New Year Visions of a Thailand Wedding

I tried to sit down over the holiday break and reflect upon the year past. Between visits home to Portland, a soccer-packed summer of Timbers, Thorns, and MLS All-star matches, forays into the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula, and multiple hops to Alaska, it’s been a surprisingly busy travel year. I probably have some favorite new cafes and bookstores, hiking trails and waterfalls to share. But I am sitting here at a blank. My mind is focused forward, not back.

Right now, I am anticipating the journeys to come.

In a very short month I will once again board a plane to Bangkok. The ultimate goal is a friend’s wedding in Omkoi, for which I have already packed my Karen outfit for the ceremony, the intricate hand-woven shirt made by the bride, the skirt made by my students; treasures that have sadly been tucked away in my dusty closet. To have an occasion to wear them again is thrilling, for it means soon I will be reuniting with a far-flung community, friends of the heart and spirit.

I decided to take advantage of the 30 day visa granted at the Bangkok airport, so I will also hop around central and northern Thailand on the way to and from the wedding. It will be the height of Thailand’s tourist season, which for this vagabonder means avoided the ultra-tourist spots in favor of out-of-the-way, everyday working towns and sleepy villages (okay, sleepy by Thai standards….). From Chiang Mai I can strike out towards Phrae, Nan, Lampang, Lamphun – all worthy of tourist attention, but not overcrowded by farangs.

So forget the nostalgic look back to 2014. My 2015 journey already dances like sugarplums in my dreams, one foot out the door and time hurtling ever forward.


About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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