Day158 — From Koh Tao →Chiang Mai
That was easy.
January 10th, 2017
A horn sounded. We had already arrived? Perfect, that was pretty painless considering the sleeping circumstances. Not too shabby. I’m glad I was able to relax and fall asleep for most of the night. Of course some twists and turn, but overall, really good. Looked at my phone. 5:30AM. Maybe 7 hours of sleep?
Got up, got my bags, and put on my shoes. Walked off the boat. It was still very dark outside. I showed a man my transfer ticket and hopped on the back of a “Tuk Tuk” type of vehicle. This one was much bigger than the one I rode on in Bangkok, designed to transport 6–8 people. I didn’t know exactly where we were going, but I trusted it would all work out.
5 or so minutes later, we arrived at this travel agency/ local shop. A lady demanded we take off our shoes and come inside. She checked our tickets. Most of us were headed in different directions. Me, I was headed to the airport. I was informed of what was next. A taxi would pick me up at 7:00AM.
45 or so minutes later, a taxi picked me and one other up. The ride to the airport, 20–30 minutes. I was dozing off. Arrived. I got my boarding pass. Now I had about 7 hours in the airport to just hang out. Recently, I’ve gotten quite good at enjoying myself with such free time.
Got on Facebook and was reminded of an online event called Stories of Us, organized by “Tara” from Under30changemakers which is an online Facebook and support group. The event started just a few minutes ago. Surprised by my luck, I joined a Google Hangout and just like that I was connected to and hanging out with 3 others from the United States.
The call lasted 90 minutes and I’m really glad that I joined. It was an opportunity to learn about an event-type designed to bring people closer together and facilitate connection. Vulnerability was very much a part of the equation here. Seeing how Tara organized and lead the conversation was educational. The format pretty simple, the discussion meaningful.
Once my phone was fully charged and the online event was over I went to an airport cafe and grabbed breakfast. Eggs sandwich with bacon and a hot cappuccino. The cappunicco was really good for me at this time. Then, I started journaling. I was intentionally a few days behind. I knew I would have 7 hours at the airport, so that would be a great time for me to simply sit down and write.
Between the food, the writing, and Internet browsing the time passed fairly quickly. 2:30, time to board the plane for Chiang Mai. The flight was direct, only 2 hours. I slept for most of it. And just like that I arrived in Chiang Mai. Easy! The invention of air travel is quite spectacular.
On my way out of the airplane I bumped into two other tourists, from Canada. Kyle and Ronnie. We problem solved together to find a cheap taxi. 50 baht to head downtown. Lots of traffic. On the road, I could smell the pollution quite easily. In about 30 minutes, we were downtown. Hopped off the taxi and walked to my hostel, which had already been booked online for one night.
This place was nice. It had the essentials. Quite busy with other tourists. I settled down, dropped off my stuff, and returned to the streets of Chiang Mai to explore the surrounding area. Just a block away there was a large market. I walked around and observed the hustle and bustle. Sat down for dinner, enjoyed chicken, rice, and a watermelon smoothie. The watermelon was super fresh. I don’t think I’ve ever had a watermelon smoothie, it was delicious.
I set my intentions for this visit to Chiang Mai (which I share in my jog blog video). Cultivate Presence, learn about Buddhism. That’s it. The day before leaving for Thailand, I set the intention of developing my spiritual health. It’s something I’ve been doing a bit, but not too much. In Bangkok, the focus was Serendipia. In Koh Tao, the focus was scuba diving. In Chiang Mai, the focus is spirituality.
After dinner, and walking around the market, I returned to the hostel to get an early night’s sleep. Did a little research on Chiang Mai before dozing off. Two things were clear: I would love to visit elephants and monks. Tomorrow, I’ll explore these ideas more.
- I am grateful for Air Asia because they brought me to Chiang Mai. Air travel = amazing.
- I am grateful for the couple I bumped into after the plane ride because together we figured out a cheap way to get downtown.
- I am grateful for Chiang Mai because I’m here!