Why Thailand?

March 24, 2011 No Comments by afamilyinmotion

Moving to Thailand, The Easy Life

Moving to Thailand, The Easy Life

Photo Courtesy Of John Van Slyke
Mr. P is writing this post.

Of All Places, Why Thailand?

So why did we choose Thailand over other wonderful places we’ve been before (Southern France; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Rio de Janeiro; Spain) or somewhere interesting we’ve never been?  The reason is simple: I’m half Thai and was born in Bangkok.  Once a citizen there, I will legally be able to own land and start a business in Thailand.  While I definitely love France and Saudi Arabia (have lived in both countries), I can’t own land or operate a business without being a full citizen in either place.  (My friend Robin is a dual citizen with EU status…lucky her.  Speaking of, check out her awesome foodie blog – A Chow Life.)

I was born in Bangkok, Thailand to my Thai mother.  My father is American, and my parents decided to move back to the US almost immediately after I was born.  Subsequently, I was never issued a Thai passport or Thai ID card, yet I’ve always wanted the opportunity to register as a Thai citizen.  After some unreliable internet research (facebook group discussions and the like), and a trip to the Vancouver Thai embassy (BC post), I am hopeful that I will gain my citizenship fairly painlessly.  Once I have mine, Little Miss is eligible for dual citizenship…which sets her on her way to becoming that world citizen I talked about earlier (Thailand Is For Families).

The Language Of Thailand

Additionally, I want to move to Thailand to finally become fluent in Thai.  Despite having lived in France for two years, Saudi Arabia for ten, and growing up around a Thai mother, I only speak English fluently (some might even question my command of the English language).  One of my biggest regrets is that I never took advantage of the many opportunities throughout my life to become truly fluent in a second language.  This opportunity is sitting here, like a ripe fruit on a tree, begging to be plucked by my hands.

It’s a big priority for both her mother and I that Little Miss learns multiple languages.  She already understands more Thai than I do, thanks to Grandma diligently speaking exclusively Thai with her (thanks, Mom–why didn’t you do that with me?!)  To be fair, my mother was just learning to speak English when I was born.  She has frequently told me that when I was young she was very concerned that I wouldn’t speak English properly if she spoke to me in Thai.  Not that she speaks English all that well.  Her language is a hybrid of English, Thai and a few words that she made up forty years ago and that have been incorporated into her vernacular.  I still have a hard time understanding her sometimes, but I’ve been around long enough to understand that “injulation” means “generation” and “fadicula” is “ridiculous”.  I know my mother regrets not speaking Thai with me when I was little, but that’s okay, I’m going to get it one way or another!  My wife A is fluent in several languages: Spanish, Portuguese and, of course, English.  After a few years in Thailand, she’ll be fluent in Thai and Lao as well: she’s a linguistics genius…And a damn good cook…I feel like a country bumpkin next to the remarkable ladies in my life.

Exchange Rate In Thailand

Another reason we are moving to Thailand is that our hard earned money will stretch much further over there.  Since we sold our business for a profit and still own commercial property here in Portland, we are fortunate to have some recurring revenue that will facilitate our standard of living in Thailand.  The modest sum would not allow us the luxury to retire indefinitely here in the US.  Not that we are planning on retiring just yet (we fancy ourselves still quite young and capable and motivated); however, it’s nice to know that we have a cushion that will allow us to settle in and get a bearing on our surroundings without feeling panicked to find jobs right away.

Last but not least, we are moving to Thailand because we have had it with the cold, rainy eight months that make up the winters in the Pacific Northwest.  We are ready to live in a tropical climate near the ocean.  Ever since we returned from our trip to Hawaii a few months ago, whenever there’s a particularly dreary day, my daughter will say, “Daddy, I wanna go back to Hawaii”.  It breaks my heart to hear her say that.  I know she’s thinking about the sunshine, playing on the beach, and the wonderful hikes in the forest.  I always reply, “I do, too, Baby.”  Thailand’s not Hawaii, but latitudinally it’s pretty darn close. Tropical sunny beaches, foreign-language-speaking-land, dual citizenship, easy living, here we come!

Post: Why Thailand? | An American Family Moving To Thailand

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