EER002: Gap Year Family Travel to a move to Bangkok

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The Watanabe-Swagemakers Family Travel InterviewCould you move to Bangkok with your family? The Watanabe family did. We met Anthony, Rose, Emile and Felix in Chiang Mai near the start of 2014. This family of four left their home in Toronto, Canada for a year-long round-the-world trip together, but they had so much fun that they decided to stay overseas, move to Bangkok and establish themselves there.

Gap Year Family Travel to a move to Bangkok

In this EER Family Travel Interview, we hear about their travels and what they learned along the way, as well as why (and how) they moved to Thailand.

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  • Name: Anthony Watanabe, Rose Swagemakers and their boys Emile and Felix
  • Countries Visited: Netherlands, France, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Fiji, US, Peru, Bolivia, Equador, Galapagos Islands
  • Type of travel: Gap year round-the-world trip, and then moved to Thailand
  • On the web — Personal: Yolo Mom on the Go. Work-related: Innovolve &  Asia Clean Innovations. Recent Interview in Wanderlust Magazine




  • Homeschooling was the most difficult part of the travel. If they could do it again, they’d have dropped schooling altogether and focus on travel.
  • Kids now attend the French School in Bangkok



  • “Kids are resilient — one year out and our kids still advanced to the next grade with no problems.”
  • Bilingual strategy: One Language, One Parent
  • “It’s actually safer traveling with kids.”
  • “If the kids don’t sleep well, we don’t have a good day, so we don’t sacrifice too much on accommodation.”
  • Look for accommodation outside city centers — it may take longer to get to the hot spots, but often cheaper and quieter.
  • Bring along refurbished (older) iPhones, make sure they can take local SIM cards.


  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Krabi, Thailand
  • Elephant Sanctuary near Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Cusco, Peru
  • Yangshuo, China
  • Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

family gap year to a move to Bangkok - EER002


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