Mon Amour, Chiang Mai
It’s almost gonna be a year from now. The first time I decided to travel alone. I didn’t know what was in it for me. I’ve always heard about traveling solo can change a person. How it helps you get to know yourself more or find out what you want in life. It basically teaches you to find meaning in whatever your questions in life are. If you're lucky, it can work out. At least it felt that way for me.
If you've never heard of Chiang Mai, it’s a quaint and beautiful city in the North of Thailand. I fell in love with the place because there was inspiration in every corner, from the night markets, to the small art shops, the cafes and the food. It was something I didn’t expect, which makes it more special, cause I went there not knowing anything about the place. It was something I discovered for myself and it had that magical feeling to it, kinda like the feeling you had when you held your first crayons, you get excited to make something.
Aside from the art scene, the city itself is surrounded by beautiful natural sceneries, making it a great subject, not just for painting & design, but for photography as well. If I’m not making art, I would stay at a cafe and take pictures. There was a great connection between narrative and space that inspires me on a day to day basis. There was the easy access to quirky artisan shops and the number of local cafes that are very design-forward. It was modern, industrial and rustic, but you can see the cultural influences bleed through their interiors, architecture, design, even in their coffee. It has a strong sense of place and I love being in this kind of environment, surrounded by these kind of things.
You have to find that place that brings out the human in you.
The soul in you. The love in you. - r.m drakE
I think you’ll always know when you’ve outgrown something. I was feeling stagnant in my home country. Somehow, being there felt very limiting. I’ve always been an outsider, always looking in. I had to keep up appearances and pretended to like things people expected me to. I was categorized into a "type". I've always been known for being emotional, who feels to much or cries too much, for being so "irrationally" sensitive. I guess until now, I still fall into that type but I do not wish to be defined by that alone. In a way, Chiang Mai has liberated me from all of that.
It took me some time to realize that I am not my loneliness. That being emotional and sensitive isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s not a weakness. In a world that distrusts emotions, being in touch with them is an act of rebellion, and that's what I've always been. As I try to live a life more custom-fitted for me, there are things I had to let go and unlearn. By changing my perspective on life, relationships, politics & other things, I am slowly practicing on aligning my actions with these new preferences so I could feel more comfortable in my own skin. Making intentional choices, right or wrong & consistently challenging my principles & bodies of knowledge while growing on an experiential level. I’m just embracing this evolution of becoming a multi-dimensional, fully rounded person and hopefully, feeling a sense of “completeness” on my own.
If I made a home somewhere,I can always come back to this. Chiang Mai has been so close to my heart, not because of how beautiful this place is. But the significant role it plays on me growing up and embracing myself despite every defiance. xx