Sacha & Jmayel El-Haj are Professional Photographers/Videographers from the UK. They have been together since the tender age of 16 and married in June 2011 in the Moroccan Desert. For the past three years they have lived in the north of Thailand, making videos of their adventures, and, as the saying goes, living the dream. Their dream.
Their journey started 8 Miles from Home… the name they have given to their video blog and YouTube channel, when inspiration hit to find themselves a new life, living and travelling abroad.
Just 8 miles from their home in England, stranded in a broken car that had failed them on an adventure. They made a decision to live a life unknown where their successes would be gauged by happiness gained and experiences shared.
“That is how we got to be here. Sitting in a wooden house, in northern Thailand. The early morning sun is beginning to seep in through the wooden slats, the air cool and not yet full of the heat of the immense Thai sun. Our dog is curled up next to me in a soft slumber.”
One of their more recent videos went viral on YouTube, capturing our attention.
We caught up with them recently and asked them about their new life…
So tell us, why did you choose Thailand as your new home?
We had traveled in Thailand when we were younger and learned that the country offered the highest standard of life for the lowest cost in Southeast Asia, when we decided to leave England, we wanted to do so so we could lower our expenses and work on building an online income. North Thailand, Chiang Mai especially, ticked all the boxes for us. We have thought about moving on to other Asian countries, but Thailand we feel is the best place we could be right now.
How long did it take you to find “home” in Thailand?
The fact that we had taken our dog with us meant that we immediately felt at home from the very first night in Thailand, where ever we are, she makes it feel like home! ‘Home’ has a different meaning to us now, it is just where ever we feel comfortable, safe and at peace!
What’s been the most enjoyable part of your journey in north Thailand?
The most enjoyable part of our journey in north Thailand, isn’t just one particular thing, rather the fact that we get to spend every day together doing what we love, in a country that has sunshine and hot climates almost year round. Lowering our expenses by living here means we get to go out and have dinner or find new cafes whenever we like. This is something we couldn’t have done in the UK. Limiting ourselves to just weekends together instead.
What was the hardest thing about leaving your old life?
The hardest thing about leaving our old life is ultimately not being there for family and friends. We have had a few moments, happy and sad, the birth of my niece, the death of a grandparent and times when people close to us have been in hospital or just needed a chat. We find it very difficult not being able to just be there with them, sitting next to them with a cup of tea and a hug, rather than being thousands of miles away. That is the main thing we miss, family and friends.
It looks like Sacha and Jmayel truly have found their own unique way to #discoverthainess.
‘8 Miles from Home’ the series is a Cinematic representation of their journey. Watch how a simple Video Log of their travels in Thailand slowly becomes an inspirational tale of two young souls that were convinced there could be more to life than paths well trodden here: 8milesfromhome.com