Building Blocks of a New Little Life

9:06 AM

Helmets: one of life's new necessities

My sister in law sent us an email with some sweet questions about our new home that were fun to reflect on... here they are along with some additional questions I've gotten from a few friends:

1. What is weather like during this time of year? What is weather like in other seasons?

Tory: Weather has been very pleasant. Really hot when we arrived and in the south. But now it is the beginning of rainy season that means chillier temps and somewhat consistent train showers where it pours hard for 20 minutes to 2 hours. Nobody really let's it change their routine though.

Rachel: We thought we would rock climb in the south of Thailand for most of the day... turns out it's really hot! We ended up usually starting around 3pm and getting in a few hours before dark. Even though it's relatively cooler up here, I have definitely become a sweaty person.

2. Are you staying in one location or do you move when you feel like it?

Tory: We are in the midst of an apartment search right now and likely have a winner that will be a 12 mo lease. We have been house-sitting since we got back to Chiang Mai 10 days ago. Before that, we stayed on Koh Phi Phi for 3 weeks.

Rachel: The apartment search has been a pretty big job... our best method so far has been to scooter around in little neighborhoods and if we feel like we could live there, take pictures of for rent signs we find. My coworkers at ISDSI have been a big help weeding through the photos of signs we took, letting me know what the Thai words for "for rent" look like (and what "for sale" or "no parking" look like instead!)
          I can't imagine how hard this would be without a landing pad, I am really grateful for the house-sitting opportunity even though we are excited to find a place of our own that will finally be a little bit more permanent! 

3. What do you do for food - do you go out to eat or do you go to markets and take food back to where you are staying?

Tory: A mix. I still like cooking and we just found an organic market so that is still part of life. But we eat out once or twice a day right now. It is very cheap and delicious to do so.

Rachel: I buy fruit every few days to take home, and we make mango smoothies often! 

Here was our first haul from the local market:

And our first visit to the fancy grocery store:

4. Are you making lots of friends?

Tory: We are diving into many things and saying yes whenever possible with people. Casting our nets wide. We will see how the plan is working after a few months I guess. There are lots of really nice people here and many expats and locals alike are surprised and excited when they here we will be here for years not weeks like many of the foreigners here.

Rachel: I feel like we are, yeah! I am surprised at how nice and gracious people are... even though that was one of the reasons we picked Chiang Mai, it is nice to feel like it is truly a friendly place. We also have some previous connections, host family and coworkers, plus REB returns soon I hope! 

5. Are all of your bug bites healing? :)

Tory: Bugs are less of an issue in Chiang mai:)

Rachel: AGH yes, thank you for asking :)

6. What does a typical day look like for you two?

Tory: We have yet to have a typical day. Right now we are starting pretty late, looking for apartments online and on the scooter, maybe rock climb, and then I work from 8-midnight. In bed by 1 or 2.

Rachel: That's accurate. I think we're both looking forward to finding our rhythm. A place of our own will help establish that - our house, our local market, our corner coffee shop, our climbing gym, etc. Some of this is falling into place, like the gym, but it's exciting to visualize where we'll be located for the next little while and build around that. 

7. What is your favorite Thai drink?

Tory: It's it's a divide between mango smoothie and Thai ice tea which costs about a dollar.

Rachel: Completely agree.
Thanks Kaylee!

Other questions from dear friends...

Has it been a lot of time with just the two of you? 

Tory: Yes. We knew this would happen at first and we also know that it can be a little toxic. Minor steps have been taken to adjust but we are hoping future routine will help to correct it. Also, friend-making is not difficult so far so that will help.

Rachel: YES. We found a balance on Koh Phi Phi so by the end of three weeks felt in sync but independent. Now we've had about 10 days in Chiang Mai and so much of it has been setting up a life here, taking care of basic needs or logistics, but I think we're getting back to a balance. Now that I found a bicycle I feel a lot more mobile and independent.

Is Chiang Mai where you'll be for the most part now? 

Tory: Yes. Right now just excited to get our feet on the ground.

Rachel: Yep! We are loving exploring the city. There's all these little neighborhoods with their own charm, food, and markets. We come home pretty exhausted from doing simple things like grocery shopping, speaking Thai for extended periods, or just riding around house-hunting in the bustling traffic. I feel like a kid, where everything is interesting but also unfamiliar and people are constantly using big words you don't know yet :)
        There's a sweetness to this state of being though. I feel blessed, and guided, and cared for through the actions of friends and family near and far. Thank you.

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  1. SO cool to hear about your experiences, thanks for sharing! Love you!


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