It’s time for everyone’s favorite game! It’s time to guess where the Shermans are headed to next! But first, I must address the question that some of you astute readers might be asking: “Wait!? I thought you were going to stay in Thailand for longer!” Like I said, astute! You are right, when we arrived in July we planned to stay for 6 months, until mid January. For a few moments we even thought of staying for a year. Well, you know us; we love to plan, and then completely change the plan when we come up with a better idea!
In this case we decided that we will leave Thailand in November. Zoe and I will be leaving in early November and headed to the USA to visit family and friends. Dan will stick around Chiang Mai until Haley is finished with her month-long Project World School retreat. Then they will leave and meet Zoe and I in our next country.
Why the change of plans, Shermanos? Well, it mainly falls down to logistics. Zoe and I will be going to Alaska for my mother’s 80th birthday. Our original plan was to go to that event and then return to Thailand. But the more we looked into the expense – and frankly, the travel time – we thought that maybe it would be a good idea to use this event as the catalyst for a country change. In addition, after we would have returned from the birthday party we would have needed one additional “renew our visa” run out of the country in order to meet Thailand’s immigration laws. So that would have meant we would do a trip to the USA, then return to Thailand, then another trip out of Thailand and then back, then a month later leave and go across the ocean. Again. That’s a lot of trips, costing mucho dinero! In addition, looking at the 36-hour flight times to the USA gave me hives, and doing it TWICE in one month, then again in January…? That’s when I said: “there’s got to be a better way”.
And so we will depart, albeit at separate times, and eventually we will end up together in our new country.
And what country is that? Well, let me give you a few hints.
Still not sure? Clearly, you need to get out more!
So there you have it… our next destination. We will arrive in Medellin at the end of November and we plan (there’s that silly word again!) to stay for 6 months.
The “WHY” questions are always so hard to answer. Our “because..” doesn’t always make sense to people. But I’ll give it a try:
- They speak Spanish in Colombia and the girls have asked to return to a Spanish-speaking country to keep improving their skills they started in Panama and Mexico. They might even go to a public school if we can find one that suits us. Spanish-speaking means our opportunities to get involved – and make friends – are endless.
- It’s inexpensive relative to other places.
- The weather is eternally spring-like. Bodies with hot flashes like spring-like temperatures.
- Medellin is listed as a great place to spend the holidays. They have a huge city-wide light show each year.
- It’s in the same time zone as some of the USA. The timezone in Thailand really killed us. We were missing out on a lot of communication with our peeps, big-time.
- The visa for Colombia is easy to obtain and extend. We can stay for up to 6 months easily, but no more due to tax implications.
But nothing is ever easy, and we don’t usually do simple stuff anyway. Once Zoe and I planned on going to Anchorage (Haley couldn’t do it due to her teen retreat, otherwise we would have all come to Alaska) we found that the best tickets had a 12-hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. We did some research and found that Seoul’s airport is listed as #4 in the world. It has yoga and movie theaters and outdoor gardens and recliners with views of the runways and a hotel you can rent by the hour and even cultural craft workshops! At first, we were dreading the layover but now we’ve decided to make a great day out of it! Zoe and Allison Do Seoul! Airport, that is.
Once we get to the USA, we decided to stop first in Oregon to see my sister and BFF. Then we’ll travel with my sister and niece to Alaska. But after Alaska, we had a little more time before meeting Dan and Haley in Colombia so we decided to spend a weekend in Arizona, so Zoe could see her besties from public school. Then, and only then, do we continue on to Colombia!
Not to be outdone by our galavanting, Dan booked tickets for himself and Haley to LAX, but then somehow he managed to get tickets to Medellin out of Las Vegas. This isn’t the same Las Vegas as one of Dan’s favorite cities, is it…? Hmmm… yeah, it is!! So he and Haley have a few days to enjoy USA food and retail (there was some mention of a new Google Pixel 2 phone…) before meeting up with me and Zoe in Medellin.
And so, we present to you, The Map, of our next travels. We are nothing if not good at logistics. I’m sure there will be adventures from the road and we’ll be sure to take some good pictures and share it with all of you.
But don’t think you are done hearing about Thailand. Nope! We’ve got a number of great blog posts coming up, telling you about a few of our more memorable times living here and sharing pictures with you all. You’ll be sure to get your Thai fix before we start speaking Spanish to you again.