Time for a little pep talk from Sheryl Sandberg #leanin #womenstuff #werkbitch #inspired
Current obsession: shaved Brussels sprouts and shaved cauliflower; roasted or raw. Dusting off the ol mandolin! #inthekitchen #fall #noms #cooking
Hypothetically speaking, if a girl - let's just call her Lauren - loved food and thought about it a majority of the day, would that be weird?
A final post to wrap up my #ThaiVenture. I’m home now, my jet lag has ceased to exist, I even feel that out of nostalgia I could stomach eating Thai food again (almost). While it was the trip of a lifetime, the next trip will be as well. Every trip adds more to your life, the experiences, the adventure, even the non adventure. The journey is as great as the destination, right? This has only wet my appetite for more.
I will say this though - my smile will never be the same. To see bus drivers, hotel housekeepers and street vendors - jobs that in America are filled with disgruntled frowns - are ear to ear smiles there. These are truly happy people and for no reason at all, because I’m certain that I have more to be happy for in life. So I’m going to make sure I smile everyday, everywhere because if they can, I can.
Special shout out to Gadventures.com - my experience would be nothing without their incredible itinerary and amazing tour guide.
ThaiVenture, over and out!
I’m officially in the jungle now! Today floating down the Mekong River, I stared at the soft perfect clouds with sharp rays of light bursting through and a bit of sunset pink in the fading light blue sky. Lush jungle green trees in the background. I just kept staring because I know my eyes won’t see this for a long time, forever possibly. I’m in the Golden Triangle where you literally see the corners of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. We crossed over to Laos but mainly just for the passport stamp, there wasn’t much there.
More food related, we’re finally in proper lemongrass and coconut country! Which also means tom ka gai on the menu, my favorite soup when I’m sick or just needing a little tlc. It was a blissfully familiar flavor to have, though not exactly as I’m used to at home - not as much creamy coconut flavor. None the less, it was an important milestone for the trip.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached the moment in the trip where you’re utterly sick of the limited food selection. Pad thai, green curry, red curry, tom ka gai, and worst of all, the two fried eggs and toast we get every. single. damn. morning.
Here’s another elephant pic though, just cos.
My spirit animal is an elephant. Or in a past life I was an elephant. Either way, I’m obsessed with their smile, their giant saggy bottoms, and curious trunk. Today in Lampang I was surrounded by one hundred of them. Ones that we fed, that we rode, that put on a show for us, one that I played catch with! Sick ones in the elephant hospital, most of which were victims to accidentally stepping on land mines blowing their feet off. It was sad, but it’s great that there are facilities like the one we went to.
And then of course there’s the nursery. Nine month to four year old bundles of joy. The countries current project is to return elephants to the jungle, which means giving them less aid so they can easily survive in the wile. After decades with humans, they just wouldn’t survive…because an elephant never forgets!! I’m going to stop writing now because no one is here to read, just more pics!
Adventures in Thai massage begin with walking into someone’s living room in a strip mall in Lampang. One guide book has said that this is a bit of a retirement community. It’s well kept, many people have cute little lap dogs, it’s definitely affluent but I’m not quite sure what we’re doing here. The food is average - pictured is Tom Yum soup and the regional pork curry.
We’re making our way north so I can only assume we are in an awkward middle zone. All I can think about is waking up and getting to the Elephants!!
Here’s how my life was changed in Sukhothai. I bicycled through thousand year old ancient ruins. My eyes will never be the same. It was such beauty and history, something much bigger than me. One of the temples was built for the elders that still practiced Hinduism and also for the new [to Thailand] Buddhists, so that whatever religion one practiced could be under one roof without judgement.
My taste will never be the same. One of my favorite meals of all time is the jerk chicken I had under a hut on the side of the road in Jamaica. Now taking its place was the pad thai cooked for me by three of the sweetest smiles in all of Thailand, also in a hut on the side of the road.
My guts will never be the same. Not just because of the lower level accommodations on this trip that I’m not quite used to, but also I actually ate a cricket, proving that I truly will eat just about everything. At first I ran from the steaming pile of bugs, but sure enough my ego came around and I asked, “can I eat that?”
The woman cooking our lunch today, who also lived in that very hut, said in perfect English and a beaming smile, “see you next time when you come back to Sukhothai, and come back to eat here!” Yes ma’am, you will.
When I die, this will be my shrine. Countdown to real elephants: 36 hours. I might not be able to sleep. #omgelephants #justthetrunk #thaiventure #sukhothai (at Sukhothai Historical Park (Wat Tapangthong))
Today: straight up ridiculous. Seeing temples and statues like these, along with 12 new friends from around the world is something I couldn’t even visualize. As long as this country keeps smiling, so am I. #Bangkok #Buddha #thaiventure #landofsmiles
It’s the point in the trip that I ask myself “what the hell are you doing on the other side of the world?” It’s Thursday night back home, one of my favorite nights to be out with friends. I suppose it’s a good thing that in some way I’d rather be there. It means I really love my life at home. Or at least my shell of a life - unemployed and apartment subletting with only a fraction of my possessions.
So why am I here in Bangkok? To be challenged, to experience something new I suppose. It’s pretty much just shopping and snacking in markets but it is light years away from bar hopping in the Marina, that’s for sure. The true adventure begins tonight when I meet my group and am guided into the real Thailand.
Fear begets fear, so I write these words to shake myself of the dooming words that repeat over and over in my head “you’re on the other side of the world. Other. Side. Of WORLD!” Be gone fears, its time to eat!
My first bite in Thailand: green papaya salad, made to order right in front of me, and it is perfection. The quintessential dish of salty, sweet, sour and spice. #thaiventure #myfirstbite #nom #thailand #travel (at Central Food Hall (เซ็นทรัล ฟู้ด ฮอลล์))
Your first moment in Asia ever - a layover in Taipei - what do you do? Order the strangest thing possible. Red beans with taro over shaved ice, mango juice and a pork bun for good measure. Yeah, those are sprinkles. Oh, and it’s six am. The main dish was utterly in edible but I’ll remember it forever.
So I’m 30 now. I’m not sure if I realized this when I turned 20, but it truly is a fresh start. A new decade. A decade that feels like I’ve got a head start. I’m not in school, I’m eons away from childhood, I think that I’ve figured out quite a bit about life. So now with this knowledge, I can just get straight to enjoying and [try to] dodge the struggle. It was the stroke of midnight at my birthday party here that I took a deep freeing breath and really felt the next chapter begin. Dance like nobody’s watching. Best birthday ever! #mantra #breuday #thisis30 (at Hi Fi Lounge)