OUR STORY

First, we would like to thank you for being part of our story and for wanting to learn a little about us and why we decided to move halfway around the world!

And the story goes…

We were what many would consider to be a successful American couple. We worked hard at good paying jobs, spent our money on stuff, and lived for the weekends. We eventually realized that our job titles, our belongings, and our cars were not what we wanted to be known by. And we wanted more than just two weeks of vacation a year!

What began as a lighthearted joke about “retiring young” quickly grew into something serious. We realized that with hard work, meticulous planning, and some sacrifice, the opportunity to clock out for the last time was well within our reach.

Our Story Wedding
 

In an attempt to enrich our lives, we broke free of the behavior that popular American culture tells us is normal and acceptable. In the beginning of 2013, we resigned from our jobs, sold almost everything we owned, and jumped ship in exchange for a new life abroad. We bought two one-way tickets and ended up on the other side of the globe in Chiang Mai, Thailand and have been there ever since.

What is Tieland to Thailand?

We started Tieland to Thailand as a way to casually share with our friends and family what life was like after leaving the office life and living on the other side of the world (quite literally), but it has evolved into so much more.

Tieland to Thailand has become a blog that inspires, informs, and empowers travelers who are curious about what it’s like to leave office life behind and to travel around and live in Thailand. For three and a half years, we have shared the ins and outs about life abroad in a level of detail that our readers hunger for and have come to know and love.

We’ve tackled visa hurdles, new food culture, off-the-beaten path travel spots, teaching English, and budgeting abroad. We’ve written about our experiences with exactness and honesty and have essentially paved the way for the next traveler who wants to follow in our footsteps and make Thailand their home.

We encourage you to explore our site. Get lost in the details and eventually you’ll find yourself thinking, “Wow, I should go to Thailand!”

It amazes me how inexpensive it is to have fun in Thailand. Your information is very detail-oriented. This is what your blog stands out from others. Not to mention, all the beautiful pictures. Couldn’t love it more.

- Young

Connect With Us on Social Media

If you love the information found on our blog, we also share experiences and other exciting events about our travels in Thailand (what doesn’t make it on the site) through our social media channels. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We now have videos on YouTube and Periscope, too. Oh, and don’t miss out on our free private Facebook group where past, present, and future Thailand expats connect!

About Chris

Chris grew up in three different countries and has moved over a dozen times in his life. Although he first looked forward to residing in one place and settling down permanently after meeting Angela, the travel bug got the best of him, and back in the summer of 2011 he found himself wanting to move again, this time to Thailand!

Chris served in the United States Army before accepting an Operations Management position in the corporate environment. He is passionate about health and fitness and is a certified personal trainer and a certified nutritional consultant.

Chris is enjoying his new-found freedom to be able pursue the things that inspire him, without the distractions of the rat race. He has found living minimally is far better and much more conducive to traveling. He loves spicy Thai food and that he won’t have to drive in the snow and ice for a very long time to come.

While in Thailand, he hopes to be able to spend time experimenting with different workouts, developing his photography skills, and continuing to pursue his degree in International Business Management using the GI Bill.

About Angela

Angela grew up close to Washington, D.C. and has lived within a 50 mile radius all of her life. It wasn’t until she was 26 that she finally got her passport and traveled outside the US for the first time. It was the beginning of what was to open her eyes to the wonderful world of traveling.

Angela earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and worked for a research facility for five and a half years before she decided that a major change was needed. She had enough of cubicle life and wanted more free time.

Angela is always looking for activities to keep her busy. Because of her love for all things food-related, she can be often found spending her free time searching for and experimenting with new recipes, trying out new Thai food from local markets, and finding new restaurants and cafés.

Now at 30 years old and at the two and a half year mark in Thailand, she is still pursuing her goal of learning to speak and read Thai. She also hopes to continue her uptake of weightlifting and embracing the slower-paced life in Thailand.

Add to the Discussion

169 Comments on "Our Story"

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John R Mueller

Thank you. ……you have inspired me…i hope to say hi in Chiang Mai in November! !!

Leeza Silverman
I was a lawyer. Did not sell up everything to ‘YOLO’ which seems current young person thing to do, but worked hard, saved and invested to retired early at 50. Now enjoy living and working in China as a teacher. Retirement and travelling was too boring for me! I come to Thailand twice a year as Chinese jobs have lots of holidays. I am very impressed by the high quality of your blog and joined your Facebook. I am in Chiang Mai now so would like to meet other intelligent people like yourselves. I am interested to help. I can… Read more »
Cheryl

Awesome blog! Was looking around for opinions on Hua Hin. Am thinking of taking a road trip from Malaysia to Hua Hin and is wondering if your opinion on the place still stands?

Kind regards,

Cheryl

Jon Wan

Hi Chris and Angela,

Many thanks for sharing your experience and travels on this blog. It has been insightful and informative.

Best,
jwny

Miruna

Hi Chris and Angela

Many thanks for the info provided, really helpful and consistent to make a decision.
I have a job offer in Sisaket from an agency. What would you advise for the below as in location, salary?
28,000-32,000 baht (Salary raise is based on qualifications and experience) + Housing allowance of 3,000 baht per month
– Semester to semester contract
– Free Work Permit
– Necessary documents for Non B visa (2,000 Baht Visa fee compensation per semester)
– 40 ours per week, 18 to 24 periods/week

Thank you in advance for any feedback& keep up the good work!

Jim Taylor
Wife and I have been thinking about moving to Thailand for a few years, Chang Mai not first on the list, would love to live at the beach, Hui Han or Phuket maybe, but I am flexible, might use CM as home base and just ‘vacation’ at the beach a lot. Have a few questions for you now that you have been there for around 4 yrs: Still love it and knowing what you know now, would you do it again and would CM be your home? Is the burning season as bad as I have seen some claim? The… Read more »
Jason McBride
Hi guys, I sent you a private message, then it dawned on me that your answer could be helpful to others. So, I’ll repost my questions here : ). We are a family of 5, one wife, one husband, three small children (ages 4-8), and we’re potentially interested in moving to Asia (possibly Thailand) for a period of 1-3 years. Having small children is a caveat that often separates us from others who dream of leaving the States to reside abroad. Basically, if we’re going to uproot the lives of our children too, we’re hoping for “some” assurances that if… Read more »
Yannik

Hey, what does Tieland mean? :)

“… won’t have to drive in the snow and ice for a very long time to come”.

I can really relate to that right now! It’s snowing and I just had to shovel. Again.

hiroki hokari

Hi. I just read several posts of you guys and really enjoyed them. I’ve traveled a few countries, but none of them allowed long term stay; I’m talking more than one year. Even if you are some very popular Youtuber with huge amount of income every month(meaning you can be on vacation while earning), the requirement for long term stay is always 1. to work for the local company or 2. to study full-time at local institution. So my question here is, do you actually do ‘the run’ every time or have some other method to stay?

Patrina

Dear Chris and Angela, are you able to suggest hotels in Chiang Mai close to all of the attractions? Also have you any idea what is the best mode of transport from Krabi areas to Bangkok and how long is the journey? Thanking you kindly.

Danielle

Thanks for your info on the floating houses! Expat myself living in Hong Kong, from Virginia Beach, and I love Thailand. It’ll be my first time to northern Thailand and I’ll be in Chiang Mai for Chinese New Year on the 28th of January-5th February and really interested in getting on one of the floating bungalows. Any recommendations for Chiang Mai as in personal favorites for pubs and vegetarian restaurants? Looking forward to getting out of this smog in two weeks!!

glenda

Good Day
im looking for help as im looking for a teaching psition in Thailand just completed my TEFL course ,Do you possibly have any advise for me

Patrina

Thanking you kindly I am not sure how my friend will want to schedule the time so will come back to you guys if anything. Warm regards Patrina

Patrina

Hi Chris and Angela, I am planning a trip to Thailand in the new year and was would like to visit a couple of places whilst there. Please can you tell me how far is Chiang Mai from Ao Nang? What is it likely to cost to get from one place to the other? Lastly is it better seeking out hotels when we get there or better to pre-book? I heard the former is better in terms of cost. Please advise. Thanks

Hi Teresa, we’ll land in CM on Thursday and are looking for a kindergarten for our 5yo. Wondering how it worked out for you, which school you chose? Thanks, Milton.

Heather

Hi Chris and Angela,
I read on another blog site that you use a Sony A series mirror-less camera. I just love all your pictures! Which model do you use? What are your three go-to lenses?

Lynette Merry
Hi Chris, we are going to be living in Chiang Mai for 6 months of the year if things all work out for us. I am a bit of a health nut and love organic food etc. I love Thai food but am worried that they use pretty bad quality oils. I personally use Coconut oil for all my cooking. Is there a way to eat healthily while eating out in Chiang Mai? Also what would be your suggestion for the best places to buy organic vegetables, eggs, meat? Thanks so much for your great blog, I really appreciate your… Read more »
Marnille Umawing
Hi Chris and Angela! Although, I’m reading this in 2016 I just want to say “Congratulations and Thank You” for this great read. I’m a Filipino licensed educator who is an adventurer by heart. I recently visited Thailand in July for the very first time and I fell in love in the country instantly. I’m considering of moving there and get a job but after reading your story, I have no more doubts. I really wanted to live there. I look forward to meet you in person and hear more of your journey in this wonderful country. More power and… Read more »
Denise
Hi Chris & Angela, I am currently a student taking an international human resource class at Baker College. Our final assignment is on developing an expatriate training program. I decided do my training assignment on Thailand because my husband and I have been there twice over the past 2 years and absolutely fell in love with the country and the people that reside there. Both times, we left there with such a feeling of peace and wellness because of the experiences we had while there. As I was contemplating which country to select, I realized that Thailand was the one… Read more »
Troy Weston

Hey guys,

Awesome website! Everything I have been looking for as I am dropping everything and moving to Thailand on October 26th. Can’t wait! Chris, I am also a personal trainer in the states part time. Are you able to utilize that at all in Thailand? My plan is to explore first, then start teaching English after I find a place to settle. However, I would like to do something with my passion for fitness while over there. Thanks!

Arnold

Chiang Mai is a beautiful place (except for traffic), but what really gets to me is these visa hassles. Makes you wonder if they really want you to stay :)

Hi, I love your blog. I am going to apply for a Thai tourist visa when I am traveling through India. However, I need to stay in Thailand for 90 days. My question is — When does the visa start? When I receive it? or When I land? Thank you so much.
Ami

Kimberly Newby

Your blog is super helpful! I too left corporate america and can’t wait for a new way of life! I am moving to Chiang Mai in a few weeks and am excited to explore the city and the country. I am getting my TEFL certification and then will be teaching, a much needed change from my last career. Will definitely continue to follow you!

luckyluke2016
Great! I have so much respect to everyone who just leaves its comfort-zone for a new adventure. I started travelling independent around 2 months ago and since then I know already that I never want to work in the same office my whole lifetime to spend 2 weeks on vacation only. That’s not what life is supposed to be, unless you reallly love your job. I even started my own travelblog when I left Austria to share my story with my family and friends … but now I wanna reach and inspire as many people as possible to start travelling… Read more »
Sverre
Good to hear you’re happy, and SEA surely does have plenty to offer. I reckon it also depends how the worklife has been treating you before. In Europe, we’re lucky to have 5-6 weeks paid vacation pus quite a few national holidays. We are toying with the idea of leaving the corporate world, but to be fair the perks aren’t too bad. Once we’d drop out, there is no way we could keep up what we like most (exploring/eating your way around the world). That’s why we are still hesitant. Anyway, first world problems. All the best to you up… Read more »
Sverre

Hi guys, great blog! I’m an expat working in Bangkok for two years and have had similar thoughts about moving to Thailand for good.

Here’s my issue: Just like you Chris, I enjoy traveling and seeing the world since I am young. There is so much out there that a lifetime is hardly enough. What are your thoughts on the compromise (beautiful Thailand without corporate obligations on the one hand vs. limited funds for international travel) you have made?

Hi Chris and Angela! I just wanted to thank you for all the great info you provide. My husband and I are now in Chiang Mai and we are coming up on our first visa run. We were still trying to figure out the extension process and your recent post on Multiple Entry Visa really helped to clarify everything. We’ve been following your blog for a while now and you’ve been an amazing resource and a huge inspiration for our big leap overseas! Thanks a bunch!!

Skype is a life-saver. We use it a lot to communicate and it is nice. We figure we can keep him away from his Nonna for a year but not longer. Also, friends are important – so we have put him in school here so he can get some kind of regular interaction with kids and build friendships. At 4.5, it’s a lot easier to make, and eventually say goodbye to, friends than it will be when he’s older so we’re taking advantage of it now. We are looking forward to exploring your adopted home town! Any thoughts on how… Read more »
I bookmarked a page in your blog then decided to read further about who you guys are. We are currently in Chiang Mai (arrived last week) and are doing something similar. We have been in Europe for the past 3 months and now in Chiang Mai until (?) We sold our house(s), car(s) and just about everything else and decided to live a dream we’d talked about for years but could not realize because we were too busy doing what “everyone else does”, make money, buy things, expand our lifestyle to fit our income. When we decided we could do… Read more »
I could not agree more my friend. A terminal illness keeps me in America getting treatment. I have one of the best wife’s in the whole world and two wonderful children. I pray I am doing the right thing. I’m not sure I am. I no longer know what to do. I’m saving money for my wife and family, but will that be enough? The world has changed so much and gotten so complicated. I wish you and your wife a wonderful loving life. May all your paths be bright ones. Bud
Richard Cabezza
In 2012 I retired and when I moved it required a 28′ Penske moving truck, towing my pickup which was also loaded. 6 months later I sold everything I thought I was important to my materialistic life and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand with 2 suitcases. Ridding myself of all that “stuff” was so liberating and scary, but it was by far the best decision and thing I’ve done… and I made a lot of money…hahaha. It was blogs like this and other peoples replies that helped me realize I wasn’t crazy or doing something stupid. Life in Chiang Mai… Read more »

Thanks for your info on Cats in Thailand. I am trying to arrange short stay in the CM area for November, and my wife and I are bringing our small 7 year old cat..

Just stumbled upon your blog and I’m loving it! I always think about doing this one day with my husband. What always stops me is retirement. I know you said you joked about this being an early retirement, but how do you find yourselves saving up for when you become old and unable to work? Do you have a plan? I’d love to hear it!

Great bog! So great to hear expat stories — livin’ the dream and doing what you love. Wish you the best and look forward to following you. :D

Great blog and so much inspiration in it! Fantastic idea – I am myself someone who left country I was born in to live in another one and I think that was the best decision in my life, although the why was quite different than yours. Moving to another country is not only about living the dream, it is about experiencing and getting to know yourself better! Your blog is excellent – so much to learn about Thailand for me before I go to have my own adventure there! Great to meet you guys!

Andrew
Evening Guys. Great blog and a confirmation that we are indeed doing the right thing by following our hearts. My wife has been offered a permanent teaching position at an international school in Chiang Rai and we leave sunny South Africa in June to start our own adventure. One far away from the maddening rat-race we currently find ourselves in. My wife is going over on a non-immigrant “B” visa and it has been advised that I go on a non-immigrant “O” spouse visa. Our 15 year old son is on an ED-Visa. I have not secured any job at… Read more »
Barrett

Thank you, quick reply! Have not seen that episode, love the one in Burma though. Jealous of being able to live here, well done guys! Pai tomorrow, we’re gym and food freaks as well heading out this afternoon evening for drinks would be great to meet up!

Barrett Campbell

Any suggestions on where to get truly spicy food? My gf has not been impressed thus far and has a very high tolerance for heat! Only here for another day then to Pai for a day….5 days here 5 southern islands somewhere thena day in Bangkok….not enough!

Camille

HI! I am seriously considering teaching English in Thailand as an alternative to going into the Peace Corps. I really like to serve communities and volunteer which is why I applied for the PC. What I am wondering though is if Thailand has volunteer opportunities related to community development/environment. Have you come across any?

Nadia

I saw a story about medical tourism in Thailand. The hospital was beautiful and cheap. This looks wonderful living in Thailand!!!

Bud and Maria Wilson

You should also think about living in the Philippine around Cebu City. My wife and I have a home about one hour south of Cebu City and we both love it. We live on about $600.00 a month. We give money to our children and help some others but for around $1,000.00 a month we live like kings. Very easy to save money there. Just my $0.02 worth. Have a wonderful life my friends.

Mark

Secound question what would be the best place to live for piece quite few shops few bars,I’m looking at Chang mai ? Any views on that ?

Mark

Hoping to come out to thiland for good I’m 55 male would £150.000 last me for the rest of my life ?

I am so happy I found your blog, I am moving to Thailand this January to work for my company for a while, and I definitely plan on doing some traveling the time I am there. I’m moving to Pattaya (I know, I know, not exactly heaven on earth, but it’s where work takes me..) and hope to find a place to live that’s not in the middle of all the craziness. Luckily I’ve been there a few times before, so I know what I can expect. I can’t wait to read all of your posts and learn about your… Read more »

Love reading your blog. I plan to move to South East Asia sometime within the next few years so am currently enjoying reading others experiences from afar. Do you come across many single mum’s in Chang Mai? My main concern is having someone look after my toddler whilst I work on my digital products during the day. Apart from that I think Chang Mai looks ideal.

Assaf Koss

Seeing how it has been over a year now, how are things with Angela’s learning of the Thai language? And how is Chris doing with his Business degree and work there? :=D

Catherine

Love your story! After living in SE Asia for 6 1/2 years, I’m now going back to Canada with my 2 cats. I just became aware that I need to have an export permit. Any idea how to get that? It will be a sad day to leave Thailand:-(.

Yes, We love their site and stories. Catherine. When you are feeling sad to leave ?, Why do you want to leave SE Asia? We are going back to Chiang Mai this year Dec . We are waiting to sell one of our house in Edmonton AB Canada.

Where are you Guys? Missing you!

When I contacted Chris and Angela for tips on how to deal with the chronic critter problem here, they responded with empathy and some very practical, constructive advice. They are the first people here in Thailand who got my point of view, and I am so grateful to them for that. Wish you both the very best and more… and hope to see you guys when we visit Chiang Mai sometime.

After seven years in Thailand – arriving here in pretty similar circumstances it’s really refreshing to read your blog. I wish there had been something like this when I first came here. The first couple of years were really tough with very little genuine online help or advice.

I’ve just recently come across your blog and I absolutely love it! I’m heading to SEA at the end of June with my partner who is a teacher. We don’t know what the future might hold but with an open mind I’m hoping we can find something that would enable us to live a similar lifestyle :) Maybe see you in Chiang Mai!

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