Planning a Big Move – Literally
So ya… that announcement my wife didn’t want to have me talk about…
Mike’s Blog uncut edition
You guys know me, I want to share all the good stuff. There are times I have close people around me, friends, wife, business partners, who don’t want me to discuss something in the early stage.
But at the same time, sharing something in the early stages can lead to new ideas and opportunities involving that life changing decision in a positive way.
That’s what this exact blog and video blog is for right?
So here it goes – we’re looking to move out of China. Ya, 10+ years here and looking to make a relocation out of here.
The first question you are probably asking yourself is – why?
Well – for the overall trend, my wife and I – we want to have an online based business. Not not that requires us to live in a certain city or country. So whether this is living in China, Argentina, or Prague, it is not connected to how we earn money to live.
But the bigger reason is – education and experience. Miles just turned 4 (as you saw on a recent video), and Maggie is about 2 and a half. The school Miles is going to already is asking us to pay for Maggie’s school fee and it isn’t cheap. Talking around $10,000 USD a year a kid. And one English language class a day.
On top of that, our nice apartment (many of you compliment the size and style, thanks!). The lease we were able to lock in 3 years ago is expiring at the end of the year. We went big – as I wanted to work at home, house Wendy’s dad, have 2 kids, do small meetups there – basically everything in 1.
So what does the future hold for the apartment?
It isn’t cheap to begin with (at 9,000rmb a month plus management fees and utilities) so we wanted to know what the landlord was thinking when our lease comes up (I know, a half year to go). This landlord is Chinese and living in USA (role reversal is real!) – so we talked to him/her (I actually have no idea who they are – Wendy talks to them) – and the feedback wasn’t exciting. Basically, the landlord said the rent will come up significantly. Like 30 percent or more, and we have been looking around at similar places in our complex and it is true – we are seeing prices at 15,000rmb a month (that is over $2,000 USD a month!).
So we have to make a move, we can’t accept that. Sure, some friends have said move into “Deep China” (like what many people do) but who wants to do that when I’m going to Hong Kong and other things regularly. Plus where will we send the kids to school?
Seems the kicker talking to everyone is the kid’s education. Reading many other China blogs, you’ll see when kids start to go into school age is when reality sets in.
Sure, why not move back to America. That is something you may be saying.
Man – Asia is in my blood. I’m entrenched in this lifestyle, and I enjoy the blog Global From Asia. So happy I named the site Global From Asia – not Global From Hong Kong or Global From China.
This was always in the cards, to make a move to another part of Asia.
So Wendy and I are on the hunt. We are going to check out some places in July – spend a few weeks on the road.
What about Maggie and Miles?
They are going to their grandparents in Shenyang, China – it will be a nice summer holiday for them up in North East China (aka Dong Bei).
Where are Wendy and I going to trek off to?
So here’s the agenda:
Rise Conference – I’ll be spending time in Hong Kong’s biggest startup event – Rise Conference before we fly out.
Philippines – – Meeting a lot of our GFA team members for a team meetup. Plus hosting 4 workshops (2 days) in Manila on July 12 and in Cebu on July 14. Team building for our company will be on Sunday July 15 in Cebu. I’m excited Wendy can finally meet a lot of our amazing team members – wish I could have brought Maggie and Miles too.
Thailand – Next we are heading to Thailand. There are so many places to check out there, and relocating to Thailand is top on our list. Chiang Mai is the top city we have in mind. One thing I personally am not excited about is it isn’t near the beach – and its in THAILAND, ha! But it has a huge expat community, a lot of friends and readers I know are there, and I am hearing positive things about the SCHOOLS there. But ya, the big question is the schools.
Malaysia – Then we head over to Kuala Lumpur. This is second on the list of places to relocate to. Hearing it is good because English is very common even in the local districts. Right next to Singapore as well so have that to learn and check out (and blog about more). Wendy is also doing some Buddhist retreat and I’ll be hanging out while she does that (It is seriously intense looking at the videos online)
And then the last leg of the trip….
Nepal! Ya, this one is a crazy one, but hey, I’m keeping an open mind. Wendy’s buddhist master is really pushing for us to consider it. We will spend about week there until early August and get an idea if this is a place you can live in, just visit.
So there you have it -sharing my “secrets”. But what would be really amazing is we can get some ideas from you. Then I can explain to my wife why it is OK to blog about our lives so publicly- I’d love to hear in the comments below your feedback and suggestions and we can share publicly this next chapter of our lives.
And who knows – maybe we will stay in China. Or maybe Hong Kong, there is that discussion in the cards too.
Thanks for being part of the journey, I appreciate you.
The Trip Details
Our Exploration Trip Begins
The list includes: Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Nepal
Mike’s Blog 186
So, the time has come. The kids have been sent to North China (Shenyang) with their grandpa (and Shenyu our summer intern!) So it is just Wendy and I to start our exploration.
A ton of people have asked what the itinerary is – and those who know me know I put it out there -so here it goes:
Philippines – first stop is Manila. Meeting our amazing team helping at Global From Asia, and hosting a few workshops as well.
July 10 (11am depart) – July 16
Thailand – mostly all in Chiang Mai – flying from Manila to Thailand for about a week. Have school appointments lined up and meeting some local experts for tips and ideas. I have been to Bangkok a bunch of times but this will be the first time in Chiang Mai.
July 17 (630am depart) – July 24
Malaysia – Kuala Lampur – Wendy is going to a Buddhist retreat and I will hanging low. This is a spot on the list and I will see what it is all about – my first time here in this country
July 24 (5pm) – July 31
Nepal – last stop on the trip – meeting Wendy’s Buddha master (yes, master is funky for me to type). This is in the list of options as they speak English here and the Buddhist monks can teach the kids English. A bit of a wild card as it is pretty far from the rest of civilization. I even read a book on Amazon about moving to Nepal and you still have power outages (book was written in 2014). Knowing I am addicted to the internet this may be a tough one for me.
July 31 (6pm depart) – Aug 7
Then back to Shenzhen in August 8. Time to recap on all of this. I think we will really have to rush to make decisions for school if it starts in the end of August.
Again, this is a bit nerve racking – maybe I have lived in one place for too long – but the added complexity of Chinese wife and 2 kids – and passports visas, immigration, all that stuff is not very exciting to me!
And those who followed along my trip to USA – I pray no visa problems for Wendy along this multi-country trip. Fingers crossed what can I say. Jia you (Chinese word for “Add oil” or go go go!)