How to Move Abroad, Raising Black Children


7 things you need to know


Thailand, commonly known as ‘The Land of Smiles’, is a truly beautiful and astounding place. I don’t blame you for wanting to move there! Before you relocate, there are a few things that you can do to prepare yourself and make your move more successful.

Depending on where you’re from, moving to Thailand might be a bit of a cultural shock. The transport, the food, and the customs are all somewhat different from what we are used to in the Western world – so it’s important that you know what to expect when you arrive.

In this article, I will discuss some of the most important and useful things that you need to know before moving to Thailand.

  1. The customs of Thailand

The customs of Thailand are incredibly important to Thai people, something that many of us in the Western world can’t relate to – which is what makes it even more important to clue yourself up on the dos and don’ts in Thailand.


Buddhism is the largest religion in Thailand, with over 90% of Thai people following Buddhism. You must show respect when visiting temples, where you’ll need to cover your shoulders and knees, and are also likely to be asked to remove your shoes. Removing your shoes is commonplace when entering shops and people’s homes in Thailand. Most shops will have a sign on the door if they require you to remove your shoes, but if you’re ever unsure, you can just ask.


In Thailand, people don’t shake hands. Instead, they offer one another a greeting referred to as a ‘wai’, this done by placing your hands together in a prayer position and making a slight bow to the person you saying hello to. It a sign of respect and considered very disrespectful if you do not return a wai.

The body

The feet considered the dirtiest part of the body, whilst the head considered the cleanest and most sacred. Try not to touch your feet when in the presence of other people, and never use them to touch somebody or point at someone or something. You should also avoid touching peoples’ heads – children included!

if you forget about a Thai custom and touch somebody’s head or forget to take your shoes off – don’t beat yourself up about it. Quickly apologize, and you’ll find that most Thai people will be very forgiving.

2. There’s a big expat community

Thailand has a huge expat community full of people that are ready and willing to help you with your big family move. Have a look to see if you can find any Facebook groups in the area, where you’ll be able to get all of the advice that you need for the specific region that you’re hoping to live in.

3. Your concept of time will change

You’ll find that life in Thailand is a lot more relaxed – people take their time, transport is often late, and people are very forgiving of one another for this. Though it can take a little while to get used to this mindset, you’ll quickly find that this way of living creates a much more pleasant environment and lifestyle for yourself and your family.

Saying that, time will likely become even more precious to you once you’ve settled in. There are so many things to do and a whole country of places to visit – not forgetting the equally amazing neighboring countries. A flight or train ticket to Cambodia, Malaysia, or Vietnam has never been more affordable or more doable. All you’ll need to do is find the time to visit all of these incredible places!

4. Consider your comforts

If you’re a sucker for a certain food or drink from back home, bring some with you. You might not always be able to find your favorite kitchen staples in Thailand, so bring a little with you to last until you’ve found an alternative – or ask all of your visitors to bring some with them to top up your supply!

5. Finding a house

The easiest way to do this is by joining local Facebook groups and posting to ask if anybody knows of any accommodation that will be suitable for you and your family. You’ll probably surprised at the number of people that get back to you!

6. Finding a job

You don’t need to be able to speak Thai to get a job in Thailand, but it will help you to thrive – so sign up to a language app now and get to know the basics. You’re just as likely to find a job from outside of Thailand as you are to find one once you’ve arrived, so if you have the money to head to Thailand and job-hunt for a couple of months, you might want to do just that.

Again, local Facebook groups might be able to help you with your job search.

7. The visa

You’ll need to look into the kind of visa that you’ll need before you go to Thailand. If you find a job whilst outside the country, you’ll be able to go there with a working visa and apply for your family to be dependents.

If you want to head to Thailand before finding a job, you’ll be able to spend up to 3 months there on a tourist visa – the initial visa lasting for 60 days, which you’ll then have to apply to extend for another 30 days. It will be the same for your children.

Thailand is an incredible place, full of beautiful people and beautiful places – making it a popular choice for families looking to relocate. For children, nothing can more educational and enlightening than immersed in a completely different culture, trying weird and wonderful foods, and maybe even learning Thai at a local school!

Now you know everything that you need to know for preparing yourself to relocate to Thailand, now is the time to commit!

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