Stop Wishing + Start Doing = Southeast Asia

For three years I was a broken record about Southeast Asia. When I left my job at CO+HOOTS I vowed to travel there. At every global impact conference I attended, my ask was for recommendations for fellowship opportunities based there. It was to the point where I was becoming “the girl who cried Southeast Asia” and never did anything about it.

Then in November 2016, one of my dear friends, Vickie told me she was planning a trip to Vietnam for her cousin’s wedding in January. She had known it was a dream of mine to go and asked if I wanted to come. “HELL YES!” I said. She followed up with, “and what about Thailand too?”

The rest, as they say, is history.

One month of epic adventure and new discoveries.  Two weeks in Thailand, two weeks in Vietnam. Another friend, Anna aka Disco Squirrel Queen joined us for the first leg of the journey in Thailand. 

We named our trio the Infinite SEAsia Sistas (full name: Infinite Mirror Mirror Same Same Sister Sisters) and spent weeks planning it out. When I say we planned it, the credit really goes to Vickie. She is the MVS (most valuable sista) in this lineup. Words cannot express my gratitude for her in launching this vision into action. She researched every city, booked every hostel or Airbnb, found our transportation and flights. She is a true pro with a passion for travel and it shows!

 Paying tribute to the MVS (Most Valuable SEAsia Sista) Vickie Lau! For making this trip happen. 

Paying tribute to the MVS (Most Valuable SEAsia Sista) Vickie Lau! For making this trip happen. 

Though one month, in the broad spectrum of things doesn’t sound that long, when every day is completely different and you travel to eight cities, it feels like it’s own lifetime, a crack in the Universe.

And that’s exactly what this experience has given me, a glimpse of life beyond America and Europe.

I felt the call years ago and it took a series of fortunate events for it to come to fruition. I realize the timing was even more divine because I wrote a post in December 2016 where I made a call out to the Universe, I said "Something is missing: ALIVENESS. I want to swim in the ocean of this deep blue mysterious planet and be swallowed whole by bliss. I want to sit at the edge of the known world and make eye contact with the unknown Universe."

To say I feel blessed is an understatement. 

The true gift of this is less about the sights themselves, it's about believing in the POSSIBLE. It's about listening to your callings, sharing your visions, and to keep pushing to make your dreams a reality. 

Okay, you get it. Now what about Thailand??

Thailand has become a major tourist destination and there is a reason. Culturally, it is a place of sheer wonder. Geologically, the area is lush, the food is fresh & juicy, and the cost of living is amazingly low. Beyond that, the Thai people are such a joy to be around. They are gentle, communal, and unbelievably welcoming to travelers.

Highlights included:

  Going from Urban Asians to Jungle Asians.

Going from Urban Asians to Jungle Asians.

  Bathing baby elephants at the Elephant Rescue Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. 

Bathing baby elephants at the Elephant Rescue Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. 

  Visiting heavenly temples including Wat Pho in Bangkok and Doh Suthep in Chiang Mai.

Visiting heavenly temples including Wat Pho in Bangkok and Doh Suthep in Chiang Mai.

  Exploring tropical florals at the Chiang Mai Flower Garden.

Exploring tropical florals at the Chiang Mai Flower Garden.

  Coconuts on coconuts and in this case a delicious coconut curry inception! NOM NOM NOM.

Coconuts on coconuts and in this case a delicious coconut curry inception! NOM NOM NOM.

  Setting New Year's intentions and lighting up the night sky with so much love.

Setting New Year's intentions and lighting up the night sky with so much love.

This experience has activated a whole new way of seeing, being, and living. So much so that it has inspired me to return. I plan to go back in April!

Stay tuned for my next blog post on Vietnam and check out the full Thailand Album on my Facebook

Whatever you do, don't stop believin',

Lotus