Apr 092013

the1bigthing.com - Living in paradise

“The best joke of today is the weather” was my friend’s Facebook status on April Fool’s day. I chuckled as I read the comment while lying in 35-degree heat by the pool. I’d seen comments complaining about the cold in the UK for the past 3 months. They confirmed that my decision to escape to Asia during the British winter was very wise indeed.

So how does one escape to a tropical destination and spend 3 months living in paradise?

Well when I made the decision I had no clue.  I just knew that it was what I wanted above all else.

I went ahead and booked our flights in July just to make sure we didn’t change our minds as winter got closer. I wanted to put us in a position of no return. Once our commitment was sealed with two expensive tickets to Thailand it sharpened our focus on what we needed to get done before the 10th of January came around.

Questions like “Can we do this?” “Should we do this?” “Is it possible?” became irrelevant. Instead we asked ourselves “What’s the first step?” “How do we cover our costs?” “Who’s done this before?”

When we struggled to find a tenant we didn’t give up, we just tried something different. Eventually we had to turn down a few interested parties. When I was tempted by offers of lucrative freelance work I had only one reply “Sorry I’m not available”. When the original island we chose turned out to be too touristy and expensive, we picked another one.

We found a solution to all our reasons not to go, because we had to.

We also discovered that when you cover London rent and bills to spend time abroad your trip suddenly becomes much cheaper. On a normal holiday you’re still paying for these when you don’t need to. A month’s rent and bills in London is enough to cover a luxurious lifestyle in Thailand for 2 months. Just by renting out our flat we’d already covered 2/3rds of the costs of the trip.

We loved our new home in Koh Lanta. We stayed in a gorgeous apartment that was 5 minutes away from the beach. We also got our laundry and cleaning done as part of the deal.

the1bigthing.com - The pool the1bigthing.com the1bigthing.com


We spent days zipping around the island on our moped and evenings watching awe-inspiring sunsets.

Sunset on Lanta


We ate out every day,  feasting on fresh seafood that was so good it made me want to jump on the table on do a little jig.

Gorgeous seafood

We tested all the wonderful beaches of the island.


We even partied with the locals at their yearly festival.


We also worked. HARD. On our projects and ideas. It was the kind of work that made hours seem like minutes. It felt meaningful and fulfilling. There were days when we skipped the beach because we were so engrossed in what we were doing. (Who knew THAT could happen).

We haven’t won the lottery, we’re not super rich, we just had an idea and we decided to make it happen.

As we return back to London, a city we love, we are full of excitement and energy to continue working on what we’re passionate about. Even better we return back with a truly important lesson learnt:

We CAN create a life that is unique to us, that brings us alive, that fills us with joy every single day. We don’t need to have all the answers before we begin but the sooner we start building it, the sooner we’ll get there.

What would you start today if you knew you couldn’t fail?

With love





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  6 Responses to “How we spent 3 months living in paradise”

  1. […] as it hardly cost us anything to do. Here is a link to Karen’s blog explaining how we did it: the1bigthing. We are also looking forward to seeing our families and friends and drinking red […]

  2. Totally agree! It may seem very overwhelming to break the routine but once you step out of your comfort zone, you start living an adventure. Everything will fall into place…just believe!! Thanks Karen x

  3. what a wonderful wonderful life xxx I’m so proud of you both!!

  4. Just fantastic!!! WELL DONE – very clever thinking too XXX what a life :)

  5. Aaaah so happy you are living a life that you love, Karen! You’re an inspiration :)

    (Enjoy your interview on the 12th – you don’t need luck!! xxx)

  6. I am Karen’s other half (some would say better but I am not like that 😉 and what she says is totally true. What she does not say is that it was HER perseverance and living by what she truly believes in that made it all happen.

    I am biased I know but what this amazing woman writes about and teaches to other people is truly inspirational. I see it every day. I know I am very lucky!


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