Hello blog. Its been a coons age since we’ve spoken.
I’m sitting here in my new “home base” and feel inspired to write up a little post.
Here is the quick summary… I’ve been living in Chiang Mai, Thailand for 6 months now. When we moved here from the Philippines we did a bit of condo shopping and I ended up picking one at the higher price range that was pretty stylish (upper price range here being just under $1000 / month). When we were looking though we stumbled upon a place that was a diamond in the rough… A spacious 1 bedroom with a HUGE deck. This place is full of students so the price is reasonable but the trade off is that its furnished with rock hard beds and painted a very sad shade of green. Although I could see the diamond under all this, it would have meant I would have had to commit to buying all new furniture and styling it out in a way that I could live with. Since we didn’t know if Chaing Mai was going to be a place we wanted to stay long term we passed it up.
Very quickly we fell in love with this place. Its got an amazing community. Tons of events. The food is amazing… I could go on and on. After about 3 months in our fancy condo we revisited this place and they condo we looked at was still available and they were willing to reserve it for us 3 months ahead of time so we could finish our lease!! How crazy is that!
Anyway, I’m now sitting in my new leather sofa and already loving the place. The view is amazing!! I think I will love being here. Oh and did I mention the rent is only
$287 per month
Yep. Not a typo! What I love love love about this place is a that price I can afford to just keep it as a “home base” while we travel around a bit more. I left the stated in order to explore and I’ve done quite a bit of that but to be honest, picking up all my possessions and dragging them somewhere new, unpacking them all, getting settled, and then doing it all over again is super tiresome. Having this place means month long trips with only a small suitcase. Where do I have in mind?? Spain, France, Hungary, Tibet all sound really nice
Here are picts of what you can get for less than $300 bucks a month here in Thailand:
a few weeks ago I went to an event in Portland called The World Domination Summit (WDS) and it was awesome. Everyone asks me what the event was about and the best response I could come up with is that its a group of people who come together to “think different”. we are all there looking for inspiration about living our best lives and not the lives that are prescribed to us. its like Burning Man for business.
here is one of my favorite speakers. this unassuming guy wanted to seriously challenge his attitude about rejection. he was charming and funny and truly inspiring!
his name is Jia Jiang and this is a must watch video!!
Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are: no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.
so i went to the mall today (which if you did not know is the center of the universe in the philippines. i just moved into a new hotel and the selling point for my room was that it has a view of the mall). after my morning starbucks i stopped at a place to get my haircut.
now since i had never been there before i expected some kind of interview… you know like when was your last haircut and how short would you like to go? not this haircut. never was the actual cutting of the hair discussed. the questions were:
what country are you from?
how old are you?
are you married?
surprisingly they took my answers to those questions and gave me a spiffy little cut! thanks philippines!!
so i’m still in davao. i’ve been here for the last week or so and i can already see how easy it is to get stuck in a place.
when i left San Francisco in search of a simpler place i had visions of beaches and hammocks and as you can see from the photo, that aint davao. but what i did find here was a few western friends who have been incredibly welcoming and have taken me out on the town a bit. a few local people who are also warm and friendly. a gym and trainer that i like to work out with. a vision of decent living in PI.
i can see already how easy it is to get stuck while looking for the right place to call home for a while. do i get a place here and make this my base for exploration? do i continue to pack my bag and explore each new place as a beginner? are friends and warm welcomes limited to this place or will i find that wherever i go? is this good enough? is any place going to be good enough? will i find that idyllic place with a beautiful beach, bikini model women, peaceful hammocks with access to blazing fast internet, epic mountain biking options, a posse of awesome friends, bright shiny nightlife opportunities, cheap and awesome cuisine? am i asking too much probably… but that’s what i’m looking for.
davao is on the list. sure its not that tropical island paradise i had envisioned in my dreams but i can see that with a little effort all of that is available (except maybe the food…). do i dig into a place and make it what i’m looking for or do i continue the search for the place that immediately captivates me? these are my luxury problems at the moment and yes i am in complete gratitude!
i’m leaving davao in a few days. it will be interesting to find out what thoughts my time here will provoke in me. i can definitely see coming back whether its permanent (which means 3 months tops) or if its just a trip to visit my new found friends…
more will be revealed
i will not be telling people telling people here in the philippines to pipe the fuck down in order to avoid a knife in my back BUT the opportunities are endless! i sort of love this chick!!
so i’ve been in the philippines for a little over a week now and it has occurred to me that before i can start to really dig into this place i need to find a “home”. what is home? just a place where i can feel comfortable living for one to three months. i want to unpack my bag and put it away for a while. i want to stay in one place and feel what it might be like to be here for a bit. this is different from any other “vacation” since i’m not in vacation mode. i want to arrive at a place and say, “yeah… this could be me for a while”.
currently i’ve checked out Cebu City and Dumaguete neither of which really resonated with me. despite all the blogs and forums i’ve read from other expats saying they like living in either of these two places, neither has given me that “homey” feeling. I have no disillusionment that i’m in a foreign country and that home will and should feel a lot different from what i’m used to but i can say that i’m happy to be moving on tomorrow.