OUR STORY

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.

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 two and a half 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!”

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.

- Young

Connect With Us on Social Media

If you love the information found on our blog, we also share experiences and other exciting events about our travels in Thailand (what doesn’t make it on the site) through our social media channels. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We now have videos on YouTube and Periscope, too.

About Chris

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 to connect with Chris? You can follow his personal Facebook Profile here:

About Angela

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 from local markets, and finding new restaurants and cafΓ©s.

Now at 30 years old and at the two and a half 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.

Chris and Angela Sidebar
Hi, we're Chris and Angela and we sold it all, paid off our debt, and left behind the nine-to-five lifestyle in the US. Today we live as full time expats in Chiang Mai, offering future expats and travelers firsthand knowledge about all things Thailand! Learn more about our story here...

128 Comments

  1. Hey guys,

    Awesome website! Everything I have been looking for as I am dropping everything and moving to Thailand on October 26th. Can’t wait! Chris, I am also a personal trainer in the states part time. Are you able to utilize that at all in Thailand? My plan is to explore first, then start teaching English after I find a place to settle. However, I would like to do something with my passion for fitness while over there. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Wow, congrats! I haven’t pursued utilizing my personal trainer background in Thailand mainly because it’s a service that Thai people can provide and I haven’t persisted in searching for a company who is willing to hire a foreigner. However that is not to say the opportunity isn’t out there, I just haven’t looked myself. Good luck and have fun exploring before settling down.

      Reply
  2. Chiang Mai is a beautiful place (except for traffic), but what really gets to me is these visa hassles. Makes you wonder if they really want you to stay πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • There are a lot of countries with stricter visa laws. Like the USA, our home country. Yes it’s stressful and inconvenient each time we get a new Thai visa or visa extension but the rest of the time it’s fairly painless. We’re not going to complain!

      Reply
  3. Hi, I love your blog. I am going to apply for a Thai tourist visa when I am traveling through India. However, I need to stay in Thailand for 90 days. My question is — When does the visa start? When I receive it? or When I land? Thank you so much.
    Ami

    Reply
    • The countdown begins when you land. But be sure to enter before the “ENTER BEFORE’ date on the visa πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Your blog is super helpful! I too left corporate america and can’t wait for a new way of life! I am moving to Chiang Mai in a few weeks and am excited to explore the city and the country. I am getting my TEFL certification and then will be teaching, a much needed change from my last career. Will definitely continue to follow you!

    Reply
  5. Great! I have so much respect to everyone who just leaves its comfort-zone for a new adventure. I started travelling independent around 2 months ago and since then I know already that I never want to work in the same office my whole lifetime to spend 2 weeks on vacation only. That’s not what life is supposed to be, unless you reallly love your job. I even started my own travelblog when I left Austria to share my story with my family and friends … but now I wanna reach and inspire as many people as possible to start travelling independently, too. In my opinion, everyone should leave its natural comfort-zone once in your lifetime. Anyway, youΒ΄re such an inspiration. Keep doing guys!
    Best wishes,
    Lukas πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Lukas – welcome to the club! Glad to inspire you it’s great to hear you want to inspire others to travel for an extended period of time, too. It’s definitely life changing!

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  6. Good to hear you’re happy, and SEA surely does have plenty to offer. I reckon it also depends how the worklife has been treating you before. In Europe, we’re lucky to have 5-6 weeks paid vacation pus quite a few national holidays.

    We are toying with the idea of leaving the corporate world, but to be fair the perks aren’t too bad. Once we’d drop out, there is no way we could keep up what we like most (exploring/eating your way around the world). That’s why we are still hesitant. Anyway, first world problems. All the best to you up north!

    Reply
    • Americans get 2-3 weeks paid vacation per year – it’s no wonder we seek a better life abroad! You can always take a year or two sabbatical and go back to ‘normal’ working life if you absolutely must, although we can understand how it’s difficult to do after getting a taste of freedom. To be honest, we aren’t out exploring and trying something new every day and we had to learn to adjust to a lower budget, but it’s still rewarding. Having a normal daily schedule with daily trips from time to time that are perfect for us and could be for you, too.

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  7. Hi guys, great blog! I’m an expat working in Bangkok for two years and have had similar thoughts about moving to Thailand for good.

    Here’s my issue: Just like you Chris, I enjoy traveling and seeing the world since I am young. There is so much out there that a lifetime is hardly enough. What are your thoughts on the compromise (beautiful Thailand without corporate obligations on the one hand vs. limited funds for international travel) you have made?

    Reply
    • As far as the funds, we make money online and are able to get a good amount of travel in since Thailand (and SE Asia in general) are very affordable compared to the USA. Wouldn’t go back to the old office ways πŸ™‚

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  8. Hi Chris and Angela! I just wanted to thank you for all the great info you provide. My husband and I are now in Chiang Mai and we are coming up on our first visa run. We were still trying to figure out the extension process and your recent post on Multiple Entry Visa really helped to clarify everything. We’ve been following your blog for a while now and you’ve been an amazing resource and a huge inspiration for our big leap overseas! Thanks a bunch!!

    Reply
    • Wow, it’s great to hear the METV post help you get it straightened out. We remember our first time extending a visa and doing a border run… nerve wrecking when (back in the day) there was little information. Glad we were able to help you and take away some of the worry. Good luck!

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  9. Skype is a life-saver. We use it a lot to communicate and it is nice. We figure we can keep him away from his Nonna for a year but not longer. Also, friends are important – so we have put him in school here so he can get some kind of regular interaction with kids and build friendships. At 4.5, it’s a lot easier to make, and eventually say goodbye to, friends than it will be when he’s older so we’re taking advantage of it now. We are looking forward to exploring your adopted home town! Any thoughts on how best to experience Loy Krathong with a child this year? They are talking about it in his school and making their own krattong but we’re hoping to show him the real experience fully. Where would you go?

    Reply
    • We’d recommend going to the Ping River, which is just on the east side of the city. There you will see many people releasing their loy krathongs in the water as well as sending off the paper lanterns. It’s a beautiful sight to see! There are two bridges that cross the river in that area and either bridge is a good spot to watch the locals celebrate. You’ll be sure to find vendors selling lanterns and snacks, too. Have fun!

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  10. I bookmarked a page in your blog then decided to read further about who you guys are. We are currently in Chiang Mai (arrived last week) and are doing something similar. We have been in Europe for the past 3 months and now in Chiang Mai until (?) We sold our house(s), car(s) and just about everything else and decided to live a dream we’d talked about for years but could not realize because we were too busy doing what “everyone else does”, make money, buy things, expand our lifestyle to fit our income. When we decided we could do this, it just fell into place.

    We have an additional adventurer on this voyage though, our 4.5 year old son. Today is his second day in a Chiang Mai kindergarten and he loves it. Now, I’m thinking of how we can stay here longer. We’d always planned to go back to the US after a year but I like it so much I wonder how you manage the one thing that will pull us back – family. I think it would break my son’s grandma’s heart if we stayed longer. Do you find it’s easy to keep the close bonds with family while abroad? I would love to hear your advice.

    All the best to you!

    Teresa

    Reply
    • Hey Teresa. We can only imagine what it’s like to raise a child overseas. That is an entirely different matter because as a parent you are destined to feel guilty for being so far away from your child’s grandparents and cousins. If we had kids, you betcha both of our families would be harping at us to come home!

      For us, we enjoy and cherish the time we spend talking with friends and family. We both have good relationships with our parents and siblings and talk to them and keep them updated with our lives on the other side of the world via emails, phone calls, and Skype.

      Some people may find us selfish in saying this, but we believe in living the life that is best for us and not for others. With that mentality, that is how we have been able to live in Chiang Mai for 2.5 years and counting. If it makes you truly happy to live in Thailand, then stay πŸ™‚

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  11. I could not agree more my friend. A terminal illness keeps me in America getting treatment. I have one of the best wife’s in the whole world and two wonderful children. I pray I am doing the right thing. I’m not sure I am. I no longer know what to do. I’m saving money for my wife and family, but will that be enough? The world has changed so much and gotten so complicated. I wish you and your wife a wonderful loving life. May all your paths be bright ones. Bud

    Reply
  12. In 2012 I retired and when I moved it required a 28′ Penske moving truck, towing my pickup which was also loaded. 6 months later I sold everything I thought I was important to my materialistic life and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand with 2 suitcases.
    Ridding myself of all that “stuff” was so liberating and scary, but it was by far the best decision and thing I’ve done… and I made a lot of money…hahaha. It was blogs like this and other peoples replies that helped me realize I wasn’t crazy or doing something stupid.
    Life in Chiang Mai is fun. It’s not an easy transition from life in the US, but it works in a different way. I do miss some things in states and the US is really a beautiful country with wonderful places. One day I will maybe travel around the country in a travel trailer and maybe return for summer trips… but for now I love Asia, the people, the food, the very different way of life. One thing I do not miss is gangs, thugs, angry people and so many rules.
    Travel around and see what’s out there. Get so far out of your comfort zone that you’re laughing and amazed at how totally lost or vulnerable you are… it’s enlightening.
    LOOK right BEFORE you turn or cross the street. Move carefully, but move quickly.
    Don’t be afraid to let go of your life in the US and certainly don’t be afraid to let go of your possessions. I danced around like a kid after I freed myself from the ball and chain of materialistic possessions. Sadly, now I own a motorcycle and laptop..hahaha. But I love motorcycle riding around here in the mountains and I LIVE in my laptop… oh my, I just admitted that.

    Reply
    • That’s awesome! We love hearing about good news stories from people who have also moved to Thailand πŸ™‚
      Haha, we know what you mean about living in our laptops…

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  13. Thanks for your info on Cats in Thailand. I am trying to arrange short stay in the CM area for November, and my wife and I are bringing our small 7 year old cat..

    Reply
      • My wife and I have a very close friend in the Philippines that was an all A student all the way through high school and college. We have offered to send him and his girl friend to Thailand for a vacation. We would like them to see the ancient runs on top of the mountains. Will you please give us some idea on the costs for two people after they get to Thailand? I think it would be difficult to sent more money after they are in Thailand so figure on the high side. Thank you so much for your help. May all your paths be bright ones.

        Sincerely,
        Bud and Maria

        Reply
        • We vacationed in Thailand for 12 days (back in 2012) and spent around $1500 USD for the two of us. This included domestic flights between Bangkok, Krabi, and Chiang Mai, our three-star hotel stays, food, entertainment, and just a tiny bit of souvenir shopping. It excluded our international flight. Hope this helps!

          Reply
  14. 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!

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
      • That’s awesome! Thank you for the reply.

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  15. 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. πŸ˜€

    Reply
  16. 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!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for those nice words πŸ™‚ 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!

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  17. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

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  18. 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!

    Reply
  19. 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!

    Reply
    • 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!

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  20. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

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

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

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  22. 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.

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

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  23. 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 ?

    Reply
    • 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 Β£625 a month, which is quite comfortable for a single guy with no dependents living in a modest home.

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

    Reply
    • That’s impossible to answer πŸ™‚ Take whatever you think you will spend and multiply it by 1.5!

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  25. 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!

    Reply
    • 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!

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  26. 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.

    Reply
    • 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 πŸ™‚

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  27. 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

    Reply
    • 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 πŸ™‚

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  28. 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:-(.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • 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.

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

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  29. 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.

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  30. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

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  31. 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 πŸ™‚ Maybe see you in Chiang Mai!

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

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  32. 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?

    Reply
  33. 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

    Reply
    • 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,
      Chris

      Reply
  34. 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.

    Reply
    • We’re glad to hear that the info we’ve put our there helped you make the decision to move here πŸ™‚ 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!

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  35. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

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

    Reply
  37. 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?

    Reply
  38. Hello,

    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 πŸ™‚ 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!! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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 πŸ™‚

        Reply
        • 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 πŸ™‚ Keep in touch.

          Reply
    • 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 :).

      Reply
      • 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).

        Reply
  39. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  40. 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).

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  41. 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. 

    Reply
    • 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 πŸ™‚

      Reply
  42. 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…

    Reply
  43. 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!

    Reply
    • 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 πŸ™‚

      Reply
  44. May all your paths be bright ones my friends.

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

    Bud and Maria
    Philippines.

    Reply
    • Hello, thanks for another nice comment. You are actually on the blog πŸ™‚

      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.

      Reply
  45. 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!

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

      Reply
  46. Great post! Just found your blog and bookmarked it already πŸ™‚ 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  47. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for your reply.

        Your blog is very informative and helpful.

        Reply
  48. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  49. 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

    Reply
    • 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!

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

    Reply
  51. 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.

    Reply
    • Awesome – downsizing will make you feel like a new person! Maybe a trip to Thailand with that extra cash? πŸ™‚

      Reply
  52. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  53. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  54. 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.

    Thanks!!

    Miriam

    Reply
    • 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.

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

        Reply
        • 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! πŸ™‚

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

    Reply
  56. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  57. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  58. 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. πŸ™‚

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

      Reply
  59. Thank you, Melissa! We really appreciate the encouragement and support πŸ™‚

    Reply
  60. 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

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

    Reply
    • 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?

      Reply

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