And just like that my month in Chiang Mai has come to an end. I bought a plane ticket to Chiang Mai, Thailand just 6 weeks prior to coming here. That was right around the time I was introduced to the idea of Chiang Mai. I knew I wanted to begin my nomadic journey in Southeast Asia, destination to be determined. I talked to a couple of friends who had traveled around Southeast Asia for 15 months, and they mentioned Chiang Mai as a great starting point (as did another nomad I reached out to). That was enough for me. I booked a ticket with very little research or plans.
This was the start of my leap of faith.
A friend of mine who had traveled here before added me to a Facebook group for Chiang Mai Nomad Girls. About a month before leaving, I posted in the group that I was leaving my corporate job of 11 years, selling my stuff and starting my nomadic journey in Thailand. I asked for tips on where to stay. This beautiful soul, Dina, responded to my message letting me know that she and her partner had a spare room in their house and would rent it to me until I found a place. I immediately felt a connection to Dina without even knowing her. By faith and intuition, I accepted her offer. As the time of my departure drew near, I received a message from Dina letting me know they would be out of the country when I arrived. She said she would leave a key for me and arrange for some of her friends to meet me when I arrived. Talk about reassurance! I was completely blown away by her hospitality and generosity.
This had me ponder...If I found out that a stranger was coming all the way from Thailand, would I leave a key to my home without being there? This is the type of hospitality you meet you when you travel.
I began my nomadic journey in Sydney, Australia, and Singapore prior to arriving in Thailand. When I boarded my flight from Singapore to Chiang Mai, tears fell down my face. Before arriving in Thailand, I set an intention for my time here to be one of resetting, surrender, and healing. The tears were the first step into that intention. This was a chance for me to essentially start over and create a new life. I knew before any of that could take place, I needed to let go of control, past hurts/trauma, and surrender.
Arriving in Chiang Mai was exciting and liberating. It was finally hitting me that my career and life in Dallas had come to a halt. I came here with just one month's pay and no job prospects or opportunities in sight. I knew that I needed to take a step back before jumping into anything else.
Coming here with little savings was another leap of faith.
Top Symbol represents surrendering to what comes into my life; the half moon represents being open to whatever comes into my life; the dots represent blessings; and then the transformations and resetting symbolized at the bottom.
I hit the ground running and began exploring and meeting people. I felt the rush of being in a new place and wanted to soak it in. I tried events and outings that I had never tried before, and said yes to whatever sounded fun. Another beautiful aspect of travel is putting yourself out there and being more spontaneous. I could easily see why so many people love Chiang Mai.
In May 2017, I got my first tattoo in honor of my Grandma. I had heard from many people that once you get your first tattoo, it likely won't be your last. I completed 2017 by getting a second one to symbolize the Bold Freedom I was stepping into. So it's no surprise that I had an intention of getting a tattoo to symbolize this new journey in life. And since I was going to be in Thailand, I wanted it to be a traditional bamboo needle tattoo. The first person I met in Chiang Mai was this beautiful German girl, Elu, who does...bamboo needle tattoos. It was meant to be. I scheduled an appointment with her the following week, and am so in love with my new mark.
That's the Magic of Chiang Mai. You meet people, find opportunities, and it somehow comes together.
A few days after arriving here, I saw a post in the Facebook group for a woman looking for her next unicorn for her business Emotional Body Mapping. I saw the words "coaching", "social media" and "opportunity". Without thinking twice, I messaged her and told her my story. She messaged me back and setup an interview for the following day. We had a great conversation; however, I was sure that I wasn't the person for her, nor did I think I was ready to jump into a job so soon after leaving my last one. And like many times in life, I was wrong. She contacted me a couple days later and told me that I threw her for a loop in a good way. She wanted to work with me.
I accepted without fully knowing if this was the right move; another leap of faith.
The following week, I became really ill (an unglamorous side to travel). This lasted about 2 weeks. My body quickly reminded me what I came here to do...Oh yeah, that whole healing and surrender thing. While I was sick, I allowed myself to receive help and support from those around me. Dina and Chris checked on me regularly as did my friends nearby. I was 10,000 miles away from where I called home for so long, and had found that in Chiang Mai. Being sick was a true blessing in disguise. Being sick caused me to slow down and put myself first. I also got clarity on accepting a new opportunity and realized that I was afraid to say yes. And it wasn't because I wasn't ready; it's because I didn't believe that I was worth it (something I've been really present to lately and still working through).
I am so grateful for my month in Chiang Mai. It opened my eyes to wonder and showed me that wherever you look, there are people to meet and things to do. It caused me to slow down and take care of myself; and push my pride aside. It provided new opportunities for prosperity and abundance; and gave me the courage to trust the unknown. It gave me a new appreciation for living among various cultures and the beauty of connection.
If you're looking for pictures of elephants roaming freely in a sanctuary, you won't find them here. I didn't come to Chiang Mai to be a tourist. I came to reset, heal, and surrender (and to eat great street food). This may not make sense to a lot of people, and that's okay. Thailand isn't going anywhere; and I have a feeling I'll be back again soon. What I gained during my time in Chiang Mai is more powerful and meaningful than I could have ever wished for.
Now it's time to head south and move on to my next nomadic home on an island. If you're heading to Chiang Mai, do let me know. I have lots of favorite places and recommendations. :)