beautiful trees and blue sky

When life throws you a do-over (and you return from where you left)

During one of the darkest moments in my adult life, I failed to reach out. I didn’t really tell friends and family what was happening. I think part of the reason was I couldn’t explain it, I couldn’t get my hands around it, but mostly I was ashamed.

This time around, I didn’t make the same mistake. True, the circumstances were different, but when I spoke with my friends, they became lifelines tethering me to a balloon of hope. Our conversations were reminders that: I was not going crazy, my situation was insane and that I was loved.

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(Taco Bell just isn’t the same…)

Fish out of water: expat bloggers interview series #5

Hello once again! I’m back with another installment of expat blogger interviews. You thought I’d forgotten or given up on this, didn’t you? Nahhh. Expats are just a particular bunch of bananas. And toss in the ones that blog, too? It’s like herding well-fed cats, I tell you!

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Chiang Rai: First Impressions

plowing-the-fields-2
Near the Buddha Cave temple, Chiang Rai, 2014

I underestimated how much my life would change. Part of this had to do with not knowing how my life would change. Nevertheless, I tried to guess.

Originally, I thought my biggest adjustment would be down-shifting from busy Chiang Mai to quiet Chiang Rai, and while that is true, there is so much more to it than that.

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Moving to Chiang Rai

After about 4 years in Chiang Mai, I finally made the move. And what a move! I was so stressed out over our things making it in Kuhn Jan’s truck. I was fretting over the motorbike falling out of the truck as it seemed precariously perched on the tailgate. And I wondered how the office chair and desk were doing on the top of the truck cover.

But we did it. Kuhn Jan did it. Somehow we survived the mountains without a slip or a hitch. Oh, but how we sweated, I must have lost half my body weight in water that day.

packing-the-truck
No, we didn’t Evil Knievel the bike into the pickup.

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What’s happening to Chiang Mai? (or why CM is starting to suck)

As a fresh profusion of tourists arrive to Thailand I feel both sorry and sympathetic. When travellers visited Oahu Hawaii, where I grew up, I often heard, “We thought it would be less, you know – developed.” Yeah, everyone expects more island. Here, I would imagine visitors would expect more Thailand.

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Is it easy to make friends in Chiang Mai?

Somebody, let’s call him Peter, emailed me recently about wanting to know what life in Chiang Mai was like. He wants to retire here and make friends. So that got me thinking about other people who have contacted me and the kinds of questions they have asked.

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What are Chiang Mai apartments like?

Living spaces in Thailand are so different that the US. Sometimes I peek into apartments and wonder how much space people need in order to feel happy. Apartments in Thailand, well, let’s talk about Chiang Mai since this is where I live, are tiny in comparison to the luxuriousness of the United States.

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