British family leaves UK for Thailand for cheaper living costs

Photo courtesy of Getty via gbnews

A young British family has swapped the grey skies of Cheshire for the sunny shores of Thailand, seeking refuge from the UK’s crippling cost of living crisis.

Jess, her partner Harry (surnames withheld), and their two year old daughter Cece uprooted their lives in Congleton to start afresh in Southeast Asia. Their decision was driven by surging energy bills that made life in the UK increasingly unbearable.

“The cost of living in the UK was just too much for us, particularly energy bills. It’s just so stressful trying to make ends meet when you have a young family.”

In Congleton, the family rented a four-bedroom house with a staggering monthly energy bill of £326 (approximately 15,000 baht).

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“We had an old boiler and because we were renting, we couldn’t change it. Our landlord offered to replace it if we committed to a longer stay, but that wasn’t an option for us.”

The tipping point came after a holiday in Thailand this January, where the young family fell in love with the lifestyle.

“We realised we can have a much better life here.”

The move also aligned with their long-term plan to travel when Cece was older, avoiding the burden of a mortgage back in the UK.

The family’s struggle reflects a broader crisis. Since April 1, Ofgem’s energy price cap stands at £1,690, a figure still subject to potential hikes. Jess detailed how the previous price caps of £4,279 in January 2023 and £1,971 in April 2022 had wreaked havoc on their finances.

“The cost of energy had a huge impact on us. We also couldn’t have a smart meter and I worried about what would happen if there’s another huge energy hike.”

The family’s concerns aren’t unique. Recent research by Warm This Winter and the Women’s Institute highlights how Britain’s energy crisis is fuelling a mental health epidemic, with 15% of women skipping meals and 14% giving up hobbies to cope, reported GB News.

Now in Thailand, Jess and Harry are renting a fabulous villa and have found a nursery for their daughter Cece.

“I’ve applied for a visa and hope to work here as we can now afford childcare.”

However, she remains concerned for those left behind.

“Having a warm, safe home should be a right for families, and I’m aware for many it isn’t.”

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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