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! ❤

I made it to Chiang Mai!

Leaving was hard. If only you could have heard my inner monologue as my parents were driving me to the airport. It went something like this: “SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT. What the (insert other 4 letter word) am I doing? There’s no going back now… Oh my god.” I was sweating and my heart was racing as we approached the departure drop-off. I was shaking by the time I kissed and hugged mom, dad, and our dog goodbye.

Everything went smoothly until Bangkok. Somehow I slept for 8-9 hours on the flight from Seattle to Taipei… It felt like 3. During that flight I made two new friends! (1) My seat neighbor, Monique from Queen Anne who is originally from Taiwan, and (2) a professional fellow rock climber named Michael.

Bangkok in short….sucked. I got off the plane, made it through immigration, and got my bags fine. I had booked a separate flight to get to Chiang Mai. I followed the signs to “departures” (after waiting for 2 elevators that didn’t work and nearly falling up an escalator had it not been for my rescue by a monk and his friend).  After I finally made it to the 4th floor with all my luggage, a good samaritan asked if I needed help. After talking with him and an airport employee we realized that I was at the wrong airport. CRAP. I was directed to a free shuttle which took me directly over to the airport for domestic flights. It was about a 35-45 min ride. I knew I was going to miss my flight but didn’t care. I figured something would go wrong along the way… Long story short, I had actually booked my flight one day too early anyway. I had to pay out-of-pocket for a new flight plus excess baggage fees. I think it ended up being somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 (not bad).  I had 5 minutes to run with my two giant bags and heavy backpack to the check-in before it closed followed by a brisk walk to the gate for boarding. SUCCESS!

That first night alone in my room was rough. The room was a little more… rustic than I was expecting which was fine but the mold in the bathroom was a bit of a disappointment. Black, yellow and pink!  I was also afraid to leave to venture out and find food. Eventually I mustered up the courage to walk around the block to the marketplace. I found a few food carts and opted for some Pad Thai thinking it would be a safe choice. It was SOOOO SPICY, ah! I managed to eat half. It was a small serving so not too much went to waste. I shoveled as much in my mouth as quickly as possible but eventually the burn caught up with me and hurt way too bad. I tried taming the heat unsuccessfully with Oreos. After 20+ hours of traveling, it was time for bed. This concluded day 1!

It was a long, emotional journey. I certainly felt out of my comfort zone to start, but it’s amazing how quickly that passed. When I was leaving the Chiang Mai airport I did meet a nice British girl. We swapped info and are now friends. (More stories to come to catch you up on our adventures.) I attribute the ease of my transition here to her friendship. People and relationships make such a difference in the quality of our lives. This I already knew and appreciated in Seattle, it’s just nice to have this reaffirmed 🙂 A big thanks to Krishna!