Slowly Getting Comfortable

Well, would you look at that. I have already been living in Thailand for 3 weeks! How crazy is that? In the short time that I have been here I definitely feel like I am learning so much. Not only am I learning extremely important things related to Teaching English as a Second Language but more importantly I am learning a lot about myself. The last couple of weeks I have been struggling with adjusting. Although I am having fun and enjoying every moment of this adventure, there has been many moments where my anxiety has been extremely high. There have been times where I have felt lonely, confused and worried about everything in general. However, I know that these emotions are expected, so I have found some comfort in that.

I have always been home body but I have never been homesick before. Lo and behold I Chayla for the very first time ever have experienced an extreme case of feeling homesick. Everyday so far has come with it’s own struggles but I slowly find myself getting over those obstacles and falling in love with Thailand. This is a major break through! I think it is fairly easy to fall head over heels for this country though. Everything about it is enticing.  It’s beauty and the people who live here make it one of the most amazing countries I have visited so far.  The sense of community you feel when you are around the Thai people is incredible. Furthermore, I have never felt this safe in another country before. I can honestly say that I feel less nervous walking alone around the streets here at night than back at home!

As you can tell I have quite a bit to catch you up on. So let me start off by telling you about the fantastic week I had suffering with a severe ear infection. I am going to assume it was from the shower but I don’t know for certain. Anyways, last week this friggen thing destroyed me! It started last Wednesday but it was very mild. I really didn’t think much about it until Thursday, when the pain started to get more intense. That Thursday I wasn’t sure what to do, so I went to the pharmacy and picked up some ear drops specifically for ear infections but the dumb thing made it a hundred times worse. Thursday night I tried to go to sleep, took probably one too many Tylenol, but nothing helped. A few hours later the pain was so unbearable I was literally in tears. Completely agonizing! My lovely roommate suggested that we should go to the hospital. Totally annoyed with this whole scenario I agreed, mostly because we are lucky enough that the hospital is our next door neighbour! I was so thankful that she came with me. Nothing is freakier than being sick in another country and not knowing what to do or where to go. Also, I felt terrible because it was getting late and that following morning would be our very first day teaching English (6 classes of approximately 40 students). Of course, the one night we needed a decent sleep, I had to go to the hospital, oh joy.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the hospital is extremely long line ups, sick people looming everywhere and hour long waits just to get sent from one room to another. Now, ask me if this is the case in Thailand? Nope! Not at all. Completely in shock I was in and out of the hospital in under an hour. To be honest I’ve waited longer in bank lines lol. The doctor prescribed me with antibiotics and painkillers, thank the Lord! However, my dreadful night didn’t end there. Once we got back home I took my antibiotics and painkillers. About an hour later I was extremely nauseated and had to dodge myself out of bed and sprint to the bathroom. Whatever you think happened next is EXACTLY what happened. Vomiting, lots of it. My poor roommate. Sarah if you only knew how mortified I was… Lmao. Anyways, not realizing until the next day that the doctor had prescribed me Amoxicillin, which I had told him I was allergic too (I love language barriers). Well, this explained the horrific vomiting scene the night before.

The day of our “camp” arrived (that Friday) and as you can assume I was feeling like complete and utter shit still. I could barely keep my head up. However, this was going to be my first day of teaching and I didn’t want to miss out because of a stupid ear infection. Luckily for me my instructor helped me out by giving me a partner to help teach my classes (Thank you!!!). The day was complete chaos but worth every second! The kids were unlike anything I have ever experienced. Totally wild, but adorable. I have never been greeted with so many high fives and hugs in my life!

As week three is coming to an end, everyone in my program has become close. Friendships have been made between all of us and it is going to be bittersweet to have to say goodbye. However, it is time to do what we all came here to do! This week we have been told about our work placements and where we will be moving. It seems like everyone is going to be scattered evenly throughout Thailand. Starting this Sunday most of us will be moving from Hua Hin! So soon, it seems crazy, I have been told that I will be moving to a town in the province of Isan called Khon Kaen. It’s north eastern Thailand and approximately 8 hours away from Hua Hin and close to Laos. I got placed into a Catholic private school with about 400 students and only 1 other foreign teacher (how cool is that?!). I will be teaching 4-6 year olds and have about 35 students per a class. I am so excited! Definitely cannot wait until the next part of this journey and meet these cute little kiddies!

xoChaylavie

Expect The Unexpected

It’s already been almost a week since I left home and I can honestly tell you that I am still in shock that I am here. For many, you have this idea that I am In Thailand, soaking up the sun, probably laying on a nice beach somewhere, white sand between my toes and maybe, just maybe a cold drink in my hand. Nope, not even close. Instead, I am literally dying of heat, sweating 100% of the time (and I mean dripping sweat), not using an air conditioner at night in order to save money, having an extremely hard time adjusting to the food here and constantly feel like there are so many unknowns about this trip that I am on. However, although daunting, something about it is making me feel more humbled as a person and I am loving that. Visiting a country is completely different when you are not visiting as a tourist! So many people have these ideas of how amazing it would be to live in another country but do not realize how complicated it is to fully immerse yourself in that culture and live like a local. I am still experiencing some of the luxuries as a tourist however in a little over three weeks that will change dramatically. In September I could be moving to a place where I may be one of only a few English speaking people in my town (lmao I’m terrified)! The mix of emotions that I have been experiencing this week are surreal.

Most of you know that I have come to Thailand to teach English as a second language. As a result, I am taking a course that lasts a month and will certify me to teach English within Thailand and just about anywhere else. I just moved to a “resort” town called Hua Hin, approximately 3 hours south of Bangkok and will be living here for the duration of that month. Everyday I have to be at school around 7:45 am and generally have class all day until 4:00 pm with a little over 20 people that are pretty awesome. Our apartment is a far walk from school so everyday we have to take a Songthaew. This thing is hilarious. It’s a little passenger vehicle that is basically a truck that people can hop on and off of like a bus. They’re super cheap so they are very desirable to use in order to get around town.

So far my classes have consisted of Thai Language, Thai Culture, a Teacher Workshop and a class about our teaching placement once we finish the course. This week we also got to go on a couple of field trips and see some pretty cool things! Yesterday we got the opportunity to travel to a little rural area and visit a Pineapple farm. The pineapples here were amazing (so sweet and refreshing in this insane heat!!!)! Any pineapples that aren’t considered “good enough” for human consumption are saved and given away as a donation to the Hutsadin Elephant Sanctuary. After the pineapple farm this elephant sanctuary was our next little adventure. We all donated a little bit of money in order to take a few large bags with us to feed the elephants. This was an awesome experience. The elephants here are adorable! One in particular named Songkran was the cutest little thing I’ve even seen. This little baby Elephant is only 7 years old and can paint flowers and even play soccer (yes I just said an elephant could paint)! I’ve never seen anything like it in my life lol! It was super cute.

Today, we got to visit a dog rescue here in Hua Hin called Rescue paws and The Khao Tao Temple. Rescue Paws is amazing. All over Thailand there is a high population of stray dogs but Hua Hin in particular has a massive population of them. So, Rescue Paws was created by some amazing dog lovers who provide a place to take in these stray dogs and provide care for them in to ensure they live a better and healthier life. The goal is to have all of these dogs spayed and neutered to decrease the amount of homeless dogs in the town. Anyways, this place was great and even has some of the dogs up for adoption. They had mentioned that if we are interested we can adopt one and bring it back home with us. Not going to lie, I considered it a few times lmao. The dogs even have pretty sweet access to the beach which is clearly used to help aid their rehabilitation as well. After Rescue Paws we went to Khao Tao Temple. This temple was so serene. Located on a mountain, surrounded by trees and the ocean. We stayed there for a little while, hiked up the mountain to see the huge Buddha, learned a little bit about meditation, Buddhist monks and then headed back home. It has been crazy rainy all day so my roommate and our other friends decided to call it an early night and relax.

So here I am, inside my hot and sticky room, drinking warm beer and contemplating whether or not I should eat my instant noodles bought from a convenience store. Have a good night everyone- Or I guess good morning/afternoon for the most of you lol.

xoChaylavie

Culture to the friggen shock!

Day 1: I’m in Bangkok. Is it hot? TOO hot. Is it busy? Insanely! Are people friendly? Extremely! Am I homesick? Yes…

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Now I am not a dumbie and I know that I was going to be in for a change. After all, I did move to the other side of the friggen planet. But I can assure you that I was not mentally nor physically prepared for the differences in culture that I have experienced in this single day alone. Jet lag was brutal for me and after traveling for a little over 19 hours total I was and still am a mess. Upon arrival to the Bangkok airport I was lucky enough to have airport pickup waiting to bring me to my hotel! I’ll have to admit, it was kind of neat seeing a man standing in the pick up area holding a sign up with my name on it. It took about an hour to get to my hotel but to be honest it seemed like hours upon hours. I kept dozing off on the drive so I was pretty out of it for that duration lol. Anyways, after all that time and travel I finally arrived to my sketchy but cozy little hotel in the city around 8 pm last night. The hotel is cute but it is located on some super narrow creepy side street which made me feel like I was in a horror movie while we were pulling in last night haha (don’t fret, this totally adds to the adventure of it all!). The foyer of the hotel is an open concept so there are no walls… Essentially it has no windows and is basically outside. Once I got dropped off I stood there all alone. No front desk employee, no other tourists, no one, absolutely effing no one. Clearly not knowing what else to do I decided to just stand there and wait. About 20 minutes later some wonderful Thai man, about my age staying at the same hotel tried to help me find an employee so that I could check in. His English was very limited but he did the best he could and literally just smiled the entire time! I told him that he could leave and that I would just wait for an employee to come. After almost half an hour of waiting a sweet little lady came to the front desk. She checked me in immediately and guess what? She smiled the entire time lol. Yup, welcome to the “Land of Smiles.” I get to the sixth floor and I am ecstatic to see that my room is fairly large and there is an amazingly working air conditioner (bomb!). Anywho, you’d think after all of this I would be a zombie and ready to crash, considering I barely slept the entire travel over here. Instead I just chilled out for a bit and tried to relax. I was too wired, lonely and freaked out to go to sleep right away. It also didn’t help that it sounded like there were animals fighting right outside my hotel. By the time I did end up falling asleep I practically woke up every hour throughout the night. Around 6 am I was wide awake and decided to get my ass up and out of bed. Lucky for me one of the girls from my program messaged our Facebook group asking if anyone was around and wanted to get breakfast. So four of us got together and had breakfast! After that we decided to do the tourist thing and explore. We took the Sky Train and one of those sweet longtailed flowered decorated boats to get to the Grand Palace 🙂 ! The Grand Palace was amazing. Pictures honestly do not do it justice in any way shape or form. The detail of all of the buildings is immaculate and unlike anything I have ever seen. I also learned some cool things, you’re not allowed to wear shoes in Temples, you must always dress appropriately when entering a Temple (they take this very seriously- shoulders and knees must be covered), also when sitting on a Temple floor your toes must NEVER point towards Buddha, feet should always point behind you. Afterward, we decided to get something to eat at this cute little restaurant we walked by. I got chicken Pad Thai! As expected it was completely different from any Pad Thai I’ve had back home. But it was just as good! Following that, we went to Wat Pho, where the huge Reclining Buddha is. This was super cool as well and freaking massive! We walked around for hours and sweat poured from us the entire time. Hair a disaster, heat rash all over and thirsty 100% of the time…Yeah not a pretty sight. I have never experienced hotter weather than what I did today! We all just about died. We also walked through a market which felt like I was surrounded by a hundred auctioneers. Total and complete chaos! We finished our sight seeing and decided to call it a day. Getting back to the hotel was a mission, an extremely tiring one. We ended up taking the public ferry back to train station because it was cheaper and immediately regretted that decision. The whole thing was packed. Everyone friggen crammed together like hot, sweaty, nasty sardines. On top of that workers on the ferry were constantly screaming and shouting things God only knows and caused instant headaches to us all. Finally we got to the station, boarded the train and made it back to the hotel. First day was awesome but I am in shock at the fast-paced life here. I thought Toronto was fast, boy was I wrong. Instead of culture shock slowly approaching me I got slapped in the face and run over by a tuk tuk from it.

xoChaylavie

Until next time Canada

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So here it goes. I made it through check in, checked my bags in and made it flawlessly through customs! Now I am sitting here like a dope crying my eyes out. I’ve said my final goodbyes, cried, cried and cried some more and made sure to eat all my favourite foods before today! Last thing left to do? BOARD THAT DAMN PLANE!

XoChaylavie

Cheers to new adventures! ❤

6 Things No One Tells You About The Nice Guy

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I’ve had my ups and downs in relationships. However, many of those so called “ups” were usually thrown right back down to the ground sadly because people aren’t always as kind as you’d believe them to be. Sometimes ignorance is definitely bliss but sometimes ignorance has nothing to do with it at all. Sometimes, people are just amazing actors and can fool you into believing almost anything. Bravo, bravo.

Like many, I’ve been with the guy who pretends to be nice but instead has a different and sneaky agenda to follow. I’ve been with the guy who claims to love everything about you but can’t wait for the chance to mold you into something more suited to his needs. I’ve been with the guy who pretends to pay attention during a conversation but is unable to partake in it because he actually has no idea what in the world you are talking about; usually because he isn’t interested enough. Lastly, I’ve been with the guy who can make you feel amazing about yourself one minute and make you question and doubt everything about yourself the next. I am not here to bash men. That is certainly not my intentions. In fact, this applies to men and their relationship with nasty, self-centered, egotistical women as well. However, since experiencing a relationship to date that is awesome and pretty freaking normal for once, I cannot fathom why more women today do not kick those confidence sucking, mind warping, and untrustworthy men to the curb! You see, it happens more often than not. Women put up with being treated like crap simply because they allow it, don’t value themselves, or even worse, they are not attracted to the “nice guy.”  Well I for one finally found my nice guy and guess what? He’s pretty great and… I am even attracted to him! I am so sick and tired of the nice guy finishing last. Why is it that so many woman give useless men all the opportunities in the world but refuse to give the nice guy a break from the “friend zone?”

Who freaking knows, but here are some of the obvious, not so quite obvious things about the nice guy that no one tells you…

1. He will become your best friend

He is going to genuinely care about you, your well-being and even more your day. There is nothing phony here, he actually cares. The best part is you will feel the sincerity when he asks how you are or what you have been up to. He is going to be your absolute favourite person to vent to, tell stories to and confide in and vice versa. There is no judgement from him, he’s your bestie! You will spend weekend nights in, order food, watch endless movies and end up passing out cuddled up next to each other because you are way too comfortable and way too full to stay awake.

2. Just because he is nice does not mean he is a push over

No he’s not a rug. To even assume that he is a doormat is unfair judgement and does not give you a hall pass to abuse the fact that he is a sweetheart. Furthermore, not every nice guy is going to allow you to walk all over them. You my lady are not a princess and do not deserve whatever your heart desires whenever you snap your fingers. He expects equality within this relationship. Want to keep your nice guy…nice? Treat him with the same kindness and respect and he won’t be going anywhere.

3. He’s a man. A real man

He has absolutely no issue being a gentleman. In fact, it comes naturally to him. He has good morals and values and has no intentions of ever making you doubt his feelings towards you. He could care less about what others think about him. He is confident but doesn’t show off.  To him chivalry is not dead. He will wine and dine you, however, when the shoe is placed on the other foot, he is perfectly okay being treated as well. The best part is that this doesn’t make him feel emasculated. Instead, he feels appreciated just as he deserves.

4. He doesn’t play games

He is honest. If he likes you, he likes you. If he doesn’t he doesn’t. Either way, he won’t hang you out to dry. He will never lead you on and make you believe in a relationship that isn’t there. However, if you do end up in a relationship with him, everything falls into place with such ease; not because everything is always perfect but simply because you can always count on him to be there in times of need.

5. He is not perfect but to you he will be

He is the perfect combination of sass and sweetheart. He knows there is a time and a place for everything and makes sound judgement based on that. There may come a time an argument will arise. That is just that way relationships work. It is inevitable. However, it will be different from any other asshole you have dated in the past. You can have an arguments knowing for a fact he will not resort to nasty put downs or threaten to leave you. He will not be malicious with you because no matter how upset he might be he would never want to cause you any harm.

6. He exists

Need I say more?  Ladies, wake up and smell the coffee.

xo Chaylavie

Roll with The Punches

It is one month until I say my good-byes. One month until I roll that big suitcase of mine-which will have my life packed in it- and board that plane. One month until my life will forever be changed. One month until I will find out where my mental threshold resides and whether or not I can push beyond those capacities. One month until I experience a new world of everlasting heat and humidity and exactly ONE month until I find out if true love can withstand the test of distance.

Do not think for two seconds that I am not scared to death because I absolutely am. Thinking about what is to come is a scary thought, a lonely thought and intimidating one. However, it is those characteristics that drive me. They are exactly what excite me about venturing into new and unusual waters. I guess you could say I am a wanderer. I lust for it.

Today, July 9, 2015, officially marks two weeks until I leave. Holy cow, does time ever fly! I am not fully sure how I am supposed to be feeling but I sure can tell you I am probably experiencing every emotion even freaking possible! I was shopping for professional work outfits yesterday, which has not been the easiest of tasks, but such is life. Anyways, a retail associate and I started talking about my big move. She asked me a question I have been asked a 100 times this month.

“Are you ready yet?”

In my usual, anxious, classic Chay self I replied “Absolutely freaking not! Not even close.”

Well, I probably shouldn’t over exaggerate. I am very organized and I have the majority of my packing and all my necessary documents ready to go. However, despite my endless hours of planning my mind is not quite as organized.

She ended our conversation by telling me something stuck to me like leather clothes on a hot day (that’s attractive lol).

“You can never be fully ready or prepared enough for the unknown.”

Smart girl. She made a point. An excellent point actually. So I guess I am going to have to get used to this-the unknown. My life for the next year or so is going to be full of it. Time to roll with the punches!

xo Chaylavie

Man’s Best Friend

I saw this film a few weeks ago and got teary-eyed to say the least. It really puts a emphasis on how beautiful the connection between animals and humans can be if we just allow it.

“There was this really smart scientist guy who thought that people could learn a lot from dogs, he said that when someone you love walks through the door even if it happens 5 times a day you should go totally insane with joy.”

xoChaylavie

Thought of The Day

I don’t care if people think travel is a waste of money. To me, it is money well spent. & through such a transaction I don’t gain something materialistic or tangible but I do gain memories that will last a lifetime. To me, that is freakin priceless! ❤

xo Chaylavie

Batmobile in the TDOT!

Last night was interesting to say the least. Suicide Squad is currently being filmed in Toronto and since I practically work walking distance from the majority of the locations the cast and crew have been working, I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to attempt to get in on some of the action. My boyfriend and I spent quite a few hours waiting for Yonge St. to transform into the movie set that everyone had been excited to see. Although we did not get a chance to see any of the actors/actresses in the movie we were lucky enough to see both the Batmobile and The Jokers car! Not going to lie, it was pretty awesome to see Toronto turn into something that you rarely get a chance to see unless you’re in Hollywood.

xo Chaylavie