Getting Centered in Chiang Mai

2016-12-07-11-39-27 To say month ten got off to a rough start would be an understatement. Traveling for a year doesn’t come without challenges, and I hit my breaking point at the beginning of our month in Chiang Mai.

I knew something was going to have to give eventually due to a variety of things going on the previous months. There was drama within the group, work challenges and uncertainty and just a general unhappiness with where I was after nine months of travel. This was supposed to be one of the best years of my life, so why did I feel so disconnected and unhinged?

Fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with all of this alone. I connected with a mentor back home who served as a sounding board for me to start to understand why I was feeling the way I was. My mom was also visiting for the first couple weeks, giving me an easy way to put some space, and perspective, between me and my travel life.

2016-12-06-14-42-53-hdr-1During my mom’s visit we explored all sorts of cafes and restaurants in downtown Chiang Mai. She’s a coffee lover, so every morning she would go explore a new cafe. Then for dinner, we’d go share some fresh rolls, she’d have her vodka and I’d have my dirty martini. It was a pretty great routine.

The second week she was there we rented a car and went to Pai for a couple day excursion. We first night we explored the night market before heading to bed early. The next day we found a local guy who offered to drive us around to see the main sights. After that, we found the one and only wine and cheese bar and camped out for a final sunset before driving back down the mountain. Before she went back to Arizona we also spent a day playing with the most adorable family of elephants at a sanctuary outside of the city, a huge bucket list item for my mom.

It was so interesting seeing my 2016-12-10-10-57-54mom’s appreciation and excitement for every small experience during her trip. It’s sad, but to a certain degree, I feel that I’ve become desensitized to so many of the small wonders of travel. We’ve been inundated by so many amazing things this year that it becomes easy to take them for granted. It helped me remember to try and appreciate even the small things, because this year will be over before I know it.

The first few weeks of the month I was also able to get back into some semblance of a physical activity routine, something I’ve learned this year is absolutely critical to my overall happiness. What better way to do that than punching and kicking shit like a boss? Yes, I’m now basically a pro Muay Thai fighter thanks to R Boxing Club. The world should be worried.

2016-12-05-20-07-21-1Chiang Mai was also a great running city. Chiang Mai University was about a mile outside of the city, providing a green and beautiful road for me to train and get ready for my race at the end of the month.

The race itself was amazing. I’m not sure why, it could have been the gross jelly Gu stuff I had during the race, the fact that the sun was down the whole run, the fact that the course was mostly flat, or the inner drive to prove that I still had it in me, but I felt like I flew through the course. I ended up placing 9th out of my age/gender group (<30 females) with a time of 1:54.

Alongside the quality time with Madre, taking up Muay Thai and training, I also started meditating (again). All of these things came together to help me feel revitalized and ready to go into the last two months of Remote Year feeling confident and more centered. Let’s do this.

With love, Paige