Portland Bae-cation 11/15

Pop into the Screen Door on E. Burnside St. for brunch. The lines are long but the food is worth it.

Order the Huevos Rancheros – the best you’ll ever have. Or, opt for the tower of chicken and waffles. nom nom. SO MANY GREAT OPTIONS.

Return to places you like. I’ve only been a few times but I already feel like I have my “spots”. Find your own or feel free to use mine 😉

Traverse the walls of one of the many climbing gyms.

Lounge about at a local coffeehouse or at Powell’s books.

Appetite – bring it. Food trucks, donuts, & restaurants galore. It epitomizes Portland.

Nightlife adventures – there are plenty of young people around and trendy bars to explore. Have at it!

Don’t forget to wear plaid.

 

This acrostic poem sums up our weekend trip to Portland earlier this month. Use my suggestions if you’d like but finding spots on your own can be such a grand adventure 😉 Cheers.

Until we meet again Portland.

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Coming Home

It’s weird. I thought it would be more strange coming home. I didn’t experience any jet lag and so far there has been minor culture shock. Either the culture shock is slowly going to set in, or I have successfully integrated the Thai attitude into myself. I’m hoping it’s the latter.

I’m taking a couple of weeks to catch up with friends and get settled before I make any big decisions on what I plan to do next. I have a few ideas but absolutely no solid plans. It’s nice to have a great void of unknown in front of me. I hate routine and if given the option to peer into my future, I would decline. I don’t want to know what’s coming and ruin the surprise. I also don’t want to fall into a lifestyle that will likely look the same 10, 15, and 20 years from now. BUT, a person’s gotta make a living. I’m not anxious yet but ask me again in a couple of weeks.

Now that I’m home and in a stable environment with internet access, I can catch up on my blogging. I already have a list of 15+ topics that I’d like to write about. Hopefully you’ll be seeing a wave of new stuff soon!

Carpe Diem.

Sunset Dinners on the Beach

Sunset Dinners on the Beach

One of the things that never gets old for me is sitting out at night, in the comfortable heat of the tropics. It’s a novelty to me.

As a native to Seattle, night time means freezing cold weather that requires a down jacket, a scarf, and maybe gloves. Even in the Summer, a light jacket is usually needed. At least for me anyway…

Cheers to tropical weather and sunset dinners on the beach! ❤

An end to a journey

One week and counting. As of February 28th, I will have finished my teaching contract here in Thailand. I’ve had mixed feelings, but what I’ve felt most is relief. I think I’ve been ready to move on for a few weeks. Sure, I get bored with routines, and that’s part of it, but I am starting to get lonely. For the first couple months I was fine with being isolated. I was able to enjoy the peace and quite. But now, I really miss hanging out with friends or even just people my age who speak the same language. It looks like the end of my contract couldn’t have come at a better time. Exciting adventures lay ahead before I make my way home.

The day after I finish teaching I am taking off on a 6-week backpacking trip. I’ll spend a few days with friends on Koh Tao but after that, I’m on my own. The plan is to head South from Koh Tao to Krabi and Koh Phi Phi. After a week or so there, I will be heading to Malaysia to check out George Town and meet with a friend in Kuala Lumpar. If I’m lucky she’ll travel with me down to Melaka (Malacca) for a couple of days before I continue on down to Singapore.  From Singapore I’ll fly to Indonesia for close to 2 weeks. Lastly, I’ll fly back to Thailand to celebrated the annual Songkram festival with friends in Chiang Mai. It’ll be a long journey with lots of traveling but I’ve planned minimal to no activities. There’ll be plenty of time to relax. I look forward to meeting many other travelers along the way. 

Coming home is going to be rough but I look forward to assimilating my new perspectives and attitude to my life in the states. 

I’ll be sure to share my experiences and insights of the places I visit upon return home.

Here goes! 😀

Finding Peace of Mind in the Thai Countryside

It’s the simple things in life that can bring us so much joy. It may be a cliché, but it’s true!

A couple of weekends ago I was feeling a little stressed and down. I decided taking a ride through the countryside on a motorbike would help clear my head. It absolutely did the trick. I stopped at the beach to take in the sound of the rolling waves. I pointed a lost couple in the right direction and visited a small beach town I had been to a couple of times before. I tried a restaurant on the beach and ordered fresh fish. YUM. I had to race the sun home but this short adventure brought me so much peace. The Thai countryside is so lovely. Remember not to underestimate the value of alone time as well as the value of quiet time! Carpe Diem!

Dinner Surprises

Above are a few pictures of my dinner from a few weeks ago and again a few days ago. Upon first glance of the bowl I was a little anxious. My dinner looked… kinda gross.

I said to myself, “We don’t eat things like this in America…” Or at least, I don’t. It reminds me of eating bugs. But it’s not bugs. It’s fish and it is sustenance and nutrients. I could either stress myself out trying to communicate that I didn’t want it without offending the cook, or I could just try to eat it. And so I did. It didn’t taste great and the texture was foreign and uncomfortable. I ate as much as I could with giant spoonfuls of rice. The second time, I mixed them into the noodles. Just another typical dinner experience in a foreign culture. Each day brings new surprises.

Murder and cockroaches – A new year adventure

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For new years, I took advantage of my 6-day weekend and took a trip over to Koh Samui. With no one to travel with I figured it would be a great opportunity to relax on the beach and enjoy being back in civilization for a while. It ended up being a mixed experience but my oh my, it was an adventure.

The boat ride over was awful. It took 5 hours in total after stopping at Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan first. I knew I had chosen the wrong island when I saw all the young people and backpackers getting off at Koh Tao. Damn. If only I had planned in advance and booked accommodations before everything filled up… The worse part of the boat ride was the violent rocking side to side which induced musical vomiting throughout the boat. They had staff circling the boat handing out plastic bags, collecting full ones, and passing out tissue for those who needed it. I had a bag on hand but managed to keep my stomach in check, thank god. It was a close call though… I wasn’t so lucky on the way back home.

I spent my first afternoon and evening at a resort on Lamai beach. It was the only accommodations I had booked in advance. I figured it be nice to have a place to arrive and then I could head out early the next day to start the search for a new place. I had booked one night at the Orchid Resort & Aquarium. For the price, I wasn’t impressed. My room was sort of falling apart but on the upside it was spacious and had large windows and a balcony. I enjoyed some pool time and R & R and set off the next morning to Chaweng beach, the busiest part of the Island. My Thai friend’s family own a GORGEOUS resort there and although they were all booked up, they had a back room for cheap that they let me book for a couple of days. It was not pretty at all, it was probably the worst room I have ever stayed in but hey, I arrived at the absolute busiest time of year on an island that is usually fully booked so whatever. I left the cockroach to his business and tried to tell myself that all the mold wouldn’t kill me.. hopefully.

A bell boy had driven me down the path to my room and offered to take me around the island on his motorbike the next day for only 500 baht. He said he’d show me the island and some of the touristy spots. Sweet. A full tour for cheap. Traveling alone really has its perks! Continue reading