Arrived to Chiang Mai, Thailand on my birthday ( Dec 21) and I must say this is my favorite city in Thailand. Bangkok is way too polluted, Phuket is crowded and humid, but here in Chiang Mai, the weather reminded me of the bay area in spring time, the lifestyle is simple, traffic is much more orderly compare to Bangkok and Phuket, and most of the people here are the locals. I dined at the local restaurants ( holes in the wall places) , those are the best food at very affordable prices. I spent a quiet birthday in a foreign country where I don’t know anyone and I planned it on purpose for I found it unnecessary to broadcast my birthday on social media as there is nothing to celebrate about except knowing that I am another year older. Touring in a city where nobody notices me is great where I don’t feel I have to act in any certain ways or do whatever to impress anyone. I hanged out mostly at the local joints and get to meet different people from other countries which is something I have always enjoyed doing during my travels. I limited my private tours only to those places I wanted to see but cut out on all those long day trips. These days I found it much more enjoyable to do my own things and have the free time to go out meeting new people, drink the local beers ( Singha), my favorite one, and walk the neighborhood where the local people live. I try to avoid those heavy touristy areas and focus more on the local hangouts. It was a quiet birthday but a very pleasant one without peer pressure to do anything. I cherish it deeply.

Today is Christmas day here in Chiang Mai, a sunny day taking a self walking tour to the museum, coffee by the museum cafe and took pictures of the city Temples nearby my hotel. Being able to do my own things is exactly what a vacation is supposed to be. I must consider myself fortunate enough to be able to travel so extravagantly in all these years to different parts of the world when most people can’t . Here I wish everyone back home and abroad a Merry Christmas , the joy of spending time with your families , the magical moments you share with your significant others and building those fond memories and that what life is about. Since I have all the free time to myself here in Chiang Mai, I also had the opportunity to reflect about my own life where the paths I have walked through in the past seemed like a fairy tale. But I treasure those dark paths where I could not see any light and it appeared so hopeless at the time, then a flickering light illuminated and taken me to where I am today. I often tell people that there is a light which you don’t see, there is a dream and never let go. It is about trying your best and don’t expect the world to bend to our preconception of which I call it superstitious. There are no reasons for anything that happen, we simply have to accept the world as it is and do our best in whatever we truly desire. Bad things happen to good people every day and we revolve around the world. Tragedies are tools for human to gain wisdom. Although I am not getting any wiser these days, I am getting more clear about what it takes to achieve what I want while there is no 100 % certainty for anything. Life is a journey, a series of experience and learning lessons. I have come to accept the world as it is and live my life to the fullest as much as I possibly can each and every day. Yes, life is short and that is why it is so precious. With each birthday I go through, I get one year older and I do realize that I also get one less year to live, but at the same time, I have fulfilled my life one extra year.

Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Hong Kong and spend New Year with my friends celebrating it once again in this lively city of the former British Colony. Here I also wish everyone a Happy New Year, good prosperity, good health and may all of your wishes come true. There is a light which you don’t see, there is a dream, don’t ever let go. Have a safe and a wonderful holidays.