Monday, January 15, 2018

A few months later...

It has been a few months since I departed my home in the US to become a digital nomad. Unless there is some emergency, I am going to continue this lifestyle for many more years. I did all this without second-guessing myself. I am thrilled it is all working out for the best.

The small things matter here. There are a lot of must-do things in various cities, but really it is the smaller things that matter. The details. The unexpected occurrences and events uncovered just around the corner.

Monks along the northern moat of the old city, Chiang Mai.

For new year's eve, I simply followed the trail of rice-paper lanterns to the eastern side of the old city of Chiang Mai.

Thapae Gate - Chiang Mai
Those lanterns are banned in other parts of Thailand, especially in Bangkok near the two major airports. Many lanterns hilariously got caught in trees. Others levitated and singed the hairs off tourists. These lanterns also were lit for the recent Yee Peng festival in November, which is a tradition that dates back to the days when this city of Chiang Mai was the the capital of the Lan Na Kingdom contested by the Burmese. The city became part of Siam, modern day Thailand, in 1920.

In the city of Siem Reap of Cambodia, I met a couple from central Canada, Carly and Mitch. We reconnected in Chiang Mai and I casually showed them around as I got to know them better. Here is their blog entry that I want to share (link).

Even while touring around, we had an interesting conversation with a traveler from California during our round-trip to Wat Phra That in Doi Suthep - golden temple at the top of the mountain. "Serendipitous" would be an accurate word to describe my lifestyle here in south-east Asia. Sometimes it's fun to plan not to plan. just figure it out when you get there. Hostels are the easiest way to meet random interesting people from all over the world.

Carly, Mitch, and I went to a Muay Thai fight and explored the Saturday night market. They shared with me some tips on Singapore and funny stories experienced on ships along the islands of southern Cambodia. They will visit Ho Chi Minh City ("Saigon"), Vietnam in a couple weeks, so I will gain tips when I visit afterwards in the end of February.

Wat Phra That in Doi Suthep

The camera does not lie.. my gut is no longer bulging out from the sedentary high-sugar low-exercise lifestyle that I used to live back home. Some of the food in Thailand may be high in sodium, but the portion sizes are appropriately smaller and rich in spices and herbs. Ground transportation generally costs about a dollar, but I avoid it. Last month I walked over 150 miles thanks to Google Fit, which automatically keeps track. It is easier to make drastic improvements in lifestyle by relocating to an entirely new place.