After almost two years teaching English in Bangkok, we decided to look for something different. So, when we found a job opening in a rural town in Northern Laos, we were interested. The position was for an eco-tourism company whose goal is to help the community and villages around it through their business. That really excited us, so to make a long story short, we took the job.
But, before I talk about our new home, I need to tell you how we physically got here. It was no simple task. Of course we could’ve taken a couple of flights to get here, but after hearing you couldn’t get much here, we decided to bring a lot of our stuff from Bangkok along with us. So, we came the long way. We stayed in a few places along the way to make the trip easier on our family.
We started planning a couple months in advance how to get our family and our things there without losing our sanity.
We decided to hire a truck to take our things to the Thai/Lao border. We planned to meet it there to take our things across. While the truck drove off with our belongings, we closed up our rental house, and made our way up to the airport.
First, we took a flight up to Northern Thailand where we spent one night.
The next morning, we went to the bus station to catch a bus to the border town. Unfortunately, we missed the 9am bus by 5 minutes. So, we settled in with some snacks and boarded the 10am bus after taking both girls to use the dirty squatty toilet bathrooms. That’s a “how to” for another time!
We arrived at the border town and took a tuktuk to our hotel, where we planned to stay one night before crossing into Laos.
Plans changed, however, when we got a call that our house in Laos wasn’t ready for us. The people living in it hadn’t moved out yet. So, we booked 2 extra nights in the hotel and had a chance to catch our breath after the craziness of packing and moving. We explored around the little border town and enjoyed some beautiful scenery.
We followed a sign for a lookout, but ended up on a muddy dead end.
As we looked at Laos, just across the river. We wondered what our new life would be like over there.
Finally, the day came to cross the river, along with all of our belongings. The moving truck met us at the landing with all 24 pieces that they’d picked up in Bangkok (yay!). They took our stuff on one long tail boat, and we rode across on another.
After getting our visas stamped in and getting taken by some opportunistic porters, we made it to the top of the hill, where a truck was waiting to take our belongings home.
We had been thinking that we would take a bus, but the truck cab looked roomy enough for our family of 4, so we all hopped in.
The drive through the mountains was stunning, but unfortunately, one of the girls’ tummies didn’t enjoy it so much! Finally, after 6 days of travel, and 7+ modes of transportation, we arrived at our new home and began the task of unpacking and setting up… which proved to be a little more work than we expected.