the daily nine to five. Twelve months later here we are living a truly free and location-independent lifestyle, currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand"...


Couple on a Ferry on Lake Havasu Arizona

First, we would like to thank you for being part of our story and for wanting to learn a little about us and why we decided to move halfway around the world!

And The Story Goes…

We were what many would consider to be a successful American couple. We worked hard at good paying jobs, spent our money on stuff, and lived for the weekends. We eventually realized that our job titles, our belongings, and our cars were not what we wanted to be known by. And we wanted more than just two weeks of vacation a year!

What began as a lighthearted joke about “retiring young” quickly grew into something serious. We realized that with hard work, meticulous planning, and some sacrifice, the opportunity to clock out for the last time was well within our reach.

Our Story Wedding

In an attempt to enrich our lives, we broke free of the behavior that popular American culture tells us is normal and acceptable. In the beginning of 2013, we resigned from our jobs, sold almost everything we owned, and jumped ship in exchange for a new life abroad. We bought two one-way tickets and ended up on the other side of the globe in Chiang Mai, Thailand and have been there ever since.

What is Tieland to Thailand?

We started Tieland to Thailand as a way to casually share with our friends and family what life was like after leaving the office life and living on the other side of the world (quite literally), but it has evolved into so much more.

Our Story Thai Food

Tieland to Thailand has become a blog that inspires, informs, and empowers travelers who are curious about what it’s like to leave office life behind and to travel around and live in Thailand. For nearly two years, we have shared the ins and outs about life abroad in a level of detail that our readers hunger for and have come to know and love.

We’ve tackled visa hurdles, new food culture, off-the-beaten path travel spots, teaching English, and budgeting abroad. We’ve written about our experiences with exactness and honesty and have essentially paved the way for the next traveler who wants to follow in our footsteps and make Thailand their home.

We encourage you to explore our site. Get lost in the details and eventually you’ll find yourself thinking, “Wow, I should go to Thailand!”

I have been reading your blog for the past 2 hours… where did the time go? You and your husband are SUCH an inspiration! I can’t wait for what the future has in store, and oddly enough by reading your blog it is turning my dreams into a reality!

It amazes me how inexpensive it is to have fun in Thailand. Your information is very detail-oriented. This is what your blog stands out from others. Not to mention, all the beautiful pictures. Couldn’t love it more.

About Angela

About Angela's story

Angela grew up close to Washington, D.C. and has lived within a 50 mile radius all of her life. It wasn’t until she was 26 that she finally got her passport and traveled outside the US for the first time. It was the beginning of what was to open her eyes to the wonderful world of traveling.

Angela earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and worked for a research facility for five and a half years before she decided that a major change was needed. She had enough of cubicle life and wanted more free time.

Angela is always looking for activities to keep her busy. Because of her love for all things food-related, she can be often found spending her free time searching for and experimenting with new recipes, trying out new Thai food at the food markets, and finding new restaurants and cafés.

Now at 29 years old and nearly at the two year mark in Thailand, she is still pursuing her goal of learning to speak and read Thai. She also hopes to continue her uptake of weightlifting and embracing the slower-paced life in Thailand.

About Chris

About Chris' story

Chris grew up in three different countries and has moved over a dozen times in his life. Although he first looked forward to residing in one place and settling down permanently after meeting Angela, the travel bug got the best of him, and back in the summer of 2011 he found himself wanting to move again, this time to Thailand!

Chris served in the United States Army before accepting an Operations Management position in the corporate environment. He is passionate about health and fitness and is a certified personal trainer and a certified nutritional consultant.

Chris is enjoying his new-found freedom to be able pursue the things that inspire him, without the distractions of the rat race. He has found living minimally is far better and much more conducive to traveling. He loves spicy Thai food and that he won’t have to drive in the snow and ice for a very long time to come.

While in Thailand, he hopes to be able to spend time experimenting with different workouts, developing his photography skills, and continuing to pursue his degree in International Business Management using the GI Bill.

Want More?

Our story began on our honeymoon in Thailand

Devoted readers have found our posts inspiring and informative and often ask for personal advice. We now offer ever greater insights to life and travel in Thailand through our personalized Coaching Sessions and Chiang Mai Travel Itineraries. We want to help you prepare for and plan your perfect trip, whether it be a long vacation, a sabbatical, or a move to Thailand.

Professional Coaching Sessions

If you have deeper questions and are looking for more individualized attention, we offer our expert advice about living in Thailand. Whether it’s helping you prepare yourself for your move to Thailand, recommending places to live, explaining the ins and outs of visas, and getting acquainted with your new expat life, we are an open book. Let us guide you to an amazing life abroad!

Custom and Express Chiang Mai Travel Itineraries

We’ve been in Chiang Mai for nearly two years, but what if you are visiting for only a week or two? If you want the most out of your travel in the city we call home, let us do the planning for you. Our itineraries include a compilation of unforgettable sites, activities, and restaurants. Every place is safe and clean, we include helpful traveling tips, and it’s all entirely catered to your personal travel style.

Here are what our followers have said about our services:

I am very impressed with the itinerary! It all sounds fantastic, I just wish we were heading to Chiang Mai now to start our adventure. We truly appreciate all the care and effort you’ve put into preparing our itinerary. You have done an excellent job.
-Tim and Karen  Colorado, USA

We were very happy with the service that we received from you guys and we feel that you answered our questions in great detail. We are much more confident with our move to Thailand now and feel it will be the best choice for our family. The advice that you gave to us about medical services was really good and also the list of websites that you gave to us with info about different accommodations was very useful. Also we have joined some of the Facebook groups that you advised and found this really useful.
–Kathryn and Shane  Manchester, UK



Chris and Angela sold everything, paid off their debt, and ultimately figured a way out of the nine to five grind in the United States. Today they are living full time in Chiang Mai, Thailand, guiding and inspiring future expats towards amazing lives abroad! For more updates follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To see a full list of posts check out the Archives.

  • ChasingGains says:

    So inspiring to read about you guys, hopefully I can learn a thing or two from you gusy and do something similiar in the future !

    August 12, 2015 at 8:51 AM
  • Julie says:

    I’m so happy I found ya’ll’s website and blog. My husband and I are moving to Thailand in September to teach English for an indefinite amount of time. We will first have TESOL training during the month of October and then begin teaching in November. We are hoping to find jobs in Chiang Mai, but I am also very interested in how you built your online business! Would love to connect and chat more!

    July 31, 2015 at 9:12 PM
  • tregliamatthew says:

    Awesome! My girlfriend and I, both 23, are pretty much doing the same exact thing. We knew the typically 9-5 American lifestyle wasn’t for us before we even took a shot at it. We recently got back from living and working in Thailand. We are in the process of going to Korea to teach! Awesome blog! Check out mine if you ever get a chance!


    July 17, 2015 at 4:02 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thanks! Good luck on your new path in Korea. It will be interesting to see the difference between there and Thailand.

      July 18, 2015 at 9:31 PM
  • Todd @ Visit50 says:

    Inspiring story! In 2010 I put my career on pause, and headed to Hong Kong for New Year’s Eve and kept traveling. I spent the next half year traveling around the world, primarily Asia. 15 countries! That experience inspired my travel and photo blog, visit50.com. I love that you just stayed. Unlike you two, I’m now back in New York City, posting about my adventures. I admire your move – awesome! -Todd

    July 7, 2015 at 5:21 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Your pictures are great. Keep sharing your story!

      July 12, 2015 at 10:17 PM
  • Robin Guidice says:

    Wow! So many parallels between my boyfriend and I. We are planning a move to SEA in April to teach & travel indefinitely, and while we are crazy excited, we are also nervous!
    The living-for-the-weekend office life is NOT for us any more. Sure, we have everything we want at our fingertips, but we are just finding that it rings so hollow. I’ve been out of the country a few times now, and have been dreaming of a life of travel since I was a child. So we are gonna sell ALL our stuff, and hack it in SEA.
    Just a question- we’ve been thinking about getting married, but were not sure if we want to do it before we leave. Have you found that it’s more beneficial that you two are married?

    July 3, 2015 at 8:38 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Good for you two! There will be a lot of mixed feelings, but we are excited for you both and encourage you to stay positive while you prepare for your big move.
      We think it’s more beneficial to get married before you leave. That’s exactly what we did. it is beneficial for visa reasons; if one of you is on an Thai education visa or Thai business visa, the other can have a dependent visa. Otherwise, you both will have to enroll in school or both have to work, and sometimes circumstances won’t allow you to do this at the same time.

      July 5, 2015 at 10:35 PM
  • Trevor and Tiffany says:

    Love your site and your story! Can’t wait to keep in touch and learn more from you two. We are also thinking to move to Thailand in January 2016 so your site has giving us lots of help. After moving last minute to Japan for six months we are now learning from our travel mishaps. Thailand seems like a travel dream.

    Tiffany & Trevor
    Limitless Duo

    July 2, 2015 at 8:39 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      There’s a lot to stumble over the first time traveling to a new country. That’s one of the reasons why we created this blog. Glad you found us and we’re happy to help :)

      July 17, 2015 at 3:10 AM
  • sarah says:

    thanks for sharing your story. Me and my husband did something similar. In april of 2015 we left Kansas with a one way ticket to KL malaysia. We didn’t find what we hoped there, or singapore, so we decided to bus to Bangkok. One week later, running low on money, I got a job teaching English. Now, 2 months later, I am on an education visa thru my company and living near Samut Prakarn. Although my husband is still battling with the tourist visa runs and were skinny as heck from never finding food we can eat, we are enjoying it here and hope we can find a way to stay.

    June 18, 2015 at 12:40 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Congrats on making the move. Do you have an Education Visa (for students) or a Non-Immigrant B Visa (for employed foreigners)? Either way your husband is eligible for a one year Non-immigrant O Dependant Visa. We did that for our first year and it worked out great. We wrote a post on the process. If you do a search for “non immigrant visas” on our side bar it should come up. Good luck!

      June 18, 2015 at 12:57 PM
  • Jia Lin says:

    very happy to see your blog,thanks for sharing your experiences . i and my girl just had our first trip back from Krabi , Thailand . and we love the place and the nice people there very much .
    well , we are from china . see you .

    June 16, 2015 at 12:02 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      You’re welcome :) We hope you like Krabi as much as we did. All the best!

      June 16, 2015 at 3:08 PM
  • Mr. Enchumbao says:

    Awesome story. Good luck on your venture.

    May 7, 2015 at 1:59 AM
  • Rendy says:

    nice to read your blog . now I’m trying to live in thailand . Lets we meet someday . Good luck for you !

    April 27, 2015 at 10:04 PM
  • Chris says:

    Hi Chris & Angela!
    Our names are Chris and Johan and we want to leave our home country to come and work in Thailand.

    We’ve been to Thailand twice this far on holiday and our souls need more. We are desperately trying to leave the rat race behind to just be, find ourselves and let the daily stresses go.

    We are hard working business minded people, exceptionally well spoken in English etc and have noticed there is room for our expertise in Thailand at a much slower pace than back home.

    Where can we go and what can we do to make this change sooner rather than later?
    Kind regards,

    April 26, 2015 at 11:14 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      It’s hard not to fall in love with Thailand, right?! Congratulations on making this big decision. We can definitely help guide you with moving to and living in Thailand. We have several people who we’ve already coached and are living in Thailand with similar aspirations as you. We can offer more personalized advice in our Thailand Coaching Sessions. Please take a look and see if it’s a good fit for you.

      April 28, 2015 at 2:34 PM
  • Jedd & Michelle IntentionalTravelers says:

    Love your site. My husband and I are digital nomads. We’re visiting Asia (Vietnam and Japan) for the first time right now, and have heard great things about Chiang Mai. We’ll definitely be returning to your site often as we plan another trip to SE Asia in the coming year or so. Thanks!

    April 21, 2015 at 7:50 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Good luck on your SE Asian trip. There are so many fantastic places to visit!

      April 23, 2015 at 12:16 PM
  • Japan Can(ada) Mix says:

    Thanks for the Twitter follow! Your work seems right up my alley. Your intro mentions a goal of learning Thai. How is that going? I felt overwhelmed by the script but now that I’m back learning to read and write Japanese, Thai seems possible. :) And as for my efforts to learn a little Thai while volunteering there, another volunteer said I was having trouble because I was too old. 😀 That still makes me giggle. Have a great day doing what my hubby and I aspire to do!

    April 20, 2015 at 11:08 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thai is going well, but we have different strengths. I’m (Angela) am good with reading and writing (spelling isn’t too bad!) and can string along a sentence to express myself, but Chris is much quicker comprehending spoken conversations and questions. Reading and writing opened a lot of doors when traveling and helps with pronouncing. I think if you’re submerged in the language you pick it up a lot faster (and doesn’t have anything to do with age!) Good luck with your Japanese :)

      April 20, 2015 at 12:36 PM
      • Japan Can(ada) Mix says:

        I have found that too with learning languages re: strengths and absolutely, being immersed in another language is the best way to go. It also really helps for me to have a goal. I’ve been pretty lazy with Japanese, even when I was living in Japan. But finally, I have reasons to do what I want to do. I want to be able to read Japanese books to my child, write letters to my inlaws and learn enough vocabulary to speak with them online without drawing a blank. I want our child to be as bilingual as possible so that means I have to speak more Japanese at home, too. 😀

        And as for the age thing… that was honestly such a shock to be told this point-blank, even though I joke about it. I think the biggest problem was the teaching style. We were told words once in rapid fire succession, expected to memorize them and then use them immediately going around the circle. Not my style! (especially jet-lagged… ha ha ha!)

        April 22, 2015 at 11:43 AM
  • Lisa | TravelOftenAdventureAlways says:

    Just stumbled upon your blog and I’m loving it! I always think about doing this one day with my husband. What always stops me is retirement. I know you said you joked about this being an early retirement, but how do you find yourselves saving up for when you become old and unable to work? Do you have a plan? I’d love to hear it!

    March 31, 2015 at 5:39 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      We’ve already planned ahead and have a hefty chunk of change in our 401k, as well as some personal investments. We’ll let these grow over time, but will still contribute to a retirement plan throughout the years whenever we have savings to spare. We agree that planning for retirement is a big step and may be a deal breaker, but luckily we’ve already taken care of that. Good question!

      March 31, 2015 at 6:00 PM
  • Marissa Tejada says:

    Great bog! So great to hear expat stories — livin’ the dream and doing what you love. Wish you the best and look forward to following you. 😀

    March 29, 2015 at 6:51 PM
  • Wandering Veronique says:

    Great blog and so much inspiration in it! Fantastic idea – I am myself someone who left country I was born in to live in another one and I think that was the best decision in my life, although the why was quite different than yours. Moving to another country is not only about living the dream, it is about experiencing and getting to know yourself better! Your blog is excellent – so much to learn about Thailand for me before I go to have my own adventure there! Great to meet you guys!

    March 27, 2015 at 4:06 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thanks so much for those nice words :) We agree – you do get to know yourself better and grow when you travel. We hope your love for Thailand blossoms the more you learn about it!

      March 27, 2015 at 7:24 PM
  • Andrew says:

    Evening Guys.
    Great blog and a confirmation that we are indeed doing the right thing by following our hearts.
    My wife has been offered a permanent teaching position at an international school in Chiang Rai and we leave sunny South Africa in June to start our own adventure. One far away from the maddening rat-race we currently find ourselves in.
    My wife is going over on a non-immigrant “B” visa and it has been advised that I go on a non-immigrant “O” spouse visa. Our 15 year old son is on an ED-Visa. I have not secured any job at present but plan on completing my TEFL certification once we are there and settled as I believe that teaching could be my passion and I would love to confirm this, I am currently corporate employed at senior management level with NO formal qualification.
    Would I be able to convert my visa to a “B” visa once I find a job without having to leave the country or should I try to apply for “B” visa before leaving? Should these visas be single or multiple entry visas?
    Last of all with regards to our budget. We are not big spending, high flying spend-thrifts and were wondering if in your opinion is 60,000 baht per month enough for the three of us to live on?
    Your feedback and advise would be greatly appreciated.
    Keep the dream alive.

    March 18, 2015 at 1:43 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      You can’t apply for a Thai B visa unless you already have a job in line because your employer (most likely a school) is responsible for providing you with the required paperwork to get the B visa. In most cases, an applicant should apply for a single entry B visa. You don’t seem to be someone that needs a multiple entry. But you will be able to convert your O-A dependent visa to a B visa if/when you do find a job. We think 60,000 per month for a family of three is fine. You’ll be able to have Western comforts, but it’s not enough to overindulge regularly. Hope this helps!

      March 18, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Barrett says:

    Thank you, quick reply! Have not seen that episode, love the one in Burma though. Jealous of being able to live here, well done guys! Pai tomorrow, we’re gym and food freaks as well heading out this afternoon evening for drinks would be great to meet up!

    February 21, 2015 at 3:07 PM
  • Barrett Campbell says:

    Any suggestions on where to get truly spicy food? My gf has not been impressed thus far and has a very high tolerance for heat! Only here for another day then to Pai for a day….5 days here 5 southern islands somewhere thena day in Bangkok….not enough!

    February 21, 2015 at 7:44 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Have you seen the latest Anthony Bourdain episode in Chiang Mai? He gets drunken noodles/pad graprao at this small mom & pop shop that makes him sweat big time. The best way to make food spicy is simply to ask the cook or waiter to put several small red or green (bird’s eye) chilies in it. The cooks at these places know when they see foreign faces to keep things not-spicy, so they are probably thinking they are doing you a favor for not making it spicy. Just ask! Our Thai friend asks for 10 chilies (prik sip met) and it buuurrrrnnnsss. Often there are these chilies cut in fish sauce up on the table -load up on your dish!

      February 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM
  • Camille says:

    HI! I am seriously considering teaching English in Thailand as an alternative to going into the Peace Corps. I really like to serve communities and volunteer which is why I applied for the PC. What I am wondering though is if Thailand has volunteer opportunities related to community development/environment. Have you come across any?

    February 15, 2015 at 10:09 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      We heard there are volunteer communities in Thailand, but it’s hard to recommend companies that are genuinely trying to help a community or group of people without exploiting them, taking jobs away from locals, or making it impossible for the development of long term relationships with the families and children. Would you be interested in volunteering at an animal sanctuary? The Elephant Nature Park and their neighboring Dog Rescue Foundation is always in desperate need of volunteers.

      February 15, 2015 at 11:42 AM
  • Nadia says:

    I saw a story about medical tourism in Thailand. The hospital was beautiful and cheap. This looks wonderful living in Thailand!!!

    February 2, 2015 at 2:48 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Medical care is excellent here. So many people come to Thailand just for that!

      February 2, 2015 at 4:32 PM
  • Bud and Maria Wilson says:

    You should also think about living in the Philippine around Cebu City. My wife and I have a home about one hour south of Cebu City and we both love it. We live on about $600.00 a month. We give money to our children and help some others but for around $1,000.00 a month we live like kings. Very easy to save money there. Just my $0.02 worth. Have a wonderful life my friends.

    January 25, 2015 at 11:38 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      That’s sound like a great option for anyone looking for super affordable places to live. We’ll check it out!

      January 26, 2015 at 9:35 AM
  • Mark says:

    Secound question what would be the best place to live for piece quite few shops few bars,I’m looking at Chang mai ? Any views on that ?

    January 25, 2015 at 5:39 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Wow, there are thousands of options that fit that description, especially in a hoppin’ town like Chiang Mai. It is all different depending on your budget, if you will have a vehicle or not, will it be furnished or not, want a house with full kitchen or studio with kitchenette, or care if it has Western amenities or cool with a Thai place. Check out Santitam and Hang Dong, which are two nice area that are generally more quiet. And assuming you live until you’re 75, that’ll be about £625 a month, which is quite comfortable for a single guy with no dependents living in a modest home.

      January 25, 2015 at 6:42 PM
  • Mark says:

    Hoping to come out to thiland for good I’m 55 male would £150.000 last me for the rest of my life ?

    January 24, 2015 at 8:23 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      That’s impossible to answer :) Take whatever you think you will spend and multiply it by 1.5!

      January 25, 2015 at 9:44 AM
  • Cathrine Kristiansen says:

    I am so happy I found your blog, I am moving to Thailand this January to work for my company for a while, and I definitely plan on doing some traveling the time I am there. I’m moving to Pattaya (I know, I know, not exactly heaven on earth, but it’s where work takes me..) and hope to find a place to live that’s not in the middle of all the craziness. Luckily I’ve been there a few times before, so I know what I can expect. I can’t wait to read all of your posts and learn about your experiences about Thailand. Thank you for sharing!

    December 4, 2014 at 5:15 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Wow, Pattaya. We’ve never been, but it’s good you’ve visited before. That’ll help you ease into your new life abroad with a bit less culture shock. We certainly have some tips on living in Thailand… even if they are a bit mundane, they certainly help when you are first starting out!

      December 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM
  • lizatinker says:

    Love reading your blog. I plan to move to South East Asia sometime within the next few years so am currently enjoying reading others experiences from afar. Do you come across many single mum’s in Chang Mai? My main concern is having someone look after my toddler whilst I work on my digital products during the day. Apart from that I think Chang Mai looks ideal.

    November 12, 2014 at 11:26 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Glad to hear you follow our blog! While we haven’t come across any single moms in Chang Mai, we have known parents with toddlers who are also looking for a nanny of sorts. Once you make a Thai friend or two, just ask if they know of anyone they recommend to baby sit. Thai women of all ages, from high schoolers to grandmas, seem particularly interested in Western children. We think if you were to ask one of your Thai neighbors, they would jump at the opportunity :)

      November 12, 2014 at 9:40 PM
  • Assaf Koss says:

    Seeing how it has been over a year now, how are things with Angela’s learning of the Thai language? And how is Chris doing with his Business degree and work there? :=D

    October 5, 2014 at 1:19 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      We’ve both been studying Thai pretty extensively, and hope to pick up a private teacher soon. There’s no rush on the business degree :)

      October 9, 2014 at 7:38 PM
  • Catherine says:

    Love your story! After living in SE Asia for 6 1/2 years, I’m now going back to Canada with my 2 cats. I just became aware that I need to have an export permit. Any idea how to get that? It will be a sad day to leave Thailand:-(.

    August 9, 2014 at 12:20 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      We recommend talking with your vet (since you will need the proper health documents anyways) and contact Chiang Mai International Airport to see what they require. Make sure you aren’t flying through any country (like Taiwan) that has a mandatory a quarantine, whether or not you are actually visiting the country. We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it!

      August 11, 2014 at 9:14 PM
    • Youth Thamwong says:

      Yes, We love their site and stories. Catherine. When you are feeling sad to leave ?, Why do you want to leave SE Asia? We are going back to Chiang Mai this year Dec . We are waiting to sell one of our house in Edmonton AB Canada.

      September 27, 2014 at 12:34 AM
  • mebythemountains says:

    Where are you Guys? Missing you!

    July 12, 2014 at 9:21 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      We’re back now! :)

      July 14, 2014 at 9:58 PM
      • Norm says:

        Did you guys have any issues with the airlines or Thai immigration with one way tickets only?

        July 17, 2014 at 5:24 AM
  • Nita says:

    When I contacted Chris and Angela for tips on how to deal with the chronic critter problem here, they responded with empathy and some very practical, constructive advice. They are the first people here in Thailand who got my point of view, and I am so grateful to them for that. Wish you both the very best and more… and hope to see you guys when we visit Chiang Mai sometime.

    May 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM
  • Gemma Purnell says:

    After seven years in Thailand – arriving here in pretty similar circumstances it’s really refreshing to read your blog. I wish there had been something like this when I first came here. The first couple of years were really tough with very little genuine online help or advice.

    May 17, 2014 at 6:47 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thanks, Gemma! We’re glad to be part of the resources available for travelers and expats in Thailand. There are still some things we have a hard time finding out about online, which inspires us to write a post to make it easier for everyone else! You’re a trooper for sticking it out when so few resources were available.

      May 18, 2014 at 7:20 PM
  • Lisa - Wee Wanders says:

    I’ve just recently come across your blog and I absolutely love it! I’m heading to SEA at the end of June with my partner who is a teacher. We don’t know what the future might hold but with an open mind I’m hoping we can find something that would enable us to live a similar lifestyle :) Maybe see you in Chiang Mai!

    May 8, 2014 at 8:21 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thanks, Lisa! You have a great attitude, and we wish you the best on your trip here next month!

      May 9, 2014 at 11:36 AM
  • Linda Bourque says:

    Do you guys know anything about Unitefl in Chiang Mai? Also it seems our visa applications require a Thai address? Do you know of a good neighborhood to book a rental in Chiang Mai?

    April 26, 2014 at 4:23 AM
  • RH says:

    Just came across your blog …I was headed to Hawaii in a month..and thought Thailand..why not. Can fly mil Space A for no expense into Singapore via Yokota, Japan from Hickam AFB, Hawaii, then the train to CM thru Bangkok. General plan next month will be to head to CM, then into Laos down the Mekong. Having traveled to many places, some not so friendly as Thailand. Thanks for taking the time to share your comments, experiences and insights into those on the “trail”. Thanks again.

    RH US Army:Afgh/2003;Iraq/2005; HOA/2008-10

    April 14, 2014 at 9:06 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Hello RH,

      I hope all is well. We are more than happy to provide information to people like yourself. You’re very lucky to be able to fly Space A. It’s always nice when you’re lucky enough to make it to your final destination without getting bumped for a day somewhere along the way, but hey that is part of the deal, right? With that said try to be flexible with hotel reservations. Accommodations from May to October are usually half price and have plenty of vacancies. It is fairly easy to book something in your destination city just prior to boarding your last flight. We always use Agoda while traveling around SE Asia. It sounds like you are in for a memorable trip. Please don’t hesitate to shoot us and e-mail if you have any questions.

      Thank you for your service,

      April 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM
  • Stephanie says:

    It really makes a difference when there is something so informative to read when making the decision to move to Thailand. I am coming out March/April 2015 to do a TEFL course and to teach English. I am coming out on my own which is a little daunting, but I gather there is a large expat community in Thailand, and I will probably find other teachers to hang out with. So excited for my future journey! Thank you guys for your website/blog. It’s very helpful.

    April 11, 2014 at 5:26 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      We’re glad to hear that the info we’ve put our there helped you make the decision to move here :) There is a large expat community, especially in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Pattaya. The fact that you’re coming over to teach will give you the upper hand in finding a community of people like yourself to share experiences with. We are excited for you – good luck!

      April 12, 2014 at 1:53 PM
  • tyson says:

    Just curious of how u guys make an income in Thailand. It’s one thing to sell up and move, it’s another to have money coming in. Savings only go so far

    April 8, 2014 at 2:36 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Angela has taught for the past year, we have some passive income coming in, and we make a little money off the blog – all in addition to the savings we came over with. We believe that it’s not about what you make, it’s what you spend. We’ve really changed our attitude about spending,, which has helped keep our money on track.

      April 11, 2014 at 9:34 AM
  • Joanne says:

    Hi again, I just found it in one of the earlier comments. Cheers!

    March 18, 2014 at 4:38 PM
  • Joanne says:

    Hi Chris and Angela I think I remember some time ago you mentioned a good place to stay short term in Chiang Mai but now I can’t find the post. Can you remind me what it was so I can check it out please?

    March 18, 2014 at 4:36 PM
  • Bobby O says:


    I just came across your blog and really enjoyed it. Like Angela, I grew up right outside of D.C. (Vienna, VA) and spent some time in SoCal as well. I can definitely relate to Chris with interests in health and fitness. I’m a former assistant Jiu-Jitsu coach and still an active competitor! I can’t wait to train Muay Thai there! I will be moving there next month and have a ONE WAY ticket as well! Your story is parallel to mine. It puts my mind at ease knowing there are others that are doing the exact same thing! Health, Fitness, Great Food, and Great Company is what I gather from both of you :) I would love to chat more and get a chance to meet you guys!! Thanks for putting up this wonderful page and inspiring many people like myself. And big congrats to the both of you on your move and new life!! :)

    February 23, 2014 at 7:49 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Hey Bobby – didn’t mean to miss your comment. By now, you’ve managed to make it to Thailand and get settled in. Congrats! We’re glad you’ve joined the expat club. How is everything?! We’d be happy to meet up sometime to swap stories. Talk to you soon.

      April 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM
      • Bobby says:

        Hello again!

        Everything is going great!! I spent the past month in Koh Samui which was AMAZING. I have many many stories and new eye opening experiences haha. I will make a visit to Chiang Mai at some point and would love to meet. I have a lot to tell LOL. I’m back in Bangkok now which is a massive change of pace. But I do miss the city life in some ways. I have opportunities to work in both Koh Samui and BKK but I’m torn on which route to go (I lived in big cities and beach cities in California). Obviously you can’t have both. Chiang Mai and Pai I hear are wonderful. So before making a decision I will come up north and see if how I feel about the area. Thanks for the reply and I hope both of you are doing well :)

        April 29, 2014 at 6:02 PM
        • Chris and Angela says:

          Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok are all so different. If you go with the Bangkok job opportunity, you’re still so close to several beaches. We personally enjoy Hua Hin. We hope your tour of Chiang Mai and Pai leave a great impression, although that may make it even a harder to decide where to live :) Keep in touch.

          April 30, 2014 at 8:27 PM
    • Rekha says:

      Hi so I read you guys bought one way tickets. What kind of visa are you guys getting? Thailand is def on my list if I want to jump ship :).

      June 5, 2014 at 7:09 AM
      • Chris and Angela says:

        We originally came over on triple-entry tourist visas. Then Angela got a job teaching so she got a non-immigrant business visa while Chris got a non-immigrant dependent visa (only available if you are married or are a child of the main visa holder).

        June 8, 2014 at 9:13 AM
  • James says:

    Hello. I read your blog and I really enjoyed it. Seems like you two are very happy. I have been wanting to move to chang Mai for quite some time now. I have two questions. I have 1000 a month income and was wondering if that is enough. Second I was concerned about safety.

    February 21, 2014 at 12:38 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Hi James, together we live on $1,200 a month and that is perfect for us. We could even save a bit more by moving out of our townhouse that is a bit too big for us. Chiang Mai is much safer than most other places we have lived beforehand. Unprovoked violent crimes are extremely rare. Practice a little caution in traffic and you should be just fine. Although every person’s personal preferences are different, but we think that Chiang Mai is a great place to live for first time expats.

      February 21, 2014 at 12:49 AM
  • Dean says:

    I find your blog very informative. I am contemplating a move to Southern Thailand (I prefer the beach scene). Like Angela, I grew up in Washington, DC (Maryland actually). I hope I can take this leap of faith and make the move. The only thing holding me back is the employment and needing a job. I also want to connect with my parents roots (both my mother and father are originally from Bangkok).

    February 4, 2014 at 6:49 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      What an awesome reason to come to Thailand! We’ll continue to provide you and others with information about living in here, and also how to plan for the move. Thanks for following.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:14 PM
  • Adrenaline Romance says:

    Hi! Just stumbled upon your wonderful blog!
    We have a job offer from our recent employer to go to Thailand, particularly Chang Mai. We’re still in the process of deciding whether or not to accept it. It’s a tough call to make with a lot of things to take into consideration. Thanks for this very informative blog. It’s a wonderful resource for us in making our BIG move soon.
    More power to you both. 

    January 18, 2014 at 3:35 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thank you so much! We hope that everything works out for you guys. Chiang Mai is a really great place to be. We will try to keep the info coming for you guys! Take care and thanks for subscribing :)

      January 18, 2014 at 5:44 PM
  • joannegamble says:

    Great story. For a long time tourist have visited Thailand over and over and eventually end up living here, no matter what province. The majority are retirees because the cost of living is not expensive and hospitality is great and the pension pays the bills. The younger tourist teach english in order to pay the bills. If you do not prefer teaching then an online business would be your next choice. Good advice would be stay away from the bars, booze and materialistic things and be able to manage your finance and you will be just fine. Don’t purchase a house, youll never get to own it because foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. Get rabie shots once a year ( alot of street dogs). Get rid of your vanity issues because they will lead you to bankrupcy.

    Thailand is paradise and will always be… just have a good strong relationship before you here if your married and do volunteer work such as street dogs, orphanage etc., don’t have too much time and start drinking. The percentage of a tourist becoming an alcholic is very high. Don’t underestimate the heat, you always need to wear a shirt and put on sunblock.

    Good luck…

    December 13, 2013 at 7:29 AM
  • Vikram Malik says:

    Fascinating story! And you’re both such a great couple, look really so good together! I myself intend to retire young, in many ways lead a semi-retired life already! Have visited Thailand on numerous occasions – 9 at last count, looking forward to my next visit later this month, before the New Year begins. Never been to Chiang Mai though, and hope to fill that void on the ensuing trip! Your article on ‘9 Myths About Thailand That Worry Your Family’ brought me here via Facebook, and I agree with you 100% on all the assertions that you make. Keep up the great work, with blessings for a long and happy married life to both of you, along with umpteen success in all your personal and professional endeavors!

    December 6, 2013 at 5:06 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Wow, thank you for the compliments! We’re glad there are people who are like you who look past some common misconceptions about Thailand and instead find yourself drawn to Thailand as many times as you have already. Enjoy Chiang Mai on your upcoming trip. Congratulations for being on a path to retire young, as well :)

      December 7, 2013 at 9:51 PM
  • Bud says:

    May all your paths be bright ones my friends.

    If you have time please give me the address of your blog.

    Bud and Maria

    December 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Hello, thanks for another nice comment. You are actually on the blog :)

      Just go to the top and click the banner picture with our logo, or the text “Tieland to Thailand” on the very top left of the page and it will take you to the main feed. From there you can scroll down to the bottom of each page and hit “older posts” to see more. Alternatively, you can browse the categories listed under the banner. Enjoy and take care! Have a great weekend.

      December 6, 2013 at 7:57 PM
  • Joanne says:

    Hi Chris and Angela, just found your blog today. I am packing up in Feb to leave Australia for a year. First stop Indonesa, then Chiang Mai, then prob Vietnam. I love all the tips on your blog and your clear simple writing style. Keep up the good work!

    November 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thanks for the kind compliments, Joanne. Best of luck to you and your trip ’round SEA!

      November 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM
  • Maya says:

    Great post! Just found your blog and bookmarked it already :-) do you have any suggestions for a job in SE Asia for people not having english as their native language? Anything but teaching. Thanks a lot.

    November 14, 2013 at 6:34 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      If you do not want to/cannot teach, our only suggestions is to have you own business. It can either be completely online or a business where you make things in Thailand and then ship them out to customers (similar to Etsy.com). We aren’t sure about the tax laws or business regulations of either your home country or of Thailand’s. Make sure to look into that!

      November 14, 2013 at 10:52 PM
  • Anja says:

    How do you get a Visa to stay when you do not have a round trip ticket and onward passage? Visa regulations state you must show onward passage on a flight, boat, train, bus or some sort of onward movement. Did you apply for residency?

    November 9, 2013 at 6:45 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Hello Anja, we bought a one way ticket from the states. Since we knew we were going to have to leave the country in 90 days for our first border run we went ahead and also bought a cheap round trip flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Chiang Mai, Thailand. However, the embassy where we applied for our tourist visa never actually asked to see proof of onward travel and neither did anyone at the airport in the states or in Thailand. We now live here on Non-Immigrant Visas.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM
      • Anja says:

        Thank you so much for your reply.

        Your blog is very informative and helpful.

        November 10, 2013 at 10:59 AM
  • ian stevenson says:

    Hi guy’s, interesting story hope things work out for the best. I bought the pcx150 in Feb. never even knew about the Forza. Still got to get the plates on it then I think I will trade it in on a Forza like the size, problems are getting cramped even on the 150. Best of luck and good wishes. Ian

    October 29, 2013 at 4:28 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Hi Ian, thanks for the support.

      All things are going well for us at the moment. I am definitely glad that I spend the extra cash on the Forza. It has been a dream to own. Its size doesn’t keep me from squeezing through the tightest gaps either. You can tell even that some Thai people are impressed with its maneuverability.

      Highly recommend it, but start looking now. From what I hear that have cut back on production so they are harder and harder to find. Just last week I was at the dealer I bought mine from for some maintenance and they were all out.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:39 PM
  • Agastya says:

    Hey guys! wow your story is awesome. I actually just quit my job too and is heading to Northern SEA to travel including Chiang Mai. Am Indonesian, who grew up in US but have settled back in Indo after college. Just a week ago, I was secured with my promising job and fine salary. And is about to move to a different company who hijacked me w/ intriguing packages and position, which i just decline last week too. I just sold my car and is now planning on traveling spontaneously to northern SEA. What I’m doing right now is very radical in my culture. People say I’m insane but i know i need to do this. Anyway will be good if i can meet up with you guys when in Chiang Mai. I could use more inspiration ;D

    October 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Congrats on your big decision do some long-term traveling through SE Asia! There will always be people who think you are crazy for trading in a good job for a life of travel, but heck, we say live life to the fullest and do what you really want to do, not what other people want you to do. When you find yourself in Chiang Mai, drop us a line. Good luck with your trip!

      October 23, 2013 at 6:42 PM
  • NicoleM says:

    Thanks for the advice guys. Ill drop in on the blog when I reach chiang mai. Good luck with everything

    October 23, 2013 at 1:38 AM
  • Jim B says:

    Great story guys. Good to hear the expat community in Chiang Mai is still going strong. Enjoy your adventures and “simplified” yet exciting life. Your story has motivated our own down-sizing plans.

    October 22, 2013 at 9:29 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Awesome – downsizing will make you feel like a new person! Maybe a trip to Thailand with that extra cash? :)

      October 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM
  • NicoleM says:

    Hey guys, love your story. Angela, wondering what is it your teaching? Is it possible to get a job teaching English in January or do u ave to wait till the next semester? I’m heading to thailand in Janury 2014, Solo. Starting in chiang mai. I’m booking a hostel for 2 weeks while I search for a job and apartment. I don’t trust signing a contract to a school while the other side of the world! How did u guys set up? Cheers in advance

    October 21, 2013 at 8:34 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      The school year is from Mid May to beginning of October (first semester) and then from the end of October to the beginning of March (second semester). School will be halfway done come January when you arrive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a job. It’s worth immediately asking around to see if a school is looking for a replacement because a teacher broke their contract and left early. You could also teach English through a tutoring agency. Their schedules do not revolve around the traditional school year, and you may work with adults during evenings and weekends instead. If you don’t end up finding anything, the school year starts mid-May, which gives you some time to get settled in.

      I came to Thailand first, earned my TEFL in Chiang Mai, and then the TEFL agency found me a job. I think it worked out great for me and there were no “what ifs?” trying to secure a job from the other side of the world.

      October 21, 2013 at 10:10 PM
  • Jun says:

    I am visiting CM in a few days to check the place out as a potential place to retire to. Can you recommend two convenient hostels? It would be ideal if I could walk to most places from the hostels.

    Thanks. Your site is a great source of inspiration.

    October 18, 2013 at 11:09 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Hello Jun, our friend Bee runs a guesthouse conveniently located in the Old City. It is close to the Sunday Walking Street Market, Wat Phra Sing, etc. Bee is really nice and her staff will take good care of you. She also has a cafe on the first floor and a nice rooftop area for relaxing. Here is the link to book a room.

      October 18, 2013 at 11:42 PM
  • miriam says:

    Chris, thanks for posting your story, very inspiring. My son is in the Marines, presently in Spain – another 3 years to go. He loves to travel, I would appreciate any links/info on using GI Bill abroad. It would be nice for him to dream and prepare for when he has completed his service. He is also into Cross Fit and was interested in going to thailand at some point ot study martial arts.



    October 18, 2013 at 9:28 PM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Miriam, thanks for the feedback and compliments! We are happy to hear that your son has similar aspirations and with so many options available to him after his service, traveling abroad shouldn’t be an issue. Here is a link for information regarding using the GI Bill in Foreign Countries, and here is a link laying out the Maximum Monthly BAH (living stipend) rates, which currently are $1,429.00 a/mo for physically attending a school, and $714.50 a/mo for online classes. We are thankful for your son’s service, and wish both you and him all of the best.

      October 18, 2013 at 11:50 PM
      • miriam says:

        Thanks so much for providing the info. Best to you both!

        October 21, 2013 at 6:10 AM
        • Chris and Angela says:

          No problem at all. If your son ever has some extra leave and wants to visit Thailand please tell him to give us a shout! :)

          October 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM
  • TheThailandLife.com says:

    Just stumbled across your site. Great story. I’ll be following.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:43 PM
  • Kenin Bassart via Facebook says:


    May 27, 2013 at 8:04 PM
  • jmayel & sacha says:

    You guys will be great at whatever you set your mind to. I was so impressed to find out that angela could already speak and read more Thai than us when we first met months back, and we’d been (trying) for a year already. I know for a fact you’ve made the right decision to do this with your lives and remember even when things get overwhelming just think back to how your lives used to feel. That’s what we do. Awesome page.

    May 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM
    • Chris and Angela says:

      Thanks for all of the help you two! We don’t know if we would be here if it was not for you and your blog!

      October 18, 2013 at 11:58 PM
  • Kate Voyage via Facebook says:


    May 26, 2013 at 9:18 AM
  • Carmel says:

    You’re right–our stories are quite similar! I would love to hang out when we get to Thailand. Food and fitness lovers…right up my alley. :)

    May 26, 2013 at 8:09 AM
    • Angela says:

      We’d love to meet anyone who shares our passion to be adventureous … and our love for food, anytime!

      May 26, 2013 at 12:05 PM
  • Tieland to Thailand via Facebook says:

    Thank you, Melissa! We really appreciate the encouragement and support :)

    May 26, 2013 at 5:39 AM
  • Melissa Shearer via Facebook says:

    thanks for sharing your story. It was great to read about how you too have decided to live life against the grain of what western society dictates as normal. I wish you two the best of luck and look forward to reading more about your adventures abroad <3

    May 26, 2013 at 5:05 AM
  • Colin Conrey says:

    Ok, so I’m officially green with envy. You even have a bloody great name for the blog.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:47 AM
    • Chris says:

      Thanks! Looks like Vieng will be here in a couple weeks, so we are definitely looking forward to that. Think you will make the trip sometime soon?

      May 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM

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