First Month Recap – Together in Chiang Mai
Hi Folks! Happy New Year! Been away from the blog for a little while, but i’m back with more!
It is really hard to believe that it’s 2015. Just a year ago at this time, it was business as usual. We were living our lives in Dublin, California, going to our 9 to 5 jobs (which were more like 8 to 6 on most occasions) and trying to cram in as much as possible into our weekends before pressing repeat and doing it all over again. Now, we’ve been living here for just over a month. Yes, actually living here, not just a getaway vacation visit.
I think at this point all of our family and friends know that we are in Thailand and not Taiwan. They know that we are not living in a hut on the beaches of Phuket but, rather, in a modern high-rise tucked against hills on the western part of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. But, yes, some of the perceptions are true. We do eat spicy Thai food almost every single day, the cost of living is quite low, and the weather has been pleasant the whole time we have been here. No, we are not fluent in Thai. We barely know “hello” and “thank you” and it has been quite challenging to learn anything else. We do, however, keep trying…
Without too much babbling, here’s a short list of the lessons, mistakes and successes, challenges, and takeaways from our first month here in Chiang Mai:
- We love living here!
- Driving is not as chaotic and lawless as we thought. Be courteous to those in front of you and you will get the same courtesy from those behind you. Simple and effective.
- We know our way around Chiang Mai without a map. Yes, we get lost plenty, but somehow know how to get to where we want to be.
- Every place we have eaten has been good. We are foodies and this place is our heaven. We have had some of the best tasting burgers here! Fresh is the name of the game and we love to play!
- We workout, eat more appropriate portions, and have time to reflect and enjoy each other’s company rather than be bombarded with social pressures and get sucked into consumerism and the ever annoying media.
- Feeling productive? Work all day and into the night to get what you need done.
- Want to take Tuesday as your day off from work? Sure, we can do that. Which reminds me, we still need try out the yoga scene here. Chiang Mai is one of the best spots and we’ve been meaning to try tantrayogathailand.com.
- It feels good to go to bed knowing that the day will accept you when you’re ready rather than the leash of the alarm clock yanking on you forcefully in the morning.
- We have not been very social and outgoing so we decided that we need to get some friends soon.
- The fruit is amazing here and we eat mango EVERY day.
- “Mango Tango is Here” – yes, we know…we walk by this place everyday as we find a new place to eat lunch in our neighborhood. Great mango desserts, by the way!
- Breakfast is the only meal we eat at home since there are plenty of places to choose from within walking distance and we can stay within our budget. On average we spend $20 a day on food between the two of us. This includes anything we consume (coffee, smoothies, dessert, beverages, some groceries for the house, etc.) not just meals.
- Living near Chiang Mai University, we come across young hipsters on a regular basis and have noticed that partying is not necessarily reserved for Friday and Saturday nights-they sure do love their loud music.
- Although not a big fan of the tourists and traffic, we do enjoy the once-in-a-while trips out to Tha Phae Gate with the markets and food stalls.
- The street food that comes out at night at Chang Puak Gate and Chiang Mai Gate has become our “go-to” for dinner on most nights.
- For fun we go to the movies (yes, in English), we go sightseeing, we go to the park, we take joyrides on the motorbike and explore…
- Do not make fun of the king, show respect and stand up any time his anthem is being played.
- It can get “cold” here in the winter and good thing we both brought our jackets.
- If you can’t/don’t eat pork, good luck in Chiang Mai.
- The people here are some of the nicest you will every meet. We have dubbed them “The Canadians of Asia”
- Live by the motto “mai pen rai.” Meaning “it’s all good.”
So, that’s been our month…stay tuned for the rest of the story to unfold! Drop us a comment or let s know if you have any questions for us.
About the Author
Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!