The Daily – 10/26


Word of the Day: Street Art

Notable / Highlight of the Day: The other day I noticed some really interesting street Art, so Hannah and I decided to walk around the city and see what we could find.


First though, yoga! Our little kitty friend came to join us before our workout started and then we stretched and bent our way through the morning.

We first went to get lunch and then got a foot massage because it was starting to drizzle. It was also a national holiday and the city was nearly shut down.


We met an Egyptian/American girl while at the spa. She was really eager to make sure we knew how talented and smart she was. She did, luckily, recommend a hike to us that we instantly decided to do first thing tomorrow.

After an hour the rain had stopped and we wandered around looking for some cool street art but were kind of out of luck. We didn’t find much on the west side of town. If I had longer, I’d do a better job mapping it out.


I desperately needed to do laundry so we parted ways around 6 and I binge watched some Narcos for the rest of the evening.

Current Location: Chiang Mai

Cost of Tea: did not drink any

Miles Traveled: none

Dollars Spent Today: $15 on condo, $12 on foot massage, $2 on bike rental, $30 on yoga class pass, $5 on lunch, $1 on laundry

Number of Dogs Seen / Dog of the Day: yoga kitty!


Mood Emoji: 🎨

The Daily – 10/25

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Word of the Day: 🐘 ELEPHANTS!!!
Notable / Highlight of the Day: I finally got to spend a day hanging with majestic elephants. They’re a bit like dogs and cats, they want all the food and have fun, individual personalities.

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My group included all couples, me, the tour guide, and the Mahouts (elephant trainers). There were two French couples who bonded, an Austrian couple, and a German guy with his Filipino wife who was probably close to his age but looked like she was 10.

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None of that mattered though because all I cared about were those elephants. We fed them maybe a million bananas, cut down a banana tree to give them the sweet inside of the trunk, and took them for a walk. We also got to give them a mud bath and then washed them off.

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I spent the day chatting with Koray our Turkish guide and the German guy. It was really an incredible day and the elephants are just so special.

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There are a lot of elephant sanctuaries popping up to rescue elephants from riding camps, logging companies, and other unhealthy or abusive environments.

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On my way back Hannah and I were texting to make plans. We were on the hunt for Chiang Mai’s best Tom Kaw and decided to visit May Kaidees to test their food. And it did not disappoint. We made plans to spend the next day wandering the city and getting massages.

If you want to see all the photos from my elephant adventures use this link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZAmhZKmi800zbPoW2

Current Location: Chiang Mai

Cost of Tea: free

Miles Traveled: 35 out and back to the elephant sanctuary.

Dog of the Day: this sweet elephant keeper

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Dollars Spent Today: $50 to hang with the elephants, $15 on my airbnb, $10 on elephant photo memories, $7 on dinner

Mood Emoji: 🐘🐘🐘☺️🐘🐘

The Daily – 10/24


Word of the Day: Happy Hour

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I woke up and all I could think about were the elephants I was off to see!!! Except, after waiting for more than an hour, my ride was nowhere to be seen. It was also pretty inconvenient because there was no way I’d make it to Yoga in time. Thankfully I was slated to pay the driver, so at least no money was lost. 


My first stop was to rebook my elephant tour, get bus tickets to Pai, and possibly see if there was anything else I wanted to book. 


And then I did what one does in Thailand with an abundance of time while having a pity party: I got a massage. Chiang Mai has a number of massage places that employ former prisoners. And they all seem to do a great job. 


Two hours later I emerged from my massage in the middle of  a downpour.  I noticed across the street a temple that seemed worth checking out once the rain ended.  I ducked into a cafe next door to the massage place to try their tom ka. It wasn’t 1/2 as remarkable as mine, but it did the trick and sheltered me until the rain was done. 


I wandered the grounds and took some pictures of this sparkly little gem before heading back to my bike. As I walked along, I noticed all sorts of street art and decided to wander for a bit to see if I could find some more. 


After a solid wander around the streets ans alleys, I headed back to my place to cool down and clean up before afternoon yoga at freedom yoga. 


After an invigorating session of yoga, I was headed back but decided instead to see if Hannah wanted to grab a drink. I stopped first at a food stall and and as she started cooking, I realized I had forgotten my wallet in my condo. I biked as fast as I could, ran upstairs, and biked back to her cart as she chuckled at me. 

Hannah in the meantime had responded and wanted to meet for a drink. We decided to meet back up at My Bar, and as I headed over, the sky opened up. I got to the bar 5 minutes later, soaked to the bone. 


Bamboo the bartender kindly ran and got me a shawl to dry off and warm back up with. He ans I chatted for a bit until Hannah showed up. 


It turns out, we both had disasters of days and had a ton of fun laughing with each other about everything that had gone sideways. It felt a little like a happy hour or a good steak lunch date after a bad day of work. 

Current Location: Chiang Mai

Cost of Tea: $1 included in breakfast

Miles Traveled: 0

Dollars Spent Today: $16 for a 2 hour massage, $5 for lunch, $1 for breakfast, $1 on street food dinner, $5 on drinks

Mood Emoji: 😒

The Daily – 10/23


Word of the Day: Coconut Milk

Notable / Highlight of the Day: One of the flavors of Thailand is a dream to my tastebuds. I sidn’t appreciate just how much I loved coconut milk until I took today’s cooking class. 


I met Jay through couchsurfing and we had made plans to check out a cooking course together. He was vegan, and I was simply interested in technique more than meat. 


I rented a bike and was the first to arrive because I had assumed I’d get lost in this not very well laid-out city, but made it on my first try. Hannah soon followed, and then Marissa, Kate, Marie, and finally Jay. 


And boy did we cook! We first chopped tons of veggies and then entered the kitchen area. In all we made 10 recipes, chili paste, and learned how to cook and color sticky rice. 


Oh, and we ate like veggie kings. By the third course I needed a 2nd stomach. Fortunately they had to go bags, and I was getting quite the pile of leftovers. 


It was such a good group and everyone was chatting nicely. Jay was shy but would have these bursts of liveliness and good stories or thoughts. 


We all exchanged info and Hannah and I talked about getting together later. I also now wanted to go to Maria’s resort on Koh Chang. 

My building has made everything so easy. I can rent bikes, have a full kitchen, and a comfy sofa to lounge on. I reached outto Hannah and she wanted to join me for yoga at six pm. 


On my way out of my building when I was heading to yoga, I met into Alex, a resident of the building. We chatted for about 10 minutes because I had to get to yoga and he had to be somewhere. I figured I’d bump into him again since I still had about a week left in my apartment. 


Hannah and I met up for yoga and ended up wandering the city afterwards, still full from our cooking class. We checked out the night market and finally found a place to sit and grab a drink after many instances of daddy (adopted) daughter or dirty old man. 

It was so good connecting with her and getting to know someone in town. 

Current Location: Chang Mai

Cost of Tea: didn’t have any

Miles Traveled: 0

Miles Walked: lots

Dollars Spent Today: $42 on cooking classes, $15 for apartment rental, $2 for bike rental, $4 on drinks 

People Met: Jay, Hannah, Alex

Mood Emoji: 🥘🍛🍜🍲

The Daily – 10/22


Word of the Day: Flow

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I woke up and was shocked by how much I had slept. How was that possible? I was also a bit on the fence because my little condo was farther outside of the city than it appeared when I was booking. 

It was only a mile, but everything in Chang Mai sits along the old walls and I needed to find transport or hire tuk tuks to ferry me everywhere. 

I tried to get an uber to head to my yoga class, but it kept sending the driver to the wrong location even when I updated my spot. I cancelled and walked down the street to find a tuk tuk waiting for passengers. And like that I was wisked off into the city. 


The yoga studio was charming and warm. It was built with dark wood and layered with cushions in bright fabrics. The class was an hour and a haf, and as the instructor had limited English, she gave precise and short instructions without a lot of babble. 

After getting stretched and sweating out I wandered the city but didn’t pack any temple-appropriate clothes so only looked from the outside. Chang Mai is also interesting because there’s this blend of expats, monks, muslims, and locals all in the city. 


I had some lunch but was starting to get antsy because I had convinced myself that I was going to be lonely and alone the whole time I was in Chang Mai. So I used Couchsurfing to see if anyone was up to anything. 

I walked back to my condo to shower and figure out the rest of my day and was trying to decide if I really wanted to spend a full week in Chang Mai afterall. 

I ended up at a meetup at a little bar called My Bar. I was early, but the Bartender, Bamboo, was a charming and energetic Thai. I also met his business partner, her friend, and a really sweet couple from New Zealand/Brazil/US and an American Ex Pat who lives in Australia. 

The names all escaped me, but My Bar felt like exatly that, a bar I’d go to again and again. 

Current Location: Chiang Mai

Cost of Tea: none

Miles Traveled: 0

Dollars Spent Today: $30 on a yoga pass, $15 on condo, $2 on tuk tuk, $1 on snacks, $3 on lunch, $6 on drinks

Mood Emoji: 🤷‍♀️

The Daily – 10/21

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Word of the Day: Snooze

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I had an early-ish flight up to Chang Mai. So I packed up and gave myself plenty of time to get to the airport. I ate a quick breakfast at the hostel and took the skytrain over to the airport.

It turns out the weight of my combined bags are kind of heavy. I had sweat profusely and was embarrassingly tired by the time got to the airport. It must have shown too, because the ticketing agent made me weight my bigger bag and forced me to check it. Which was fine as that beast of burden weighs 25 pounds.

My flight ended up being delayed so I went to see if there was anything good to eat, passing up McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme, and Burger King to land on a mango smoothie.

We finally pushed off an hour late, and had a short, smooth flight to Chang Mai. I hopped in an airport taxi and for $5 got to my condo in no time.

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I rented it because I wanted a week or normalcy: no moving every couple of days, knowing where my deodorant was when I wanted it, the ability to leave my toiletries out without having to balance them between 15 others, not having to dig out my outfit every day.

I unpacked, arranged stuff, put a bowl by the door to collect keys, unpacked, and went to the market to pick up some snacks.

And then I decided to take a quick nap before going to explore the city….Only I had laid down at 4pm, shut off my alarm at 5pm, and woke up at 2:30 am only to realize the time and fall back asleep.

Current Location: Bangkok to Chang Mai Thailand

Cost of Tea: included

Miles Traveled: 430 miles

Miles Walked: 3

Dollars Spent Today: $1 on breakfast, $4 on BRT skytrain, $3 on a mango smoothy, $70 on the flight, $5 on snacks and lunch, $15 on accommodation.

Mood Emoji: 👋😴😴😴😴

The Daily – 10/20

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Word of the Day: Self-Inflicted

Notable / Highlight of the Day: Dan and I maybe had one too many for my tolerance levels. Or maybe because I haven’t really been drinking my body decided a hangover was the outcome.

In any event, it was hot, I didn’t feel great, and Bangkok is just a city and I knew I’d be back through. I took the day to read, catch up on some Netflix, and just lay low.

I treated myself to Bon Chon for dinner, wandered around the markets for a bit, and went to bed early.

Current Location: Bangkok

Cost of Tea: included in $1 breakfast

Miles Traveled: 0

Miles Walked: 1-2

Dollars Spent Today: $6 on bonchon, $7 on a cab ride, $4 to rent a movie

Mood Emoji: 🤢