Last Updated 22/09/2020

We’re loving this city in strange and unexpected ways. I’m loving the Thai environment sure, the Old City of Chiang Mai with its ancient walls, stunning temples and teak houses, the amazing Thai food and it’s abundant availability, the clear blue skies and tropical heat, but I’m loving it in more than a tourist-sort-of-way. I’m loving living here and working here.

I’m in work, at my desk in a luscious co-working space with good coffee. Chef and the boys will join me later , eat, play, work, maybe watch a movie in the huge cinema that I can see from my desk. I love that I know this co-working space is open 24hours even when the swanky shopping mall that houses it isn’t. I came in the back way, the secret way, feeling like I knew a locals-only secret at 7am. I love that this morning I hopped on a songtaw, alone, greeted the driver in Thai and paid the correct price. It’s 20 Baht/person. Most tourists get way over-charged.

I’m loving that we’ve been here a few days and know exactly where to go for lunch or dinner at under £1/plate. On our first day here we stopped at a tourist restaurant and paid a small fortune for average pad seew ( they spell it differently every time!) without the condiments that are so essential in Thailand. If you’re heading here, never eat anywhere that doesn’t have the full range of Thai condiments on every table.

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How do I know all this stuff, why is this trip so different to other times? Part of it, the food knowledge for instance, is because this is maybe my 20th trip to Thailand, I can never get enough of this country. But the new stuff, the living, working stuff, it’s because we’ve talked to people.

I’ll tell you the honest truth, we get a lot of emails from readers and bloggers asking if we’d like to meet up, I usually make excuses. My social anxiety makes my shy away from people and I like my quiet space, away from public scrutiny.I’m trying to force myself out of that.  In the last 3 days we’ve met up with 3 separate groups of people, and it was good. All were different, all were interesting, all were pretty fabulous actually. There were the Ericksons, a family of 5 with 3 very big kids, 2 small, maybe starting on a whole new path and career. Andrew and Amy of Our Big Fat Travel Adventure, digital nomads and travel bloggers, ex Londoners, sometimes teachers of English, no kids yet. Then there were the Normans, with one fantastic little girl, sellers of their old life, creators of a new one. They all filled us in on how to do it and where to do it, growing our knowledge with every sentence.

Chiang Mai Thailand
A small, fairly ordinary building in one of Chiang Mai’s temple complexes. I’m yet to go out on a real photo safari, I will, you won’t believe the stunning beauty of this place.

So, living differently, this is it, this is our life, this is my job. I never dreamed it would turn out like this, back in Port Douglas when we sold all our stuff and bought backpacks to go see the world. It’s the best thing we ever did. Being with my family, the amazing new friends we’ve made, our new outlook on life, my new career, the kids’ development into stellar young men full of ideas and enthusiasm and my husband’s ability to follow the Ironman circuit around the world. I just love it.

And that is all I wanted to say today.

Maybe see you on the road one day.

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