“Home” for the Holidays

12 Dec

Greetings from Chiang Mai!  It’s been a while since I’ve written.  It’s been a strange and somewhat busy and challenging time for me these past weeks. Life, school and teaching keep buzzing by and I… I just had to take a break, or step back or something.  It seems that life is moving and changing in important ways and I am just doing my best just to roll with the waves.

I’ve had one big shift in my life.  I took a leap and moved off campus.  If you didn’t know, for the past 7 months I have been living on the campus where I teach.  In many ways this has been great.  It provided a safe place to land and a good place of support.  But as the months went on I started gettin’ that itch… for something a little different.  I started snooping around on-line sites looking at the many condo listings available.  I had a particular list of desires that, for the most part I wasn’t willing to compromise on.  I didn’t give up and finally… with the help of Indigo Chiang Mai Real Estate… I found something that I am really happy with. Hooray!

In truth, when push came to shove, moving off campus was a little daunting for me… leaving the comfort and security of the mother ship.  It was the quickest move I’ve ever had.  With a friend and her car to help, it literally took us about ten minutes to move all of my stuff in.  Gypsy life has its benefits.

A bathtub!

A bathtub!

After living in a great, but small room on campus with only a community kitchen downstairs… there are many delights I am now experiencing in my new space.  I have a kitchen!  It’s not fancy, but there’s a sink and a stove and it’s stocked with plenty of dishes and pans. This is not typical in Chiang Mai budget accommodations. It’s really great to cook in the comfort of my own space again. Also I have tons of great light! Which is wonderful since my campus room, while snug and private, was so dark that even my plant couldn’t survive in there. I had to put him out in the hall to give him any hope of receiving some real sunlight.  This had me thinking, if my plant couldn’t live in that dark room… imagine the impact it had on me!  Additionally, I now have a bathtub.  Not an easy thing to find in Chiang Mai…  and it’s not some scrawny bathtub, but a real bathtub where I can easily stretch out my legs.  Yippee!!

My happy plant hanging out near the sunshine

My happy plant hanging out near the sunshine

My plant and I are now both happy.  It was funny to notice how nervous I was moving out on my own.  But when I thought about it I realized that it has been about ten years since I last rented an apartment on my own. Over my past 5 years of international living, this is the first time I have rented a place and lived on my own.  So a new experience for me!  The last apartment that I rented “all by myself” was my modest but appreciated basement apartment that I departed suddenly with the flooding of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Since then I have lived with another, rented space in someone’s home, house-sat, visited and cohabitated… in a wide array of circumstances and locations.  I must say, it’s a nice treat to have a little corner of my own for a bit.

Living the "high" life... thankfully, on the 2nd floor

Living the “high” life… thankfully, on the 2nd floor

I am in one of the many high-rise condos flooding the city of Chiang Mai.  It is a little on the outskirts of town, quiet and laid back.  As I am… afraid of heights…. I am happy to say that I am on the 2nd floor.  A few days ago I visited someone who lives on the top, 15th floor.  He has sort of the “penthouse” apartment.  To get to his space you pass through a glass door onto an open air balcony before entering the apartment.  Just this little passage was enough to send my heart racing.  “Good thing I am on the 2nd floor” I thought!

At school we are now wrapping up the 3rd quarter.  It’s breezed on by with many holidays and activities flooding the schedule.  I have done my best to keep my go with the flow attitude required for any happiness or sanity in Thailand.  This week we are finishing up oral exams and the end of the week students will take their final test.  After tests we have just a few days of classes filled with some holiday celebrations until, happily, we are free for a healthy break.  Yes!

Some of my beautiful students all dressed up for a traditional dance

My beautiful students all dressed up for a traditional dance

Before you know it, the school year will be complete. Students take their end-of-the-year tests in first days of March.  Teachers stick around for a few weeks after to complete some administrative work… and then we are finished in mid-March!

It’s hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner.  I see pictures of folks in sweaters and scarves on Facebook and remind myself… oh, that’s right… it’s December.  While evenings and mornings are a bit cooler now, the days still typically get up into the high 80s or low 90s at mid-day.  But the terrible heat has softened quite a bit and truthfully the weather now feels just great.

With that, I will say good-bye for now.  I am enjoying a leisurely Saturday afternoon in my light, open space.  With the holidays coming, I am feeling grateful for a little “home” of my own.  How are these times and holidays unfolding for you? It’s always great to hear from you!

Featured image:  The lanterns lighting up the sky from the beautiful full moon celebration Loy Krathong.  It’s celebrated on November 25 and a highlight of the holiday season in Thailand.  It was a beautiful sight to see!

7 Responses to ““Home” for the Holidays”

  1. JakeADewar 12/12/2015 at 16:51 #

    Any advice for surviving Christmas in Thailand?!

    • nancieteresa 12/13/2015 at 06:39 #

      Hi Jake, Sure… but can you define survive? What do you need? What are you looking for?

      To share just a little about me… I rely on my spiritual practices and that is what I count on whether I am in Thailand or wherever. I have also been on my own away from family for the holidays for many years, so I don’t really have a huge attachment to all of it.

      My advice for Christmas in Thailand … or anywhere… is find a few things that make you feel good (in a healthy way), give yourself a treat. Ask yourself, what would I like for Christmas in Thailand? And if you can, give it to yourself even if it seems simple or silly. Maybe that’s a good meal at a restaurant, maybe it’s streaming your favorite movies. Then give yourself a break for all that it is and all that it isn’t…

      I can say more if you’re interested. Just let me know where you are coming from. 😉

  2. Cletus Billesbach 12/12/2015 at 16:54 #

    Thank you for the update. I am glad you found this place. It looks real nice. I can’t believe how well you do for yourself. Yes it is holiday season and our weather seems like spring. It is so nice and warm for shopping and everything else. We are getting a lot of rain instead of snow, which is okay with me.I am about done with shopping and now the wrapping. I will have Christmas here and everyone will bring in most of the food. I do have a new great granddaughter this year to help her celebrate her first Christmas. I will be babysitting her this coming week for two days. She is 2 months old now.I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.Love Millie

    • nancieteresa 12/13/2015 at 06:23 #

      Hi Millie! Thanks for the note. I always appreciate hearing from you! Wow, a great-grand daughter. Congratulations! Enjoy your time with her. Thanks for the nice comments and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  3. Mary Dewein 12/14/2015 at 00:44 #

    Hi Nancie Teresa…. you have a lovely apartment. I’m sure you are so happy with that. I believe I’m ready for Christmas. It’s been so warm here… it doesn’t feel like it should be Christmas but I think the temps will be dropping soon. I love the cold. It was nice hearing from you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you….. love u, Aunt Mar

    We are going to be with your Mom & Diane and gang on the 21st of Dec. Since Diane is going to come home we decided to get together and have a PARTY! Wish you could join us. Be safe!

    • Mary Dewein 12/14/2015 at 00:46 #

      Your students are beautiful! Be sure to tell them I said that. Your plant looks great on the photo. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Jean Vegas 12/14/2015 at 08:11 #

    congrats on your new home. Happy for you.

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