Finally! Another chance to rest in Chiang Mai! I’m not going to lie, travelling for a long time is exhausting. While I feel alive and love every minute of travelling, I cannot deny the fact that long-term travel is draining. I know I’ll be missing my nomadic life once I am back in Canada, but right now, I am so happy to have this break. Let’s not forget that travelling takes a lot of planning, so we needed this time to prepare for the next six months. If you cannot relate, let me explain.
Think about how much time you spend planning for a two-week trip.
Now multiply that time by 26.
If you’re cool with potentially staying in bad accommodations or spending more money than necessary, then winging it might work for you. But winging it doesn’t work most of the time, at least not for me.
If you’re new to the website and want to follow my year of travelling, visit this section for all my posts related to long-term travel. You can also start from the beginning of the series by reading this article. Here’s a summary about me leaving home for a year to travel.
Living the semi-nomadic Life in Chiang Mai
Most of our time in this city has been pretty chill. We’re working on some side projects, tying some loose ends back home and eating as much as possible because the food is SO GOOD.
This winter is also the first where I am not experiencing the cold, harsh winter
It’s so weird to talk to friends and family back home and hear them say how cold it is in Canada. I don’t remember what that cold feels like anymore and I’m not looking forward to experiencing winters. Anything below 10 degrees Celsius is too cold for me, and I’m reminded of how much I love tropical weather. Avoiding the winter – that’s another reason I had on my list when deciding if I should travel for a year.
We are also taking this time to catch our breaths and most importantly, clean up and organize our photos and videos
See all those lovely pictures on this website? Well, there’s a lot that happens on the backend to ensure that we are ready to take photos and that we don’t lose them! Now is the time to stop and do a purge of our pictures before we continue our journey. I can’t tell you the number of times I went to take a photo, only to receive a message that says, “storage full.” Talk about striking panic in my heart.
Dates travelled: December 19, 2017 – January 18, 2018
Look guys! I’m publishing the monthly highlights at an earlier date now! Aren’t you proud of me *holds hand out for gold star stickers*
Budget: Our unexpected spend on our budget this month was in Christmas gifts. Yes, I hate the consumerism aspect of Christmas gifts. But we wanted to buy some food gifts for the people who have made our stay in Thailand memorable. We are also spending $70 CAD to have our driver’s licenses shipped to us in Chiang Mai. Read on to learn more!
Places visited: Chiang Mai
Items lost/things I wish I packed: Our driver’s license! We didn’t think we’d do any driving, but it turns out that driving in New Zealand is cheaper and better than taking the bus
Transportation: Aside from the Grab and Songthaew rides around Chiang Mai? Nothing! We are finally staying put for once!
What I miss: I miss not having to be on guard all the time (read the coconut story below). I miss having clean tap water. The water supply in our area was tainted, and the water in our apartment was smelly and yellow for almost two weeks
Scariest moments: We were underneath a coconut tree when coconuts started falling from the tree. It was scary. That is when I learned of the term death by coconuts – it’s a legit way to die!
There was an earthquake in Myanmar with a magnitude of 6.0. we felt in Chiang Mai. It was scary, especially since I’ve never felt an earthquake before.
Memorable moments during the semi-nomadic life in Chiang Mai
My high school friend and his girlfriend came to visit! It was nice to spend time with friends over the holidays because we see each other on average, once every few years. In fact, the last time I saw my friend was when our other friend cooked steak for us.
Releasing lanterns and listening to a meditation on New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai was also a very magical moment. From an activity perspective, New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai was the best New Year’s I’ve ever experienced.
Defining moments: “Wow, look at that. Your parents are the boat people, and now you have your designation”. She is one of the few people who understands what it means to be one of the boat people. She recognized the struggles and the hardships of boat people, likely because she worked with many people who went through these hardships.
For anyone who wants a personal story about what Vietnamese people went through when they left Vietnam, read this story here: What it took to understand my ‘Boat People’ parents. Here is another article about Canada helping the Vietnamese boat people.
Yucky moments: I almost drank an ant, more than once. Seriously. The downsides of living in tropical countries are that you also live with insects.
Thoughts and feelings during the semi-nomadic Life in Chiang Mai
How much stuff do you need to live your regular life and be happy?
We have one suitcase and one carry-on, and yet, we did not touch anything in that carry-on for the past month. This experience has made me more determined to focus on having a minimal life when I move back home.
Pigs keep me up at night
I am quite scarred and sad. Maybe I’ll talk about it in my next post. But I’m losing sleep because of pigs.
The inability to read Thai led Gary to buy laxatives for me
For all of you who were super sick with whatever bug you caught on New Year’s Eve, well, let me tell you, I caught the same bug! I was coughing to the point where I had to hold my stomach because I was getting terrible stomach pains. Gary felt awful and went out to buy me honey, lemon, and tea. The funny thing is, the tea he came back with was a weight-loss slimming tea!
Oh, the things that happen thanks to the language barrier.
Learnings during my semi-nomadic Life in Chiang Mai
If you are planning to go to New Zealand during high season, you have to book everything far in advance
Seriously. Booking things two months before arriving in New Zealand is still too last minute – most accommodations will be fully booked. We managed to change our itinerary so that we were able to find a place to stay.
If you book flights using Aeroplan rewards, book in advance!
In case you didn’t know, rewards flights are often limited. You’ll be left with either no flights or awful ones with long layovers. We had a few issues where we had to change our travel dates thanks to this problem.
Some Thai words resemble Cantonese!
Because I am spending such a long time in Thailand, I am making an effort to learn a bit of Thai. I noticed similarities between Thai and Cantonese and couldn’t help how some words in Thai sound like Cantonese or Mandarin. For example, numbers in Thai sound a lot like Cantonese!
I’m working on adding Thai to my list of languages where I can count to ten haha. I realized I could count to ten in quite a few different languages. I can count to ten in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, French, and Teochew (sort of). But I only speak Nanglish.
Credit card companies in Canada suck, big time
We found out that one of our credit cards are no longer available as of March. Good thing we brought backup cards.
I’m pretty happy to have a break from taking pictures. Coming home to edit 300+ photos a day was very tiring (sometimes 1,000!). So I’m using this month to clean up our photos, edit videos (we only have a gazillion), and improve my photo editing skills.
Editing beach photos are turning out to be a lot harder than I expected. I struggle with having a consistent style for each picture and editing them in a way that will leave you speechless.
I’ve published quite a few blog posts from Phuket and I hate ALL the images in those posts (especially photos from this post!). I’m struggling to edit photos that have a lot of different shades of blue… I think that’s my problem.
My favourite type of photo to edit is hands down sunset and sunrise shots. I’m learning more and more about sunset shots and spent some time tweaking pictures I took in Ayutthaya. What do you think?
What’s next for our seventh month
We will still be in Chiang Mai for three weeks before we head to Australia! In the meantime, I am working on writing enough posts so that I can update this blog twice a week. Yes, I am crazy, I know. I’m working on producing high quantity and quality work, but there might be a few mistakes. Phease foegive meh inn advance foe tha occasional grammatical erwors.
PIN FOR LATER