Moving to Thailand for the Sunshine

April 21, 2011 No Comments by afamilyinmotion


Moving to Thailand with kids

Moving to Thailand with Kids

Moving to Thailand  for the Sunshine

Before moving to Portland, I’d never lived in a place where conversation about the weather was such a pervasive subject.  People here (myself included) are obsessed with sunshine–or lack thereof.  You may have noticed a common theme in my postings already at this early stage (we’re moving to Thailand)?  I used to tell myself that because I grew up in Southern California and Austin, TX, I was therefore preprogrammed to require more sun than the native Pacific North-westerner.  I am slowly realizing that this is not the case.  All human beings require an adequate dosage of sunshine, whether or not they obtain the prescribed amount.

We Need More Sunshine, So We’re Moving To Thailand!

It’s actually really funny to see Pacific North-westerners’ reactions when the sun peeks out after a particularly nasty bout of rain and gloom.  It’s as if a switch has been flipped.  A city that was deserted only a short time before is suddenly teeming with people, all desperate to soak up a few rays while they last.  Every where you go, strangers smile and comment on the beautiful day.  People open up, invite you in a little closer, the sunshine making them feel more generous and content.

Did I Say We’re Moving To Thailand Already?

A good friend of ours who has lived in Seattle for ages recently returned from a trip to Hawaii.  After deliberately avoiding sunscreen for the entire week, and even with her supplemented daily dosage, the level of vitamin D in her system didn’t even register on her doctor’s chart when she went in for her check-up.  She’s decided to move to Hawaii.  This is a woman that I would have sworn would stay in Seattle for the rest of her life.  It’s amazing the alluring, seductive effect sunshine can have on people who have been deprived of it for so long.

I never imagined that the weather could hold such sway over me, but after nearly nine years, I cannot spend another rainy season in Portland.  Paul, Ingrid and I just returned from a short trip to Austin to visit my parents.  It was glorious–everything about the trip was perfect, including the ample rays of sunshine.  We ran on the hike and bike trail nearly every day (everyone was so healthy with a warm, radiant glow!), attended a garden party (flowers are in bloom in other parts of the country!), met up with a good high school friend (she and her boyfriend are entrepreneurially-minded, so a fun double date), and explored the place that I used to call home but which has changed so much in the ten-plus years since I lived there that I hardly recognize it anymore.  Which means that it’s virtually a new city for me…and I can consider living there again.

I had always been loathe to move back to Austin, out of a knee-jerk been-there-done-that mentality.  I didn’t want to feel like I was stuck back in high school, not pushing myself outside of my comfort zone or having an adventure in a new environment.  That is not the case anymore.  For one thing, there are only two friends in Austin from my teenage years, and they certainly don’t sit around reliving their glory days from high school (don’t get me wrong–high school was a great experience, but not super relevant in my life today).

Anyway, Paul and I kind of got a wild hair while visiting Austin: what if we moved there?  I made the mistake of mentioning this thought to my mom, who has been advocating hard for us to relocate there since her granddaughter came into the picture, and she almost burst with excitement.  My parents drove us around one day looking at houses south of the city limits–we were fantasizing about a country cottage on a few acres with a commercial kitchen out back for our sauce production.  We could easily see ourselves there.

Thailand Is The Land Of Smiles

But then, what about our adventure of moving to Thailand?  Do we just give it up, or postpone it indefinitely?  I have this gnawing feeling that if we don’t go, it’ll be something that we always regret.  We may never have an opportunity like this again.  We ran into an acquaintance from the restaurant industry the other day.  We had all spoken previously about our desire to sell our respective businesses and move abroad.  He and his wife want to move to Taipei.  We were talking with him about going forward with our plans to move to Thailand, and he mentioned a movie he had just watched, Revolutionary Road.  Neither Paul nor I have seen the movie–he didn’t recommend it, a downer, he said–but something he said about the characters really resonated with both of us.  In the movie, the couple has plans to move to Paris.  At the last minute, the husband is offered a promotion at his current job that he can’t refuse.  They end up staying, but their world slowly begins to crumble around them.  I feel like this is a cautionary tale.  If we stay stagnant in our lives or put our dreams on hold for the sake of convenience or money, the unrealized desires will turn sour inside of us and eat away until we are bitter and full of remorse.  Melodramatic, I know, but I don’t want to be like that.

Goodness knows that I’ve taken the easy way out many times in my life, and I’ve never been the happier for it.  Maybe someday we’ll return to Austin, to the new and the familiar, the easy and the hard.  But right now, we’re going to stick to our original plan and try something completely new and hard, but hopefully incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.  At least there’s plenty of sunshine in Thailand.  Hey, guess what?  We’re moving to Thailand!
Post: Moving To Thailand For The Sunshine

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