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 ūüôā ! 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

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

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Here is another "unique experience" for you. In the Loei province in NE Thailand you will find the Huai Krathing Reservoir. It's not just beautiful, it also offers a very unique dining experience. First you order the food on land. Then you jump onto a bamboo raft (see little rafts in the picture) that is pulled by a small speed boat into the middle of the reservoir. And they leave you there with just yourselves, the water and the mountains to enjoy. The only sounds you will hear are the birds and water (and the distant sound of people on the nearby rafts). The food can take some time to arrive but you won't mind as the experience is so relaxing and peaceful #thailand #huaikrathing #banhuaikrathing #travel #unseenthailand #wanderlust #landscapephotography #loei Credit @shoemobi

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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

Adventure-lust

I have always been an adventurous person, even as a little girl. I was that kid who always wandered away from my mom at almost any chance I got. The numerous times that panic set in when I realized my mom was nowhere to be found simply because I strayed too far, is still all to vivid in my mind. Thank God each terrifying scenario always ended happily, once again reunited and safe. However, into my early adulthood that adventurous side is still present.

There is something about new experiences that I can’t seem to get enough of. Overall, I think being adventurous is simple. You want to go on a two week stay in an Eco Lodge right in the heart of the Costa Rican rainforest? Go for it! Now, being able to do something to fully satisfy that undying urge is what’s complicated. One whose heart thrives for excitement and the unknown will never be 100% satisfied. Because to be satisfied means you are content. And this world is far to big for me to be content with only seeing a part of it. Instead, my heart only wants more. 🌎‚úĆ😍‚̧🙌

-xo Chaylavie

6 Things Only People With Wanderlust Will Understand

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1. Money=Travel

You truly feel like the very purpose of your existence is to explore this enormous world that you reside in. No matter how many places you visit, you will never be freaking satisfied. You always want more. Some may tell you that you are silly for spending so much money on travel. Yes, I of all people understand how expensive it can be (you do not want to know how much I have spent on my adventures in the last 4 and a half years). However, no matter how expensive, as long as the adventure and excitement is promising, you WILL find a way to make it happen. To you, travel is money well spent.

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2. The Fever Is Real

Once you get bit in the ass by your good ol‚Äô pal the travel bug (and you will), you are infected and you will go to any lengths to ensure that you can continue your travels. Travel to you is not just a ‚Äúvacation‚ÄĚ. In fact it is a lifestyle! You know that there are¬†endless possibilities and get excited at the slightest thought of what you will see next. Your desires are fed by knowing there will always be a¬†NEW¬†place, adventure, culture, food, timezone, climate, landscape and beauty that you can experience.

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3. You’re Always Planning, Always

During a trip you are already making a mental list of the next possible destination/s that you can visit, meanwhile your current trip has not even come to an end. It becomes a sick obsession. You start to become absolutely fascinated with the idea of picking up and just leaving. No plans, no destination in particular, just get up, grab a few essential things, book a flight and go.

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4. It’s Not A Dealbreaker But It’s Close

Your significant or potential significant other MUST and I mean MUST at the very least have some travel goals in mind. We who suffer from wanderlust need a companion who can understand our strong impulsive desire to get around. If not, we are going to have a problem. In our minds travelling the world equals a perfect life. However, add a travel enthused lover into that equation and you end up with pure bliss!

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5. You Are Social Media’s Worst Nightmare

You devote your time on social media to stalk travel pictures others have posted. Your very own Instagram is flooded with so many of your own personal travel images that your friends begin to become annoyed with you and at times even contemplate unfollowing you. You also become quite the hashtag whore in order to share your pictures with other like-minded individuals (#travel #travelbug #adventure blah blah blah #hastagmentalcase). In doing so you end up with follows and likes from some pretty cool and experienced adventure seekers/backpackers.

6. Comfort Zone? What’s That?

Travel is something you crave. You find it absolutely irresistible and would go to any lengths to do so. This world is a lot bigger than what we could ever imagine. I say, why not discover it? For those of us who lustfully wander, we prefer to find the beauty beyond the confines of our comfort zone.

-Chaylavie xo

Content

I think I can finally say that things are coming together in my life. By all means I still don’t have all the answers to everything but I am definitely not the same person I was when I started my journey. I have a lot to be grateful for at this stage and could not be happier. It is fascinating what positive reinforcement from both friends and family can do for your own personal growth. As a result of such a strong foundation, I have learned a lot within the last year. I’ve learned that sometimes you need to sacrifice the feelings of others temporarily if it makes a positive impact on your well being. I’ve learned that some of the most complicated and daunting things in life involve taking risks; but without risks life is left without excitement and surprise. I’ve learned how important it is to be fearless, even if you have to force yourself for a while (you’ll eventually get there) you can truly accomplish any thing your heart desires to. With fearlessness comes a whole new world of opportunity! Last but definitely not least, I’ve recently discovered the difference between loving someone and falling absolutely head over heels in love with someone.

If you ask me life is pretty good right now. All I had to do was take control of it. However, I also know that God is ultimately in control, and for that I am forever blessed.

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Xo Chaylavie

Where My Heart Lies

Ever since my first major family vacation at the age of 16 I have been brutally attacked, infected and consumed by the travel bug. As a result,¬†over the last seven years I have traveled to many interesting and exciting places. I promised myself that as soon as I got my blog up and running I would take some time to focus and reflect on the many adventures I have been on.This blog post in specific will not focus on the various places I have been too however it will focus on one destination in particular; the place where I left my heart…Austria. I visited Austria back in 2011 for a university Field Studies course. This course was¬†designed for 3rd and 4th year students to expose them to a range of issues particular to the visited countries and regions. Anyways rather than boring you with all the nitty gritty details let me illustrate why Austria is one of my favourite places on this planet.

Enjoy!

xo Chaylavie

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A New Year A New Adventure

So 2014 is a thing of the past. Another 365 days have come and gone and finally it is out with the old and in with the new! And what a better way to start a year off than by planning some upcoming adventures? Yes you heard right, this gal has some extremely exciting and life changing plans taking place this year and I cannot wait to share! There are some specific long-term goals that I had set out to accomplish once I completed my undergraduate degree. Unfortunately, life temporarily got into the way and had me believe that those goals were not achievable. However, a big ole apple decided to knock me on the head, figuratively of course¬†(much like those cartoons of Sir Isaac Newton) and now those goals are within arm’s reach. Although I cannot say too much about these goals at the moment I will be posting A LOT about them sometime soon in the near future! What are your goals and aspirations for 2015? Remember, anything is possible if you want it enough ;).

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  xo Chaylavie