We have just returned from our Alaska vacation and discovered that, somehow Alaska and Thailand serendipitously merged together for us.
We were expecting to relax and enjoy sea days and Glacier Bay and we did. But to our amazement we went to the buffet line one day and met a wonderful Thai woman who works on the ship. We don't ever remember meeting Thai crew members on previous cruises and this gave us the opportunity to greet her with Sawadee Krap (or Ka) as the case may be. We have always tried to greet crew members in their native language, which they really seem to appreciate.
We visited for a bit and she asked us how we knew Thai? We explained that we are trying to learn the language because we are planning on moving there next year. When we told her that we are planning to live near Chiang Mai for 9 months and near Hua Hin for 3 months she was very excited and said there was someone else on board that she wanted us to meet. She gave us her contact information and told us that she lives near Hua Hin and her brother is a policeman in Chiang Mai and gave us his contact information in case we ever needed any help or questions answered.
She watched us as we found a table and within a few minutes she brought her friend over to meet and talk to us.
To make a long story short, after spending time visiting and explaining our plans to her during the next few days she showed us pictures of a beautiful house that she and her husband are wanting to rent out in Chiang Mai. We will be checking the house out when we visit in December and, if we like it (which we are sure we will), we will have found the home we are going to live in near Chiang Mai.
It is a beautiful Thai style home with western amenities, at the price we have budgeted for housing, outside the main city in a quiet neighborhood yet close to everything.
We would have never believed that a relaxing cruise to Alaska would be so instrumental in our move to Thailand.
One of our biggest concerns and highest priorities is to find good housing options for us when we move. We have researched all the Thai Real Estate rental listings we could find and have found most of the prices to be inflated knowing that the companies are focusing on renting to farangs. We have spent countless hours looking for the right place at the right price. Little did we know that all we really needed to do was take a vacation to Alaska.
The last day of the cruise was exactly one year before our last day of work. We are officially short timers now.