Life & Reflections

Monthly Life Update: November 2017

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

November was a month of slowing the F down! (Thanks be to god…)

After a pretty fast October, I needed to sit still, do some work and cook my own dinner for a change. It’s a good thing that I enjoyed this new pace of life so much because I’m going to be continuing this way for quite a while…. For those who don’t know already, Veeran and I will be staying in Chiang Mai for the foreseeable future!

Places Visited

Chiang Mai

I’m not even sure if I can count this as a place visited because, ya know, I live here now!

We’ve not been very adventurous since coming here. (To put it bluntly, we’ve been pretty damn lazy.) Most of our exploring has revolved around going to bars, restaurants and coffee shops. In all honesty, though, after all the travelling that we did in Latin America, I’ve been in desperate need of a month like this!

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

Luckily, our first few days coincided with the lantern festival, meaning we that got to be accidentally cultural, yass!

Any Other News

Our travels might look a bit slim but we have plenty of chat in other areas of our lives!

We Have a Flat!

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

I mentioned this briefly in my last life update but, after just 3 days of searching, we found our perfect flat in Chiang Mai. We’ll be staying here for at least 6 months while we study Thai on our Education Visas, and it’s the perfect little base.

I’ve finally reached my dream of living in a place with a swimming pool which, I’ll be honest, I’ve only been in once. Our cute little flat is modern, bright, airy and an absolute steal. We pay the equivalent of £325 per month to live in our own wee one bedroom place. This is actually expensive in Chiang Mai (!!!!) but after having our apartments always chosen for us in Korea, we didn’t mind “splashing out” on a place we both really loved.

We had our First Visitors!

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

When we moved to Chiang Mai, we both joked that we’d definitely have more visitors here than we ever had in Korea. (I had one in 3 years, Veeran had zero in 6….) True to form, just 2 weeks after arriving, we had our first visitors; my good friend Chloe was visiting from Singapore with her Japanese boyfriend, Kouzei.

We had an awesome time hanging out as a Scot, a French woman, a South African and a Japanese man. (Like a younger, better looking version of the UN!) I must admit, we weren’t the best tour guides in the world since we’d just gotten here but it was fun to just eat, chill and hang out. It’s been pretty quiet and sad since they left.

Also, if any of you guys are interested in learning languages, Chloe runs a great blog called Borderless Languages. She’s a clever cookie, speaking French, English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Russian and offers freelance tutoring and translation services! (If you need any language aid, please support my pal’s awesome business!)

Meeting other Bloggers

I thought I’d have a much more social month here with all the meet-ups that have been happening but, tbh, I’ve been quite busy catching up with life admin and work. What has been fun, though, is meeting up with Katie and Ben from Two Wandering Soles who are coincidentally also here in Chiang Mai! After noticing this on Instagram, I had to give Katie a message and arrange a meet up!

It’s been nice to have another couple to hang out with, especially one who’s leading a similar lifestyle to us!

I also attended a travel blogging brunch where I hung out with some awesome digital nomad girls from France, The UK, The Philippines, The USA and Australia.

Beauty Hauls and SHOPPING!

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

Being back in Asia has given me a huge excuse to stock up on all my favourite beauty products. In Bangkok, I made a beeline for Innis Free as soon as I got there and bought myself the customisable cushion make up which now has colours for tanned people. (Innis Free, I knew I always loved you!)

After travelling with the attitude that toner and eye cream are luxuries, it’s nice to have all my usual beauty tools again. I’ve actually made a video for Youtube with my nightly skincare routine which I’ll be publishing soon!

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

In keeping with the Korea theme, we discovered there is a KBBQ buffet right next to our flat!

I’ve also taken being in Thailand as an opportunity to upgrade my wardrobe. The fashion here is so cute- very similar to Korean fashion- so I’ve picked myself up some cute dresses and skirts to pad out my wardrobe. I hate dressing scruffy in cities so it’s nice not to be wearing my backpacking clothes all the time.

Being in Korea taught me how to successfully shop in “one-size” shops for my shape. My best tip is to avoid any dresses that are lined or anything with a button. (Because those things are never going over most western girl’s hips!) A lot of Asian fashion is quite boxy so, even though the sizes are renowned for being small, there are styles that will fit everyone- skater dresses and tunic tops are always my go tos!

My Interview with This is Rocio!

Fellow Korea expat blogger (can I still call myself that?!), Rocio asked me to do an interview with her about my digital nomad life and I jumped at the chance. I love reading her thought provoking articles about society and identity so I was super pleased that she wanted to feature ME on her uber-inspirational blog!

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

Just me, digital nomading!

Answering her questions was really therapeutic and gave me the chance to actually think about things- thanks again for that, Rocio 🙂 Lots of people got in touch to say that they enjoyed it and that it helped them understand what I’m doing which made me sooo happy.

You can read the interview here!

New on the Blog

My Secret to Finding the Cheapest Flights on the Web

This year, I travelled from

Seoul>>

London>>

Johannesburg>>

Rome>>

Malta>>

Switzerland>>

Amsterdam>>

Cologne>>

Havana>>

Cancun>>

Guadalajara for less than £1,500! This blog post outlines exactly how I did just that!

Popular on Instagram

It’s pretty hard to say that any of my photos are ever “popular” on Instagram but this one got the most likes this month!

What I’ve Been Reading

Steal Like an Artist

This is a fantastic book for any creatives struggling to find inspiration. It encourages readers to embrace inspiration rather than continuously trying to create something new. It’s full of cute illustrations and handy tips on how to steal tastefully and put your own spin on something that’s already been done. I’ve found it very inspiring.

Dark Places

I’m not going to lie, this book has been an absolute slog. It’s part of the reason I’ve not read much this month. I keep thinking it’ll be easy to get through, at only 300 pages, but it’s one of those books that’s far too easy to put down….

The book follows a girl called Lily whose whole family was murdered by her brother when she was just a child. She lives on the donations she got following this tragedy until she turns 30 and the money starts running out. When it does, she’s approached by a group of activists who believe that her brother is innocent and want to pay her to attend their conferences. And so, she starts re-investigating the murder, trying to uncover what really happened.

I usually love crime stories like this but I can’t take it. The characters are really unlikeable so, to be honest, I don’t actually care what happens to any of them. Weirdly, though, I do feel invested in the story so I can’t stop now. Just another 100 pages to go. Hopefully it’ll get better.

What I’ve Been Watching

Million Yen Women

This is an awesome series on Netflix about a struggling Japanese author who mysteriously has 5 different girls pay 1 million yen ($10,000) each to live with him each month. It’s a bit of a dark thriller with a few twists and turns- we got hooked and finished it in a few days!

While you Were Sleeping

I’ve not watched a K-Drama since finishing Goblin and have been craving some melodrama in my life! While you Were Sleeping was worth the wait. It’s about a twentysomething girl called Hong-Joo who has dreams that predict the future. A handsome prosecutor who she’s met in her dreams moves into the house across the road and the story develops from there. I don’t want to ruin anything so just watch it for yourself!

Plans for December

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

Need to treat myself to another pint of ridiculously overpriced Punk IPA since, ya know, it’s gonna be Christmas!

Oh my god, how on Earth did it end up being December?! I don’t feel Christmassy at all- especially since its 30 degrees outside. This is the first time I’ve ever “skipped” winter and it’s actually really weird… I kind of envy all you people on FB and IG with your new hats and jackets on!

To fill this winter void in my life, I’ve decided to do BLOGMAS!

I’m going to be blogging everyday in December (which totally makes up for the fact that I don’t have an advent calendar!) I’m sure that it’s going to keep me busy.

Wee Gypsy Girl Chiang Mai Expat Travel Blog

Last month I said I was going to start yoga which I still haven’t done…. Need to get on that ASAP! And, also, we need to go to Laos to get our education visas sorted, too. I think we’ll make the trip to Vientiane in the middle of this month so there will be a bit of international travel thrown in there, too.

We’re probably just going to lay low over Christmas. Ever since we met, Veeran and I have done something hectic every Christmas rather than just stay at home. This year, we want to just relax and do the things we want to do: Go for brunch, get massages and have a nice dinner with some wine. It feels nice to have absolutely no Christmas pressure!

I hope that everyone has a relaxing December, whether you’re globetrotting, expating or spending it with loved ones!

Until my 2018 update, thanks to everyone who has read this year!

Nicole 🙂

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Samantha
    4th December 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Oh man, don’t be jealous, I’m already dreading it getting any colder here and I envy you being nice and warm in 30C weather!

    I’m excited to follow your CM digital nomad journey, and that apartment is way nicer than my Korean one of the same price haha.

    Also I have the SAME feeling! I don’t think I’m going to convince a single person to come visit me in the 3 years in total I’ll be in Korea! My friends flat out told me they’d come see me in Germany but have 0 interest in SK, and the only way I got my sister even mildly interested in visiting Germany is because there’s so much beer there.

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      10th December 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Haha thanks! Everyone keeps saying that about the weather as well. I usually hate cold weather but it feels like the universe is out of balance because I’ve been skipping seasons!

      Lol, I’d honestly love to show my friends around Korea and take them out for BBQ, cosmetic shopping etc. Why does no one want to visit! (It’s more fun.. and much cheaper.. than Europe!)

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