A WALLINGFORD author’s attempts to set up a new life with his family on the other side of the world have been chronicled in a new book.

Phil Hall, 52, upped sticks six years ago with wife Jum, son Tom, and dog Megan from the South Oxfordshire town they had lived for more than a decade to run call centres in India and Thailand.

After 18 months, the family were forced to cut short the adventure due to Mr Hall’s father’s increasing ill-health and found themselves in Scotland.

Now back in Wallingford, Mr Hall has penned a book entitled ‘Bangkok to Ben Nevis Backwards’, detailing the tumultuous period in the family’s life.

Marketed as a guide for ‘how not’ to move to a strange new country, the memoir touches on adventures with big snakes, culture shocks, betrayals and an attempted murder.

Despite the pitfalls, Mr Hall said the trip had a transformative effect on the family, in particular his son Tom, now 19, who had been struggling at school when they set off.

He said: “He used to spend all his time playing computer games and wasn’t interested in school but since we’ve come back he’s done really well and now wants to keep travelling.

“When we left, none of us were particularly enjoying life. I had always wanted to live abroad and I was offered a job in Bangalore and we thought why not just go for it?

“We were not at all prepared, we had nowhere to live, the traffic was the worst I have ever seen - it was a bit of a nightmare.

“So we ended up in Thailand, running call centres and moving from crisis to crisis. The people were amazing but it was a complete culture shock. I’d been before on holiday but trying to live somewhere is completely different.”

After 18 months the family had to return to the UK on the sad news that Mr Hall’s father’s dementia had worsened, and he had been taken into care.

The book finishes with an account of his last days and Mr Hall said the process of writing it all down has helped him to come to terms with the grief.

He added: “There is a lot of people dealing with this disease and its effects.

“I found it cathartic to get my feelings out on paper and hopefully some of the readers will benefit from knowing that people are going through the same things.

“I would just sit for three to four hours at a time and just write everything down.

“It’s sometimes happy, sometimes sad but is all about my journey of self-acceptance and putting yourself out of your comfort zone.”