In September 2017, I sold everything I had and booked a one-way ticket for my almost 2-year old and myself. I was experiencing extreme adrenal fatigue and stress while being a work from home mom.


My creativity was stifled, my then-relationship had turned toxic, I had zero hobbies, and I didn’t want to do anything outside of sleeping. Factor in the election and the increase in attacks against people of color and it was the perfect recipe to do something drastic and leave.


The final thing that pushed me to buy my ticket was a moment of clarity I had. I asked myself, “If you were to write a book about your life, what would you say?” My answer? “I studied hard, worked hard, and had a baby.”


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At that time, I was coming upon my 29th birthday, and I decided I wasn’t going to live like this anymore. I made a list of how I wanted to feel: happy, excited, loved, supported, encouraged, luxe.


My first six months abroad, I spent time between Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. I realized that traveling slowly is a better pace for my son and I. I also had to release feeling like I had to do, see, and experience everything (there’s A LOT to do in South East Asia).


I focus on making sure we have a routine and enjoy the local activities. We do bigger trips one to three times per month, though it’s still difficult to do anything too extravagant because my son takes naps and can’t handle a full-on day of activities.


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Since moving, I’ve been able to work less while making more money, pay off debt, increase my credit score over 120 points, save cash, and invest in cryptocurrencies and stocks. Our overall lifestyle is much, much better. The pressure and stresses of being a single mom and the sole provider have dramatically decreased for me.


We’re back in Ho Chi Minh, after spending three months back in the states visiting family. Next on our list is Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Phen, Sydney, and then Rio de Janeiro.


I’m a major advocate for people of color, especially single parents, traveling abroad. Southeast Asia has been great, in my experience, because of how kid-friendly and loving it’s been here.


Written by Arielle Hale

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