As the new year approaches we always start thinking of all the things we haven’t managed to achieve the previous year. Of course we need goals, but it’s easy to get bogged down with the things that we should or should not be doing. We must try harder; try harder to lose weight, try harder to quit smoking.
Why the need for all this pressure?
Surely, a much more positive perspective on ending one year and beginning the next , would be to look back at the previous year and reflect on what we have learnt over the past twelve months. This could be on a personal level,or professional, it doesn’t matter what the lessons are – Just reflect and learn, reflect and learn.
So, with that said, my second blog post brings you a month by month attempt to share just a mere snippet of what 2011 has brought to light.
January – The Whale Shark
On 2nd January, a whale shark, the biggest fish in the world, graced me and Krissi with it’s presence while diving on Koh Tao’s best dive site; Chumphon Pinnacle. Me and Krissi were hand in hand watching this gentle giant cruising through the ‘big blue’. The moment I saw this creature, my eyes weld and I fell deeper in love. It was January that sealed the deal between my passion, SCUBA diving and the ‘big blue’.
February – It’s easy to get stuck in a rutt (even abroad)
Although I had been working in Thailand for sometime, it is still easy to find yourself stuck in a rutt, doing the same thing week in, week out. February saw me and Krissi come to realise this. So for a few days, we took a weekend trip to Sukhotthai and cycled around one of the former capital cities of Thailand. All in all, the trip was probably cheaper than staying in Chiang Mai after paying for a few drinks in our regular bar. It was February I vowed to not get hung up on habits and routine.
March – Angkor Wat and it’s people
During my long anticipated trip to the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, I came to realise that travel isn’t all about ticking off all the ‘sees and dos’, but the small, unique experiences that happen between or during them. I will talk about this more in a separate post, but our visit got us talking to a very inspiring, young girl and she left us climbing into our tuk tuk influenced, confuzzled and enlightened. It was March that taught me to give everyone time and keep your mind open to the smallest of experiences.
April – Songkran is always fun
2011 saw my third Songkran in Chiang Mai. This people, is the place to be. Whether you want a wholesome Thai party atmosphere that buzzes with electricity or the more traditional ceremonies within the countless temples lining the streets of Chiang Mai. Whatever your liking, Songkran in Chiang Mai should be added to your bucketlist by the time you have finished reading this post. It was March that embedded the electricity of Songkran deep within.
May – Leave the labels for tinned food
All the labels we give ourselves and others, I feel, inevitably they have a detrimental effect on us. Whether we are gay, bisexual or straight, whether we are a traveller, a businessman or a parent, it ultimately does not matter. By labelling, we put too much expectations on ourselves. From a relationship perspective, I believe its more beneficial to have a relationship based on love and friendship rather than labelling it as being a relationship. It was May when I learnt to take reality as it really is and not deceive myself with labels.
June – Incredible India
This was the month we decided to jump the ‘Chiang Mai ship’ for a while and discover the incredibly crazy, incredibly amazing India. The trip took us first to Kolkatta, then to Darjeeling. Leading us then to the North-eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya. In just a mere three weeks, I realised I loved India. The country opens your mind in ways only Cambodia in South-east Asia had come close to. It was June that I vowed to return to this amazing land.
July – At the end of the day, positivity prevails
Life often steers us in some very unexpected directions. Some of these turns we like and maybe even crave. But there are some we struggle with finding any justified and logical reasoning behind them. We cannot control the chaotic ‘law of nature’, but we can control our minds. It is during these times, we have to try our very hardest to stay optimistic, no matter what comes our way. It was July that taught me to always try and see the positive in both people and situations.
August – The UK and the normal life is just not for me.
August came and I had been back in the UK for one month after being in Asia for nearly two years. I quickly realised that mortgages, careers, British soaps, and stupidly cold weather is not for me, at least not for a while. When in Asia, my mind is constantly stimulated. From walking to the local 7/11 and getting angry because an elephant bearing a bicycle lamp on it’s tail to seeing 10,000 sky lanterns in the sky during Chiang Mai’s Yee Peng festival. It was August that my lust for travelling became lustier.
September – Time isn’t the best healer, but it does help.
Time isn’t the only healer in the world, but it certainly does help. We become disassociated and get used to certain emotions associated with events within our lives. No matter how hard things are at this very moment, things do get a little easier with time. However, it is important to keep in mind that is is not the only healer. Your mind and spirit, as a healer, is a million times stronger. It was September that I started ignoring people that said time is the best healer.
October – Everything is impermanent
In October, I completed a 10 day Vipasanna meditation retreat in Lamphun, Thailand. During the 10 days and even now, I have been learning and reflecting. One significant and powerful lesson I learnt was the concept of impermanence. The world is constantly changing and it is beyond our control. All we can do is observe the ‘law of nature’ taking place with equanimity and acceptance. It was October that taught me to accept that change is the only constant in our lives.
November – Emotional endurance
I read that in order to ensure a ‘breakdown’ becomes a ‘breakthrough‘ a dark night often has to be endured. It needs to be endured with the knowledge that the dark night may become darker. If it does, it’s okay because inevitably, the dawn will come. In fact, it has to come. It was November that made me to be more patient with my emotions.
December – A new world, a new year, a new perspective.
2011 has been the hardest year of my life. Someday, I will be able to take on the world knowing that future years will never be as hard as this one. On a subjective level, I now somewhat understand life. I can appreciate life. I love life. Many issues within life and travel do not hinder or affect me any more. Instead, I can step back and objectively look at mine and others issues based on my new found perspective. It was December that saw me reflect, learn and take inspiration from the hardest year of my life.
For the past two years I have been both a traveller and English teacher. Now, I am a traveller slash teacher slash newbie blogger. Hopefully if you are reading this you have read the story and know some background behind Inspiredbykrissi.com. I will hopefully bring together all the ideas I have had in the past, plus more, into one amaaaaazin, honest, personal blog about life, travel and my curly-wurly hair. A life blog that will inspire others to travel, not just from country to country and city to city, but inspire others to travel within themselves, within their very own world.
After perusing, following and checking out many blogs, I am now going to confess a few things that contradicts me becoming a ‘successful’ blogger. The general travel blogger slash digital nomad slash collector of adventures is equipped with techno-gadgets like no other. Unfortunately, I am not a gadget freak and only possess a small netbook, an iPod (that I can barely use) and a small feeble point and shoot camera. My mobile phone was 600B from Thailand (with a built in torch, I must mention) and I get extremely confuzzled when it comes to anything beginning with the lowercase ‘i’. In fact, only a few months ago I was being mocked by Jack, my eleven year old nephew, because I was unable to operate an iPhone with any reasonable competence.
Apart from lacking in gadgets, I also do not see myself as much of a writer. Writing is a large part of blogging and I understand this isn’t the best combo. But…..
I am creative,
and I love to share.
These, I feel, are somewhat more important than knowing my tenses from my clauses. I have high hopes that this will slowly improve with the more posts I write, along with some constructive feedback of the good, the bad and the ugly kind. Feedback that will be warmly received with open arms.
Anthonee views writing to be having an opinion, idea, story or any kind of scribble from within my world and putting it out there. Ultimately, it is sharing our own individual worlds with the worlds of others. Sharing in my own individual style, I can do.
In fact, I want to.
Over the past two years I have been a collector of experiences within Southeast Asia, taking my footsteps to Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia and many parts of Thailand, especially my beloved North and in my mind, real Thailand. My attitudes and values on the way have transformed since I first set foot in Thailand early two thousand and nine. This was filled with Moon parties and drunken nights at Reggae bars in Chiang Mai, and I guess, with a few temples here and there. Now, I travel for the people, for the culture, for the experience and not just for the top ten listed things in your lonely planet (although, I do have a bucketlist). I now crave for experience and not just photos of iconic structures or beautiful beaches, but how people, both travellers and locals, add a special something to them. I’m not a travel planner or one for using a travel agent and I try my best to travel the country in the shoes of the locals. Getting from here to there or there to here can be as much fun as the destination. Personally, for me, its the bus journeys and the train stations that the fun, unique stories can unexpectedly spring from nowhere. As a traveller, and i’m sure many of you understand, it is these small unique stories that I thrive to collect. Innit?
This change in attitude, along with the journey life forcefully embarked me upon around 6 months ago has taught me lesson after lesson, experience after experience and this is one thing that life has dealt me that many people will never have the chance to to experience. I am using all my energies ensuring this potential ‘breakdown’ moment turns into a ‘breakthrough‘. In doing so, I have gained much wisdom, understanding and inspiration and I want to share it. It’s yours if you wannit!
For the first time in 28 years of living in my world; I understand life. I appreciate life and I am now beginning to love life.
This is a blog about two worlds. The first is the one we all are getting to know through our passion for travel and experience. The second world is the rarely visited; Anthonee’s world. It is time to open up this world to people in order to inspire change, acceptance, and love for people, the world and yourselves. I am on a journey within this fun, quirky, simple, yet often complex world and I want to share it. I want to share my life lessons with you just as much as my travel tips or recommendations as to where to find Chiang Mai’s best chicken curry and what travel insurance gives you a free pen.
This is the primary goal of my blog. I want to inspire. Inspire readers to travel, break out from the norm, eat the orange, cope with change, but most of all I want to inspire readers to love life the way Krissi taught and inspired me to. Her passion for travel was like no other person I had met. The excitement would explode inside her as she arrives in a new country, meets new people and eats new, weird and wonderful food.
This blue-eyed Scorpio loved life.
In October 2009 she started inspiring me to also love life, more than I did already! She convinced me to book flights to Thailand when I should have been studying for my final year dissertation and she convinced me to book flights to join her in Thailand and become this teacher slash traveller I am today. I grew to not only love life and travel, but my love for my ‘blue morpho’ grew with every roadtrip around Thailand, with every sunset we watched, with every dive in the ‘big blue’ and with every moment we were together.
Now, she is not here.
But, the day Krissi left me on her new adventures, her inspiration and passion for life and travel had already been absorbed deep into my heart and soul. With the help of this blog, me, Anthonee and I want to perpetuate this inspiration in hope that others will start living their momentary life all the way to the very brim.
This blog is the heart, the soul and the mind of Anthonee, but is one hundred percent inspired by Krissi.
In a nutshell, I guess what I am trying to say is,
Welcome to my blog. Welcome to my world.
I hope you enjoy it.