How has living abroad changed you?

Honoring the dead: Gin Salat, Lamphun, Thailand, 2012

My friend, who is somewhat newly moved to Thailand, was reflecting on what it’s like to be an expat: the culture shock, and then the struggle of not wanting to complain and feel culture shocked. As I walked to work, I thought about how much I had changed since living abroad.

Continue reading “How has living abroad changed you?”

balloon seller in Chiang Mai

Life sucks until it doesn’t anymore

I feel good.

However, if you’d have told me what my life would be like if I moved back to Thailand before I did it, I’m not sure I would have returned.

I know now why we can’t see in to our future – doing so prevents us from ever meeting up with it.

Continue reading “Life sucks until it doesn’t anymore”

Thai Visa Run to Kuala Lumpur: A Practical Guide

First of all, let me congratulate you on making a good choice. Going to Vientiane Laos for your Thai visa run is like competing in the Hunger Games. By contrast, heading to Kuala Lumpur is like taking your dog on a walk through the park, sometimes there are unsure moments, but overall, it’s a breeze.

Continue reading “Thai Visa Run to Kuala Lumpur: A Practical Guide”

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.

Continue reading “When life throws you a do-over (and you return from where you left)”

(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!

Continue reading “Fish out of water: expat bloggers interview series #5”

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.

Continue reading “Chiang Rai: First Impressions”

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.

Continue reading “Moving to Chiang Rai”