I don't want to make a post all about 2016 and resolutions because like rules, they're meant to be broken. I already said no more sugar and I've managed to eat ice cream 4x since yesterday (Watch the video, it's so cool). Anyway it goes to show that when we say "don't" we "do" (or at least for me)!
I am goal oriented enough to last me 12 more life times and I have a bunch of fitness and life goals I have been working on and I will continue to do so.
Right now, I am really happy, I am content, I am at peace, I am relaxed and I am excited to live and be me. I feel empowered and I feel so much love despite how alone I have been for the past 10 days.
I dread getting on a flight tomorrow because it's long AF and because I am more than sad that this trip is ending. I am however, grateful that the experience will live within me forever. I have learned so much and grown as a person in ways that I would never be able to do in NY or in the U.S for that matter. This is why traveling is so important and I will travel with my children all the time. (I always joke that on one of these trips I will come back with a baby because honestly, that seems easier than dating).
I already can't stop thinking about where I want to go next. I actually kind of already picked a place, but I am going to marinate on that idea for a minute. I have been quiet most of the trip. My little conversing involves explaining my ethnicity, saying "No thank you" to 47 year-olds who ask to be my boyfriend or saying thank you to all the friendly Thai people. I roam the streets at night and people watch. I read in bed, text or go on my infamous IG black hole until after midnight because my internal clock is all wrong. I love the freedom to do whatever I want. I do make myself go out for dinner so I don't hermit up to much. I don't get dressed up or anything and it's been nice to be make up free. I put a lot of pressure on myself in NY and I am always so intense. I have been very chill and laid back and I don't think anyone at work would recognize my way of being right now. lol. I have done little work which isn't great, but I'll catch up.
I have been busy. I wake up, eat breakfast, workout, eat another breakfast, get ready and walk around or go to the beach. I get massages and each lunch between 12-3 because it's unbearably hot even with the ocean to cool me off. Like I said, very busy! lol.
On this trip, I nailed my headstand. I stumbled on this move in my apartment just a few weeks ago while trying to practice handstands. lol. I was knocking over all the stuffs and needed something a little more zen for my tiny apartment. I'm proud of it (hints my million posts about it). This trip has been life changing, eye opening and exactly what I needed. I almost can't believe I did it and lived it. Thailand was a place I said I wanted to go to, but wasn't sure how or when. I'm proud of making it happen.
I miss some people and I guess I miss my routine in NY. I do miss my CF workouts. I have LOVED the personal training sessions here because I have never had that. I will miss Jibby and all of the ass kicking. She makes me feel out of shape in a good way because it pushes me harder. Realizing I will never be "done" with my body relieved a lot of stress! I can always be stronger, faster and more flexible! This is my first vacation where I worked out. I usually go straight cat mode and turn into a lazy blob, but working out makes me happy so why wouldn't I do that on my vacation?!
I recommend traveling alone just once. I think it's like being single just once. You don't have to, and you can certainly live life without that experience, but it's something you learn from. You gain a perspective that is neither right or wrong or good or bad, it's simply a learning and growing opportunity to find who you are. It's scary AF and some people will fight me forever on it However, like the quote says, "Travel brings power and love back into your life." I think it means that when you feel alone and defeated putting yourself out there makes you realize how full life really is. It's amazing how strong we are and how when we are put outside our comfort zone, how much things change and how we become who we are meant to be.
Much love from across the world!
It's New Years Eve! I am so happy I am in Thailand having a low key no expectation NYE dinner with live music and an early bed time. Sure, I'd love the company, but I am totally content and at peace with my singleness!
Thailand is really wonderful. It's beautiful, it's lively and it's everything I wanted to experience. It is truly an adventure and I am taking everything in with a smile. Perhaps, getting sick two nights ago could have been skipped, but even that was an experience. I was making bargains with God (I am agnostic), and by that I mean I was begging for my life back because I thought it was over. lol. #dramamama #fevertalking
I blame it on that excursion and the food and the fact that Thai people don't wash their hands (that includes those who prepare food)!! I took matters in my own hands and cancelled the tour to Phi Phi Islands that AmEx had booked, and booked my own. I did the most expensive speed boat tour and it was worth every dollar! (It was still so inexpensive).
They picked me up on time and we checked in at the Royal Marina which was lovely and I discovered this amazing Thai cookie that I am going to hunt for and bring back. I was on Siam Adventures newest boat, 777, that went 40 knots for an hour to the most beautiful Islands I have seen so far (I'm just beginning my traveling life).
I sat in the front of the boat (of course) and was told it was the bumpiest part of the boat and it might be a little scary. I was sold! I sat with a family from London that was super sweet and took me under their wing. Traveling alone is interesting because most people seem shocked and intrigued at the same time. I often wonder if people feel sorry for me or if they think it's a great thing. It doesn't mater, I'm doing my thing. The topic is a great ice breaker and it's really fun to learn what other people do and how they live their life. You get to be intimate with people for a short amount of time and move on. No strings attached. Just like my dating life. JK!!! I like learning about new people and it's neat because in thinking about the family I want to create, I get to see traditions and values in other families to take into consideration when I am ready. If anything, seeing families travel and experiencing things together, makes me long for that connection even more. If my parents were beach people I'd enjoy doing this with them as well! I just mean, I want to create my own traditions and way of life too.
One of the crew members, Bella, befriended me and she was the sweetest! She was just a baby at 22 and I felt old when she was like, "Oh my big sister is also 29." Hahaha. She told me she liked my impression (I assumed she meant my energy, vibe, way of being) and she liked that I was adventurous, loved to travel and have fun. Super sweet!!
Phi Phi is so awesome and there are a lot of little islands that take part in the name! The sand, the water, the vibe, the happiness in the air was absolutely refreshing. No one was in a bad mood or stressed out. Nobody was rushing to get somewhere. It was leisure at it's best. The people watching was entertaining as I walked around the beach where "The Beach was filmed. THANK YOU for that film because Leo is hot AF and it's pretty much what opened up the tourism flood gate for Thailand.
I'm going to let the photos take over from here. I'll have my annual New Years post coming soon! Much love from paradise.
I had just finished snorkeling. There are little fish that bite my skin and sting when I swim! I noticed it yesterday too and I was thinking, "Is this what a Jelly fish sting is like?" haha. I was informed today that there are tiny fish you cannot see that bite the skin. ROAR!!! Anyways because of this I only snorkeled for a little bit. I also get a little anxiety if I am out there for a long time. Saw a lot of blue and yellow Nemo's!
I want to be clear that my entire day was uncomfortable and I want to say I wish it didn't happen, but I think it was an experience and an eye opener and without it, I wouldn't be the same.
I have a stomach ache and a cough and my gastro situation is a situation! Everyone I talk to is going through the same thing. It's the food, the traveling, probably the fact I keep brushing my teeth with the sink water. I was told that was okay, but it's not and that 29 year habit is IMPOSSIBLE to break.
I had the Khao Sok rainforest, elephant visit and canoe excursion booked (something that had been arranged months ago) and I thought I was doing something completely different than what I actually ended up doing. I thought I was seeing a battle ship washed ashore from the tsunami, seeing elephants and then canoeing on a lake. Instead I went to a monkey camp, saw elephants and canoed on a creek. Looking at the itinerary now, and I was definitely on the wrong one! FML. American Express you're awesome and I still love you, but you failed me!
I was "collected" early in the morning in a big van and I've been car sick since (Plus the driver was crazy and we were flying down the highway making crazy fast turns and played chicken with cars in the opposite lane as he was passing people our lane)! I rode with a group, all super great and sweet, for an hour to a monkey camp which was more traumatic than cool because of the bathrooms (Of course that's what I am going to remember!)
This was my first taste of third world. There was no toilet paper and the toilets were just not (see photo). I can't squat because of my hips and I walked in and out of that bathroom 10x before I decided I couldn't do it. A lady handed me a tissue (literally one), but I really needed an entire box. There was piss everywhere on the floor and on the seats, it was just a disaster. The stalls were those accordion like doors and I just couldn't handle it. I am already a complete princess when it comes to bathroom hygiene.
I walked around and saw one monkey that had a huge gash in it's back and I felt like I needed to go home. I walked over to the Buddhist temple and took some photo's, but the urge to pee was haunting me. I kept walking around and found another restroom sign and this time there were toilets. However, they were messy and I was so grossed out. I have a million wrinkles on my face now from all the scrunching today! Icing on the cake? No soap. NO SOAP. Running water, but no soap. SOBS. I wasn't the same person from that point on.
I grabbed a fresh coconut to pacify my urge to cry and got back in the van to endure another hour of nausea to the elephant camp. We stopped to take a photo that overlooked the rainforest and that was pretty.
When we arrived at the elephant camp, I was sick when I saw the seats on their backs and although I was fascinated to meet them, I never wanted it to be this way! I found the tour guide and told him that I wasn't comfortable riding them after I saw the tool they used to prod the elephants. Talk about scarred for life.
He asked me why? I tried to explain that I didn't agree with how they were treated. He stands up and tells me to follow him. I spend a few minutes trying to act out "abuse," as he didn't understand what that word meant, I had to pretend to poke, punch, whip.... he finally got the point.
I said, "I thought this was a buddhist country."
He asked, "Ohhh, are you Buddhist?"
I said, "No, Yes, A little bit. I believe in that peaceful mentality."
He said, " The animals are very smart and sometimes they don't want to listen, so we have to use other techniques."
I said, "I don't agree with that!"
He nodded and said, "I understand."
We turned a corner and there sat an unchained elephant in muddy water surrounded by giggling girls with buckets. The guy asked, "Is this better?"
I said, "No, but thank you." lol.
The elephant (a female) had a red rope around her neck (detached from anything), but had nothing else on her body. Her "trainer" whatever you call these people, was close by assisting in keeping her skin wet. I knew this was as good as I was going to get at this place so I leaned in and decided to take a bath with an elephant. I took off my shorts and climbed in the muddy water without thinking. I normally would have stared at that for a minute before making an executive decision. I was handed a brush and a bucket and I started petting, washing and talking to the sweet 25 year old 2,000 ton beast. She was magnificent and beautiful and had the saddest look in her eyes. It broke my heart. Chang Mai is where the elephant refugee camps are and I wish I had booked a few days in the north of Thailand to hang out with those recovering.
It was emotional. I sat and waited for my group to finish their trek and I thought a lot. I talked with the New Zealand girls about it and we were all on the same page. It's an ethical dilemma and it put me in a deeper funk. It's not okay to prod and poke and put the living fear in these animals. Elephants are smart, one of the smartest animals on the planet. We should worship them not ride them through a rainforest for 30 minutes!
Sigh. After that we drove to a restaurant for an authentic Thai lunch. Canoeing was to follow. The lunch was scary AF and if I didn't already have something from the food here, I definitely do now! Ugh. The site was actually cool and they had a mini zip line and scary bathrooms with no TP or soap by the sink to wash hands. The germs in that place... OMFG.
After everyone zip-lined we drove to the creek to begin the canoeing. I was partnered with an 18-year-old from Portugal because he was with his parents and everything was in pairs, so by default we were teamed up. He was super sweet and nice and wanted to travel the world. I couldn't believe he was only 18, as he seemed much older. His mom was super sweet and told me I had a bed anytime I wanted to visit! He spoke four languages! Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. They spoke french to each other and I was mesmerized by the language. I am going to learn Spanish. That is my next educational goal! I want my "kids" to be fluent in at least two languages and I need to be an example!
We had a guide who did the canoeing part for us so I got to chat with Mauro about school, music, life, traveling, etc. Oh to be 18 again! Actually, no thank you. lol. It was late by the time we got back on the road and I had to pass out to keep from throwing up. I woke up to everyone screaming in the van several times because of the Chicken game our driver liked to play. SO SCARY. Our tour guide (a different one at this point) was a joke. He literally got out of the van before we had been dropped off to go home and said, "Bye Bye" and disappeared. We were in the hands of a crazy driver who didn't speak English! I couldn't wait to get home and shower as I felt like so filthy. I was dirty from the elephant bath and this guy beside me in the van didn't believe in deodorant apparently and I had to endure two hours of his body odor. I get really mad when people don't wear it. Who cares if causes cancer- don't be smelly! It's almost 2016, spend $2.00 and save yourself!
Anyway... it was a very interesting day and it was not my favorite, so maybe I can't live here. I guess I am staying in a nicer more developed area as I haven't seen a bathroom situation like that in any of the places I have been. On the ride back, we stopped at a gas station for a pit stop and next door (to the gas station) was a house/palace that had a Bentley and a Porsche in it's pristine garage. Thailand is crazy! The bathrooms at this gas station were the same situation from earlier in the day. I got creative though, and this time I purchased a cup for 14 baht. LoL. I clearly couldn't survive in the wild. Sorry for TMI's, just keeping it real because this shit happens when you travel to a foreign country!
Much love from girl whose belly is swollen from the Thai life. I'm going to go ahead and make my doctors appointment now. My american body cannot handle this!
Vacation is supposed to be about loosing track of time and letting go. I've done both. I am super confused on what day it is. I feel like I've been here for weeks and I feel like I have a lot of time left, which is fantastic.
Today was simple. I worked out this morning and Jibby kicked my ass with shoulder presses and a tabata circuit that involved the battle ropes- my weakest movement. I ate breakFEAST, walked to the beach, walked around, laid by the pool, got ready and went back into Kata and got a Thai massage. Tried a new place, and got a transgender who was WAYYY to strong for me. I kept asking her to lighten up and she would laugh. She said, "I'm so strong," (No shit!) and would proceed to giggle when I winced. It just didn't feel right when she stood on my hamstrings (which are so sore). A man (or once what was, should never stand on my hamstrings. EVER!), I'm actually getting mad thinking about it. haha.
Overall, a very relaxing good day. The sun is exhausting and depleted me. and after every meal I was in Buddha food coma mode. Tomorrow is my first excursion, which I feel a little hesitant to go on, but I am going to go anyway and try not to have expectations or pre-judgements. We'll see how it goes.
Mosquitos have found me and are feasting on me. Gulp.
Letting the pictures wrap up this post. I don't have a lot to say otherwise. I am pretty quiet and in my head today. :) Much love from paradise. XO
I've worked so hard to get to this place. Crossfit really did change everything... it shifted me, my energy, my perception, and when I think about where I was in September compared to now, I get goosebumps. Not because of the workout per se, but how scared I was of trying it and how now, I can't imagine my life without it. Thanks Brick! (Click photo for their website).
I woke up this morning from a deep sleep. I wanted to close my eyes and fall back into my coma, but I have the habit of looking at my phone first thing. Whether it's a text, a missed call, an email, a funny Instagram post, something usually jump starts my heart and this morning was no exception.
I happened to wake up 20 minutes before the sunrise and I was told I'd regret not going to see it. That got me. #NoRegrets. I crawled out of bed and walked down the hill to the beach. There were maybe 10 people within eye sight. The sunrise on the west side isn't really the best view, but it was still lovely. I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to film my headstand that I had been working on so I got creative with my Havaianas and my cover up. #selfiepro
After climbing the crazy hill back to the hotel, I went to enjoy the best breakfast spread I have come across in a long time. I enjoy eating a variety of things, because I like to have lots of options. I was able to enjoy pancakes, an egg white omelette, bacon, chicken, fried rice, yogurt, fruit, pastries, a salad... Okay, this is getting embarrassing. I only ate a nibble of each thing, but I am pretty sure the restaurant staff thinks I have a problem. And they'd be right. #FoodObsessed
I had the Saturday goal to ride in the long boats, but my Aunt planted a tiger seed in my head and then I couldn't stop thinking about it. That's the beauty of traveling alone. Want to do something? No problem! Just do it. I had a personal training session at the local Crossfit gym at 11, and I talked my driver into waiting for me and then taking me into Patong for the Tiger Kingdom (it's exactly this).
Jibby is going to be training me for the next week and she's the sweetest! I loved her and felt safe with her. I could never work with a personal trainer in the city because it's so unaffordable and I prefer classes so I can make friends. But here, it's justifiable because it's my vacation and working out is my lifestyle vacation or not. I wanted to work with someone who could help me get past my mental block and push me. She killed me and I booked her for the week. #SweatFactor
Thai people are so sweet, warm and friendly. It's awesome! For instance, I noticed when the driver pulled over to ask his friend for directions, that his friend grabbed his arm and was almost massaging it while they talked, which writing this sounds weird, but witnessing it, it was endearing. The driver explained that they were friends at their previous job and I didn't get the gay vibe. I think they were just close friends. Men being warm and loving is a foreign language to me and I am fascinated by it.
Anyway, Jibby had me work on my back squats and I reached a max and felt good about it (don't tell my PT I was doing squats- shh)! The gym was really nice. It was more crossfit box like, but also had more toys and space. It was cool! I really liked the area in general too. There were lots of gyms, healthy food spots and it seemed younger, fresher, more local, less tourists (or tourists like me who like to pretend to not be).
After my session, she drove me on the bike to a place so I could grab some food. I am really struggling with the Thai Baht conversion. I hand over bills that say 500, 1000, 100... and it feels worse than it is. Perspective, airport food was $325 THB which was a little less than $10 USD. My dinner entree tonight was $70 THB, which is what... Like $2.00? What I ate tonight would have cost me $30 in NY and here it cost $9.50 with a tip. Plus, I had dessert. #Don'tJudge
After training, I got dropped off at Tiger Kingdom and picked my tigers! I chose to do the small and the big ones because its the only way they'd let me pay with a CC. lol. I don't know if I was supposed to be scared, but I had no fear what so ever. I'm a lion! (aka a leo) and Lions can kill Tigers... right? (Nobody's killing anybody, relax).
It was a super cool experience and I loved the babies. Feeding them was fun and the workers were so cute with them. I asked what kind of milk was in the bottle and the guy told me chicken milk. Does that make sense? Milk with chicken juice? Do chickens milk? WTF. Google gives me chicken in milk recipes and I don't care enough to research it, but seriously, I am confused. #LostInTranslation
I get back to the hotel, eat my body weight in Pad Thai and then head to the pool to get a little sun. I haven't had the opportunity to roast up, so that's my tomorrow goal. It was technically 3 a.m. (NY time) and I passed out by the pool and woke up as the sun was setting. lol. That's why I can't fall asleep right now.
I showered and decided to venture out in Kata and to find a massage place. They are actually everywhere and I had no idea how to go about choosing one, so I just kind of walked around until someone looked friendly and handed me a price sheet. Thai massages are around $8-9 USD for 60 minutes. That's insane. I paid $45 at my hotel and thought I was getting a good deal! She crawled all over me and bent me in weird ways and it was... awesome! lol. I got nervous because I have this hip problem and my shoulder has been messed up (No, folks not CF related), but she was intuitive and it felt great, At one point she was standing on my hamstrings and another time she was knee walking up my back. I am "strong-ish" for my size, but another person walking on me is kind of nuts!
Afterwards I got talked into walking into a store where I spent an hour talking carpets with Amir! lol. He was really nice and the carpets were beautiful and sooooo inexpensive. At ABC these would be $8,000 plus and here he was offering me one for $2650... I can't do it, but I fell in love with the design and the story behind these magic carpets.
I walked around to some shops and found a great swimsuit and then picked a place for dinner and ate for $9.50! It was a pretty awesome spontaneous day.
Tomorrow I train at 9:00 and then I will attempt the long boats and perhaps walk over to Karon beach. I drove past that area today and it seemed a little more me, and there seemed to be more young people so maybe I can make some friends. The beach is tough because I don't have anyone to watch my things when I want to go swimming and I can't not take money or my phone with me and I don't want anyone to take them. I'll figure it out. I just remembered that I need to drink Thai tea's or coffees so that's my sleep motivation. I'm always thinking about about ways I can consume something. haha.
My anxiety has subsided and I even though it's day two, I feel way more comfortable, confident and content. Until the next adventure...
Much love from this beautiful place! XO
I did it. I came to Thailand. It was one of the top three places I wanted to travel to when I committed to visiting a country a year. I did Costa Rica last year, Thailand this year, and perhaps I'll be able to cross off number three for the big three-zero (FML) in 2016. I wasn't sure I was going to survive that long flight as I actually passed out on someone while waiting in line for the bathroom, but I made it (I got sick on one of the legs and just could not!)
I chose Christmas time not because I hate my family, I actually had a little FOMO, but because it worked out with timing. I didn't want to endure another NY New Years (They've been so weird every year I've been in NY) and at the time I booked this trip, I wanted to shift my energy because I needed to. The beach, the sun, good food, nice people, warm weather, that is my kind of drug.
I came on my own, not because I am a bad ass, but because no one else was interested in the commitment. I have an app for this situation, but I guess I secretly was okay with doing this alone. I spend a lot of time by myself and I don't prefer it, but I don't hate it. I've learned that quality is so much more important than quantity and I'd take a vacation solo over feeling like I couldn't be me fully any day with a group of people.
Who I am alone, is who I am with very few people in my life. The goal is to be comfortable enough to just be that way no matter who I am with or what situation I am in. Not that I'm fake, I am just guarded... all the time. It's nice to be around those who I can let my guard down with and laugh and be silly with.
It's not that I prefer to travel alone either. It's just worked out this way. Let's be honest, if I waited around for every person who said they'd go with me, I'd be waiting my entire life. It's a big deal to travel with someone and even though I'd love to be in this beautiful place with "the love of my life" or a good friend, it wasn't in the cards. Plus, I don't hold back or wait around when it comes to adventures (other realms of my life, sure... but I take this one seriously). I also looked around at dinner tonight and everyone who was with their significant other, were each on their phones having zero conversations with each other. It's so weird!!!
Traveling is important to me for a couple of reasons. I finally learned how to not be a stress case when traveling and I have lightened up about everything I used to take awkwardly seriously. Life has been so much more fun with this mentality and traveling is purely enjoyable now. I pack last minute, I figure it out as I go and my opportunity to not be a planner when I feel like I plan for a living is AMAZING. It's a break, a real vacation, an escape from reality and it is so refreshing. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and I don't have to base my schedule off of someone else's. I can eat without judgements, I can sleep and not feel bad about it, and I can be silent and read and listen to music and melt away in the scenery.
Traveling is an experience, or multiple experiences and those things are what change us and shape us. I am going to be a different person when I come back, in a totally subtle way. I will have learned something, I will have grown a little more and developed and that's pretty cool. I'll probably have a different perspective, hopefully a crazy story or two and photos galore that will secure all the memories I make.
Here's to Thailand... Buddha land (probably where I belong). :)