I hate saying it, but I felt kind of apathetic about the New Year. I didn’t even hear the countdown to midnight though I was in the center of it all in Chiang Mai – one moment I knew it was getting close to 12:00 and the next moment fireworks were going off – but I DIDN’T HEAR THE COUNTDOWN. Does it count if you don’t hear the countdown? It didn’t feel like it…
Here it is, already the end of January, and I still couldn’t tell you a set plan, resolution or direction for 2013. I don’t need things completely laid out, but it would be nice to have a little more clarity on what I will be spending this year doing.
I didn’t start Paper Planes to be another travel guide posting about the best spots and must-see attractions and can’t-be-missed activities. I’m not always on the move and often don’t care too much about getting off the beaten path.
There are plenty of other blogs, resources, guide books, review sites, booking sites and travelers out there that have probably already said it all and can do it much better than I. I’ve traveled a decent a bit, in a range of ways (and comfort), and have a good sense about things, but I’m not attempting to be your go-to guide for all things travel. Personally, I hate all the hyperbole and don’t have the time to to study things to the point where I can offer a ‘guide’. I usually don’t plan and research my trips extensively and therefore sometimes the posts on here may be a little haphazard as well – but real.
While I love sharing about traveling and living abroad, I also feel like this whole bloggy thing is an experiment in helping me figure out which direction(s) to go in my life and connect with others who are in similar situations. I love learning about different people, cultures and lifestyles – but I also appreciate hearing about people just like me who I can identify, empathize and learn with. It’s always reassuring to know someone else is having the same doubts, questions, problems, triumphs and experiences as you…especially when you’re trying to grow up and get your life in order (which I’m starting to realize is a never ending process).
What do I want to do? Where do I want to be? What do I want my life to be like? What do I have control over and what do I have to accept? These questions will stick with you throughout your life, but I think they’re especially prevalent in your 20s when, for the first time since kindergarten, you don’t have a set path laid out in front of you. That takes some time getting used to and figuring out.
I left home because I didn’t want to wake up 2, 5, 10 years down the line and realize I was in the exact same spot I had been in after college.
You don’t need to leave home to find yourself, but for me that’s how I wanted to try going about things. If I thought I could grow and create the wide range of experiences I’ve had while living abroad at home, I would be in the States now. But I’m here. And trying to work things out on my own terms.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that past few weeks have been spent thinking a lot about what I am doing, why I am blogging and what I want to be working toward…and I’m finally ready to refocus my intentions and get this year started.
Hopefully with a trip to the beach sometime in the near future…this is a travel blog after all.
If you’re in the same boat as me, you may want to check out these other travelers and writers who are also figuring out life one place at a time:
Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
New places are always calling my name...
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