Over the past few months we’ve fallen into a routine, taken advantage of all the conveniences of having our very own place and generally made ourselves a home here in Chiang Mai.
Every morning I drink coffee without ever getting dressed and at least twice a week I step into our little kitchen to whip up a home cooked meal (ok, I know it’s sacrilegious to call instant mashed potatoes home cooked, but in this situation I’m sure you can forgive me). I’ve become a recognizable face at the fresh market where I faithfully buy from the same vendors and Adrian has adopted the sticky rice lady that dishes him up the most generous bag of sticky rice for 10 baht (.33¢) while he affectionately teases her.
The streets that once confused me, now comfort me with a familiarity that can only be realized through repetition, I feel at home. But, after hibernating through the winter (where the days still hit 90 degrees), we are rested and hedging on boredom. It’s time to go.
Up until this time, we’ve really had minimal plans. We’ve followed our whims and ended up in places we never thought we’d go and stayed longer than we ever intended to stay. It’s been a real joy to have no commitments and to move about freely but, something is changing and just like winter turns to spring, we are naturally moving into a new season.
Yesterday, I submitted my application for a Yoga Teacher Training Program in Goa, India. A big step towards something I’ve contemplating doing for several years now. Today, I received confirmation that my spot is reserved – I’m actually going to do it! That’s right, it’s on the agenda. The agenda we didn’t have until last week when we decided we wanted one (I might have even thought I needed one). Yep, we’re breaking the cardinal rule of free spirited travelers and backpackers everywhere and we’re making set plans. I’m even booking our accommodation in advance. Call me uptight. Warn me that my sense of adventure will be threatened as I am forced to conform to my own commitments, I don’t care. I’m doing it anyway. And, I’ll tell you what – We’re excited! The kind of excited that has me physically fidgeting and occasionally squealing (Adrian doesn’t fidget or squeal) because no matter how much you talk about it, think about it, dream about it or plan it, nothing ever happens until you take action and action changes everything.
And, while we were on the business of creating our future, we went ahead and penciled in the next eight months, leading up to our visit home for the holidays.
Here’s our calendar:
We leave for Cambodia on the 31st of this month, flying into Phnom Penh and traveling by local bus throughout the country, including a stop in Siem Reap to tour the Hindu temple of Angkor Wat – the worlds largest religious monument.
From there we will somehow make our way into Vietnam where we will likely spend some time in Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) before heading north. Our friends have recommended a weeklong motorcycle tour through the countryside so we definitely plan to do that as well, as it delves into the rich history and remnants of the war.
You may notice (in my excellent drawing) that we have some mountains in our near future. After much prodding, I’ve convinced Adrian to let me make a bit of a deal about his upcoming birthday (June 1st). So, we’ll be ascending to the top of the Annapurna Circuit, in Nepal, to toast the milestone amongst some of the tallest mountains in the world. I. can’t. wait.
Our time in Nepal will be followed by a 28 day visit (the max you’re allowed) to The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), a visit we are highly anticipating as this area is much less traveled than many of our previous destinations and the people are known to be extremely warm.
Somewhere around August, we will head to India and travel throughout the northern part of the country before moving south and then over to Goa, where I’ll be settling in for Yoga Teacher Training and Adrian hopes to do a little yoga of his own, perhaps a beginner’s yoga workshop.
These tentative plans don’t include a visit from my niece, Erin, the details of which have yet to be determined but will definitely be a highlight of this next chapter.
Throw in the launch of a new project that Adrian has been working on (more to come on that very soon!) and it’ll be a full few months. Before we know it, November will be here and we’ll head home for the holidays, to be with our families and squeeze all the babies that have been growing like weeds in our absence.
A sincere thank you, to everyone who has been virtually venturing along on this trip with us, we’re looking forward to what the future has in store!