As someone that loves the water, I wish for a body that knows how to float. Sadly, no. Even in the salty Thai seas, in a competition between the head of an axe and my big legs it’s a beautiful dance of synchronized sinking.
Thai new year is joyous, playful, fun and uninhibited. On Koh Pha-Ngan Songkran is celebrated with copious amounts of water thrown at any and every passerby—whether on foot, by car or (most often) on scooter. Some trucks even travel around loaded with watergun-laden revelers hunting for their next target. Eventually I couldn’t help but get in on the action.
The forecasted tropical storm didn’t materialize.
Still, the water kicked and rolled, welcome cool air blasted my face and colours and clouds roiled in the wake of the wind.
Once in awhile, you need to wander to get lost
In Georgetown, former colonial capital of Malaysia for a visa run. Conveniently, the Thai consulate decided to close for a few days which gave me some extra time to wander and explore.
I wish 15-year-old me could see me now. All of the struggle to earn confidence and courage without losing sensitivity and soul… it has all been worth it. I don’t cling to stasis or predictability. I flow, move, change and adapt to new knowledge and understanding. I am capable. I feel capable.
I think the teenage me would be both a little impressed and a little shocked with who I’ve become. I suppose my most-often reminisced regret is not learning so many of these lessons sooner. Ha… I guess hindsight like this is the gift of old age.
For most of my life, saying goodbye has been emotional. It’s filled with wants and needs wrapped in a dramatic parting, or so my heart tells me. And this trip has been full of goodbyes: to friends, to family, to home, new friends and places I’m just beginning to understand. This is one.
At the same time, I’ve never been able to stop moving. More than two months in one place and my feet start to itch.
Island life is calling, and the smoke is hard to take. So, it’s two trains, a bus and a ferry to a new place with fresh air and long sandy beaches.
Off a side alley near Suthep, artists in Chiang Mai slowly carve a monument of traditional Thai art.
Home to the world’s largest wooden Ganesh statue, weighing five tons and carved from a single tree, this artist’s colony is funded by a wealthy patron who sees it as his legacy. The main building is built with thick wooden planks covered top-to-bottom with detailed painted carvings. It’s a beautiful, peaceful, inspiring place.
From the nearby mountain of Suthep to the one-mile-square Old City walls, Chiang Mai is filled with temples.