So Thailand wasn’t to be.  One of the reasons pulling us to looking at Asia was the distance between Australia and Europe – both were reasonably easily accessible.  So we stayed looking in this area of the world.

Vietnam – wow, this seemed to be an interesting area to research.  A friend of mine who had emigrated to Taiwan many years ago (straight from University) had recently moved his family and his business to Vietnam.  Back to our research – so back onto the internet!  Now that we knew some of our pitfalls for moving to Thailand, we were able to restrict our research to reviewing those pitfalls first.  Again we found that purchasing property wasn’t a simple process.  The difference here was that the length of the lease was more reasonable – in fact, we believe that the lease would outlive both of us!  So although this wasn’t our preferred option to invest our finances, we continued to look.

Philippines – a friend from my schooldays in Malawi moved to the Philippines which drew our attention to the Philippines.  Although we had not finished our research for Vietnam, we started to look at the Philippines as well.  I contacted them and asked what had drawn then to move there.  Interestingly one of their reasons was very similiar to our own – equal access to our families (Europe and Australia).

Our research continued and for varying reasons (one of the main reasons was the lack of information) we decided against Vietnam.  We felt that if we really had wanted to emigrate there we would have, at some time during our past travels, visited the country.  We hadn’t …

Malaysia – still researching the Philippines, we started to research Malaysia.  We could drive to Australia from Malaysia, and although the drive through Australia would be a long one down to Sydney – we knew that we would both enjoy that travelling.  Although on our trip(s) to Malaysia we had loved the country, we couldn’t find an area that we would love to live in.  A lot of the information on the internet indicated that the ‘expat’ community lived in a number of areas, and we didn’t want to live in an ‘expat’ community.  One of our reasons for emigrating was to participate in the local culture and learn the local language.

Continuing our research into this area of the world, brought up a number of concerns. We took our research notes with us and went out to a fabulous and interesting area of Kent – Samphire Hoe (it’s the newest part of Kent, UK, and is made from 4.9 million cubic metres of chalk marl dug to create the Channel Tunnel)!

Following our pathway from our decision to the leave the UK, on the 1st January, 2007 (after 4 years of research) we walked and talked!  We sat outside on a beautiful sunny, but very cold, New Years Day at Samphire Hoe and talked through our research notes.

We made the decision that this part of the world wasn’t what we were looking for!  It wasn’t an easy decision – it did mean that we now had to think about how easy it would be to travel to our immediate families – Australia and the UK.  Family members outside the immediate family also live in Canada, UK, Europe, South Africa, and Zimbabwe – so travelling is still one of the concerns we have where-ever we decide to go!

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