The House Hunters International experience

Chiang_Mai_Fair_Lady_House_Hunters_International_Experience
If you haven’t been following along lately, I recently filmed an episode for House Hunters International — Chiang Mai Fair Lady — which airs tonight. If you’re new to d travels ’round, welcome! I hope you find this as the place to motivate you to get up, follow your dreams and see the world (or at least live vicariously), and to take a stand and help Asian elephants.

My goal with this site is to share my experiences traveling the world solo, shed light on life as an expat in various places I rest my head, highlight cool and off-the-beaten-path spots that are worth checking out, and promote responsible tourism.

Keep reading to learn more about what it was like to film House Hunters International, as well as for a look at life as an expat in Thailand, my push to make people more responsible tourists, and what’s next for me.

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10 signs you are a local in Chiang Mai

being local in chiang mai
After living in Thailand for more than two years, I like to consider myself a local.

Although, let’s face it: as a westerner in Thailand, I will never be a real local. Certainly, I can adapt. I can learn. But, I am not Thai and never will be.

However, I am decidedly more “Thai” than I was when I first arrived in 2012.

So much has changed, and if you’ve been following my life as an expat, you know it isn’t all easy. It isn’t all pretty. But, it is all worth it.

Asia Blog Expat Life Thailand

The British panto experience

The British panto experience“He’s right behind you,” my friend writes via message.

“No,” I type back furiously. “Don’t tell me anything else. I need to be surprised.”

And, thus begins my first British panto experience.

If you asked me a month ago about this holiday cultural phenomenon, I would have stared blankly at you and then imagined that “panto” was mimes, you know, pantomiming.

Let me say this: it most certainly is not.

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Re-entry into the western world

re_entry
At night, I’ve taken to closing my eyes and imaging my teak bedroom. Waking up and wiping the sleep from my eyes, moving my legs slowly so Lucky and Penny don’t get kicked from their spots on the bed, unfolding myself from the Tesco blanket I’ve had since I moved into my house, walking and then standing at the top of the wooden stairs and looking down into my blue-tiled kitchen.

I see it all so clearly.

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The world of expats: more of what you need to know

expats need to know
So … you want to be an expat? Making the decision to leave your home country and experience another country is one which should not be an impulsive decision. After being an expat for nearly three years, there are a lot of things to consider before packing up your home life, quitting the job and booking that one-way ticket to the world of expats. In early 2014, I compiled a list of  questions to ask before becoming an expat. Consider this Version Two, packed with more information you need to mull over before booking that plane ticket.

I know most of my readers are passionate and excited, but becoming an expat isn’t a decision which should be taken lightly. It needs to be well thought out and planned (at least a little, for all you lovely non-planners like me).

Expat Life

The year of living for me

the year of living for me
Big droplets of rain pummel the tar as we sit under the cover of a metal roof, watching the late-season storm cleanse Chiang Mai. Over icy glasses of Sangsom and Coke, and boozy chat about how to not get sucked into the abyss of Chiang Mai Expat-ness, an idea is born: 2014 is going to the year I get my shit together. Like, really get my shit together.

For more than a year living as an expat in Chiang Mai, I was caught up in the tricky social scene here. Maybe one exists where you are, too. It is one where a mass of people come together, not all like each other, but all are this weird mesh of a family. Days and nights are spent together and the one thing in common everyone has is that they are all there. They are all on the Ride of Expat Life together.

It isn’t always pretty, and at least here, in the circle I have, it involves too many nights swapping tales of past moments, cheap beer and being out way past well-behaved.

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