So it’s official. I’m crazy. Go ahead and send some medication my way now.

After many many many (did I say many?) conversations with  myself  my spouse, we have finally decided on a location to begin our year(s) long adventure with our kids and fur-babies.

When trying to decide, my thought process went something like this…

  • We need to start in a location where our money will take us the farthest
  • We need a place where the picky eaters of the family won’t starve (my son and I)
  • Prefer someplace with beautiful beaches, and a lot of cultural experiences
  • The process for bringing both our German Shepherd and Rottweiler can’t be too extreme

When creating the short list of places, it was easy to hit the first three marks. However, when it came to bringing the pups that opened a whole new can of shit. Long story short, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and a few other countries have been removed from our list.  I read that Malaysia will allow them in, but they are subject to a 30 day quarantine… um NO!

Once I was able to determine where NOT to go, I was free to start weighing the pro’s and con’s of where TO go. That list was narrowed down to 3 top destinations. Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

While all three have their merits, and the plan is to eventually visit each country while away, one in particular has been tugging at my heart.

Side note: Am I the only one that follows my heart and uses my head to figure out ways to make what the heart wants possible? It doesn’t always have to be logical, it just has to make sense to my heart and my brain will make it happen. 

To be very honest, though my heart is driving me towards one location, there are a number of factors that could eventually sway that decision. Can we leave in June or do we have to wait until July? Will transportation of the pups cost less or more by starting in one place over the other? Will my family revolt and stone me until we change the itinerary? The last of which being the most likely.

So while we are strongly leaning one way, until we have plane tickets purchased, this location could change. What is unlikely to change is the fact that we will start in SE Asia. With so much history to explore, delicious food to be had, and extremely inexpensive cost of living (compared to the US), we would be crazy not to.

I feel that Cambodia will stretch our dollars the furthest, whereas Thailand will provide beautiful beaches and great activites for the kids. With that said, at the moment, my first choice is Vietnam. It appears to have it all. Inexpensive. History. Beautiful Scenery. Easy trip to neighboring countries. Amazing food (or so I hear).

[The only part that gives me a twinge of sadness is the fact that before we made the decision to embark on this new adventure; we were originally planning on doing a 2 week trip to Japan and S.Korea in May of 2018. My uncle (who is more like my brother) is currently stationed in S.Korea, and I was excited to visit him. Unfortunately, he is only there for a year, and will head back to the States in July. I guess I could still visit in May without the kids, but, I just don’t think it’s smart to spend an additional 5k for a quick 2 weeks, when 5k could equal 3.5 months of living expenses. Fingers crossed, I’ll be able to see Chuck before we leave America. With my daughter graduating 8th grade, moving out of our home, and preparing to leave, life will definitely be hectic by the time he get’s here.]

The goal is to live off of $1300 USD or less per month. That is with a family of 5 and our 2 dogs. I have some wiggle room within the budget. I’d hate to travel all the way to another country just to realize our costs are coming in higher than originally expected.

 

Coming soon I’ll post the estimated costs for getting to SE Asia as well as the estimated costs of living expenses when we arrive. My plan is to create a side-by-side comparison between the two, that way you can see how realistic our estimates actually are.

 

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