My brother was surprised to hear that I consider Thailand, home base. Then he thought about it and said, “well you already did that with Ecuador”. And when I thought about it, he was right. I didn’t know how long I’d be in South America, but I knew I’d be back.

He also asked me why I liked Thailand. Then yesterday two students from different classes asked me the same question. So I started to write a list post penning the reasons, like the markets, the people and the cost of living but then I realized that my reasons are mostly internal.

I feel good here.

The weekly massages definitely help, as does the amazing food, but when it comes down to the soi dog at the end of the road, I feel like I’ve worked hard to make this dream of living abroad come true. I’ve worked hard to get back into teaching again too.

Maybe after six years of feeling stagnant in the United States, feeling like I couldn’t find a home, wandering and working in horrible jobs, life is just opening up new possibilities. I’ve heard that once you start following your bliss, your bliss works hard to meet you too.

It’s crazy because Thailand was not the place I dreamed about when I thought about the perfect place. At least I don’t think so. Perfect was clean, clean, clean and visually beautiful. Now I’ve lived in some pretty towns and cities and it’s no coincidence either, so it’s just odd that Chiang Mai is where I feel most content.

Oh, you want examples? Well, Hawaii for starters is stunning. My hometown doesn’t have a single telephone pole or wire because they are all buried underground. Large trees line the streets and it has sidewalks! Portland Oregon has my favorite kind of houses, 1920s, picture perfect and springtime flowers that I love so much.

Chiang Mai isn’t green enough for me. It’s dusty, growing too fast, polluted too but somewhere between arriving and striving, I find myself feeling proud to call it home base. I feel lucky because I like life here. It’s like FINALLY! I’ve never been more at peace. Maybe that’s just growing up?

So maybe it isn’t CM? Maybe it’s me? Well, CM deserves a lot of credit because my job has allowed me to settle down in one city. Teaching is helping me to grow, improve and get creative, as is working on my Thai and my writing.

Okay let’s cut through the Chiang Mai sausage. You know what it is? My students tell me almost everyday how beautiful or sexy I am. Friends tell me that I have this glow about me or that I look great at random times of the day, week or month. My Thai teacher told me, just the other day that (lately?) I have an aura about me.

Yeah, he said aura.

He knows when I look tired too, okay? What can I say? CM is good to me.

10 replies on “From Chiang Mai, with love (Why I like living in Chiang Mai)

  1. I was really struck by the simple but so powerful sentence β€œI feel good here”. How can anyone ask for more than that.Great post.


  2. I'm with biervoormij! The sense of “place” can be difficult to describe, but it's obvious that Chiang Mai resonates with you right now. A good fit just feels “good” [in the Goldilocks Baby Bear “just right” sense].An excellent post.Regards from Ken C.


  3. Home IS where your heart is, isn't it!(Aura? I remember having an aura…twice…two years apart, twenty or so years ago, lol)


  4. Hi Lani,I like your blog! I'm FongThong. Kinda in the reverse of your situation – from Bangkok choose Europe to settle down. Now feel like running away again coz I made a same mistake of trusting too much and well cut long story short by the time that I knew I am used its kinda oops gotta see you every day at work and life is too short to put up with the crap like that So… thinking about running away again but came across your blog….Still indecisive of choosing between staying and put up with it or run away miles….Hope you stay positive in the Land of Smiles…With loveFongThong


  5. @FongThong: I'm glad you found my blog! Thanks :DIt's been my experience that the urge to run away doesn't help in the long run. I ran away (back home) after a horrible teaching experience and my problems just followed me around!Take the time to be still, mediate and listen…best advice I can give (not that you wanted it 555).Good luck!


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