I feel the earth move: the earthquake in Chiang Mai

“I want you to take over control … take over control … take over control …”

My feet pedal furiously to the beat as I try to sweat the fever out of my body.

Six more songs. Only six more until I’m done and can go home, shower and take medicine, then pass out.

Except, sometime during the chorus, I feel my body begin to sway on my spin bike. Rocking, slowly, steadily, back and forth.

Holy shit. I’m super sick. I need to stop pedaling immediately.

Asia Blog Thailand

The most horrifying Thailand moment

Today started like normal.

6 a.m.: Mr. Lucky starts digging between my pillows and pulls out The Bloggess‘ new book, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” (which, BTW, is super hilarious).

6:05 a.m.: I kick Mr. Lucky out of the room.

6:30 a.m.: I. Am. Awake. Damnit.

6:45 a.m.: I get ready for work, lock my front door and head out of my house.

6:47 a.m.: I am about 10 feet from my front gate. If that. And there. On the ground. Is THE most horrifying thing I have seen since I have been in Thailand. [Ed. Note: OK, not THE most horrifying thing I have seen. I work in elephant tourism, so there are PLENTY of horrifying things I have seen here. But, for dramatic purposes, THIS is THE most horrifying thing.]

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The Europe seduction

There are times I find myself staring at a map, just lost in the possibilities of the world and all of its wonders.

Then, the wanderlust begins to bubble up … to slowly seduce me into a world where backpacks, trains, hostels, waking up in a new city are the norm. Are romantic. These little tendrils of travel creep into my mind and plant their roots. They whisper to me at night, “Diana … book a flight … Diana … come to me.”

Like a hangover, I shake these thoughts away because, let’s face it, the beginning of 2014 saw me barely making it to Chiang Mai Gate, let alone across town … how in the world am I going to leave the country?

Asia Blog Europe Thailand The Comfort Zone Project

Celebrating Passover in Chiang Mai

Rabbis clad in the Orthodox suits stand upon chairs, clapping their hands with smiles on their faces as our makeshift congregation of travelers and expats clap along.

Celebrating Passover in Chiang Mai

 

“Day-day-enu, day-day-enu, day-day-enu, dayenu, dayenu, dayenu,” we all sing together, accents melting into the chorus of the Passover song.

It’s the first night of Passover, the first seder, and instead of being with family or friends or out reveling in Songkran, which takes place simultaneously this year, I am sitting in a ballroom of the Centara Hotel in Chiang Mai’s red light district. I’m surrounded largely by Israelis who have come together on this special night to bring in Passover together.

Asia Blog Expat Life Thailand Travel Tips

The blessing of Chiang Mai

Living in Chiang Mai, I am constantly treated to spectacular visual beauty, thanks to the hundreds of temples and religious activities which regularly occur here. Any given morning, en route to work, I get to see people praying to monks and offering alms to them to bring back to their respective temples.

The beauty of Buddhism is constantly on display in the city I call “home.”

Today is no exception.

Chiang Mai monks making pilgrimage

The first of 500 Dhutanga monks enters the shot.

Asia Blog Expat Life Thailand
d travels headshot

The fat girl in Thailand

A look at the realities of being an overweight female in Thailand and a lifelong struggle with being overweight.
This post is a part of the year-long Comfort Zone Project.

“Oh, why you so pom pui?” People ask me. Strangers. Friends. You name it.

Pom pui.

You’d think one of the first words I would learn in Thailand would be how to ask someone’s name, or how to ask for directions. But, nope. One of the first words I learn other than “drunk” is pom pui or “fat.”

Asia Expat Life Thailand The Comfort Zone Project

The Comfort Zone Project

“Life’s not about living happily ever after … it’s about living.”

That is the tagline for my blog, and was the motivating factor in the major decision I made nearly four years ago to quit my job in public relations and take a career-break and head out for a solo travel adventure.

It’s the same motivating factor that pushed me to quit my job again in 2012 and head over to Thailand to live as an expat and work for Save Elephant Foundation.

But, during my time in Thailand, something happened:

I lost my focus.

I lost my motivation.

I lost myself.

It’s easy to do, really.

Asia Expat Life Thailand The Comfort Zone Project