The Honeymoon’s Over


  1. Marco Fiori says:

    Alana, just think – replicate that love for a place in a new country, and then another, and then another – there’s so many places waiting for discovery that even though it’s sad one seems to be losing its magic tough, the world really is limitless

  2. I totally understand what your feeling. Although way less cool that SE asia, I have been living in Nyc for the past 5 years straight (other than a 6 month travel adventure/study abroad in europe) and while I love new york more than anything, i am desperate to get out and leave, but its scary when you get use to something.

    but for now I think new york has given me all it can and I need to go elsewhere if I dont want to end up hating the city.

    luckily Thailand, new york, there not going anywhere so no matter where you end up you can always go back!

    anyway love the blog! excited to follow your journey!


    • Alana says:

      First, I’m pretty sure NYC is just as cool as SE Asia…

      And thanks for your kind words – it’s always nice to know someone’s in the same boat as you and can identify with what you’re feeling!

  3. Daniel N. says:

    Funny actually,

    After 3 years of living in Chiang Mai, we finally decided to move in April and try a different continent. Same feeling: everything became too familiar. I as a photographer am struggling to find something that catches my attention now.

    But we are still so much in love with the city and it’ll be a sad departure (but excited for new adventures). Change is always good 🙂

    • Alana says:

      Change is good…but always a little heartbreaking too. It’s difficult coming to terms with knowing a place isn’t right any more but still being in love with it. Good luck with your move!

  4. I understand your feelings as I’ve gone through waves of them myself. One of the reasons I moved to Thailand (other than the obvious ‘cheap food’ and ‘beautiful scenery’) was because I felt I had lived in Canada for most of my life, and it’s a big world out there – why not live in many places, and find ‘home’ wherever I could. But Thailand also has a grip on me. I know it’s not finite, but nothing’s pulled me in a new direction as of yet. I know the day will come… but that day hasn’t arrived. As for the ‘foreigner fees’ – you should probably avoid the Philippines then (amongst countless other places)… it’s just something inherent with being western and seen as having money… even if you don’t.

    • Alana says:

      I’m more okay with the foreigner fees when I’m just traveling through…I’m not happy having to still pay to get into Wat Phra Singh when I’ve been here so long and am going for making merit/tam boon! 😉

  5. Colin Blevins says:

    Having left Chiang mai not but two weeks ago I know what you’re saying. The weather’s perfect, the people are hilarious, spectacular biking, more good places to eat than there are days in a year. Now i’m back home. I had to come home. But home is a tiny town in the northwest. It’s cold, Dark, and I failed miserably in trying to make Koey Thieaw last night. the only noodle bowl in town is only served on mondays and it costs $18. f*@k that.
    but i had to come home to continue working on how to get back. my love affair with chiang mai is long from over, there are just certain things you can’t do from there.
    really though, Don’t toss out a good relationship just because the honeymoon’s over. now is when you have the opportunity to delve deep into your relationship with a place and see what you can do for one another.
    but if somehow a cheap ticket to India or mongolia or somewhere showed up there would be no excuses to let it pass you by. That’d just be silly.

    • Alana says:

      Alright – you got me with the $18 bowl of noodles, I’m not leaving! 😉 I hope you’re able to work it out to come back soon…or go wherever else you want.

  6. Abby says:

    Great article! I’m dying to go to SE Asia. What’s a farang though?

    And as for leaving, you just have to think about the next adventure out there that’s waiting for you! You never know the next place you’ll fall in love with 🙂

    • Alana says:

      Farang is the Thai word for any white foreigner – you hear it allllll the time. Normally it doesn’t bother me too much but it can easily take on a negative connotation and be really divisive.

  7. Sarah says:

    Dude, I hear you. Oh man, do i hear you. The comfort and familiarity of living is seoul is welcoming and also crazy apparent, making it all the more difficult to leave.

    but the thing is, i did not leave home to find another.

    i left home. i left those feelings of being familiar, and being comfortable, and being in a city where i had so many attachments and feelings.

    it’s difficult for me to leave seoul and the people here. so i questioned whether or not to leave. and then i realized, if i have to even ask myself, it’s not right to stay.

    • Alana says:

      Ooh, you tricked me there…I thought you were going to say if you had to ask yourself then that meant you weren’t done with the place yet…

      I think one of the reasons it’s hard for me to cut the cord and leave just yet is that when I left home I knew I could always go back and would be relatively the same. Sure some friends may have moved or gotten married or whatever, but home would be pretty similar to what I have left. Here, I know I could leave and physically come back but it would never be the same. Chiang Mai is such a fluid place that I could come back in 6 months or a year or whatever and barely know anyone…

  8. Jessica Wray says:

    One of the things I don’t like about being Korea anymore is how I’ve stayed too long. This has made me resent things and get turned off by certain aspects of the country. I would have loved to leave earlier and still have a perfectly happy appreciation of the country rather than one where I am so ready to get out. I guess you never know when “that right time is” but I’d say leave before you start to see things negatively (if there is a chance that could happen)! 🙂

    • Alana says:

      I understand what you mean and have though about that in regards to Chiang Mai – I’m still in love with it but it’s starting to slide a little and I wouldn’t want to let get to the point where I’m sick of it!

  9. Sarah Shaw says:

    Hi Alana,

    First of all, you have a great blog. I love the style of your photographs and the layout.

    I definitely understand how you feel– I think the point where you realize the honeymoon is over is when you begin feeling the second stage of culture shock. I’m living in Seoul, and last year around this time, I became really frustrated with the language, culture, my relationships, etc. Now I’m ready to get out of Seoul for a bit, but I’m going to stay in Korea (moving to the countryside) for a new perspective. A change of scenery is always nice. 🙂

    • Alana says:

      Thanks so much for your kinds words! “Second stage of culture shock” – that’s interesting, like you get over the initial hurdles and things are then new and exciting (but manageable)…and then you move on to a deeper level of a place and meet a different set of frustrations. For example, I know enough Thai to get by, but now get SO much more frustrated when I’m not understood on basic things since I’ve practice and been here for a while, I feel like I shouldn’t have these little setbacks. Interesting phrase…

  10. Amber says:

    I often wonder where I will “settle down” unsure whether there is one country that can capture my attention – I have total life ADD. But, I like the suggestion from above. It might work for both of us. Live someplace for a year or two, get what you can out of it, and then move to another locale for another year or two.

  11. kATE fRANGOS says:

    Well, I can say I relate to so much to what you write about, Alana. But we we will always be a foreigner in a foreign land. I’m sure you are entering just a new level of acclimation in Thailand, and a new phase. There is always room to grow, learn and cliche as it sounds, be inspired 🙂
    Cheers from cloudy Düsseldorf, and enjoy the sun, smells, tastes, chaos and beauty of Thailand…

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