About 2 hours from Chiang Mai is a beautiful National Park, Doi Inthanon, which also happens to be the tallest mountain in Thailand. We were enjoying the city but were craving some time in nature, so we rented a driver for the day and were chauffeured from beautiful place to beautiful place within the park. We started with this amazing sunrise hike, the Kew Mae Pan trail, which gave us an elevated view of the other mountains in the region. From there we explored some incredible waterfalls the 2nd part of the day. Prepare yourself for many more photos.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit."
-Robert Louis Stevenson
My trip to Thailand has been wonderful so far, and there's so much to share, but I figured I'd start with a photo from the earliest part of my trip - Bangkok. While I am typically not a big fan of massive cities, with all the noise, cars and chaos, I found Bangkok to be a lovely exception; unbelievably friendly people, exceptionally clean, tons of restaurants and bars, and as you can see, a gorgeous skyline. While I imagine I will always prefer nature, this city has been a very pleasant surprise.
"Travel is very subjective. What one person loves, another loathes. I would say a private paradise in the Caribbean. If you want culture and class, I would say Tuscany. If you want exotic, I would say Bangkok, Thailand."
By the time you see this I am either on my way to, or already in, Thailand. I am insanely excited to explore a new country, culture and cuisine and, of course, will be snapping as many photos as possible. While this will obviously be a completely new experience for me, as I've never been to Thailand, nor anywhere in Asia, I am completely open to experiencing and learning whatever I can during my time there. I am honestly most excited by the prospect of being exposed to new perspectives on the world and hope to learn more about myself and life in general; the types of perspectives one can only learn by spending time away from their own comforts and culture.
“Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbor is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.”
Although these past couple years have been, and continue to be, challenging in many ways, I'm finding extra comfort in the little things. Going for walks, reading books, going on a fun local adventure, or watching a great movie with some delicious comfort food. It's always fascinated me that when I stop checking the news and turn off notifications on my phone, life seems to instantly become more simple and more rich. My goal is to continue living life this way; to turn down the noise, avoid the things that do not enhance my life, and focus more on the things that bring me happiness.
"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will."
In a couple weeks I will be catching a plane to visit my brother and sister-in-law at their new home in Thailand. If I'm not mistaken, I haven't seen them since 2019 when we explored parts of Europe together. I am beyond excited to spend some time with them again and adventure through new places; Thailand and Vietnam, specifically. Looking forward to new scenery, new perspectives, new memories and lots of new photos.
"Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime."