John and Jane in Thailand

J and J have escaped the hurly-burly of life in the USA.

At Last

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I meant to document the process of becoming an American expat in Thailand in easy sound-bite type installments but it was such  a   . . .  “full” experience that I simply didn’t have the time nor opportunity.  Now I find myself totally overwhelmed by the task.  So, I think I will give you a quick overview and throw in some photographs to embellish.  We set off on March 3rdwith four bags and two backpacks with tentative plans to stay two years.  We stopped in Hawaii for two weeks, the first of which we spent diving. 

diving Hawaii

Ten glorious dives with a great dive outfit – Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures (tell Denise that John and Jane sent you).   On March 17thwe headed out for Thailand where we spent a week with John’s sister, Jeanette,  who lives in Bangkok, she is a lawyer for IBM, doing chores like opening a bank account, trying to get a visa, looking into health insurance, finding prescription medications etc..  We had the advantage of “family” looking out for us.  Jeanette’ s partner’s family is now our family and they were immeasurable help as advisers, guides, translators, drivers, and all around great helpers.  In order to get the proper visa which will lead to a retirement visa we had to leave the country.  Jeanette had to go out on business, so we tagged along with her to Singapore for a week .  

top of our hotel

Not such a hardship . . . we stayed at a beautiful hotel, spend a day at Singapore’s fabulous zoo, and got our visas.  Before we went to Singapore we did spend a week at the beach house getting it ready to live in and getting to know the “neighborhood”.  Unfortunately it rained the entire time so we spent zero time on the beach. 

Song Kran combatants

When we returned from Singapore it was just about Song Kran a.k.a. Thai New Year.  The whole family came down with us to the house to spend the  week.  There were eleven of us living in the 3 bedroom house and that increased to 13 when our daughter Jennifer and her husband Nathan arrived. 

Jennifer getting into the spirit of Song Kran

It was crazy and wonderful all at the same time and I learned so much from my new family and had so much fun.  We ate copious amounts of food, celebrated Song Kran by throwing water at strangers (look it up on Google),

Our whole family going snorkeling

took a great boat ride/snorkeling trip out to Mu Ko National Marine Park, played cribbage (John taught the men of the family who are now wild about it; I wonder how long it will take to spread throughout Bangkok) and a Thai card game called Eight/Nine, and of course we played and swam at our beach which, by the way, is a 120 second walk from our house. 

our house

After a month and a half John and I are alone at last, living on our own, in paradise.


Written by Jane Estes

May 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Wow! Sounds like you are settling in. Can’t wait to see your next post.



    May 1, 2011 at 11:40 pm

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