First published 12 June 2021
I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this, but I am always interested to hear from others how events have fallen into place to bring them to Thailand, so maybe my situation will resonate with some readers. I almost never post photos only of me, but for once I have dug a few out to mark the occasion.
I arrived in Thailand 12 June 2013, for a planned seven-month stay, to explore whether I liked the country and its people enough to consider it as a longer term early retirement option.
At that point, my life in Australia had come to a dead-end in so many ways, and I had no idea what direction to take from there. I hated my job even though it paid well, I was very recently divorced, I had sold my home as part of settlement, my dad died the previous year and my mum a few years before and at 57 life didn't seem as endless as it used to. All the things I regarded as a foundation to my life seemed to have been taken away.
My brother suggested that, as I had enjoyed a holiday in Thailand the previous year, I take extended time off work and revisit the country. The idea was firstly to regroup personally, and secondly to see if Thailand offered a chance to become an early retirement goal to get me out of a work situation that was killing me.
I started with a holiday period in Phuket, which is Disney Thailand and nothing much like the 'real' thing, before renting houses in Chiang Rai for three months and then Chiang Mai for a year. During the time in Chiang Rai I was offered a redundancy, organised by my boss Glen, who knew of my circumstances, and after some sleepless nights I accepted. I was still a little unsure of what Thailand was going to look like, but I knew that there was nothing that pulled me back to Australia.
After Chiang Mai I moved to Isaan in late 2014, built a house and settled into a life that, for some weird and completely unexpected reason, suits me 100%.
Central to this new life has been the total commitment and support given freely by my wife Gaun, who has been such an essential part of every step along the way since I met her (again) on the 13 June 2013 (anniversary tomorrow).
We think that it is us controlling our destiny, but in my case, life took everything away and cleared so much that was holding me back. This opened up the opportunity for a fresh start and a life that has been built on totally new and stronger foundations.
I can truly say that the last eight years have been the best of my life, and I look forward to sharing more of the insights which support that statement for as long as my camera and keyboard hold out.
Thanks for reading.