Thailand…Oh How I Love Thee!

Assalam Alaikum!

Someone once said, “The destination of a thousand miles begins with the first step…” I cannot recall who stated this quote, but it truly resonates with me and the journey I have decided to embark upon–my journey to HappYness.

Toward the end of December 2013, when you could see 2014 making its way onto the horizon, the wheels in my head began to turn, as it always does. After some thought, I realized that I am not fully and wholeheartedly living life as best and grand as I should. So, I started to think about what I truly wanted and desired in this life and ways to fill the void that distanced me from my truest self. Thus initiating my journey of renewal and revitalization.

This new sense of purpose and direction partly or mostly resulted from enduring some of the most faith-bending, soul-wrenching, and purpose yielding experiences of my life. Finally realizing that some of these pitfalls in my life weren’t totally as a result of my own self-annihilation/sabotage, I made the conscious decision to strive for and shape my own reality. Too often did I exert energy to accommodate and appease other people that I often forgot about ME. Part of this renewal was to first take responsibility for and ownership of my own happYness.  Being in a state of misery and discontentment is not ideal, especially when living OR striving to live a fulfilled and purpose-driven life is the goal. As a result, after my trip to Kenya in December 2013, I realized that traveling on my own gave me the freedom I so earnestly desired and provided me with opportunities to dig deep within the depths of myself and thereby identify who Pita-Gay TRULY was/is and what is it she truly desired.  After spending some time in Kenya, having the opportunity to fellowship with and form bonds with people I have never met before, and in a country I’ve never traveled to before, I decided that solo travel was the best thing since sliced bread. 😀

With this new sense of urgency to become the captain and crew of my own HappYness ship, I started to research places to visit for my Spring vacation. Thailand and subsequently Cambodia became my choices. Of course, when it comes to my life, the road I travel on is barely smooth; there are always potholes and dead ends. I fell into my very own pothole when I missed my flight due to being stuck in Dubai’s horrendous traffic. Luckily, I was able to be rebooked on another flight, but WAIT…. There’s more. After rebooking my missed flight and then finally on the line for immigration, I met another dead end– detained in Dubai 3 days. I won’t even elaborate on what happened, because it’s just too much. After not being able to fly out until 3 days after my intended departure, I was finally on my way to Thailand. At that moment, I refused to allow yet another one of life’s antics to get in the way of MY happYness…THAILAND would not get away from me that easily. 😀

My time in Thailand was nothing less than amazing. Thailand is a beautiful, vibrant, welcoming, and delicious (YES, DELICIOUS) country located in Southeast Asia.

I landed in Bangkok and made my way to the Saphaipae Hostel (http://www.saphaipae.com) located in the center of the city. It was clean, the staff was amazing, and the location was ideal.

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Hostel

While in Bangkok, I visited the Siam Center, Siam Paragon, walked around China town, ate street food, explored the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, took a ferry along the Chao Phraya and CROSSED THE STREET. I place emphasis on crossing the street, because it’s no easy feat. Cars, motor-bikes, Tuk-tuks, and trucks are coming from every which directions. I adopted the strategy of waiting for a local to cross and then cross with them.

Siam Center & Siam Paragon
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People watching at the Siam Center

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Chinatown

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The Grand Palace was absolutely AMAZING! You cannot help but to be impressed and in awe of it’s beauty and splendor. Whenever I travel, I am simply amazed by humans, their creativity, innovation, and inventiveness. The architecture of the Grand Palace is nothing short of spectacular. If visiting Thailand, it is a definite ‘MUST-SEE’ attraction.

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Golden Pagoda

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A beautiful soul replacing food at an alter.
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Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).
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Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho

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After visiting the Grand Palace, I took the ferry to check out the Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). I climbed the very steep steps to the top, which allowed me to see a beautiful view of the city of Bangkok. Those steps were no joke. It wasn’t too bad to climb, but going down was a little scary. Wat Arun is also a great place to see the sunset. Because of time constraints, I was not able to stay to see the sunset, but if you ever visit and you have the time, you should check it out.

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Wat Arun
View of Bangkok from Wat Arun.

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Bangkok was fun, but now it was time to visit another part of Thailand. Now, I was on my way to Chiang Mai, a northern province of Thailand. I did not make any plans in advance, because figuring things out as I went on my solo adventure was part of the package. The night before I left, I spoke with one of the staff members at my hostel and I made plans to take the night bus the following day. The bus left around 8pm the next night and arrived around 5am the following morning. The ride wasn’t too bad, but I would probably do a sleeper train the next time around.

While in Chiang Mai, I visited the What Phra That Doi Suthep temple, visited the Tiger Kingdom, went zip-lining in the forest, and went to a Muay Thai tournament. It was AWESOMESAUCE!

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What Phra That Doi Suthep temple
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Beautiful young ladies performing a traditional dance at the temple.

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Tiger Kingdom

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Putting on a brave face while petting the tiger at the Tiger Kingdom.

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I’m a little dare-devil, so of course I decided to zip-line while in Chiang Mai. I have always wanted to do it and since this trip was one of renewal and embarking upon all things ‘ME,” it was only right. At first, it was a bit scary, but after you do the first and second level, you feel like you’re a pro, at least I did.

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I believe I can fly!
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This is what “HappY” looks like!
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He tried it! lol

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With all the traveling, playing with tigers, seeing Muay Thai fights, and zip-lining/flying through a jungle, I was beat and needed some R&R. So, I took a flight to Phuket. In Phuket, I stayed near Patong Beach, walked around Bangla Road aka Hedonism Central, and took a boat tour to Phi Phi Island. I wish I had more time on Phi Phi Island. The tour was fast and there wasn’t enough time to fully enjoy the island. The next time I visit, I will probably hire a private boat and take my time. Although my time was short, the island was simply breathtaking.

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Phi Phi Island

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My journey to “happY” is still underway, but I had an amazing time in Thailand. I learned a great deal about myself, I met incredible people, saw and did amazing things, and had a TERRIFIC time. I am in a better place as a result of it all. Thank God for allowing me to see the wonders of this beautiful earth and giving me the health, strength, and resourcefulness to do it on my own.

This is all I can remember from my time in Thailand because I went in April. So, until next time, stay blessed and get some stamps in your passport. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and reading this entry. I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Masalama! ❤

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nelly, this was BEYOND DOPE! I smiled (and laughed too, you’re a funny writer) the entire way through this post. Reading about your experiences and seeing your awesome pictures excited me even more. I am going to keep your blog in mind when I get to Thailand in 17 days. I look forward to reading about more of your travels. Get to it! I want to hear about Amsterdam, Sri Lanka, Greece, Italy, and Turkey!

    1. Awww! Thank you!!! You will have an amazing time!!! Yes, I need to do better will posting immediately after my trips. I will definitely get on the ball about Sri Lanka, Greece, etc.

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