Adventure Prep, Thailand, Travel

Moving to Chiang Mai

As you read this, I’m headed off to Thailand. Specifically, Chiang Mai.

I’ll live in Chiang Mai for the month of December, which will be the second of my four preparatory trips. Each of the trips I’m taking is designed to help get me ready for the Great Adventure that starts in May (or so) 2012.

Thailand, however, was a bit of a surprise. It’s a country I’ve always wanted to visit, but it didn’t originally fit into my plans for this winter. Then my trip for learning Spanish in Mexico City got pushed back a month, and I found myself wondering how best to fill in the time.

Part of the motivation for Thailand is leisure, plain and simple. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a proper vacation, and while the Great Adventure is going to be amazing, it’s also going to be rough. Walking and biking through risky areas, sleeping outdoors or on the floors of kind strangers—I’m going to love it, but I wouldn’t mind being fully rested before I go.

Even a rogue priest needs the occasional mojito.

However, I like to do more than just lounge when I travel. I decided to give my trip to Thailand a purpose of its own. Several, in fact. They are:

  • Meditation retreat. I don’t know anyone in Chiang Mai, and I have no obligations there. I can cloister myself and have a proper meditation retreat for the first time since spring 2010. For me that means about five or six hours of meditation per day, plus reading and taking walks outside. This one will probably last a week.
  • Learning an art. My teacher suggested that one of the best ways to visit a culture is to learn something from them that you can take with you—an art or a skill that is unique to that place. His example was Thai massage, which is a wonderful healing system. Whether I will choose that or something else, we shall see…
  • Survive on my own. When I came to Milwaukee I had many friends here. In Mexico City I’ll be staying with Cintain, a man who is like a brother to me. I cherish my friends, but I won’t always have friends on the big walk. I’ll often be on my own. Chiang Mai completely foreign to me, and I know no one. It’s a good testing ground for my awareness and ability to cope.

Those are a few of my personal goals. I also hope to increase the frequency of posts here at Rogue Priest. In the coming weeks I will get back to the discussion of the Heroic Life, delve a little deeper into my own spiritual setbacks, and develop what I want to accomplish with the Great Adventure—something a little more concrete than just “meet the gods.”

For now, I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog regularly, and double thanks if you share it on Facebook or Twitter (or any other social media). I’m a writer at heart and sharing my travels is as important to me as living them.

(Oh, and of course there will be pictures!)

Thanks for being here and, until next time, phop kan mai!

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13 thoughts on “Moving to Chiang Mai

  1. Drew
    I think it’s wonderful what you are doing. You are growing as a person only can from these world wide excursions. Peace be with you my friend.
    I follow another traveler, Colin Wright, he moves to a different country every 4 months, with only the knapsack on his back (I’ve learned a lot about minimalism from him).. his site in case you’re interested.
    http://exilelifestyle.com/about/
    His posts are as amazing as yours.
    Cheers!
    -Jeff in NYC

    • Oh, thank you Jeff and I am so glad to see you here! You were one of my first readers.

      I’m a big fan of Colin’s. He’s a great guy too, we haven’t met in person but we’ve corresponded a bit and he gave me some wonderful feedback on Walk Like a God. I’ll be honest, he was a big inspiration in getting moving on my dream and making things happen the right way. Thanks for pointing him out here, always happy to give him some link love.

  2. I have friends who did a massage course in… Chiang mai! They said it was pretty intense, took up pretty much all their time with studying, but totally worth it.

    Plus, don’t forget to rock the $1 massages every night for your own relaxation. :-)

    • Ha, I think there has been some price inflation. So many people and web sites told me you can get a meal for $1, a beer for $1, a massage for $1…. that would be about 30 baht. You can’t get anything but a cup of coffee for 30 baht. Typical massage is B120-200 (half hour or hour), typical meal B 60-120, typical beer B 50-100.

      It’s still super cheap and not a problem, but it was a little weird realizing my expenses will be roughly triple what I thought they would be :)

  3. Wow! This is so awesome. My heart leaps once again. Your friend is amazing, too. I just read his blog and I think he’s awesome. I think I have a new favorite blog/writer to follow. I can see why you guys bonded!

    Part of me is jealous, but most of me is thrilled. Just simply thrilled. But I am also sad because I do not know when I will see you or talk to you again. I am keeping my mind off this by writing.

    YET I’m insanely happy that you will be blogging more often. I’ll keep sharing and liking each of your blog posts as long as, if and when you get the chance to read this Witch’s blog, you do the same for me. Even though I cannot visit faraway lands like you are, I love to make new blog friends.

    I especially look forward to seeing more photography from you. I haven’t seen enough of your pictures.

    I have always had a special soft spot in my heart for Thailand. I had a boss who traveled there every year and brought me back jewelry and silk scarves as gifts for being such an awesome employee. For many years I was an imported gifts and clothing retail clerk, and much of what I sold was from that country. I have a lot of things in my home and wear sarongs from Thailand.

    As I write this, I am wearing a pair of tin jingle-style earrings from Thailand.

  4. Pingback: Paying In Advance: How to Prevent Jet Lag « Rogue Priest

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