Ask Chad: The Hard Questions

Can't talk now... Diving.
Can’t talk now… Diving.

Last week’s Ask Jenny was in response to a couple of very stressful relevant topics that continually dominate our discussions lately. Essentially, they deal with the why and where of this wild lifestyle that we have chosen for ourselves. We figured these two questions were ideal for us to answer separately, and to see what the other wrote after we had given our own responses. The funny thing is, that I imagine I know what Jenny might have wrote, and I have a feeling our answers won’t be too far off… but I will answer honestly and see just how much I can possibly be wrong! Enjoy the laughs, and do leave commentary for us below!

Question Number One.

From the adventurous and fun Sha at Life to My Fullest:

Why Southeast Asia and not somewhere closer to home?

Follow her to all that Thailand has to offer...
Follow her to all that Thailand has to offer…

Many years ago, about twelve or so, you would have met a very different Chad. I was busy building a career, driving a new car, consuming all the consumables, and essentially chasing the American Nightmare Dream. I had only traveled outside my country three times, twice to Mexico (wild stories for another time), and once to Germany for work. I would always come back from these trips, kiss my American soil with nationalistic joy, and praise the land of my forefathers with mad fervor. Basically I hated travel, and thought that it was a waste of money, time, and life.

I often said that those who traveled only did so to escape the life they couldn’t handle and I mocked them thoroughly for their foolishness . . .

The reason I tell you this, beside to embarrass myself fully, is to let you know that the life we live now is utterly different than the life I once wanted to live. And life in Southeast Asia is as far and different as is possible from what I once believed to be the only one worth living.

But it isn’t really about SE Asia, and more about Thailand. Ten years ago I had a life changing journey when my personal life went sideways (more about that in some other post), and I decided to take a three week journey to Thailand. The trip radically altered my view on life and how I was living, and nothing could have prepared me for the wonders of the Land of Smiles.

Thailand is beyond amazing. It has been said so many times, and so many ways, but there is really no place like it to compare. I have (since that radical first journey) traveled many, many places, but nowhere has ever held my heart as much as Thailand continually does. There is something magical about the sounds, the weather, the people, and the land that stretches like an elephant’s trunk across the map. It has beaches, culture, food, jungle, animals . . . and on and on. It is a land of wonders, and joy, and adventure, that continually inspires me in my writing and almost every aspect of life.

Thailand is what I love, and it just happens to be in Southeast Asia.

I hope that answers the question.

Question Number Two:
From the lovely Jhanis at The Vanilla Housewife:

If you were to settle in one place, is it going to be in the US or somewhere else?

Home: Wherever that is. . .

Ugh. This is the million dollar question. It is the one that we ask ourselves when money gets low, or the road gets hard, or we miss family, or we just don’t know what the future holds. It is probably, without question, the number one thing we discuss when we want to have a lovely discussion that is free from argument . . . Can you tell I am being sarcastic there?

Having read my last response, it should be clear that I am at heart a hometown, California kid with a great affinity for my home state. However, since the vagabond life has become our main existence, the thought of going home to the ordinary is a bittersweet pill to swallow. There are people we love and miss, and comforts that we might wish we had, but enough to go home? It is truly a blessing to be an American citizen, and a privilege that is only more obvious the longer we travel, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend the rest of my life there.

On the other hand, as much as I love Thailand, it is not home, nor will we ever truly be a part of the culture here. We will always be expats (here or in any country) and I don’t think I could ever really make this my permanent residence as it would probably lose some of its magic.

Basically, I have a really hard time with the idea of permanently settling anywhere. My ideal dream would be to own a house in California, Thailand, South America, and Europe (Portugal), and split up each year between them all. That way we could learn many languages, keep our transient lifestyle, and escape winter for the rest of our lives.

But if I must choose one . . . well it would probably be comfortable America in good old California, to be near family and friends . . .

Wait . . . no! Definitely Thailand . . .

or . . .

Let’s just never answer this question. Yes?

Thanks for reading!

Now I am off to read Jenny’s answers and see how much we agree.


Thank you again to Jhanis and Sha for the excellent questions! For all of you that have not checked out their blogs, DO IT!

Now it’s your turn! Do you have any questions for us at And Three To Go? Leave a comment and join in the fun!


  14 comments for “Ask Chad: The Hard Questions

  1. journey2dfuture
    February 27, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Lovely to hear your answers chad. You`re right as an `ex-pat` myself home will always home. however much you want the new location to become home.

    • chadrmitchell
      March 2, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      No matter how much time I spend away, I pine for the comforts of home. It is very strange.

  2. Sue Slaght
    March 1, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I appreciate your honesty in answering these. How will you, or have you already handled if one of you wants to go ‘home’ and the other doesn’t?

    • chadrmitchell
      March 2, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      We agreed at the beginning of this trip that if either REALLY wanted to go home, that we would do it . . . but so far we have been on the same page for the most part. Any longings for home are usually short lived…

  3. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    March 1, 2015 at 3:40 am

    “Let’s just never answer this question. . .” LOL! That IS the answer! Ha! No. Really. It’ll probably just answer itself one day in a way you never planned on and who knows in what way!

    • chadrmitchell
      March 2, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Exactly! I just hope it all happens organically and amazingly… I have a feeling that it will. OR else it will be with tails between our legs and being forced to! 🙂

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor
        March 8, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        I think it will happen “organically.” And what fun it would be if it was to travel, travel, travel!

  4. Elle
    March 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I had wondered and I had guessed in my own head why Thailand. It’s very interesting and intriguing to hear a little of why.

    A question; what do you find hardest about family life in Thailand?

  5. Jhanis
    March 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Hah! I feel the same way about Cebu. I love Cebu with all of my heart but when families back home (iligan) ask me if my husband and I plan to really settle down here until retirement, I say no, then I say yes and then no again. LOL Better to answer the question when the time comes. 🙂 Thanks for answering the question!

  6. Sha
    March 6, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Another perspective! Thanks for answering my very hard question…I like the second answer too – Let’s just never answer this question…haha! 🙂

  7. Deanna
    March 9, 2015 at 10:20 am

    My question to you guys is: do you ever get family that criticize you guys for the decisions you made? And also who are always trying to convince you to just settle in a house with a white picket fence in the middle of suburbia land?

    My family chose to live in a comfy condo in Chicago and even though we are only an hour away from a small suburb we grew up in,we get judged for our decisions to raise our 3 year old in a big city. How do you take any criticism if any and what is your response usually? It kinda irks me when they question our decisions and get the “oh they don’t want to learn” card from them.

    • chadrmitchell
      March 10, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Our families continue to have strong feelings about us living so far away . . . and to be honest I do understand how they feel, as we miss them terribly as well. I think that in the past people have just expected us to settle down and live “normal” lives and they find it hard to accept that we continue to live abnormal lives so far away. It is hard to always respond positively to pressure to return to America and to settle down, and to be honest it does lead to arguments with family back home. It can be challenging to understand each other’s points of view…

  8. DaD
    August 29, 2015 at 3:38 am

    ………But when are you coming home–We miSS you all!!!!

    • andthreetogo
      August 29, 2015 at 7:43 am

      We are coming to visit as soon as possible! We are keeping an eye on the flight prices constantly. 🙂 miss you!

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