Now that we live in Chiang Mai, I feel like I have a lot less to report on with these updates. Actually, truth be told, we’ve become pretty lazy travellers since settling down! I’ve barely been within a 3-mile radius of my flat recently, never mind on any exciting trips. This is something that I try to justify with the fact that I did a lot of travelling in the last year but, truth be told, I’ve developed some unhealthy habits as a freelancer. My biggest 2018 resolution? Make an effort to leave the house everyday, even if I have a huge pile of work to get through!
Where we’ve Been!
So, once again, we spent most of last month in Chiang Mai but we actually did do a bit of international travel as well- we went to Laos to get our education visas! I mentioned in my last update that we were going back to school and have enrolled in Thai language classes as a way to stay in the country without needing to go on constant visa runs.
Our trip to Laos was pretty uneventful. I got a migraine in the evening and spent most of the time lying in bed- I still managed to squeeze in a cheeky baguette and buy a bottle of wine to take home with me, though. (Because Laos used to be a French colony, this is the place to go to for all your European food needs!)
Getting our visas was a pretty straightforward, albeit long and tedious process.We got to the embassy 2 hours after it opened and were number 597 and 602 in line… yup, it’s a pretty popular place to get your visa processed!
I’d love to go back and explore Laos properly one day, though, especially since it’s so close by. (And maybe see something other than the booze shop and the Thai embassy….)
Any Other Happenings?
Christmas and New Year!
This marks the third Christmas that Veeran and I have spent together and we finally got it right and managed to have a chilled and relaxing day. A bit of background: we spent our 1st Christmas pushing past selfie maniacs at Everland in Seoul and spent most of last year on a bus coming back from Jeonju: Korea’s foodie capital!
So, rather than making a big elaborate plan, we planned to spend this year with no plan. We woke up, drunk a bottle of fizzy wine with our breakfast (acceptable because we made Buck’s Fizz!), opened our presents, went for massages, had an Indian and came home to watch a full season of Peaky Blinders.
The exciting life of a travel blogger!
Lol, I feel a bit silly putting this under the “happening” heading when, let’s be honest, nothing happened. I have this habit of telling myself that I’ll do loads of things and then end up falling at the first hurdle and doing nothing. So, after I decided on a whim at the start of December that I’d be blogging everyday throughout the month, I ended up posting a grand total of….. nine times out of thirty-one! It’s slightly higher than how often I post on average but ya know, not even 50% of the days in December. (Eeek!)
One thing that Blogmas taught me, though, is that creativity can’t be forced and quality should always trump quantity. There were so many nights when I would sit down to blog after working on my copywriting all day and I’d realise that, nope, there was nothing there. I’d much rather have a blog full of interesting and useful content that can actually help out a fellow traveller than a blog chock full of slapdash work. That’s why it’s a rare day when I publish short, fluffy posts that take me an hour to throw together. I put a lot of time and effort into making sure that everything on this blog can actually be used as a resource that can be of service to you guys.
So, in saying that, I’d like to just take a minute to thank you all for continuing to actually read my blog! You make it all worth while.
New on the Blog!
And here are the grand results of Blogmas!!!
Most Popular Instagram Photo
This was the only photo I posted on Instagram last month… didn’t exactly have a lot of competition.
What I’ve Been Reading
This book was a hoot so I got through it in absolutely no time at all! It follows the story of a Chinese-American girl, Rachel, who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. What she doesn’t realise, is that his family are filthy rich (!!!!) and are going to be judging her from head to toe. The story’s fun and full of gossip, bitchyness and private jets. I loved escaping into this world of the super rich at the end of my day!
What I’ve Been Watching
Because, yup, I’ve been getting a wee bit comfy on my couch and a wee bit too fond of the telly recently…
Because This is My First Life
Aw man, I loved this drama! Ji-Ho is struggling freelance script writer who wants nothing more than her own home. See Hee is a house-poor web developer who’s up to his eyes in Seoul property debt! After Ji-Ho gets kicked out of her own apartment, her friend tells her about a friend of a colleague (See-Hee) who’s looking for a roommate- without the crazy key money fee. (In Korea, you should give about $10,000 as a deposit for a rental apartment and a lot of the time, it’s a non-returnable gift to the landlord!) Thinking that See-Hee is a women, she jumps at the chance and moves her things in. And, in true K-Drama fashion, things develop from here.
For having such a simple story line, this drama really got me hooked. I liked the fact that it dealt with a lot of the issues that young people face in Korean society- women not getting taken seriously at work, the pressure that parents place on their children to get married and birth loads of sons (lol), the extortionate price of properties in Seoul (!!!!), social hierarchies and sexual harrassment in the workplace. Plus, the main actors both played their roles really well, especially Lee Min Ki who totally nailed the role of a kind but socially awkward introvert!
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
Another K-Drama with a silly story line that’ll suck you in! Do Bong Soon is a cute and tiny girl who was born with superhuman strength. Min Hyuk is the CEO of a games company but’s been getting black mailed and threatened by a jealous family member. After he sees Do Bong Soon standing up to some gangsters, he decides that he wants her to be his bodyguard. And, well, it’s a K-Drama so I’ll let you decide what happens next!
I almost turned this drama off after the first couple of episodes because it was a bit slow to start and seemed kind of silly but, I’m glad I stuck with it because the story became a lot more complex. To be honest, though, what I loved most about this drama was the level of cuteness in it. Do Bong Soon was such a charming character and her relationships with Min Hyuk and the supporting lead, Guk Doo, were portrayed really sweetly, too. If you like fun, romantic comedies that really help you switch off, I’d recommend this one!
Ohhh, Peaky Blinders! You made us wait for 2 years with a ridiculous cliff hanger until you came back into our lives. You can bet that I binged it all in one day. This season of Peaky Blinders was bigger than the rest- there was American mafia, better costumes and more wealth than ever. I’ve heard that the next season won’t be out until 2019 so I’m teaching myself to wait patiently for my next fix of the Shelby Brothers! (Tommy Shelby espeshhhh!)
This drama is still airing but I’ll put it here anyway. In a desperate bid to stop myself from binging dramas, I decided to watch one that’s not completed yet. So, every Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m like a kid at Christmas checking to see if Santa’s been (and my drama’s been subbed!)
Jugglers is an office romance drama. Yoon-Yi is an obedient personal assistant, proficient at juggling a million and one tasks. Chi Won is an aloof and distant company director. And, yup, you guessed it, Yoon-Yi ends up geting assigned to be his assistant despite the fact he protested against having one.
I’ve enjoyed this drama because the characters are pretty upfront and honest in their relationships. One thing that usually annoys me in K-Dramas is how the characters never speak to each other about what they’re thinking. So many silly problems crop up because of this and it ends up being really frustrating to watch. That’s not the case here so it’s been nice to watch a more realistic portrayal of a relationship on TV!
Plans for January
We’re going to try and see a couple of places in Northern Thailand- nothing too far away but it’ll be lovely to escape the city. I’m planning on being more active in building a community this month as well because, to be honest, I’ve been spending too long being a hermit while working at home! And, as well as this, I’m actually going to leave the house more and go to yoga again! (I say this every month but I bought a membership today so I’ll definitely be going.)
If you’re up to anything exciting this month, give me a comment and let me know!
Until next time,