This year I self diagnosed my condition: "Travellers ADHD". We are taking advantage of my parental leave from my job as a project manager, have rented out our house in Perth, Australia and have dragged our kids to Asia for four months to enjoy the warm weather and cheap living. We are having a great time and the kids are loving having both parents around every day.
I found out I was pregnant with our third child when our oldest child turned two which was a few months before our now middle child turned one. The idea of having a third baby was very exciting. The idea of having to look after 3 kids under 3 on my own, not so much.
As time got closer to a new baby arriving and parental leave looming, I googled "where to travel with kids?" "sabbatical with young family" "Asia with young kids" "where to have a mini-retirement?". I read blog after blog, did cost of living comparisons on numbero.com and read numerous articles from International Livings website trying to find somewhere suitable to escape to and explore.
Our prerequisites were somewhere with a high quality of life for a low cost of living, excellent medical facilities, close to the ocean, good local food, access to a pool, some sort of Childcare facilities (ie low cost nannies, kids club, daycare) and cheap flights if we wanted to get out and explore.
Two weeks before we were due to leave we still had no idea where we were going. Our top 5 locations were Penang Malaysia, Hua Hin Thailand, Hoi An Vietnam, Ensenada Mexico or Puerto Vallarta Mexico.
I woke up one morning just before we were about to leave thinking we have three young kids "let's just keep it simple" so we booked our tickets for our first trip to Thailand and found a condo to start our journey in Hua Hin.
We stayed at the Blue Lagoon resort in Hua Hin. It is right next to the Sheraton (Cha-Am) on the beach. You can buy a Sheraton family membership for about $2 a day. You have access to the pools, kids club, kids pool, gym and yoga. The Blue Lagoon resort also has its own lagoon style pool that snakes around the condos. If you have a ground floor condo you can jump into the pool from your patio. It also has a kids pool, is a walk away from Yai Yai hotel where you can similarly buy a membership and use their facilities and join their yoga classes. Food from Lila's Sawadee restaurant can be delivered to your condo. The Green chicken curry and Penang chicken curry were our favourites at $3 a dish. We had Lila's delivered for lunch and dinner almost every day.
We are now staying at the Ocean Villas in Danang Vietnam. We rented a 4 bedroom villa with attached maids room. We have a room for each of our kids and another one for our nanny who we brought over with us from Thailand. There are 6 bathrooms with 3 bathtubs in the house and our own private pool. The beach is a few steps away. There is a kids playground and kids pool about 100 metres away at the White caps beach club. Ocean Villas have a number of different sized villas ranging from around $50 - $100 a night if you book a monthly rental.
Danang is a fantastic place to live. The beach is amazing and being able to drive 30 mins to Hoi An, one of my favourites places in the world is ideal.
During our family sabbatical we have learnt:
Read more about us on our blog: 3under3asia.com