My Journey to Expat Life: Rachel Devlin

by | Feb 11, 2022 | Thailand | 1 comment

My Journey to Expat Life – A Phone Call Changed My Life

Eight years ago, a single phone call changed my entire life. For the better. And so began my journey to expat life.

Mum: Did you know that people just resign from work and move overseas and have great lives in Thailand?

Me: Really? Well, I couldn’t.

Mum: Why?

Me: My career, the mortgage, my son, everything! It’s way too difficult. I probably couldn’t afford it.

Mum: Maybe you could rent out your house?

Me: (Thinking of all of our belongings stuffed in our home)… Naaa. No way.

This is honestly the conversation I had with my mother eight years ago. She had just spent large parts of the year in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And I thought it was the most impossible dream.

Not. Even. Worth. Thinking. About. It. 

But what happened because of that phone call was that the seed was planted.

My Journey to Expat Life: A Picture Planted the Seed

Selling our house was easy after realizing what our futures held. By Rachel Devlin
Selling our house was easy after realizing what our futures held. By Rachel Devlin

One day, I was at work. I was tired and had to deal with some health issues. I longed for a respite from the world. And an email popped up from my mum.

It was a picture of her and some friends in a giant treehouse over a bamboo forest. They were all lying on lounges, getting foot massages. I felt guttered. Oh, what I would have done to have been there in that moment!! Oh, the torment. And thus, the seed was germinated. With that simple photo, I knew I wanted a different life than the one I was having. I knew I had to find a way.

There were lots of discussions with my husband and my son. With the information we knew about Thailand, we thought we could move there if we sold the house we had built. But it also filled this house with my son’s childhood memories.

But in those discussions, thinking about options and discussing what our lives would look like was where the magic happened.

Slowly we realized the life we were imagining was way more wonderful than the existence we were living.

My Journey to Expat Life: Three Years in the Making

We were so excited to move into our new city townhouse! By Rachel Devlin
We were so excited to move into our new city townhouse! By Rachel Devlin

We had created this vision of a relaxed lifestyle with travel adventures. A simple life. A more carefree life. It was so much more attractive than the one we had. And it was a realistic picture.

It took us about three years of dreaming and conjuring our new life for us to commit to it – finally!

One day, I was standing in the driveway and my husband simply said, “Let’s do it!” I knew exactly what he was talking about. I said, “Let’s call around for real estate agents and get this house on the market.” We were on the phone in seconds.



My Journey to Expat Life: Realization Time – Commitment Follows

I realized that the silly old dusty things in the spare bedroom cupboard were not so important that they should dictate our future destiny.

I also realized the past was not as important as our future.

And I realized that the future was going to be wonderful once I let go of a few measly grimy things in the garage.

But something else happened when we finally made that “snap” decision that took three years of dreaming.

My Journey to Expat Life: And Just Like That All Fear And Anxiety Vanished

Suddenly, the moment we committed and finalized our decision, all my fears and anxieties floated out of my body, and I just knew we would make it.

I knew that even if we were low on money, we would still make it work. You see, the torture was not in the move; it was in thinking about the move. The relocation was just as painful as it would be to move down the road. But instead of living in a house down the road, we jumped on a plane filled with joyful anticipation.

The moment we committed, we felt inspired, excited, and determined to make it work. This was some six years ago. We made it work. And you know what, I only regret we waited so long to jump into the best part of our lives. Where will you land?

by: Rachel Devlin