The gymnasium has already been swept up after Pre-K graduation. The teachers are breathing a sigh of relaxation. And I’m reflecting on this last year  living in Hong Kong  as a single parent. 

There’s much to reflect about in terms of my personal growth, business development, and physical fitness and health. But, since this is a single dad blog, I will focus this post on how my little family changed over this past year. 

living in hong kong
Being a single dad isn’t so bad!

My Relationship With My Daughter Improved

Before we came to Hong Kong, she was struggling with sleeping a full night’s sleep. As a single dad, I was dealing with this by myself and it was really wearing me down. 

My muscle tone was depleted, I was always tired, and as a result of my poor physique and tired mind and body, I was short with my daughter when she was whiny or in tantrum mode (which happens often enough that I was feeling like a pretty crappy parent at times). 

Now, one of the first things you might notice if you ever move to Hong Kong, is that your living environment is probably going to be much smaller than what you’re used to if you’re coming from the United States like me.  Like 1000 times smaller. 

If you know me, however, you know I don’t mind living in a small place 

And this time, I’ve found that it helped improve my relationship with my daughter.

Our small room in Hong Kong keeps us physically close, but we’ve also grown closer emotionally as she’s had the freedom to wake up in the middle of the night and sneak into my bed without waking me up.

No creaking doors, no squeaky floors, she just shimmies to the foot of her own bed, one-steps the gap to my bed, and crawls up next to me (or so I assume!). 

single parent travel blog
Auburn sleeping peacefully. With her underwear on her head! 😛

Sometimes she wakes me up by accident, but even so, single parent travel has been awesome with my daughter.

Since I’m physically close to her all the time, I’m also more keenly aware of her emotional state. I’ve been preventing tantrums as a result of seeing their onset early on and guiding her away from them. 

If you’re used to living in a big home and having lots of space to separate yourself from people, you might be surprised–like I am–to find that living in a small place can vastly improve the relationships in your life. 

single parent travel tips and ideas
Auburn in her scouts uniform in Hong Kong. They are known as Happy Bee 🙂

My Daughter Speaks a Language I Don’t Understand

Yup, you read that right. I have a 5-year-old who not only speaks a language I don’t understand, she also makes fun of me for not speaking it!

She’s just kidding with me, of course, and I love that she is speaking Cantonese! 

Seeing her speak with her Chinese grandma and grandpa–in their language–fills my heart, and I’m so proud of her for wildly exceeding my expectations in her language development. 

raising children in hong kong
Auburn and her Chinese grandma, grandpa, and half-brother

Living in Hong Kong Has Made Us HUNGRY For More 

Auburn and I have lived in Colombia, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, and of course we’ve spent time living in Hong Kong. Each place has given us a new perspective on life and encourages us to keep learning.

Now, after our year in Hong Kong, and despite the awesome outcomes we’ve achieved here, we are ready to escape the noise and hustle of the big city. 

living in hong kong, expat life
Auburn overlooking the city that has taught her so much this past year.

We both are yearning for consistently fresh air, easy access to the sea, and cheap, healthy food. 

That’s why I am ready to reveal to you where we are headed in just one week: Koh Tao, Thailand !

Of course, we’ve lived there before and it’s part of the reason we are going back. I love it there!

The school she goes to is awesome, the food is incredible, and I feel so healthy while I’m there.

In fact, I’ll take a before and after picture of my body, I won’t change my exercise routine at all, and I guarantee you that I will lose at least 8 pounds of fat–that I’ve gained living in Hong Kong and eating so much oily food–just from the diet we’ll be on. 

It’s a wonderful place. And that’s why we’re headed back for the next three months! I’m ready for more of this single-parent adventure travel!

Do you want to travel with your children one day? Let me know in the comments!


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Colombia, Vietnam, China. Do these places sound like somewhere you want to raise your child? They do to me! I’m a single dad and my 4-year-old has already lived in these countries and more. Some people ask me how do I–as a single parent digital nomad–raise my daughter?

My response is always the same: how couldn’t I?

single dad travel blog
My daughter and I in Hong Kong

Strapped with a mountain of student debt, exhausted from working two jobs morning-to-night, and thoroughly upset to return home only to see my daughter is already asleep, I was surviving in the United States, but not thriving. 

That’s when I started reading online and seeing phrases like ‘digital nomad’ and ‘travel family’ and ‘modern nomad’ and ‘location independent’ being thrown about.

I saw families like The Holcombe Family doing amazing things. 

I would think, “who are all these super-rich, ultra-privileged, narcissistic people bragging about their life with children as they go to all these amazing destinations?”

single parent travel blog
Us checking out a waterfall in Thailand

I should’ve reserved that judgment. It turns out, the nomadic life–the ‘travel family’ life–is just as attainable as the life I was living in the United States. 

That’s when I made a choice: I was going to work towards achieving what I saw as a better life for me and my daughter, the nomadic one. 

I’ve always loved travel ever since I did my study abroad in Costa Rica. But I knew the way I ‘studied’ in university was not going to look like my parenting life. 

I needed an attainable path to location independence. 

That’s when I started to work for it. I already had a skill: writing. I just needed to monetize it.

So, I started this blog with this post talking about some serious mistakes I made in my personal life.  

If want to get started with building writing as income, I suggest you also start a blog! Check out Bluehost for an awesome web hosting service!

Once I started my blog, I was able to fully engage with my choice.

The Choice of Being a Nomad

Let’s start by saying that I love the United States, and if I could afford to live there full-time on the work I do now, I would spend at least half my time there. Probably the summer in Michigan where I’m from, for example. 

single dad travel blogger
In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

I’m not to that point yet, so the choice I made was this: if I’m going to live off my writing now, before it’s enough to live in the USA, then I have to find somewhere where I can afford to live

I felt compelled to live off my writing. Not because it gives me the chance to live nomadically, but because I love writing, and I love the work I write about. 

 

My choice was this: give up a pair of good jobs in the United States that provide economic freedom, or live a life of love and freedom of choice each day.

Both ways of living have their merits, anyone who chooses a good job in the USA is doing okay in my book, but it’s not a life I’m suited towards.

I’m not built for alarm cooks, punch cards, and bosses staring over my shoulder. That kind of stuff drives me spiritually and mentally insane and takes a massive toll on my body. 

I’m built to wake up with the sun, and then fall asleep when it does. I thrive under my own direction, and when I fail I have no one else to blame it on.

single parent travel blogger
Koh Nangyuan, just 15-30 minute boat ride from Koh Tao where we used to live

The integrity the nomadic life–and being a single parent digital nomad–has taught me keeps me driven and engaged in a way that is meaningful to me.

And, as a bonus, I love the freedom to map out each day the way I see fit. 

How does a single parent digital nomad raise his children?

I do it only by knowing it’s the best route for my daughter and me.

Her well-being is directly tied to my state-of-mind, and my state-of-mind is best when I am living a life that is self-actualizing. 

My daughter is safe, healthy, and learning so much about the world that she could never get out of a textbook in the US. 

No, I’m not making nearly as much as I once was, but I worry less about my income level on the road because it’s so much cheaper than living the US.

And I’m able to live a healthy life full of activity, delicious food, and heaps of time with my daughter. 

So if you’re curious how a single parent digital nomad can raise their children on the road, I ask you back: how can’t they?


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