Getting to Pai via 762 Turns

In the hills of Northern Thailand you can find Pai, situated in a valley that’s 762 turns from Chiang Mai this small stop on the maehong son loop this area is full of personality and beauty.

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Thank you for the Moments

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 …

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Don’t Break the Travel Budget

So how much do you spend where you are on vacation? For most people it is in well excess of what you spend outside of your normal daily life because its you damn vacation. In North America where the average person gets 2 weeks a year it is where a lot of money is saved …

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Deciding, Choices and Paralysis

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Some people are good at making choices and I am not one of those people. I think it comes from being the analyzer type. You try to look at things at all angles and in the process I’ve been a perpetual state of fear for making the wrong one.

Nothing is wrong with making a wrong choice, through you lives there will be a ton of wrong but if you are lucky and can take each of those wrongs and learn from them hopefully you will have more right in your life.

The reason I am writing that is because when I travel I never just go and do something I take way too long to make up my mind and end up just in the middle. I think that comes of trying as much to offend people when I was young as it was anything else.

The thing is that being stuck in the middle like not making a decision means you are not taking a stand. The second you take a stand or make a choice, the blurred lines become clearer, a path through the noise beings to emerge.

I always go back to muay thai but when my friend Mike Vink told me I should try it I was in the midst of figuring out where I was going to next to the middle east or somewhere else in Asia.

I had already been to Thailand and didn’t feel the need to go back and then I said yes and that would lead me to living and learning to love muay thai. It meant that while I was in Taiwan I would start running and going to the gym just so I wouldn’t be destroyed when I got there.

I was but it was one of those choices where I didn’t really go into deeply and just went all in. I never expected I would stay a year and a half or fight. The choice to fight was another long road, one that I couldn’t give voice to for more than a year of being at Charn Chai Muay Thai in Pai, Thailand.

I could have done it much sooner probably have fought way more if I had the courage to say yes. I regret that I didn’t say yes but I don’t regret when I fought because I got a chance to have my first fight in Pai instead of Chiang Mai which was worth it for me.

Now here I am debating other stupid decisions not between something that is good or bad but that are neither. I’ve always had problems at choosing even when I was looking for work and starting now I am going to let go of the need to have to appease anyone or worry about certain types of decisions.

It’s not like I am going to flip a coin or always go with what feels right but I am going to focus my analytical side on the story. That is what I want to do, that is where I am going to bet all my chips in this game. Not because it is smart or what people think I should do but because it is what I feel I must.

For decisions that are both equal then it doesn’t matter and I won’t waste my time worrying about them. The funny thing for those bigger decisions like what I should work on go with what you feel.

I have often heard that you should flip a coin and no matter where that coins whatever option you hoped it to land on is the one you wanted but maybe didn’t even really know you did.

When I started muay thai, when I got into the ring I did it because it felt right and none of it was easy, it took a long time for me to feel like I belonged or that I could do what I say many others doing but it was worth the time and the energy.

So I am going to stop analyzing like I usually do and keep things simple and realize that a bad choice is only bad if you don’t learn from it or can’t see the good in it.

Within any decision there are pros and cons and what we decide to focus on will often dictate how we see that decision. As a negative person I’ve always been more cynical but I am going to leave that behind. I will see the good in even the bad decisions I am going to make.

It’s like wanting to climb Mount Agung now in Bali, it will be a struggle, it will be scary, it doesn’t come without risk but the reward for those hours of exhaustion are not just the view because maybe you get it, maybe you don’t but that fact that you did it and a photo from the summit or not that is worth it.

So I am going to worry less, live more, be in this moment and enjoy every moment I have be it in the depths of the creative onslaught or the exhaustion of training or the choice to go on or turn back.

I will keep on going because that is what life is, it is about getting through the dark days for the one moment of the sun, to continue to help those around you even when you feel it’s all for naught, to have the will to keep a dream alive even when everyone says it isn’t or can’t happen.

That doesn’t mean you take criticism lightly but what it should mean is that you use the challenge to make your way batter, to make the best of the situation no matter the circumstances.

To see the negative as a challenge, to be focused by the hardship or take what you or people around you see as a bad decision and make it a good one that you can grow from.

You should also never be afraid to turn around if it doesn’t work, as long as you give it everything you have and then some if at some point you turn back to focus on something else that isn’t wrong. It is like when you are first climbing a mountain at some point you may have to turn back but no matter what you will have gone further than all those that just go to base camp and that is worth the effort and the choice.

All you can control is how you react to the world around you, you can’t always be happy and it isn’t some kind of deus ex machina that will make your life great but what it does do is help you is to live in hope instead of fear and that is a good place to begin.

Don’t get trapped by too many choices, there are more that will await you no matter what and no choice is not a good one because it means you are not moving forward, so any choice is better than that because at least you will know.

Give everything you have when you do decide, if you find that you’re not, that could be a sign that maybe you have to switch gears. Sometimes it will get hard before it gets better which is often a filter but if you can get past the hump you will be rewarded with having pushed through the hard part to make it to the point where you know you can and that is worth the effort every time.

So decisions, choices and possibilities are what life is about. It is about the challenge and to go beyond what you think you could. It is about living not in fear but in hope and joy.

It isn’t always about going with what is the best because sometimes it is the hard things, the one where you are driven by instinct as much as my thought that can be the most rewarding any you have no way of knowing when you decide to go down that path.

It is only looking back on how far you’ve come that will give you that awareness but going in with the best intentions, with focus, not being afraid to keep going and push those boundaries within our selves be them physical or mental, to learn through every mistakes and take those lessons forward are the best ways for us to grow and become the better versions of ourselves.

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Wandering again next stop Bali

So I just finished a year and a half of muay thai at Charn Chai Muay Thai where I trained and eventually found the courage to try my hand at getting into the ring. I eventually got into the ring 4 times with my last fight being January 29th, 2016. I have fought every month …

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Living in Pai, Eating at the Laundromat and the Journey

When you travel it is about seeing the sights and experiencing as much of a place, culture and people as you can but when you live somewhere I find you form habits, places to eat, where you shop, get your laundry done. I put travel on pause while I’ve been in Northern Thailand have come to call Pai just north of Chiang Mai home for the last year or so.

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Package a Tour or Go it Alone?

When you travel there are many options available to you, if you are on vacation you can do an all-inclusive stay at a resort where food, accommodation and sometimes even your flight are included.

For the resort and tour company this keeps the majority of the costs within their walls, it means you are more likely to partake in the recreational activities they provide be it a tour of the local area, their beach, water sports and so on.

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The Urge to Push On

When you have traveled for a while or even a short time you have the urge to keep on going, of not stopping and heading back to wherever home is.

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Why I Won’t Return to Toronto

So I’ve been off living in Thailand for more than a year and was traveling for 15 months before that all around Asia. I haven’t worked since before I left Toronto.

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Finding a Home for a Moment in Pai

What is a home? I would say that it grounds you, is your private space, is shelter from the world outside.

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