I had stayed in Chiang Mai for many months, Thailand after coming back from Malaysia where I had the speech. I had lots of things to do for updating my blog and editing videos. But I couldn’t concentrate well that I paid for coworking space where people share the office. Everything was really cheap, which made me stay longer in Thailand. But to be honest, I was not happy there.
All of the people in coworking space were foreigners, so the friend I made was foreigners too. But I couldn’t understand the way they lived.
It didn’t matter whether they were from Europe, America, or others, usually, they denied their own countries and loved Thailand so much. The reason was they couldn’t get things easily in their own countries, such as cheap good accommodation, cheap food at the restaurant, and girls. It was a paradise for them. But in my eyes, they looked high.
I thought I’ve never seen this much materialism. In my country or other countries, I couldn’t feel it this much as I didn’t get the chance to meet high-class society. But here every foreigner could act like high class people with little money. I was the same as them and it made my mind very complicated.
I was hanging out with them for a drink often but I was always confused. ‘What was the purpose of life? How should we live?’ Sometimes I couldn’t sleep deeply with too many thoughts.
When I was in Chiang Mai, I applied Australia Working Holiday Visa which is for only between 18 years old to 30 years old. I just applied two days before I turned to 31 years old. I was a bit worried, but I got permission without the problem after I turned 31 years old.
I was about to finish my trip the next year that I was not sure I would use this visa. But who knows it can be useful. At least if I go to Australia, I must work to get my money back which was about a $300 application fee.
There was tragic that I dropped my portable hard drive and I couldn’t use it anymore. Although I had sent the best data recovery company my broken hard drive in South Korea and Singapore, I failed to recover it. I had backed up pictures on my laptop. But the video was too heavy to back up that I was about to buy a new portable hard drive, but it was just broken before it. I lost my two years video I didn’t upload yet. It was really sad that all my hard work was gone by mistake.
Before my arrival visa expired, I went to Myanmar for visa run. As I heard, it would be no problem for a Korean passport.
But Myanmar immigration didn’t allow me to do it. It was my last day of the visa that I must renew it. I found Laos border 100km (62 miles) far away on my smartphone map. So I decided to take a taxi for long distance, which I’ve never done. I usually don’t carry a bank card but only extra money. I used all my money for taking a taxi. Luckily, it was no problem to cross Laos border in the night.
But the problem was I didn’t have any money left. I didn’t want to beg at people. I got an idea that I searched for the hostel where foreigners usually stay. Then I went there and asked the owner to exchange money like I send her money on her PayPal account and she gives me cash. Paypal is an online bank and it is used worldwide. She was okay with it that I got the cash. I booked accommodation online with my PayPal account and I had dinner with the cash I just got from the hostel’s owner. Paypal has been really useful on my trip.
The next day, I got back to Thailand. It was a really funny and embarrassing experience that I crossed the border without any cash nor bank card. I had the only handbag which was useless.
The way back to Chiang Mai was really easy that there was a direct van.
Once I got back, I tried to work more and changed my website design. But the more I stayed, the more I felt gloomy that I decided to leave.
There was a famous bicycle shop in Chiang Mai that I went there and got the service. Usually, this kind of bicycle shop is way better than a city bicycle shop which has parts mostly for expensive bicycles.
Thai food had a small amount of the food that I ordered two dishes. But sometimes I ordered too much when I was too hungry. I packed leftovers later.
This clean nice hotel was only $15 which was so cheap. This kind of nice cheap things made me stay longer and lazy in Thailand as it’s not common in other countries.
I was seeing the sun going down at the bridge between Thailand border and Myanmar border.
The main reason I left Chiang Mai was I got the answer to ‘What’s the purpose of living?’. My answer was ‘Life is about to accept all challenges than running away from it. When I go through challenges, then finally I will learn and grow.’
Life in Thailand was so easy and there was no challenge as I could do anything with little money. But I didn’t meet the people who can inspire me and I was not inspiring myself as well. I felt I was bogged down deeply. After I got out of it, I decided one thing. I would not try to stay in this kind of place. Chaing Mai is a peaceful and beautiful place. What I meant was some foreigner community over there having such materialism. I was not saying they were wrong. They were just too different from my life.
There is my favorite quote.
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
I was pedaling to cross the bridge having the beautiful sunset light with thinking ‘What will I see over that new country?’. But first of all, I needed to find a hotel as soon as arriving.