Wow! Never once in my life did I give it a second thought that I'd step foot in WA soil. I've always heard great things about Seattle but it just wasn't on my travel list. However, I am very glad that I finally made it here. I wasn't able to tour much of Seattle, hike, or see the tulips but I was able to see enough to would want to live here.
I made a friend at the time and I was due for a vacation. The plan was that I fly out to Seattle, spend a few days there with him and his family then we'll both fly out to MN to his mother's concert in MN. I was able to tour downtown a little, visit Bruce Lee at Lake View Cemetery, enjoy the Freedom Fair at Tocoma Waterfront on fourth of July (watched fireworks there at night). My hotel was in Fife, I was able to see Seattle, Tocoma, Federal Way, Puyallup, Sumner, Lakewood, etc. Very hilly. We were going to go to Mt. Rainier but then we just didn't have enough time. We did really want to go to Vancouver and Victoria in Canada but time was so limited and especially when it was during the holiday, it just wasn't convenient.
Neither of us wanted to be in MN. If we could choose somewhere else to go, we would but we went to MN for his mother's concert. After the concert, we parted ways with his parents. Still, there was nothing in MN for us to do for the remaining couple days that we had. The day after the concert, I checked out Little Mekong Night Market. I ran into Neng Thao (Nengnow) and he's a pretty cool guy.
Again, on our way from home our Shaolin Kungfu tournament from Mobile, AL, we planned to make a pitch stop at Fort Walton Beach. I was so disappointed because it was sunny all week and then the day before, it rained. I knew the beach wasn't going to be clear as I wanted and indeed, it wasn't clear. I refused to get in the water but my family did. Just being at the beach in general was enough for me, enough to make my heart happy.
Me and my brothers have our quarterly Shaolin Kung Fu tournament in New Orleans. We did not participate in the evening Sanda fight this quarter instead, we wanted to explore the "French Quarters" and New Orleans in general. Usually whenever we travel out to our tournaments, we never really have time to relax and enjoy what's around us therefore, we took advantage of it this time.
We arrived at French Quarters roughly around 6pm. Parking was horrendous! The public parking towards the market place was closed too so nobody could park there. You can only do off-street parking but that's only if you can find a parking - luckily we did. As night falls, the Quarters were starting to get more and more packed.
Many people think that I am a morning person. No, I am not. I love sleeping in. I have many things going on in my (daily) life. When I was in my early twenties, I would sacrifice my sleep time for my friends because I worked multiple jobs at the same time. Six years ago, roughly around this time, I demanded my head boss to let my switch my schedule to work in the early mornings or else I will quit my job - this will allow me to train myself to wake up early in the morning, get my day going, and simply just have a "life" to "live" and be healthier. Even until this day, I am still training myself to wake up early in the morning. It is hard but you have to have determination. Again and again, the only time that I really have to myself is the early morning. With that, I have to take it to my advantage, do something useful/meaningful, and do not let this time go to a waste. Being able to hike up to the top of Stone Mountain, see the city lights to the city that I love, meditate, and witness the beautiful sunrise has reminded me just how blessed I am to be able to wake up every morning to take control of my life the way I want it and dream of it to be. It also reinforced me of how important life is to each and every individual. Live each moment with pure joy and happiness, that is real youth to the soul.
WOW! What a fun, exhausting and well worth it day exploring Bangkok! After landing in Bangkok at 3am, I forced myself to go to sleep to gain energy for touring. I was wide awake by 6am - I only have 3 hours of sleep. I met up with my good friend whom I met through HelloTalk, Kannokporn. Her friend, Touch, came along with us as well. This was the first time that Kannokporn and I met. Also the first time I met her friend Touch. They were both really sweet and friendly. Upon meeting Nok, it feels as if we have been friends for a lifetime already.
We met up at BTS Siam and went to the Grandeur Rattanakosin Hall Exhibition. We then explored the Grand Palace and Wat Arun. It was SO HOT. The heat there is different from Georgia/Florida's heat. Here, you only get roasted but in Thailand, it cooks you from the inside. Halfway through touring around the Grand Palace, I wanted to badly just cry and give up and fly back home immediately. However, I cannot do that. I came on this trip for a reason. This was a lifetime dream goal of mine, a challenge. I forced myself to continue touring and stay until the very end of my vacation.
There were so many people in Bangkok, Thailand. It's the land of smiles. Thailand is so diverse. There were so many Europeans, Americans, Chinese and Koreans. I felt comfortable - it felt like home. That is because I grew up in a diverse community and living in Atlanta for 16 years, Atlanta has always been an extremely diverse community.
Anyway, look forward to my next blog!
*This blog will be a little different from the others. I will constantly be updating this blog as I progress.
I have been planing this for a few years now leading me to sleepless nights, stress, breakouts, excitements and disappointments together all at the same time. However, this very moment is surreal.
It is OFFICIAL that I will be going to Thailand! The reason why it took many years to finally book my flight was because of income and time. I was and still a student so of course, college is money out of your own pocket. I can't afford to take days off school to fail. On the other hand, vacation time off is not always easily granted from work. There were many times where my vacation request had been denied. When I feel like the timing is right, something always changes within my department to prevent me from going too.
Vacationing out of country is expensive. To have a well worth vacation overseas requires lots of time. I would say a minimum of a good two weeks. Sadly, where I work, I have a lot of responsibilities that I will only be vacationing in Thailand for a week and a half but with the quickest flight.
"Going overseas isn't something so exciting about" is what I would get from people that I mention my plans to. Well, it's NOT just a vacation.
My BIG GIRL vacation on my CHECK LIST is to have a personal vacation (only myself) overseas of my choice. Therefore, I chose Thailand. I will be going alone through no agency. I want to experience "life" in Thailand like a citizen. I have places to visit and things to do in mind but not planned. I will land there and go from there. I will not be following an itinerary. I will explore on my own with the knowledge that I have. I am familiar with the culture. I am 65% fluent in Thai however, I can comprehend and understand very well.
My second vacation to Thailand, I definitely will be staying much longer and really tour like I am an "American tourist" along with taking my mother. China, will be my second destination. I won't be talking too much about my vacation right now so make sure to follow me (and this blog) for updates.
I am not sponsored by anyone or any company. All travelings were through my own personal expenses.