Friday, June 22, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 173]:~ A Day In

~:[CH7 - Day 173]:~ A Day In
I spent my day in this monstrous hotel in the middle of Bangkok. It's a nice place and when you wait for the sale, you can also get a good deal. They tried to get me to spend a little bit more with early check in, free breakfast, and and upgraded floor, but I opted to wait and still got to check in 10 minutes later, got three days of breakfast but stayed on the same floor (probably the same room though). I've penny punched a bit more in Bangkok, as my day in today, only had me head out for lunch across the street at Terminal 21, as I did my laundry. It was quite the scene as I made four clotheslines out of what I had in the room and hung up a bunch of my other clothes. It was a nice enough hotel, where I had what I needed to do a good job cleaning plus be able to dry a weeks worth of clothes. It was nice to lounge around and hang out and I even got a quick visit from a friend. Regardless, if you're ever planning to travel to Thailand, it's not the best weather, but this time of year (which is usually the rainy season) is the less busy season and you'll find much better rates this time of year. It also tends to be less crowded, but if you're in a touristy spot, you're probably always going to see crowds. In any case, I kicked up my feet, put on my do not disturb sign and relaxed as I waited for my clothes to dry. I guess instead of watching paint dry, I watched my clothes dry, but I guess, it was a needed day of rest and relaxation. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 172]:~ A Door of Fate

~:[CH7 - Day 172]:~ A Door of Fate
We wandered down a small little street and settled on eating at this restaurant. It was fairly new and it was quiet inside, yet we were amazed by the amazing owners and the good food and drinks that came along with it. Since then, I have made it a point to visit the Sixth every time I come to Bangkok and have even made it a point to come to Bangkok to visit the Sixth. There is something about certain people that make you happy and this couple makes me happier than I could ever have imagined. They are such good natured people and even took me out after their restaurant closed, as we wandered the streets. They took such good care of me and I realized how truly blessed I have been. Walking through that door was one of the best decisions of my life, as I met a couple who I hope I can be friends with for the rest of my life. Soon, it will be a family I hope to know the rest of my life, as soon, they will have a beautiful child. Regardless, despite the fatigue of traveling from Chiang Mai and the stress of trying to find my way despite my data going out, it was all worth it when I met up with them. I surprised them a day early and they welcomed me as if a day had not gone by since I last was there. My entire day was a happy one, as the good times we had together today, carried me through the remainder of the night. Luckily, I will get to see them once more before I leave, as I once again will walk through that door that I must have been fated to walk through. Life has a funny way of bringing people together, but rather than questioning it, just accept it and all the joyous moments that come along with it. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 171]:~ Untrending

~:[CH7 - Day 171]:~ Untrending
People are often drawn to what is trending and I am guilty of it as well. The next cool thing or place to go often leads to a crazy adventure that often times can be disappointing. As I ventured to Chiang Rai for the day, I saw the beautiful white temple (Wat Rong Khun) which was also filled with a mass of tourists. If I had been local, I may have gotten there early enough to get my shot without anyone in it, but unfortunately, it was packed. Regardless, I took a trek off the beaten path on the way back to Chiang Mai and stopped at Wat Sang Kaew Phothiyan which was pretty much empty. There were a lot of interesting and non-traditional elements in the temple, but it ended up being a stop I will remember for awhile. Almost every shot was absent of people which made it a dream for me to shoot. Often times in life we get drawn to the people who are "cool" because they make the most noise or stand out for a reason for another or we venture to those places that everyone is talking about, the latest "hot spot." However, when we do that, sometimes we try to chase what is trending only to find that we miss out on opportunities such as these. Whether you decide to go with what's trending or not, just make sure that you don't miss out on the opportunity to be yourself and let yourself shine. Eventually, people will see what they are missing, both with you and with a place like Wat Sang Kaew Phothiyan, and while you may not see it now, trends come and go, but you will be someone that outlasts these trends. While you may feel like you're untrending now, be confident in yourself and who you are, as you'll be the trend in the lives of those who matter around you. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 170]:~ Walking Through the Night

~:[CH7 - Day 170]:~ Walking Through the Night
There's a regional Pokemon you can get here in Thailand, yes, I still play that game. So after catching my morning meal, saying goodbye to Hong Kong and heading over to Chiang Mai, I ventured out to walk the streets of Chiang Mai. I didn't want to venture out to the bazaar so I stayed around my hotel and lone and behold, I found my regional pretty quickly. Sadly, I didn't have the info I needed for a friend, so I ventured back out to catch another one, as I walked the streets late into the night. Regardless, I was able to see a lot of things I haven't before and so the adventure was quite a fun one. I thought I caught a Pokemon at the moat, but I guess it was just an elephant; something you'll see all over Thailand. While I am only in Chiang Mai for a short stay, my stay in Thailand will be a lot longer and I hope that it ends up being a great one. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 169]:~ In Competition

~:[CH7 - Day 169]:~ In Competition
Along Stanley Beach, race after race went on as teams came from all over the world to compete for the title of being the fastest, while others came together to celebrate and have a great time. Overall, the spirit of the festival was alive as people flocked to the shoreline to watch the event, on a day which was a holiday for most. You could tell, as the crowds were huge, however, luckily this year, I was able to get a front row seat perched above the course, getting a clear view of all the races. It was a beautiful site to watch, as teams from all different companies, schools and other groups came together to form the 250+ team field, as over 200,000 gathered to the shoreline. Despite not feeling my best, it was definitely a fun day to get out and enjoy the festival, which is the whole reason for my stop in Hong Kong. I loved watching the spirit of the festival come alive and the joyous looks on the faces of the competitors. From the teams warming up, to them celebrating, and of course the motivation pep talk before the races, my vantage point let me see it all. I didn't have the cannons that the photographers next to me had, but surely, the spirit of the festival was truly captured in my heart. One of the friends competed in the event as she coordinated everything for her law firm. It was nice to know someone in the actual event and was glad to be able to catch up with her after the event. Somehow we found each other among the crowd as we chatted. I was so happy to receive a souvenir paddle from the event to commemorate my first trip to Stanley to see the races. In the end, all were champions, as in the true spirit of the event, it was the good times had by all that made it a day to remember. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 168]:~ To My Father with Love

~:[CH7 - Day 168]:~ To My Father with Love
I'm thousands of miles away, but still am thinking of my father. As I ordered dinner, I didn't want to eat this, but did so because it reminded me of the boys of the family. My dad in the forefront always guiding us along. I've always seemed to be close to my dad but have grown closer to him as we've gotten older and there isn't a day that goes by than I am not grateful for him. For all of us, there are days that we may not get along with our parents or the loved ones around us, but then we realize that they just want the best for us. Today is even more extra special as it falls on his birthday as well. I will have to reward him with dinner when I return, but my gratitude for him, will not be confined to these singular moments as I know with time, I will have the opportunity to repay him for all that he's done for me. To all the fathers and those who took on the role of fathers, I thank you for all that you do. It's not an easy task, but for most of the fathers I know, they do it wholeheartedly and because of that, I smile. Happy Fathers Day! 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 167]:~ Regions Undiscovered

~:[CH7 - Day 167]:~ Regions Undiscovered
With another day of adventure, came another day of discovery. Despite originally planning to meet closer, our last minute plans brought my runner friend and I out to Sha Tin, which was about an hour and four trains away from where I was. I wasn't too fond of the day initially especially because I was really tired, but in the end, it was a good choice, as we were able to catch up on our running talk through the evening. In a few days, the river would be packed with people trying to catch a glimpse of the dragon boats racing along the water, however, tonight, it was peaceful as the lights from the buildings glistened in the water, in a day that was packed with people and crowds all around. Being in such crowds when you're not feeling well is not easy, but being pulled away from it all, was quite nice and refreshing. Sometimes among the crowds you don't see the opportunities that await you, but all it takes is a little extra effort to find a place where you can get taken away and where you weren't expected to be. It was a peaceful evening and my body was so exhausted, I began to fall asleep while standing in the subway, but I was feeling better and I know with a full night AND morning's rest, I will be doing well. As I ventured into the undiscovered, I found what the day had been hoping for me all along, a place to find a quiet moment in the crowds that has been the start to this adventure.

Friday, June 15, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 166]:~ Surviving Together

~:[CH7 - Day 166]:~ Surviving Together
I snapped a quick picture realizing I had to meet my friend soon. I didn't like the framing of the photo at all, but the content spoke volumes to me. Of course, I wasted spent a lot of the time I could have been taking pictures observing all the turtles in the pond. Even in this microcosm, you begin to realize how important living creatures are to each other. In this situation, I saw a baby turtle nagging its parent, a family together on a log, and the different reactions each had to each other. While I may have over analyzed the situation and may not even know that the turtles I saw were from the same family, as they were floating along, deflecting others away, it reminded me of a family surviving together. As my stomach raged and my head spun a bit, partially from a lack of sleep, a little from dehydration and the heat, and some from the food I needed to consume (which I did soon thereafter), I kept thinking of my family who have always stepped up in moments when I needed them the most. Sometimes I was a brat right before, but even then, they'd put down everything and be by my side, floating on that log beside me. They'd make sure I am okay even when I didn't treat them the same way. They often say that blood is thicker than water and there is nothing that can be counted own more than your own blood in its purest form. Sadly, sometimes that blood can deviate from the norm, but for those who have had family stick with you through the thick and thin, appreciate them and don't take them for granted while you have the opportunity and value the importance of the connection through blood. I wish I stayed longer to watch them and who knows, maybe I'll go back tomorrow, but for now, I'll be looking forward to going home and showing my appreciation to the ones who have been with me through it all. I love you!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 165]:~ Time to Eat

~:[CH7 - Day 165]:~ Time to Eat
I had about seven hours on the ground in Tokyo, so I hit it running, grabbing a bite to eat. For today, I stopped off at a gyukatsu place in Shinjuku. It was pretty delicious and probably was exactly the way I wanted to start my trip. I'll be on an eating adventure and while this is not my first official stop, I still headed out during my layover before heading off. I was exhausted and a little sick heading into the trip and hope I can use this to get away and relax. Like they say, work hard, play harder. Peace out Cali.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 164]:~ And So It Continues ...

~:[CH7 - Day 164]:~ And So It Continues ...
On the day before heading off, I thought it would be a relaxing day, as I finished most everything I needed to prior to leaving. However, I woke up later than I planned and had to rush to get things done. I wasn't feeling well, so I also was dragging around, on the verge of getting sick. While the stress of life continues however, so does the ability to relax, to love, and to enjoy life. As while you feel bound by all that is around you, you also can celebrate with friends and loved ones and head off on adventures unknown, whether near or far. While the craziness of tomorrow piled up and has felt like the past two weeks, I found some opportunities to relax and enjoy. I fought my cold and even just sat around for a bit before deciding to write and sleep. You cannot control all the craziness of a day, but you can control your mindset and how you see things. As I opened up a bottle of messages from one of my MUN periods and numerous cards, I realized, that a positive outlook can not only affect you, but those around you. I was sad because I was leaving before father's day and my dad's birthday and I wasn't feeling well enough to cook for him as I usually do, but then I appreciated the fact that I had him around and the opportunity to give him his gifts and leave him with messages from the heart. We all wish that life could be easier, but if we can't change how the world is, maybe we can change how we view it so it becomes a better place. With that, I leave you with a pizza my heart. <3 p="">