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A Thai-Foodie Love Story | Part 1



“Your husband is Thai?” person I’ve just met asks me.

“He sure is!” I smile sweetly as I think about my hot Thai hubby.

“Wow, how did you meet?” new person asks with surprise.

“Well, we met in Thailand,” I start to lose focus a bit as I dream back to our days of dating on the streets of Bangkok.

“Thailand? Why were you in Thailand?” new person is really befuddled now, and I’ve got a long story to tell.

The above conversation is what usually happens the moment anyone finds out I have a Thai hubby.

You might be asking that question too, and you might have read a little of our story on my About page, but of course there is always a long version to any good love story.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, and our upcoming trip to Thailand and reliving where we fell in love, I wanted to share our love story with you all in three parts.

But it’s more than just a nice love story, if I start at the very beginning it’s also a lesson on taking risks, which I hope might encourage you. Here we go….

A Thai-Foodie Love Story | Part 1

I gazed at the short, strong Thai workers setting up the long narrow platform where I would soon say my vows before the row of floor length windows.

The Thai Naval Institute is on the Jao Prayaa River in Bangkok, and directly behind it across the river, framed perfectly before the platform, is the Grand Palace of Thailand.

All the gold trimming on the white turrets sparkled in the afternoon sun, reminding me of how this experience felt like a fairy tale in a book I never would have thought of reading.

As I grew up, my adventurous, free-spirited self knew I didn’t want to stay in my small hometown of Waxhaw, N.C. forever. After learning about Europe in the 6th grade, I knew I had to go there.

A priceless high school graduation gift sent me- not by myself but with my dear Dad- to savor perfect cappuccinos in a Florence cafe, sip oak-aged wine by La Siene, gaze at the Alps in a fast train car, and sit in rain in Spain during a bloody bull fight, and I fell in love—with traveling.

A Thai-Foodie Love Story-Part 1

Later on, I hopped to Mexico and London, spent a summer in Kenya, studied abroad for a semester in New Zealand, and zipped over to Australia. It was only logical that I had to work abroad after I graduated university.

But after receiving rejection emails from programs in Japan, and Sudan, and endless online searching, I was leaning toward two options.

Either I would volunteer at a Christian youth hostel in Amsterdam, or teach English in Bangkok.

In Amsterdam there was a high likelihood that I would fall in love with a stylish, artsy European man with a romantic accent.

But in Thailand, falling in love would never happen. I’ve never been attracted to Asians, and 99% of Thais are Buddhist, so they wouldn’t share my love for Jesus, which I always wanted to have in common with my man.

Plus, in Thailand they had cheap, legit Thai food everywhere that I could eat every day as much as I wanted.

That cinched it. I was going to Thailand.

There are not many things that scare me. Traveling to new places never did; it was what fueled me. But the one thing that did terrify me more than anything was the thought of falling in love and risking the chance of a broken heart.

I had dated around a bit, but always swooped away before things got too risky. I saw in TV, movies, my friends’ relationships that you can love someone so much, and then he might just leave the next day with no reason, or inflict pain in some other heart-stabbing fashion.

Why enter into something, which has such a high percentage of pain involved?

I definitely didn’t want a guy to hurt me, distract me from my travels, freedom, or get in the way of my relationship with Jesus. That, and the chance to get to eat authentic Thai food for a $1 per meal, is why I booked my ticket for Bangkok.

To be continued….



  • Jiyoun Jeon

    I never knew you have a blog! This is cool! 🙂

    • Sherri Phengchard

      Thanks Jiyoun!! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • katie r

    love it !!!!!!!

  • Linda

    Love your story and love your recipes!

    • Sherri Phengchard

      Thanks so much for your kind comment Linda! 🙂

  • Kathy B

    I just stumbled across your blog and I know it’s something I’ll be checking often! I’m living in Jacksonville, NC and my mother is from Udorn, Thailand. I’ve always wanted to cook some of the wonderful food she made for us growing up and I’m so happy I found your site!

    • Sherri Pengjad

      That’s awesome Kathy!! I hope that these recipes bring back fond memories of your mom’s cooking! 🙂