Today I am writing to you from our short-term condo in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is part of a series focused on the more personal side of our travels and some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of Off Path Travels.
Let’s kick things off with a reflection on the beginning of Off Path Travels, of our time here in Thailand, and finally, some thoughts on our next adventures.
Off Path Travels: 8 Months In
We decided to start Off Path Travels well over a year ago and have been continuously working on it ever since. At this point, it’s been eight months since we left our “normal” lives behind in favor of becoming digital nomads hell-bent on helping people travel and discover the world. And it has been incredible.
Our time in Mexico was the perfect jump-start, with tons of great adventures along the way. The archeological ruins were larger and more diverse than I ever imagined, the countless towns and cities we stopped in showed me a side of Mexican culture I never knew existed, and the awe-inspiring views we witnessed all over the country are forever etched into my memory. We even got married in Belize and had a wonderful time with family after being away for so long.
It’s also been full of challenges. We’ve faced bed bugs, mold infestations, food poisoning, and much more. It can’t all be roses and butterflies. But as we overcome each hurdle, our confidence builds, along with our character. Being throw up on might not seem like a desirable experience, but it taught me a lot about myself and has turned into an oddly fond memory. It’s weird how the things we think of as so horrible can end up being positive.
Life in Thailand
Okay, so here’s something that might surprise you. Yes, we’re in Thailand. And it’s been great. But it has NOT been full of adventure. Belize it or not (my favorite pun we’ve picked up so far), this blog takes a lot of work. And we’re here for that.
Our decision to come to Thailand was not made long ago. In fact, we purchased our flights and rented our condo about 2 weeks before we came. Sound crazy? Maybe. But I think it was one of the best decisions we’ve made.
Why? Well, our initial plan was to hop in our car and make a long trek to South America via overloading (extended car camping). But we would have hit mid-summer heat on the Baja peninsula and a variety of other factors has caused us to put that on hold, for now. Then we thought about heading to Europe since we are committed to being there in July, but we quickly realized the lack of last-minute accommodations for us and our budget amidst the summer crowds.
That’s where Thailand came into play. It is hot, but here we can afford a lovely condo with A/C and all of the food we could ever wish for. More importantly, it gives us a great opportunity to catch up on all of the unwritten adventures we experienced in Mexico, Belize, and Colorado.
It was a bit scary for me. This is my first time to Asia and my first time to a country which does not use a Latin-based alphabet. It was another step into the unknown.
And once again, it has been phenomenal. The Thai people are some of the friendliest and most polite people I have ever met. Everyone we have encountered has been uplifting, positive, and helpful. There are giant markets all over the city, incredible mountains surrounding us, and the food is amazing. Noodles on every corner. Tons of grilled pork and chicken, along with a sizable offering of excellent vegetarian food.
We also got to quickly experience Shanghai, China on our way over. It blew our minds and we can’t wait to go back and explore for longer.
Where Are We Going Next
Upon arrival to Thailand, US citizens can stay here for 30 days without an extended visa. As our 30 days run up, we have been working diligently to figure out where we’re off to next. The only thing we know for sure if that we need to be in Sweden at the end of July. So what should we do in the meantime?
Extend our Thai visa? Do a whirlwind tour of southeast Asia? Start heading toward Europe? These questions haven’t been easy to answer. We love planning for travel and doing research to find the best adventurers. But even for us, making the actual decisions is complicated!
Our first thought was to extend our Thai visa. But we found out that it is surprisingly expensive to do, about $62 USD per person. Not prohibitively expensive, but still a relatively large cost for us. Is it really worth it to spend that just to stay in one country longer? Tough call.
So now we’ve looked at exploring the nearby areas and think we’re on the right path. We can go to Laos, a country that is essentially just getting used to tourism. Vietnam is nearby and has incredible landscapes, great food, and a variety of places to visit. Cambodia has world-famous temples and beaches. The island countries south of here are vast and practically limitless.
What is our decision? You’ll have to come back to find out…
Thanks for catching up with us! We hope you’re enjoying the start to Off Path Travels and the information we’re sharing. Our goal is to bring you the best in adventure travel by providing great travel tips and in-depth posts about locations you may not know much about.
We are simply grateful to be here, but still have a long way to go to make this a permanent career. Believe it or not, we do not have trust funds and we are not independently wealthy. If you’ve liked what we’re putting out and want us to be able to continue this website, please consider supporting us.
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