My anticipated two month stop in Thailand is now approaching two years. Anytime I remember that initially, my planned time in Chiang Mai was five days, I can not help but laugh and laugh and laugh….. Okay, I do not exactly laugh as shake my head a lot, but you get the idea.
But now I am forced with deciding if I will stay in Chiang Mai longer or begin my journey again. The Clash wrote a song about this, no?
I have to say, my feet are itching for more travel, but I have no idea if my body is at the state that could handle the daily travel grind (I am quite thinking not). I know when I first left NYC nearly two and a half years ago, I took at least one day off a week to just rest in bed, so I could continue traveling, without winding up ill again. Well… we can see how well that worked out.
Travel is stressful and is not conducive to routines. And really, what I used to help heal myself was if nothing else the most routinely regimented time in my life. I had a plan from when I woke, what time I woke, to when and what time I went to sleep. I understood just what I would ingest and when I would ingest it. It was all designed to heal me, and while it did morph and change a bit over the five months, the 150 days, the core of it remained the same.
Do I dare drift away from such single mindedness that fairly constant travel will likely breed?
A friend and I were talking about how the need to be flexible is essential to a fulfilling life. Rigidity not only will breed disappointment, it also leads to snapping and breakage when under pressure. That oft quoted maxim of the largest sturdiest tree being the first to snap in a strong wind, while the smaller more flexible saplings can ride it out is not wrong.
And frankly, if I keep thinking ‘this is exactly how I have to live to be healthy,’ without some leeway, with even a minor deviation, I am going to wind up convincing myself I am unwell. And who needs that?
But this healing is so new, I am loathe to change much of it, and I have not, because I do not want it to be an aberration. And to be honest, getting to the point of six months clear and being officially in remission is HUGE for me. And while I know I need to be flexible I am scared to change too much until I get to that point — though I refuse to ever revert back to a diet of mainly cooked foods and the like. And spirulina, lemongrass and avocados will forever be my spirit animals, err… plants, spirit plants.
So in reality, staying in Thailand though at least July, seems essential. Though when I got my last Thai visa, I was told, “this is your last one”. And my visa expires in the middle of April. So… what to do, what to do…
The idea of traveling ten+ hours to the border every 14 days to “renew” my visa is about as appealing as slicing myself open and letting rodents feast on my entrails. I could fly out and back into the country every 30 days, but the expense of that, both financially and from a using so much fossil fuel, would be draining to say the least. I could also try the new passport trick, as I have heard from friends of friends of friends that to get a new visa all you need is a blank passport, without other Thai visas littered throughout. As I have some 40+ pages to go on my current passport, and a new one would cost me $150US this seems like a fairly expensive experiment.
The other two options I have is to learn Thai at an official language school and get an year education visa or get employed and get an official work visa. I am not so sure I could really do the second one, as forty hours a week would be super taxing to my still recharging system. And the stress of teaching — as that is the only job I would be able to get — could very likely set off a cascade of unhealing, until i rebuild the fundamentals of being healthy, err healthier. So this seems to imply the taking Thai classes as the best option, though I am not sure I want to remain here for an entire year more, nor where else on earth I would ever be able to use Thai.
But I also would like to get out for a quick trip or two to see how my body responds to a small bit of travel, as the wanderlust really has been kicking in hardcore of late. And avoiding Thailand in April seems sort of genius, as the heat is so unagreeable
I also would like to do another Vipassana course around this time, in reality I think I would like to do one once every other month, but that seems a bit too much like an addictive behavior. Though after this one, the next one I do can be a full 30 days of silent meditation cut off from the world. Whoever knew such a thing could be so exciting…..
Thoughts, suggestions, etc etc… quite welcome.