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Living Differently. New Ways in Chiang Mai

We’re loving this city in strange and unexpected ways. I’m loving the Thai environment sure, the Old City of Chiang Mai with its ancient walls, stunning temples and teak houses, the amazing Thai food and it’s abundant availability, the clear blue skies and tropical heat, but I’m loving it in more than a tourist-sort-of-way. I’m loving living here and working here.

I’m in work, at my desk in a luscious co-working space with good coffee. Chef and the boys will join me later , eat, play, work, maybe watch a movie in the huge cinema that I can see from my desk. I love that I know this co-working space is open 24hours even when the swanky shopping mall that houses it isn’t. I came in the back way, the secret way, feeling like I knew a locals-only secret at 7am. I love that this morning I hopped on a songtaw, alone, greeted the driver in Thai and paid the correct price. It’s 20 Baht/person. Most tourists get way over-charged.

I’m loving that we’ve been here a few days and know exactly where to go for lunch or dinner at under £1/plate. On our first day here we stopped at a tourist restaurant and paid a small fortune for average pad seew ( they spell it differently every time!) without the condiments that are so essential in Thailand. If you’re heading here, never eat anywhere that doesn’t have the full range of Thai condiments on every table.

How do I know all this stuff, why is this trip so different to other times? Part of it, the food knowledge for instance, is because this is maybe my 20th trip to Thailand, I can never get enough of this country. But the new stuff, the living, working stuff, it’s because we’ve talked to people.

I’ll tell you the honest truth, we get a lot of emails from readers and bloggers asking if we’d like to meet up, I usually make excuses. My social anxiety makes my shy away from people and I like my quiet space, away from public scrutiny.I’m trying to force myself out of that.  In the last 3 days we’ve met up with 3 separate groups of people, and it was good. All were different, all were interesting, all were pretty fabulous actually. There were the Ericksons, a family of 5 with 3 very big kids, 2 small, maybe starting on a whole new path and career. Andrew and Amy of Our Big Fat Travel Adventure, digital nomads and travel bloggers, ex Londoners, sometimes teachers of English, no kids yet. Then there were the Normans, with one fantastic little girl, sellers of their old life, creators of a new one. They all filled us in on how to do it and where to do it, growing our knowledge with every sentence.

Chiang Mai Thailand
A small, fairly ordinary building in one of Chiang Mai’s temple complexes. I’m yet to go out on a real photo safari, I will, you won’t believe the stunning beauty of this place.

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So, living differently, this is it, this is our life, this is my job. I never dreamed it would turn out like this, back in Port Douglas when we sold all our stuff and bought backpacks to go see the world. It’s the best thing we ever did. Being with my family, the amazing new friends we’ve made, our new outlook on life, my new career, the kids’ development into stellar young men full of ideas and enthusiasm and my husband’s ability to follow the Ironman circuit around the world. I just love it.

And that is all I wanted to say today.

Maybe see you on the road one day.

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Amy

Saturday 5th of November 2016

Glad you're enjoying life here in Chiang Mai. We love it too and I'm not sure we're ever going to want to leave! It is just the perfect place to work online, meet like-minded people, live comfortably and not have to worry too much about money.

Melanie Murrish

Saturday 5th of November 2016

You haven't sounded this happy for a while-I'm thrilled you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and "mingling". I'm betting you get way more done in a co-working space than at "home" or in a hotel. Honest opinion-how do you think a child who can get overwhelmed easily would cope with Chiang Mai?

[email protected]

Saturday 5th of November 2016

You know I HAVE been this happy since spring....menopause doesn't have me in it's grip any more...yay!

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Saturday 5th of November 2016

Well there are no animals on the street. Crossing roads is tricky, you just have to step out and make them stop. There are a few taxi touts that try to get your custom ( always flag one down, they're 20Baht, you shouldn't have to negotiate). Otherwise it's pretty quiet. The night markets can be busy and people will be calling out, trying to get attention.

Claire Danahay

Saturday 5th of November 2016

I'm loving your enthusiasm for travel, life and your family. Really inspiring. Will keep reading and following...

Suzanne Fluhr

Friday 4th of November 2016

So glad you found a way to put down comfortable roots in Chiang Mai for awhile. That coworking space sounds like a real find------not to mention coffee for momma.????

Amber Hadley

Friday 4th of November 2016

Delighted that you and your family are loving life! Would welcome that for every person on the planet. When you say you're working, is this the pinterest work? I've read about it on some of your other posts; I can't say I really understand what it is. Best to you!

[email protected]

Friday 4th of November 2016

Blogging Amber, I work more hours that you could possibly imagine on the websites, I have to, it's the only way to make them pay. Hours and hours and hours.... I haven't had time to take on any Pinterest clients lately, too busy with my own stuff. Much nicer working for yourself than for somebody else, even with a fixed pay agreement.

nomadic family life

Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.