My husband Michael and I were in our 50s when we made the decision to retire overseas. Before then I really hadn’t given retirement much serious thought. I suppose I had seen us as part of the grey nomad brigade, caravanning the well-worn roads of Australia, gathering at 5 p.m. for ‘sundowners’ then toddling off to camp for the night.
The landscape in Hang Dong, the northern Thai district I call home, is a random mix of rural and urban Thailand. Rural villages with windy, country roads are dotted with Lanna-style temples amidst sprawling fields and tropical shrubbery. The urban roads are lined with low-rise shop-houses and local businesses selling everything from car parts to cosmetics. Residential areas range from pockets of small villages to grander, gated communities.
Last weekend I was enjoying an icy mango daiquiri with my husband at our local pub, the Gekko Garden, when we got chatting to an Australian couple on holidays in Chiang Mai. They asked us how long we were staying in Thailand and their faces dropped when we told them that we live here. Cue the questions on how we made it happen…