I’m surprised you’re looking up single parent travel.

Are you interested in trying it for yourself?

Or are you a keyboard warrior prowling for bloggers to harass about how traveling with young kids is unsustainable and not good for their stability?

However you found this post, I’m glad you’re here.

Trolls feel free to leave comments below, I’ll give you some hugs, it’s clear you need it. 

What is Single Parent Travel?

We could all talk a little more about single parent travel.

And we can’t talk about it without discussing what it looks like, who does it, and how it’s done. 

Single Parent Travel
My daughter and I in Thailand.

What does single parent travel look like?

Perhaps you imagine a fit mom wearing a backpack with a baby seat marching her way to the top of Machu Picchu?

That’s not real.

Sometimes we go to cool places.

single parent travel blogger
We often go to Hong Kong.

But I make my daughter hike on her own.

Single parent travel is slow, thoughtful, and deliberate.

I’m not gallivanting my way from resort to resort.

I recently spoke to a friend who asked me how I could possibly be living in Thailand; I must be spending $100-$200 a day just on accommodation alone, right?

No, that’s my monthly budget for a private bungalow on an island in Thailand.

I travel as a single parent because it’s more sustainable for me than living in the United States.

My rent is lower abroad, the food is cheaper and healthier, the cost of transportation is minimal, and because I don’t need to hustle my life away to pay rent, I have heaps of time to spend with my daughter every morning, evening, and weekend.

To me, single parent travel is about giving my child as much of me as possible.

I was stretching myself too thin in the US, and this approach to life puts my parenting first, instead of my paycheck.

single parent travel tips and ideas
When my dad came to visit us in Asia, we all went to Chiang Mai!

Who are these single parent travelers?

Like myself, there are single parent fathers out there doing the same thing.

Most people that I talk to are on board with the idea of single dad travel.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not met with skepticism.

Travel Dads

Consider this story of a single dad who was traveling with his teenage daughter when the authorities were called on him by the hotel staff because they thought he was a pedophile.

single parent travel tips

Perhaps it’s the stigma that ‘single dads are bums’ that lead to this unfortunate incident, causing the staff to not stop to think, ‘oh yeah, some single dads are good dads.’

Whatever it was, there are some really unique challenges to being a single dad.

You can read a little more about mine in this Reader’s Digest article I was quoted in.

There’s another brave father out there with the heroic name of Talon Windwalker, and I’m pretty sure it’s his real name.

single father travel blog
Photo credit to 1dad1kid.com

Anyway, he and his child have done heaps of travels, including scuba diving all over the world.

You can read more of his story at 1dad1kid.com.

Travel Moms

Queenie Tan

I’ve been fortunate to meet some pretty cool people in my travels.

One of them was Queenie Tan, Asia’s premier parenting coach.

single parent travel resources
Photo credit to https://foongkwin.com/

She’s smart, driven, and full of good advice for parents who are interested in worldschooling.

You can find her here, and I recently did a recorded podcast with her that I will link you to when it goes live!

Trippin’ Momma

I’ve got the easy life: one little child who is only occasionally a devil.

Amoya of Trippin’ Momma has one little child and two bigger ones.

single parent traveling around the world
Photo credit to https://trippinmomma.com/

I often reach out to her to talk travel strategy, parenting tips, and online income ideas.

You can find her blog here.

Why do single moms and dads travel?

The real question is why does anyone travel?

What is it about far-off destinations that makes any rational person want to get on a flying piece of metal to go swim with sharks or risk their lives climbing a mountain?

I imagine it’s because the very first humans were travelers.

To be fair, we don’t really know anything about the very first humans except that they first roamed the plains of Africa around 300,000 years ago and built tools out of the environment around them.

If we know that, what can we ponder about the way they must have lived?

I like to imagine I’m living 250,000 years ago.

(You can skip past this italicized portion if you’re not interested in creative fiction, if you like spending some time in a pretend world, however, the italicized portion is for you).

My eyes slowly peel open when the sky is dark blue, moments before the first birds start singing. I look over at my daughter who’s rolled away from me. Her mother was eaten by a sabretooth tiger one night when she went out to urinate alone. 

I stand up and pull my tanned-hide cloth up around my waist. Looking around the dark interior of our hut, I see other parents stretching their arms and putting on their cloths, even some of the late-teenagers have sat upright.

I’m the first out the door, I take it a deep breath through my nose of the winds coming across the plain, and I recognize our problem and know our solution immediately. My closest friend in our 40-or-so-family community steps out of the hut, smells the wind, and exhales in exasperation.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, “The herds move every season, it’s more fun trying to find them after they’ve moved over night! It’ll be an adventure.”

“It will be,” he replies, “but we’ll be running into rain later.”

I inhale deeply through my nose again, faintly smelling the onset of rain in the distance, “good nose.”

We quickly disseminate among the families that the herd has moved and it’s time to follow.

Myself and several others prepare to track and find the herd while everyone else breaks down camp and gathers the necessary tools and skins for travel.

With a razor-sharp knife cut from stone, a 6-foot spear of the strongest and lightest wood, and a skin of water enough for 3 days, our team of 6 sets out in pursuit of the buffalo.

At first we jog, following their scent, faint as it is on the wind and masked by the impending rain, zigzagging a bit to get a sense of where they went.

For hours we search, until we find their tracks. 2 of the team members turn around, to give word to the other families which direction to follow.

Our jog intensifies, our barefeet land ball-first, coil the heals down, and the rear tendon snaps back to push us forward.

Our run is rhythmic, simple, and efficient.

We could run like this for two-days straight. One of the team members once did, just to prove he could.

After hours of prodding across the open plains, watching the sunrise and feel the heat intensify, the rains begin to fall, but only lightly.

We find the rear of the herd. Walking slowly and lazily, they’re resting, enjoying the coolness the rain brings.

Steam rises from the sea of their backs and horns.

This is the time of year they aren’t going to stop moving.

They’re leaving these plains because they know the rain is leaving.

The journey ahead is a long one, and every member of the 40-families will have to endure it.

(The creative fiction ends here and the blog continues)

Obviously, we don’t know for sure what people were doing 250,000 years ago. But I like to think about things–even single parent travel–from an evolutionary standpoint.

Our eyes point forward, our hips are upright for walking and jogging, our feet are biological masterpieces of efficient forward motion.

single parent travel blog
Feet are made for travel.

I truly believe we evolved to travel.

That’s where the urge for far-off destinations came from.

Our ancestors were all travelers.

That’s why great kings expand their empires and why we visited the Moon.

can single parents travel?
Expert traveler.

It’s why we look at Mars and think, what if? It’s why we create movies like Avatar, Star Wars, and even Dora the Explorer.

So if you ask why single mothers and fathers want to travel with their children, just blame it on first humans who loved chasing buffalo across the open plains.

How do single parents travel?

Okay, we no longer carry spears and chase buffalo, but long-term with kids is still possible, even for single parents.

Let me put this plainly: single parent travel–if done properly–is less expensive than living in the United States.

That’s even compared to my home state of Michigan, which has a relatively low cost of living.

Also it’s frozen AF for half the year, but that’s another story.

 

how do single parents travel?
Michigan thinks it’s cool because it has lighthouses. Well, those lighthouses don’t do anything in the winter!

When people think of parents traveling with their kids, they think of the vacations they’ve taken in their lives that cost thousands of dollars for the family to stay 7-days and 6-nights at an all-inclusive resort.

That is not what single parent travel actually looks like, and the costs are nowhere near the same.

Single parent travel is about downsizing what you own to maximize your time with your kids.

It’s about finding the cheapest flights, staying in the most affordable place for a long time, and living as close to a local’s budget as you can wherever you go.

It’s a life focused on consuming less material to spend more time doing what’s right for our families.

That alone should be enough to convince anyone that single parent travel is okay, but they’re always concerned with the logistics and the finances.

And rightfully so.

But their concern overwhelms them and turns into fear and fear turns into excuses that reinforce the ideas that keep them away from encountering their fears.

Single parent travel is keeping concern at face value.

It’s something that’s there, but you can prepare for it and it doesn’t have to stop you.

how do single parents travel with their kids
You must trust your travel instincts.

Here are some of the excuses I hear about why people think single parent travel isn’t possible, and what I think about those excuses.

Excuse 1: Travel is expensive, I can’t afford that.

Does your child currently go to daycare or preschool in the United States?

Mine did and her school cost just shy of $1,000/month.

Your entire cost of living with one child as a single parent in Chiang Mai, Thailand will be less than that.  

If you can afford daycare in the US, you can afford to travel.

I do understand that income is tied to your job, but nowadays it’s not so hard to find a job that lets your work remotely.

And you don’t need to be making much to make it a sustainable lifestyle.

single parent travel tips
In one month, you can spend this on daycare in the US, or on ALL YOUR EXPENSES COMBINED in Asia.

Ways Single Parents Can Make an Income While Traveling

Work Abroad

Teaching

How to work abroad with family

Teaching English is the most abundant job, but if you have a specialty, all the power to you.

I taught Math and English in Hong Kong. 

Nursing

how to work abroad with children

Travel nursing is a real thing.

Heaps of people do it. 

Special skill instructor

how to make money working abroad

Think SCUBA, surfing, dancing, singing, yoga and whatever other skill you can teach.

You can take them all on the road. 

WWOOF

how to work on a farm overseas

What better way to connect with the world around you than volunteering on a farm somewhere far away?

Your whole family will be stronger and healthier.

House Sitting

how to house sit as a single parent

People leave their houses, they need others to take care of their houses and often their pets.

That can be your job. 

Transfer within your own company

make money as a single parent

I know heaps of people who have been able to spend time traveling simply by transferring within their own company to another of their locations overseas. 

Could you do that?

Work Online

Teach English

teach english online as a single parent
Your energy level on camera needs to solid.

It’s easy to make around $20/hour teaching English online to Chinese children.

Heaps of people do it full-time.

Blog

make money parent blogging

Blogs have dozens of ways they can make money, you just have to start one, which you can do with this step-by-guide that I wrote.

Then you need to monetize it by investing in yourself, and I show you some awesome ways to do that here.

Youtube

single parents on youtube

I really enjoy making YouTube videos.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be someone who makes a living off of it, but the worst-case scenario is that I get to watch cool videos of my travels when I’m old and senile!

Coach

traveling with kids how to make money

You have a skill? You can coach it.

You’re a super mom.

Coach non-super moms your ways.

And do it all online.

Travel agents

how to travel with my children

The job description is in the name.

But these agents don’t sit in one cubicle their whole lives.

Digital nomads of all kinds

digital nomad family

Web-developers, videographers, bitcoin traders, writers.

There are too many different types of digital nomads to name.

It’s anyone who works online. 

Since we’ve confirmed single parents can easily make an income while traveling, the next excuse is usually about protecting their children.

Excuse 2: My child’s education…

Is extremely important.

So why leave it up to a system that is falling behind in the world?

The United States public education outcomes don’t rank in the top-10 in anything other than dropout rate for developed nations.

According to the 2018 PISA Worldwide Rankings for Math, Science, and Reading, students in the United States ranked just 31st overall.

The education style that’s being taught in the US isn’t preparing our children for the world they’re growing up in either.

That’s why less traditional schooling options are on the rise:

  • Homeschooling
    • Traditional curriculum in a non-traditional setting.
  • Unschooling
    • No set curriculum; learn from life experiences; self-driven education.
  • Forest Schools
    • Classes are taught outside; children are given the ultimate freedom to explore nature.
  • Montessori Education
    • Self-driven education in an experience-based classroom.
  • And more

If those aren’t your thing, single parents have the option–like I do–to send their children to an international school that will still provide them with the education and certifications that they need to attend universities back home.

single parent travel possible
My daughter in her ‘Scouts’ uniform in Hong Kong.

When you throw in the fact that children in travel families get to learn new languages, try new foods, and see the world, you can see why your child’s education is going to be just fine.

When they know their income and education concerns are covered, they instinctively worry about themselves.

Excuse 3: I’d have no support system.

That’s a pretty fair point.

can single parents travel abroad?
It’s easy to worry about your children.

Taking care of a child, they say, takes a village.

But a life of travel and interpersonal support systems aren’t mutually exclusive.

For me, it works perfectly.

As an out-going introvert, my favorite job of all time was when I was a summer camp counselor.

I could be a part of a vibrant community for two months, then spend the rest of the year in a more introspective lifestyle. It’s a great balance for my personality type.

And when I travel, the same thing tends to happen.

how can single parents travel with their children
You can build a big family wherever you go. Summer Camp 2014

We can live somewhere and find a local community using Facebook groups or meetups, but I can still live my own lifestyle on my own time.

And when the scary moments happen–like when I got really bad food poisoning in Thailand–the expat community on Facebook where I was staying responded with overwhelming hospitality.

It feels scary to not have the support system you’re used to back home, but you’ll always find that good people everywhere are happy to help if you ever need it.

So you just have to replace your fear of not having support, with a trust in the world to help you when you need it, because it will.


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Are you weird?

Hopefully.

Feeling average and want to be weird?

Here’s a weird way to live your life: as a minimalist traveler.


The best part of a life of travel is that it teaches you the value of minimalism.

Why is that the best part?

Because it helps you reduce your carbon footprint, free your mind, and live in a way that is more connected to reality

I’m a full-blooded American. 

You know, in the way that my mom’s side came from Canada and my dad’s side descended from Poland and the Netherlands.

A real American. 

minimal family travel single dad
My daughter and I, Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan.

But an American that loves to travel and see the rest of the world.

It’s hard to reconcile the materialistic lifestyle with the travel lifestyle.

You can only carry so much luggage.

If you want to travel like me, you need to travel like me.

With as few things as possible.

What I Got Rid Of: The First Step towards Minimalism

Before I left the United States, I had a yard sale and sold pretty much everything. 

Then I donated the rest.

Except for my Xbox. That was put into storage should I ever return for a week and want to slay some faces.

But I wish I would’ve gotten rid of it, and I definitely feel weird saying that!

Even the thought of owning stuff I can’t quickly account for is mind-scattering.

I want to live in the ‘now,’ so I live with as few things to think about as possible. 

As Few Things As Possible

This is one of my mantras.

I try not to purchase something unless I absolutely need it. 

The more I own, the more I have to carry.

Is that weird?

minimalism family travel
Everything I travel with these days.

This weight-conscious approach helps reduce my carbon footprint because I don’t consume as much.

When you appreciate that, you can live more simply.

It’s why many travelers are minimalists at heart, even if they don’t know it.

The weirdos. 

What Are You Focused On?

Is your reality what is happening in front of you?

Or is it the worry that you lost your favorite piece of jewelry?

What a weird thing to worry about, a small stone.

The more stuff you have, and the more ‘value’ you put on it, the more it controls you and places unnecessary stress on your life.

single dad travel
How I used to live.

Owning as few things as possible means you have fewer things to worry about.

Your mind is more open to the present moment.

It’s more ready to enjoy the now.

If your life is filled with objects, then your mind is always preoccupied with them. 

And that’s a weird way to live.

The Best Part of Minimalism Travel

Your life is freer and less expensive.

You can move without worry, live without want, and make travel a lifestyle. 

family travel with children
The first minimalist travelers.

The first humans were minimalist nomads, is that weird?

Maybe.

But the minimalist travel lifestyle is a way to turn back to your roots. 

Weird or not.


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I know a lot about single parent travel, mostly because it’s the definition of my life. What I know best is managing times of stress before they occur. It’s called preparation folks. 

Preparing to get on a plane with your kids takes just that. 

Here are my six quick tips for traveling with your children as a single parent. 

1. Kids are Weak

*Affiliate links (disclosure here) may be present in this article.

Since everyone can usually take a carry-on bag for free, make sure your kids each take one.

The key is to give them the big, lightweight objects.

single dad travel blog

 

Things your children can carry:

– Neck pillows

– Coloring books

– Their stuffed animals

This distributes the load evenly among the capable legs in the group.

You don’t want to be  crushed to death by your family’s luggage.

2. Pack Your Books High

Books are valuable tools for surviving single parent travel life.

Keep them safe by packing them on top of everything else.

single parent travel
All the books you’ll need to pack to travel as a single parent.

You don’t want their spines to be snapped.

Remember: books have feelings, too.

3. Pack Just a Few Clothes When Traveling

You don’t want to be carrying around a wardrobe.

That’s too heavy for proper single parent travel techniques.

travel packing tips with children
Not a smart way to pack for traveling.

If you need stylish clothes on the road, check the local night markets.

4. After You’ve Packed, Remove 50% of Your Items

Surviving family travel means carrying as little as possible.

Once your bags are packed, unpack them.

I promise you, you overpacked.

Things to remove:

– Any more than two pairs of pants

– Any more than 6 pairs of socks/underwear

I use one check-in bag for long-term traveling with my daughter.

And we don’t even fill it.

You can check out the bag I use in the video below.

5. Pack Smashables Down Low

Books aren’t smashables, they belong up high. 

Clothes are smashables.

Pack them low. 

6. Micro-pack Your Necessities in case of Baggage Delay

Single parent travel isn’t too difficult.

Until you don’t have a toothbrush and diapers because you checked them in.

Have a little bit of everything you would need for a day and a morning.


 

Just enough to get settled without stressing after your flight.


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You think you know parenting? You know the struggles of waking up early, dealing with tantrums, and ensuring your children’s needs are met each and every day? Try on the crazy struggles of single parent travel.

You’ll be glad you’re not doing it.

1. There is no such thing as “sleeping in.”

Oh, it’s Saturday and you want to sleep in until 10?

Too bad, you have a child who wakes up with the sunshine, is massively hungry, and won’t stop bouncing on your bed.

Here’s a video of how little space you can have while traveling with your kids:

Thought it was fun to stay up late with a few beers and binge watch Stranger Things?

Big mistake.

Sure, Stranger Things is pretty awesome, but now you’re dehydrated, exhausted, and a child just cannon-balled your chest cavity.

2. You have to trust, a lot.

When you grow up hearing the phrase, ‘don’t talk to strangers,’ that really does something awful to your ability to trust people.

And when you’re traveling as a single parent, you have to trust.

single parent travel blog
When I trusted that Auburn could learn from people all over the world, she started showing her true colors.

You have to trust strangers that don’t speak your language around your children.

You have to trust the world to bring you good luck.

And most importantly, you have to trust yourself to be able to respond to any emergency in an effective way.

You have your   children’s lives depending on that.

3. Sometimes people look down on you.

“You need to do what’s right for your child.”

“Your child needs something more stable.”

“Aren’t you worried about your child?”

I am.

That’s your opinion.

And, yeah, single parents who travel are not monsters.

difficulties of single parent travel
Maybe Auburn’s not so sure about that. 😛

People have a weird idea of who you are and what you do.

Single parents dragging their children from one country to another sounds antithetical to everything they’ve been taught, and they will judge you for it.

Are they wrong? Yes.

Does it suck? Also, yes.

4. It’s exponentially more expensive to travel with children than solo.

So many living the life of travel are budget travelers.

They take the cheapest long-distance routes.

They eat only the cheapest food.

And they don’t spend money on big attractions.

I’m on board with those ideas.

But I also have a child.

That means double the airplane tickets, double the dinner plates, and the occasional trip to Disneyland.

With these extra costs, mingling with the budget travelers and their buckets of change can feel disingenuous.

difficulties of traveling
Budget travelers these days.

They’re my people, but family life appears more expensive (it is), and my people probably think I’m rich (I’m not). 

Also, I’m pretty awkward with peers and I’m a super weird dad so maybe the money has nothing to do with it?

5. There’s so much to carry through airports.

When you’re by yourself, you can easily carry your bags in the airport by rolling your check-in luggage and throwing your carry-on over your shoulder.

Single parents roll multiple check-in bags, a carry-on over each shoulder, and a snack bag to keep the kids happy during the most testing moments of the transition.

I can’t tell you how many single parents have been crushed and killed in airports by the luggage they have to carry.

dad blog
Mine and Auburn’s packing list.

There aren’t any stats for that kind of tragedy.

6. So many documents, single parent travelers need a PA.

If you’re not crushed by your luggage, you have to pull out a rolodex of passports and a briefcase of legal documents proving you’re able to travel as a single parent.

Solo travelers have one easy passport to carry, they don’t face this existential crisis at immigration checkpoints.

7. Transition periods are hard, later on.

Transition periods from one place to another aren’t the hardest part of the transition, despite the aforementioned difficulties.

The most difficult part of the transition is the emotional aftershock it has on children.

They can be super happy to travel, excited all the way through!

Then, like my daughter did, immediately begin crying for their grandma as soon as the plane lifts off the tarmac.

Then there’s the sleep and time adjustment to a new time zone.

You’ll be exhausted, your children will be wide awake.

After the initial shocks, the secondary shocks set in: homesickness, difficulty falling or staying asleep for a week or so, separation anxiety, the list goes on.

Transition periods are hard not just during the transition period, but for days or weeks after.

8. Reverting to co-sleeping.

When you’re trying to overcome all these stressors, you might think it’s a good idea to get your rest, ensure that you’re able to function during the day.

To do that, you let your 4-year-old crawl into bed with you, and they fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night.

Sometimes they sleep like this.

via GIPHY

 

But, you made the right choice, right?

Wrong.

You’re back to where you were in the past, when your child was dependent on you for their sleep.

It can be tough to let them struggle through the adjustment of a new place, and it’s something that many single parent travelers stumble over before they overcome it.

9. LTR Dating is impossible.

Speaking of stumbling and sleeping alone: dating!

Finding someone who is compatible to fit your travel lifestyle with your child isn’t great.

Sure, you can hop on Tinder and be unliked as soon as someone reads your profile and notices you’re a single parent, but why not expedite that rejection and just try to meet someone face to face?

How my pickup lines are generally taken:

via GIPHY

It’s probably the best way to meet anyone: in the grocery store, at the ice cream shop, at the park.

Actually, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you probably aren’t a single parent traveler.

10. Your children can speak languages you can’t.

If you’re discontent with your lonely life as a single parent abroad, prepare to feel even more isolated.

Your children have new friends, and they’re talking in a language you can’t understand.

Are they giggling about the boy they like, or planning to shaving-cream my face when I take a nap?

single parent blog
Auburn with her Chinese family. She wasn’t really speaking much Chinese at this time, but she sure does now! To see for yourself, follow us on IG: TheSingleDadNomad

How’s one to know unless one takes that nap?

11. You. Move. Very. Slowly. Everywhere.

Speaking of napping: children walking.

My god, I’ve never seen something move so slowly, and I tried to watch grass grow as a child.

difficulties of single parent travel
Here’s a picture of Auburn when she’s walking. For real, I didn’t think I’d ever get to use this photo in my blog, this is best chance I’m gonna get so here it is.

You can’t. But it grows faster than children walk.

Attention children everywhere: ya’ll need to hit the gym.

12. There is no nightlife.

If I hit the gym and expand my chest to look like Arnold, who cares?

I can never flaunt it at the club.

Nightlife is nighttime for single parents who travel.

There is sleeping, some Youtube, maybe some starlit yoga.

single dad blog
Well, she doesn’t like yoga.

Outside of that, it’d be irresponsible of you to go to the bar when your children are sleeping.

Unless you can effectively drink a martini while watching your baby monitor, of course.

13. Your children won’t remember these awesome times traveling, what a waste!

Young kids these days, I tell ya. They just don’t remember the good stuff.

Small children generally don’t retain their memories.

traveling with children
She probably won’t remember bonding with this adorable Vietnamese child a few years ago. That’s okay.

That means my daughter won’t remember looking over the edge of Niagara Falls or playing in the waves in Colombia.

But then again, hopefully, she doesn’t remember  the time she fell into a hot spring in Thailand.

14. Picky eaters become even pickier when traveling.

Kids can be picky eaters.

It’s our fault as parents, we know.

Blah, blah, blah.

single parent travel with pizza
Yes! Yes! Yes!

Here’s what I know: when kids are being picky and they don’t have their favorite restaurant to soothe their grumpy bellies, shit gets real.

But what am I supposed to do? Not encourage my daughter to eat pizza with me?

That’s a disgusting idea.

15. You can’t ride all the roller coaster rides.

Kids hold us back in so many ways.

There’s no love life, no nightlife, and worst of all, you can’t ride the best rides.

Here was our trip to Ocean Park for her 5th birthday!

 

Luckily, when my daughter and I went to Disneyland in Hong Kong, she was just big enough to ride most of the cool rides.

Though I’m surprised her tiny body survived the jarring Star Wars Experience and the Tony Stark 3-D ride.


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Have you ever asked yourself the question, “should I move to Thailand?”

If you have, you’re in the same position I was in a few years ago. I wanted to quit the American rat race to find a better way to live. I felt stuck. Until I found salvation by asking myself one question, “should I move to Thailand?

Moving to Thailand isn’t going to solve your problems in life, but it is a way to live an inexpensive, healthy, and pleasant lifestyle.

So, if you’re considering moving to Thailand, here are my top 9 reasons you should!

1. Moving To Thailand Is Cheap!

should i move to thailand?
Big city life in Thailand. It’s different, but as the Thai people will tell you, it’s ‘same same.’

When you first get there (you’ll likely land in Bangkok), you’ll see that life isn’t that much different than living in a big city in a Western culture.

There are skyscrapers, noisy streets, and well-maintained roads.

But, you can go out at night with $10 in your pocket, eat a buffet of different street foods, consume colorful drinks, and meet people from all over the world, without running out of money!

Though Thailand has its own style and is not identical to Western comforts. The housing, dining, healthcare, and transportation are all substantially less expensive than what you’ll find in the West.

2. The Food Is Healthy

If you’re not a fan of noodles and rice, you might not enjoy the majority of the cuisine.

But don’t miss the spicy salads, grilled arthropods, and fresh fruit stands all over the place.

Interestingly, while there are popular traditional Thai dishes, each restaurant will offer what they call “same-same, but different.” It’s a common saying that means everyone makes pad thai, but everyone makes it a little bit different, for example. 

moving to thailand
Seafood pad thai

Did I mention it’s super cheap? 

3. You’ll Feel at Home

Spend more than a few weeks in one place and you’ll be recognized by locals who will appreciate you using phrases like sawatdee and khop-khun-kha (hello and thank you).

They’ll wave to you, smile at you, and if you purchase from their food stalls often enough (or have an adorable child like I do), they’ll give you free food with whatever you order (be grateful for this, but don’t expect it, obviously)! 

moving to Thailand with children
Locals love Auburn

We just returned to the island we love the most for the first time in 1.5 years. Within the first week, several locals have stopped us and told us they remember us, luckily, I’ve remembered (most of) them also!

4. The Weather is Exceptional

Yes, there is a rainy season that drops ungodly amounts of rain on you at certain times, but for most of the year, you’ll be looking at blue skies with (sometimes scorching) sunny days.  

 

via GIPHY

5. You’ll Learn to Defend Yourself

should i move to thailand
Muay Thai in the river, even the children are obsessed with the sport!

Ever heard of Muay Thai? It’s like boxing except their allowed to kick and use elbows.

It’s a brutal sport, but it’s a great method of self-defense to learn in Thailand.

Bonus: some schools will help you get extended, year-long ‘education visas’ just for studying Muay Thai.

And, you don’t have to be kicked in the head to learn how to kick someone else in the head. Awesome!

6. Life is Better, Down Where It’s Wetter, Under the Sea

Yes, that’s another Disney reference (that’s what you get when you read this single parent travel blog!).

Redundancy aside, Thailand is home to some of the best scuba diving in the world, and it’s one of the top places to learn on a budget.

The video below shows my daughter’s first time snorkeling in the open water!

I’m currently living on Koh Tao, and even though I get seasick and don’t enjoy scuba diving that much, I can’t deny the underwater beauty here.

That’s why I live on an island for divers where I don’t dive; I LOVE to snorkel here! 

7. You’ll Get Unique Insight into Gender Roles

move to thailand with kids
Some cultures have up to 5 described genders. That certainly changes the debate.

What you’ll see in Thailand is that there are men, women, and everyone in between, and many times, you can’t tell the difference. 

The term ‘ladyboys’ is thrown a lot here, and I’ve met and seen many people who don’t fall into traditional gender norms the way the West sees them.

The image above is pretty obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at cashiers in 7-11 and not been able to decipher their gender for absolute certain. 

8. You’ll Meet Insanely Industrious People

Have a problem you think you can’t solve? Thai people can solve it.

You can’t own a tiny motorbike with a family of 5? Thai people can show you how everyone easily fits and rides comfortably. 

should i move to thailand
This has her restaurant attached to her motorcycle. Pretty common sight in Thailand.

Do you have a small business idea? Thai people are already doing it. What’s more, they’re doing it with half the resources you grew up with. 

9. You’ll Be Safe Even When You’re in Danger

There are many expats that have moved to Thailand for a variety of reasons.

What you’ll find special about Thailand, however, is that the best hospitals, doctors, and dentists are all top-notch.

In fact, many expats that live in the neighboring Southeast Asia countries will fly to Bangkok to get serious medical care. Thailand’s health care system is held in high regards. So no need to worry about moving here with your children.


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Teaching Math and English in Hong Kong. It was my first ‘real job’ out of college, and I burned out in a few years. 

Can Single Parents Teach Abroad?

For a year, I taught (mostly) pleasant students, and dealt with amicable parents.

My next teaching job started a few months later, and it wasn’t the best.

I won’t complain about the conditions but I’ll just say I didn’t last long.

I taught for one month in Colombia before I decided that it wasn’t the right place for me.

can single parents teach abroad
It’s all for this little face right here! My prime motivator 😀

My next teaching job came a few months after that as a Writing Consultant for a community college.

My position made me the first point-of-contact for international students, and I taught them how to read and write at the university level.  

Overall, my teaching career was nothing to complain about.

It had its good parts and its bad parts like any job, but I don’t regret teaching for a few years, even though I burned out.

Teaching is a great way to get started traveling and living a life as a digital nomad.

It didn’t matter how pleasant or intellectual the students were, I just couldn’t teach anymore.

It wasn’t that I didn’t find satisfaction in seeing people grow in their education and working with students who were excited to learn, I did very much.

I just hated doing it on-the-clock, because the clock ate up the time I should be spending with my daughter. 

For the record, even the income from my community college teaching job left me working a second job: umpiring high school sports.

And that would keep me through the evening and early into the night. 

My number one goal is to spend as much time with my daughter as I can before she grows up and moves out from under my wing. 

single parent travel blog
More times like these, please.

So, I can’t work for a clock; I work for my time. 

A Man Not Made for the ‘Job’

There’s only been one job that I truly enjoyed doing on-the-clock, and that was working as a counselor at a summer camp in upstate New York.

Unfortunately, that job doesn’t exist year round and I’m too old too experienced for it these days. 

Other than that, I’ve always felt like the clock and necktie lifestyle just doesn’t work for me.

Sure, we all gotta do it.

Unless we design our own lifestyle. 

I went from tired teacher to trudging writer. 

single dad travel make money
A few of the journals where you can find my work.

Writing for a Living; A Single Parent Lifestyle that Works for Me

I like what I do now, it’s taken me two years of freelance writing to get to a point where I still worry about my writing prospects, but I also have the experience of succeeding through that worry.

2 years ago, I set a 10-year goal for myself to make writing a sustainable, full-time career.

I started by ghostwriting heaps of content, around 150 articles, before I got my first byline. 

 

single dad blog
Could definitely go for more of this.

Now, I’ve had a book published, poetry featured in several major magazines, gotten around 50 paid bylines, and have been quoted in Reader’s Digest and South China Morning Post 

I’m feeling more confident today than I was two years ago, and that’s a good feeling.

Not because it’s confidence, but because it’s confidence built off of a long-term dedication to hard work and slogging through the mud.

It’s taken me a long time to finally feel that reward system fire.

It took a commitment.

single dad travel blog
This is what I really committed to.

That’s what I did two years ago, and I’ve been grinding for 24 months.

With my 50th byline, I feel like I’ve taken my first step out of the mud and onto hard land, and now, drenched in the muck of progress, I need to shake it off and start climbing the mountain.


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When we got to Asia one year ago, I was committed to spending at least a year here so Auburn could learn her grandparent’s language. This wasn’t an easy choice; growing up in the countryside of Michigan, I learned to love the fresh air, the space, and the sounds of nature. Hong Kong has nothing of the sort (in most parts, at least). 

Moving to Asia with Children

As an asthmatic, I’m not a big fan of living in cities anyway, but one year was enough time for me.

move to asia with children
Hong Kong in the distance.

Now, I need to live in the fresh air again for a while.

My lungs and throat got sick 4 or 5 times over the past year and usually, I don’t get really sick like that more than once, maybe twice in a year. 

So, off to Thailand, to a  place we’ve lived twice before! 

To be honest, we weren’t planning on coming to Thailand this time.

single parent blog
A previous visit to this island.

We were planning on moving to Cambodia for the school year to try something new.

However, I overlooked a significant detail: Auburn’s passport expires before the end of the visa I would get in Cambodia, so they wouldn’t grant her a visa if we were to try. 

Thankfully, I noticed this before we made concrete plans to move to Cambodia to get the fresh air we needed.

single dad blog

My child and I decided we would return to a place we know and could practice something she’s been learning to love recently: swimming. 

For these Few Months in Thailand with my Child

After a few breakthroughs in the pool in Hong Kong, the island we live on now is a good step up from that.

There are plenty of pools to use, but the immediate access to the sea and coral reefs is going to be a good way to teach her to snorkel. 

We’ve practiced a few times this week already, and hopefully we can find some good weather to give it a go this weekend in the open blue!

I’ll catch some video for you if we do so you can see her first snorkeling experience in the ocean!

After Our Thai Visas Expire, Where Will We Go?

I’ll be getting a few documents in the mail soon that will allow me to apply for my daughter’s new passport.

We are going back to Hong Kong to do this because we can visit her family again, and I like the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, it’s very efficient. 

That shouldn’t take more than a month to get the new passport in hand.

Once we have it, we will be moving to Cambodia at that time–our original plan!

Now that the final piece will be in place–the passport–we can then get to Cambodia and spend a year in the countryside where we can kayak, play basketball, swim, fish, and breathe fresh air. 

We’re both looking forward to it, but that will be later this year, of course.

single dad travel blog
We can get here in 30 minutes pretty easy. Top-notch snorkeling.

For now, we’re in Thailand and I’m excited to teach Auburn how to snorkel and freedive! 


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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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Have you recently heard the term ‘digital nomad’ and wondered what it means? I’m one, so let me tell you! It’s a person who works online and isn’t tied to any single location. We are location-independent entrepreneurs, writers, teachers, vloggers, computer scientists, marketers, photographers, musicians, and designers. Some of us are even digital nomad parenting. 

Digital nomads take many forms and infiltrate almost every industry. While there are many young digital nomads showing the world the power of the next generation, there are also people like me: single dads raising our children abroad while blogging about our journey. 

Do you think you’re ready to buck the system that breaks your soul? There’s another lifestyle out there waiting for you, are you ready for it?

I’m ready for the Digital Nomad Parenting Lifestyle!

*Affiliate links present; that means if you make a purchase through any of the links, a commission towards supporting this blog is generated at no cost to you! 

We come with extra baggage; dad joke on so many levels. 

If you’re a parent who is ready to make the leap from being tied to a desk and a plot of land–or a box in a building–to living the digital nomad lifestyle, there are a few key things you should do to prepare. 

1. Keep Your Children Well-Documented

Having your children’s birth certificates, passports, and medical records may be necessary to enter a new country. Having multiple copies of each is suggested, and always have a copy on your person. Also, have recent photos of your child on your phone showing your relationship.

If you’re a single parent, you’ll also need one of two things: your divorce decree showing that you have full legal and physical custody with no travel restrictions (like the photo below), or a letter of permission to travel from your child’s other parent.

digital nomad parenting

2. Diversify Your Income

What are you doing now to make money? Are there ways to expand what you’re doing?

I hope you’ve started a blog, if you haven’t, sign-up for hosting with this offer from Bluehost

 

Your blog is the base of your mobile life, if you don’t exist on the internet, you’re leaving money on the table.  Digital nomad parenting is hard enough without having to worry about cash flow, so up your income and your influence by starting a blog. 

If you want to copy the path I’ve been taking and find your way to working as a freelance writer, then check out  this course by Elna Cain, she helped me find my way when I was just starting and she will help you, too!

Having multiple streams of income will give you a surer sense of stability as you travel the world. I highly recommend using the programs and tools above!

3. Purchase Travel Insurance

Have you wondered about travel insurance and how it works? Is it reliable? Does it cover emergencies? What if my bags are lost? Is it expensive?

There are lots of questions surrounding travel insurance that need to be answered, but here is the most important: what’s the best company for travel insurance for Americans?

The answer is World Nomads

 
 World Nomads is well known for being reliable and covering everything from baggage loss to theft to emergency evacuations. 

Travel insurance gives you a peace of mind that is well worth it’s cost and pays for itself when accidents do occur. 

Conclusion

With the documents to move your children around legally, a diversified income portfolio, and travel insurance to keep you and your children protected, you’re ready to take the digital nomad lifestyle as a parent! 


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Is chocolate better with peanut butter? Does pineapple belong on pizza? Is Donald Trump a good president? Should I visit Discovery Bay with my kids?

There are lots of questions you and I may disagree on. But there is one question that is undeniably, unequivocally, abso-freaking-lutely a ‘yes’ to: the last one.

Good thing my single dad, parenting blog is here to bring you all the answers! 😛

Should I visit Discovery Bay with my kids?

Discovery Bay Hong Kong

Yes. Like I said: yes, again.

The beach is massive and has heaps of space available. Bring your own shade, however, because the massive beach has little of it.

The water is warm and pleasant with a sandy and clean bottom.

There are heaps of restaurants along the piernext to the beach and plenty of other establishments to explore including nearby grocery stores if you’re keen to bring some food and drinks to the beach.

What’s in it for the kids at Discovery Bay?

Well, the beach, for one.

But don’t miss the awesome zip line for kids!

You can watch this video of mine and Auburn’s day there where she took a ride on it. Needless to say, she loved it!

There is also a great playground right on the beach that the kids flock to.

What’s in it for the adults at Discovery Bay?

As I said before, food, drinks, and businesses are readily available in Discovery Bay.

The biggest draw for me is the ease of access. How to get to Discovery Bay?

If you make it to Central, head to Pier 3 where you’ll find a quick boat to Discovery Bay. After you get off the boat, you’re a 3-5 minute walk along the pier until you’re at the beach. It’s super easy to get there.

With mountains in the background and islands out to sea, it’s a wonderful place to relax.

So, if you’re asking yourself: should I visit Discovery Bay with my kids?

The answer is yes, you should.


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