Wat Hidden Gem: Exploring Chiang Mai, Thailand

The best experiences are those that are dream like. 
Tink-tink. Tink-tink. The wind chimes almost sounded like they were dancing in the air. The wind and grey, shapely clouds added to the moody mystique. Earlier in the day, while taking in the sights within city walls, I was stranded under a canopy on Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan grounds. It did not start raining. No, not at all. This could not be called rain. Resigned to the fact that I was stuck for a little while, I sat on the ground and stared at what was rapidly becoming a moat around the stupa.
My plight was fodder for entertainment for the 29 monks sat on benches beneath the other canopy across the river of rain water. My status included no rain jacket, no umbrella, and electronics in each hand. Yes... I had arrived prepared.

Angry Clouds Above Wat Chedi Luang Woriwihan

Accomplishment Check: SabbaticaLIST 30/30

Here we go. Nothing like holding yourself accountable, right? You have the ability to be your best critic. Why let that ability go to waste?

The comfort zone is a scary place to me. The spot outside of the comfort zone is where the learning and good stuff happens. Inside your comfort zone, you already know everything and everyone. Not a whole lot of shock and awe going on there. No shock, no awe   > no learning, no growing.

If I do say so myself, I'm pretty good at existing just outside the comfort zone. Though it turns out, doing things that are uncomfortable for most people, like have no itinerary when travelling or attempting to hike up a cliff as an acrophobic, are now neutral experiences, at best, for me. So, I've adjusted a few. Here's how I've done so far, as the list itself is still a work in progress:

Juxtapositions of Yangon, Myanmar

Walking through time in Myanmar.

Right off the plane, it was trip back through time. We are in the 1950s and we are in a country called Myanmar. Except, in 1950, we call it Burma because that's what the occupying country could pronounce.
(Myanmar is too confusing to say and spell.)


What's In A Bag? Medicine & Toiletries Packing

Peeking into my medicine and toiletry bags. 
There have been a few questions regarding the medicine cabinet and toiletries bag that I bring along. From my last blog post, you’ll notice that baby powder is one of my essential items. What else is there? I’m an anti-hypochondriac, which means I don’t pack nearly as many drug items as I would pack shoes or clothes … or electronics.

For meds, you can likely get what you need in the country you’re visiting and, for Americans, much more easily and cheaply. Conversely, the US has one of the best and cheapest electronic markets in the world. Trust me, you do not want to be buying a new digital camera in Chile or Argentina. This I know from experience.

Pretty, Shiny Toiletries Bag

Minimalist Packing for Morocco + 5 Favorite Travel Items

The challenge was to travel with only a backpack. No, not the ‘big’ 45Liter backpack that I had around the world. The smaller one. How did I manage? Let’s see.

I bought this Under Armour backpack on a total whim. You might recall one of my earlier posts (if not, here it is :]) that it was a mere 3 hours before we were due to depart from JFK and we were still faffing about in my friend’s apartment. I needed a smaller daypack at least carry my brand-spanking-new laptop. Anything that wouldn’t crush it in the big backpack. Off to Modell’s. No luck. Absolute fail. Upstairs is a discount chain store (I can’t remember exactly which one it was) and I spot the Under Armour for a super bargain $40 price. Steal!