So I’m pretty excited to be attempting to participate in the Blogging 101 challenge.. I’ve written a few blog posts but these have been mainly about our move from the UK to Thailand.. Well, that’s why I decided to write a blog in the first place I suppose, to keep family and friends updated on our new adventure, progress, new life and what we have planned moving forward.. Now, I’d really like to find a subject for my blog that will be classed as useful, enjoyable and I’ll admit it, I’d love to get more followers, comments and interaction in the blog community – I’m aware it takes two to tango so will commit to making time to get to know my fellow bloggers too.. What would success look like for me? Gosh, it would be amazing to be asked to guest blog (I’ve done one and felt amazing and very proud).
I’m Lisa by the way, 40 years old and I live in the future, 6 hours to be precise as I live in beautiful Thailand.. This is going to be a short and sweet post as I’m about to turn into a pumpkin so I’ll sign off for today’s challenge and look forward to tomorrow’s!
So tomorrow I go back to school.. Words I thought I would never utter in my life again after leaving 20 years go.. Thinking about it though, isn’t life just one big classroom of school? Afterall, every day is a school day isn’t it? Where we learn something new each day… I love learning, I have a hunger for knowledge but I suppose the main difference is that this learning is in my own time, my own choice from the comfort of my home, the beach, swimming in the sea.. The school I’m talking about is the real deal, physically sitting in a classroom with strangers, just like going back in time but with a whole new plethora of experience and skills.. I’m excited and a little apprehensive. I’m learning Thai which is fantastic since I’m living in Thailand but kind of remember my inability to pick up a foreign language when I was in school the first time around..
I’ve been visualising the classes, what to expect and hope that my eagerness to learn will stand me in good stead – having been here for nearly 9 months I’m slightly embarrassed that I only know a handful of words and couldn’t hold a conversation outside of ‘how are you?’ What has helped my focus is a set of success steps that I apply to any situation, the LIPSTICK Principles from The Leading Ladies Company – this strategy allows me to segregate and apply the relevant principle, setting out my goal in a clear and concise manner. The principle I apply here is No 6 ‘Invite Others In’ because if I didn’t I’d struggle to achieve my goal of learning Thai.. I need the support of others to be successful, thrive in this new challenge and when you invite others in, a whole new outlook appears.. People wanting you to be successful, to win, to achieve, to be happy.. You are held accountable for the goal you want to make happen – if you told no one what you were planning would you really put all your time, effort and focus into it? Having a network of supporters gives you the confidence and courage to go on, even when you think you are treading water (trust me it works, I apply this to my learning to ride a scooter!) The days when you feel you are just not ‘getting’ it to confide in your supporters helps tremendously – imagine carrying the pressure of it all by yourself? That’s just a recipe for giving up and that would just make you unhappy!
I’ll keep you posted on my lessons, I know this will be a challenge which I am ready to face head on and now I have invited all of you in I have no excuse but to grab it with both hands and make it happen!
Sorry, I’d nearly forgotten about you in the midst of the fabulous new life we have started.. Next week it will be 3 months since we left the UK, the beautiful thing is we feel like we have been here for ages!! Gosh, is it only 12 weeks?? They say time flies when you’re having fun, quite the opposite.. time is going slowly and we’re having a ball! What I didn’t realise is that when you come to Thailand you must get sucked up in to a ‘Thai time’ capsule as everything is soooooo slow…
So, what’s been happening? We’ve settled well into our new home and absolutely love waking up to the beautiful mountains views each morning.. I tried to ride the scooter but failed miserably so we have parked that for a little while.. Jon’s Business is now formed which is fantastic so he will be working soon (think he’s going a little stir crazy).. The Leading Ladies Company has now launched and our website looks amazing, I feel so proud to be part of something so fabulous… We’ve adopted one of the neighbour’s cats and we both volunteer each week with the Royal Thai Police patrolling Soi Bangla helping those in need..
Life is good.. In fact, life is brilliant.. I cannot believe the stress that has been taken away by the decision to follow our dream.. We visualised our goal and made it happen.. it was that simple.. Yes, we had debts to pay off.. Yes, we sacrificed holidays (anyone who knows me will know how difficult that was for me!).. Yes, we said good bye to our beloved families & friends (who we actually see more of now than we did when we were living our mad crazy bonkers life).. Yes, I had to say goodbye to Starvin Marvin (who has now become the bionic cat after his op).. And Yes, we worked bloody hard to get where we are… It makes me laugh when people say we are lucky – I believe that you make your own luck and with hard work and perseverance it’s paid off and we are very fortunate to be able to make the decision to leave for a better lifestyle..
It’s amazing how little we have gone out and done since settling into our new home, we planned to go the beach at weekends but it has rained everytime we have arranged to do so! We are so conscious not to let the beautifulness that is now on our doorstep pass us by so we made the effort to get up at 5am last Sunday to watch the sunrise from the Big Buddha.. Me, Jon, Nic & Tom got on our bikes and made our way up the steep, windy road.. Wow.. It was simpy stunning..
I’m off to Singapore next week for a couple of days so I’m looking forward to seeing another part of the world – this new life malarkey is pretty good ya know… 😉
So we have done it, we are here in Thailand after selling up and leaving the UK for want of a better lifestyle.. We left on the 5 September with our bags rammed to the seams and 3 flights ahead of us.. The thought of the 15 hour+ flight wasn’t particularly appealing but knowing we were planning not to return for a long time was.. We flew from Manchester to Amsterdam then Amsterdam to Bangkok then onto Phuket.. When we arrived at Amsterdam that niggling last splurge took over and we upgraded to Business class for the 11 hour 40 minute journey to Bangkok – probably in the top 5 of best decisions I have made in my life 😉
We arrived at our hotel we had booked for the first 3 weeks, http://www.monaburiboutiqueresort.com and felt like we had entered into a peaceful and tranquil world – Bob & Mona instantly made us feel at home and as they had been given the tip it was our 7th Wedding Anniversary, they had decorated our room and bought us a gift – this is why we love Thailand and the people who live here (and Murray of course!)
The hotel is lovely, not too far from the bars and shops but far enough not to hear the night’s activities if you want to get a good nights sleep.
We slept for a couple of hours as we had friends arriving later that night and knew we would be partying to celebrate both us leaving and our anniversary so thought we had better get some Zzz’s in as we had no idea what time we would be crawling to bed later. I must admit the first 10 days seem all a bit of a blur, with the late night parties and the fact we still couldn’t believe we weren’t on holiday, we said an emotional farewell to the lads as they jumped on the mini bus to take them to the airport for their flight back to Newcastle – I cried with laughter for those 10 days especially the morning after a night out when Connor said he could start piecing the night together after showing me the tattoo he couldn’t remember having done.. Hilarious..
So with the lads gone, Jon and I needed to get our grown up heads on and start looking for somewhere to live and also to sort a work permit for Jon to be able to teach Scuba Diving. When we arrived, we met up with Andy and Sally from http://www.andyscubadiving.com who Jon and I had learnt to dive with last year – they had been a real inspiration to us last year and encouraged us to get out of the ‘rat’ race in the UK. We feel blessed that they have taken us under their wing and are helping us get started with our new life in Thailand – thanks so much you two, we appreciate everything you are doing for us 😉
We’re now on day 14 and we’ve found our home for the next 6 months.. It’s out in the sticks away from the tourist areas and just beautiful – big enough for us to settle until we decide whether we move on next year or stay in Thailand depending on Jon’s diving work.. Our plan was to only stay in Thailand till May 15 then to move onto the Philippines as we want to experience as much of the world as we can whilst we are still young (ish)..
We move in officially on 1 October but have already been given the keys so we can start to move stuff in and buy the bits and pieces we need to set up home..
We keep having to remind ourselves we are not on holiday so have to watch the pennies until we have a steady income which is challenging as we have both been used to never having to particularly worry about spending money. This is a whole new ball game to us but I must admit when you start seeing your hard-earned savings dwindling away pretty quickly it doesn’t take long to pull your reins in.. That’s the serious bit out of the way for now 😉
All I can say is I feel settled already and knew the rest of our lives wasn’t to be spent in the UK, not sure where we’ll end up but I have my best buddy/soul mate/husband with me and know we will be just fine..
Holy Moly.. It’s been a tough few months but I can say there is now light at the end of the tunnel and our ticket is finally booked to leave the UK and place the missing piece into the jigsaw puzzle of our life..
Jon is recovering well from his second knee operation which is good considering he’s my meal ticket when we get to our destination.. I can’t have a broken Scuba Dive Instructor, can I? 🙂
So, what has been happening over the last couple of months..
A few weeks ago we were at a house-warming, chatting to a lovely couple who loved Thailand too, when we told them where we were planning to go, they had been to the same place and were going back in September.. They had contacts for a boutique hotel where they’ve now sorted a fantastic deal out for us and will be there at the same time as Jon and I – ace! What’s more ace, is that their friend who lives in Bangkok owns a condo where we are going and has offered to rent it out to us – Those guardian angels keep appearing out of nowhere…
After the delay we had with Jon’s poorly knees, we booked our ticket and now land on our 7th wedding anniversary – this wasn’t planned, it’s just turned out that way.. One we will never forget as it’s the day we start our new life..
Things are also going really well with the new company I’m going to be working with, Leading Ladies – a motivational coaching company, looking to launch in September – Watch this Space! Amanda the Founder and I had a photo shoot for the website a couple of weeks ago.. thank the Lord I’m not a model! I’m not down for all that posing malarkey, although the photos may tell a different story..
I’m spending my evenings reading and learning as much as I can for my new role so that when we launch I can be the support mechanism for Amanda and contribute to the success of what is going to be a phenomenal Business. It’s such an exciting opportunity, at times I think ‘ Can I really do this? ‘.. And then I put the negative thoughts to the back of my head and think..
‘It always seems impossible, until it is done’ – Nelson Mandela
They say time flies when you’re having fun but I can honestly say I’m not sure I can class the time we are spending with friends and family as been fun, what I mean is, there’s that niggling feeling that we are not going to see them for a while which brings frequent tears of sadness and happiness all at the same time.. One minute I’m having a ball, the next I’m bawling.. Not sure I like this emotional roller coaster life has thrown me on.. Please let the next stop be the beach..
We have 32 days to go.. WOW.. Who stole the time? We had forever to get ready, get organised and say ‘Au Revoir’.. Now I’m like a mad crazy bonkers woman running around trying to arrange all the grown up things like visas, onward flights and bank accounts..
In the coming weeks, we have some lovely times to look forward too, Family BBQ, meals with friends, Big Fat Gay Stag night, Big Fat Gay Wedding and one hell of a crazy party and I feel blessed that I have so many fantastic friends and family who all want to spend some precious time with us before we go and that I literally have no time to think about anything other than the here and now..
Live your life doing the things you want to do, you only get one shot at it..
I can’t believe we left our home of 10 years, 4 weeks ago today.. What should have been a celebratory day as a key milestone we had overcome on our journey, it wasn’t a time for celebration as I dropped Jon off at the hospital after breaking his right knee whilst recovering from breaking his left knee… Yes, you got it.. One husband, 2 broken knees..
So like the good wife I am, I kicked him out of the car at the hospital entrance at 7am, rushed back to ‘still our home’ to finalise the packing so that I could be at Jon’s bedside when he came out of the operating theatre in a few hours time.. As we are leaving the UK we had, or thought we had, been whittling down our belongings – who needs ski’s and snowboards in Thailand? Golf clubs? No more golf for Jon, broken knees – remember? I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff that was still left after the van load and 4 car journeys we had done in the week to my parents house, which was to be our new home for the coming months..
After the keys were dropped at the Estate Agents and I had a wobbly moment, I rushed to the hospital to get to Jon who had just come out of theatre.. Now I knew straight away it couldn’t have been the same operation as his left knee, firstly he was off his rocker on morphine and secondly Jon is pretty hard, so to have morphine in the first place I knew he must have been in incredible pain.. Why? The surgeon had made the decision to mend the tear in his knee and not remove the cartilege as he’d done with the left knee. Great, he’d preserved what he could.. The not so great was Jon’s recovery had just gone from 6 weeks to 15 weeks and what broke my heart wasn’t the delay that was now inevitable but the text message I received off my husband apologising the moment he had come out of surgery and found out the news.. I think I went into a little bit of shock, everything had been moving along brilliantly and I was even looking to finalise our journey and book flights for our first couple of destinations once Jon had been operated on.
I think I’ve been in mourning for the last 4 weeks as I had envisioned we would be starting our new life in July, it never occurred to either of us that things would be delayed.. I had mentally prepared for the change in our lives and then for us to have to wait has been a bitter pill to swallow.. But you know everything happens for a reason so I’ve had a word with myself, stopped moping about (I think!), asked work if I can stay for a couple more months and am just focussing on getting my husband better for our lifetime adventure..
It’s been 27 days since I handed my notice in, feels like an age.. 80 more days to go till we leave the UK in the hope to turn our daydreams into reality..
My sub-conscious seems to have kicked in over the last couple of weeks, I’m noticing little things I perhaps have just taken for granted in the life that I lead.. And have been thinking a lot about our family and friends.. But you know, the world is a small place and even smaller with technology of today.. If everyone dwelled on whether to do something or not, nothing would ever get done!
So we now have a plan.. Starting in Dubai, we will go to see our wonderful friend, Mohammad, for a few days who we met on holiday at Christmas .. Then onto Sri Lanka, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.. From there we plan to go to Thailand as we follow the dive seasons across the other side of the World..Fabulous.
So before we get too carried away we still have this crazy, stressful life to live, well for the next 80 days anyway..