There are so many people who have made the last few years worth while and where do I start but with the people I first met that have taught me about kindness and self-worth, that have been an ear when before I had none. Who have shown me that our value isn’t defined by what you do but who you are and how you choose to see the world.
To Pascal who I met in the summer of 2013 as we were both in Bangkok at the time and who I would see again a few weeks later in Khao Tao. He was young, idealsitic and searching for who he was but had more courage than I could ever muster and I envy him for it.
To Shazaan Bahrainwala who I met randomly through couchsurfing which led to a few nights out on Khaosan road. He’s a great chap, with great stories and not afraid to meet people unlike myself.
To Anna from Sagion, you were quiet when we met in Bangkok and it was awesome seeing you a few months later in your hometown. Thank you for showing me around, for your kindess and the buffet. It was amazing.
To David Tjemerlang who hosted me when I was in Medan, you were generous to a fault which I didn’t deserve and that was the first time when I shaved my head. It was a privilage to meet you and your friends and that was my first time couchsurfing with anyone and if I learned anything is that I will repay the kindness shown to me to any who cross my path.
To my boy Mike who I met in Taiwan who was learning to speak Mandarin and whose suggestion to learn muay thai changed my travels more than I could have thought possible.
I have to give my thanks and gratitude to Bee the owner of Charn Chai Muay Thai for putting up with more for over a year and a half. I remember when I first got to your gym. I saw everyone training and I walked back to town and waited till I had the courage to go begin to learn muay thai. It has been a life changing experience, it has helped me do something I never thought I could do.
I remember seeing the guys fighting when I first arrived and thinking that could never be me but that’s what happened and I will have to go back for another go because I have 2 wins and 2 losses so you know I have to own up to it and tip the scales in my favour without question.
Thanks Ryan for spending those times with me before you left to train me at the gym, I sucked but I kept con coming and that was half the battle. I learned that I had discipline to spare and could bring it to bear.
To Arcangelo, my crazy Italian friend (what other kind are there), he is your brash and a fighter at heart. He has the spirit the blazes in the dark and a passion that can’t be matched. If you ever fight I will find a way to be there because it will be an epic showdown. I hope you are doing well and see you back in Pai at some point.
To Daniel and Geir, it was nice living with you Daniel, it was great chatting with you among the chaos we had in the last few months and chatting about philosophy and random things. Geir what can I say about my broken friend I will always remember you as the cripple because you could barely walk when you came back to Pai the second time.
Hey Annamoon how is school treating you so far? Hope all is well and that you get a chance to return and see how far you can push the envelope
So James how are those camels treating you in Australia? hope you can do your training and do what you always wanted to.
Gotta say can’t wait to see Mango Dave fight it out in the muay thai ring this summer man. It was great having a canuck at my first fight so long ago. I think that is the only video of me fighting at all which is probably a good thing.
To Paco I think we were all jealous of your abs and your impressive ability to party and train the next day. I’ll always remember those words you told me after my second fight when you had just gotten back. How you said you never thought I would do it and that you were proud. That meant because I never thought I could either and sometimes it is good to hear that you can prove people wrong, that your fate isn’t written, it is defined by you as much as it is through anyone else.
To Louie, Bee and Kerrie-Anne’s then baby and now toddler it was an honour seeing you go from a baby to a future Lumpinee champion and the next in line for your Dad and brother’s muay thai name.
To Andrew who is editing a video back in England, such a nice guy whose experience I envy as I try to find a way to tell a story of my own.
To Sammie the secret lethwei champ I can’t wait to see a video of you in the ring with no gloves. I will cringe as I see those hits but I know you will give as good as you get and win with the will and power of a true fighter in every sense of the word.
Hey Kate who I saw at Mountain Bar and later lived next door too. You are so kind and have an ability to connect with people which is a skill I wish I could steal so I could do the same.
To Adam the Austrialian marine who last I talked to had ended up in England, you are an inspiration for what you could do. I remember you leaving and always wished you came back to get into the ring maybe next time.
Hey Annemoon how is school treating you so far hope you get a chance to explore the world again and make it back to Pai at some point along the way.
Hey Nikita, we never did hang out that much but it was great meeting you and seeing how you could make a place your own. I always stayed so closed off you remind me to open up and not be afraid to just be yourself and screw those haters.
Then there’s Bami who has to put up with all us who suck at muay thai while he was always preparing for the next fight. It was awesome seeing you take it to them every time you were on Max Muay Thai.
Another one on the muay thai banner is Dan whose commitment to the sport, your focus and passion is evident every time I saw you train.
To Joey man meeting another diabetic on the crazy muay thai journey was nice and I hope you do come back to fight one day.
Hey Raul, I’m so proud of how much you had grown from when you got to Charn Chai Muay Thai not just in the ring but as a man. I hope you go back home with a new focus on who you are and what you want to do.
To Guy who cornered my last fight and who was such a good dude. I didn’t know you all that well but you have a brain for the ring and a passion that is infectious.
To Ju from South Korea I hope your script is going well and that it is a way for your to focus yoru creative energy. I know your time in Pai has ended but I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for out there.
So Mathias, how is the hand and hope you are back to kicking the bag but be careful about those hard heads next time.
Hey June how are you in South America, I can only hope I can be as open to the world so maybe I can find a way to be my best self even when it seems impossible. I kind of had a little crush on you when we first met but I bet you got that all the time #LOL.
Hey Richard how are things back in Canada, hope to see you back here at some point. It should be easy for you since your family gets good deals on flights.
To Garth and all his stories that I listened when sitting at mountain tattoo on many an evening. You have great stories and I hope you get back to the gym at some point.
So Alan you think after diving you will head to Thailand and give muay thai and a fight another go I hope you do because I remember you were so got the fire for it after awhile so keep it up man.
To Khembottra who taught us to meditate at the meeting house in Taipei, how goes your plans to take over the world. I want to make sure I am on your good side when all the shit goes down.
Hey Nestor how has your brother enjoyed Thailand and what are you up to these days. It was nice seeing you in Bali man and hope you get your Internet venture going soon.
To Ben the fighter who is now in Chiang Mai happy you are back in Thailand how goes it and when are you geting into the ring next.
To Sikkersoq my girl from Iceland how goes the writing? Or are you in the same boat as me which is stuck between the rock and the hardest of hard places.
So Tu my Austrailian friend when are you going to go back to Charn Chai and get into the ring. I know you want too.
So Eddie and Brooke how are the two of you making it out on the island life. I see your post often and I only wish I had your spirit.
There are so many people I can talk about who have made an impact however small or large.
To Matthew you were at the gym when I started and back when I left hope you get a chance to train some more now that your back is better. You know more than most what’s it like to be on the road constantly so to the adventure no matter where it leads.
There are so many people to thank, I wish I knew what I was going to do or who I was but I have a much better idea of that than I did before and it is becausse
To Christie man we never could meet up even though we were on Bali at the same time. Maybe next time.
To Kaew it was great seeing this Thai guy go on TV and fight the good fight at Max Muay Thai. He is one of the trainers I really miss.
To Kong who left Charn Chai Muay Thai more than a year ago to end up in Japan teaching the kiddies how to kick some ass I am glad that you have been able to experience more of the world.
To Jacqueline who gave me my first pair of muay thai shorts in exchange for pics. I hope you have a good time at songkran this year.
To Joy, happy birthday and hope all is well for your and your family and that business is better than ever. You are always so kind and everyone always knew your place had the best food in town.
To Clement I hope you got some good recipes this last time you went to Pai and to another Clement who had fought and was doing a worldwide tour of martial arts i hope one day I get to see whatever you create from that time.
To action man I mean Steve who is back in Pai, who has abs of steal if you have any tips for climbing Rinjani give them up I will need them.
Hey Jordan and Frances are we going to climb that volcano or what LOL. Congrats to the bride and you too Jordan I hope Amsterdam is treating you well and we get to catch up soon even though it hasn’t been that long ago.
This is what travel is not the places, sights, sounds or food although it is all that but the people both local and not that make it worth exploring. To the adventure. I guess I am writing this now just before I begin to nail everything down for the next phase.
I have never been a super social person, I’ve always kept to myself so I could keep my distance. Which is something that I need to change and everyone here and even more that I can mention here are the reason I keep on going as I seek to craft a story that will change my life and me it one worth the kindness shown to me so I can give it back the same way.
I give up my desire to be anything but me and to focus on what I know I must do not because it is easy but because it is what I am called to do. Thanks for moments drinking, fighting, training, meditation, did I mention drinking, laughter and relaxing.
I m going to focus on the story to and hope to return the kindness I have been shown by so many people at Charn Chai Muay Thai and across all my travels. This is what makes travel worth doing, all of you.