We spent a week chilling out on this beautiful island; exactly what you picture if you think of the quintessential Thailand holiday. We had visions of sunshine, laying on the beach reading; you know, the usual.
It rained. No, it monsooned for the first four days we were there, thunderstorms and all. Then it was glorious sunshine to top it off. And yes, I have the sunburn to prove it.
Being with my husband 24/7 is definitely the best thing about vacations (I always say that “holiday Barnaby is the best edition” to him, ha!), second best was the food, and thirdly was without a doubt was this incredible swing that was right on the beach. Hopefully these photos capture just how HUGE it was. Seriously, the photos of me climbing aboard were absolutely hilarious. It was all like ‘one foot up, pull the rest of my body up’ and to swing I pretty much had to go through the whole thing again. Totally worth it though. It was FUN. And it makes for cute Instagram and blog content too. Always a plus.
Chances are, if you think of Thailand you immediately think of Bangkok (well, that or pretty beaches!) Luckily for us, Udon Thani isn’t too far from Bangkok by flight – or very expensive to do so either. It’s especially lucky as it’s a city I’ve loved since I was a kid – and possibly even more as an adult (the cocktails are really cheap, after all!)
Our last trip was ‘strictly business’ – but it’s genuinely impossible not to have even a wee bit of fun visiting Bangkok. I’m talkin’ burger eating, rooftop pools, H&M shopping sprees (such a novelty for this wee New Zealander!) and just general walking around exploring; possibly my favourite thing of all.
My husband, Barnaby thought I was completely ridiculous as we took these photos. I said I wanted to take “photos that look like I’m in Bangkok” (“but we are in Bangkok!”) and hopefully we pulled it off. It’s busy; cars (and tuk tuks!) are everywhere, it’s a little bit grungy, and powerlines – I’m talking twenty at a time – are hanging overhead everywhere you walk. And yet there’s something just so ridiculously charming about it. I’m there again in the next few weeks, and am really stinkin’ happy about it.
Growing up in South-East Asia; specifically, Brunei, Chinese New Year was one of my favourite celebrations. The music, the colours, the lion dances.. I really do love it all! The moment I hear the distinctive drum beats come on while I’m walking around the supermarket (the music is everywhere!) I just can’t help myself and tap my toes as I walk down the aisles. So I was massively excited to be back in Asia again – after all, I moved to Thailand – so my new hubby could experience it for the first time too.
I sold most of my clothes before moving over and had nothing red in my closet! The closest I had to gold was this yellow suspender skirt from Black Milk which I paired with a sheer sleeved tee I’ve had for absolutely ages. And the hair? My co-worker is INCREDIBLE when it comes to braids, and luckily she offered to do mine up in the most intricate style I can even imagine (!) the day before the celebrations. Ugh, she is the best!
It was quite funny – despite my HUGE passion for CNY, we never actually made it to the celebrations! We headed down to look at the decorations – when we took these photos. But on the night I wasn’t feeling terribly well and ended up asleep on the couch at about 9:30. I vaguely remember waking up at midnight to hear the distant sound of fireworks, which put a definite smile on my face. Here’s to next year then, I suppose! ; )
Um, so the past couple of months have been slightly hectic (to say the least!) In short; I got married (will post photos from this so super soon!), quit my job, and migrated all the way over to Thailand. Northern Thailand, to be specific. Welllll, Udon Thani, Northern Thailand to be really specific. I haven’t been exactly sure how to even write all of this down – namely as so much really as happened. So I suppose I’ll start with why I decided to move to Thailand..
In June 2016 my Nana passed away and I have been really, massively, enormously struggling with coming to terms with it. I didn’t have a lot of family support in New Zealand. My parents live in Brunei, in South-East Asia, and my brother and his wife live in the UK. My Aunt, who I am close with lives in the North Island of New Zealand. So basically, no immediate on-site family support – from my side, anyway. Barnaby’s Mum, Jane was massively kind; taking us into her house and buying me a gym membership to help ease the pain. But oh my gosh, there was (and still is) SO MUCH PAIN. I have never lost anyone before – let alone someone so close to me (Nana and I emailed multiple times a day and had set weekly coffee dates). Around the time of the funeral all of my family was there, but when they left… it was just me. And I could see my Nana everywhere. I drove past all our favourite coffee places, vintage shops we would visit together, and to get to work I had to drive alongside the church where her funeral service took place. It was the absolute pits. And I didn’t know how I was going to be able to stay there.
But I stayed. And the pain eased a little.
But then I hit the point where I knew it was going to keep hurting for a long time, and I just wasn’t happy in Christchurch anymore. After all, we moved there from Wellington so I could be closer to my Nana, who had just started to get sick.
Sorry if this has caused any tears (eep, it has for me!) so lets get onto some happier stuff!
First up – I got married in December – as I mentioned earlier ! To the love of my life – my man for well over ten years; Barnaby. I will share some photos soon! It was a little intense planning a wedding in just over a week – but so, so wonderful!
You might not know that I actually grew up in Asia! From the age of 4-16 I was raised in Brunei. Since arriving in New Zealand I had been desperate to get overseas again! And luckily my love, Barnaby, felt the same way. We had had so many ‘what if?’ conversations over the past few years, and this time it all seemed just right. Right down to the fact that my car in Christchurch literally exploded the day after I signed the contract! Talk about meant to be!
So here I am! Udon Thani! Visiting the giant ducks – my favourite landmark. I hope you enjoy following along my Northern Hemisphere adventures – it sure is lovely having you here!