Why I haven’t been blogging…

PAPER PLANES

  1. Michel says:

    We need to plan some fun adventures. I also need to get out more. I’m up for exploring new things. Let me know when you’re back.

  2. Joella says:

    Thanks for posting this! Sorry to hear you’ve had a rough time with certain things over the last year.
    I’m with you on social media. While I do still look at Instagram (what alerted me to your new post), I find myself frequently unfollowing accounts and I don’t post on it often myself anymore. I hardly look at Facebook. I don’t mind using either platform to follow or stay in touch with people I like but I’m not interested in using them to grow a blog following- it’s too hard unless you want to game the system. Not that I have blogged much recently anyway. Like you, I don’t have the time but I do plan to try and get a few posts up over the next few weeks. Anyway, Happy New Year! I hope your dog has recovered now and things are on the up. I’ll be reading whenever you choose to post next. 🙂

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Thank you for reading! I hear ya on building followings on social media…I’ve not done anything different on Instagram this past year and am losing hundreds of followers a month. Don’t get it and don’t care to keep up! The dog has recovered for the most part…it’s me who’s still emotionally scarred 😉

  3. Dave says:

    Can relate to just about everything there. As far as blog posts go, it’s a damn impressive one and worthy in its own right…if for nothing else that not painting the world in a glowing glossy light, acknowledging change, and highlighting the rough with the smooth.

    There’s value in reading this for us SEA ex-pats, given the often transient nature of friendships and colleagues in this part of the world and the all too present uncertainty about what lies around the corner (lack of healthcare, lack of pensions, lack of real integration in to the local culture, political discourse in realms way beyond what we are used to in the West…)

    • Alana Morgan says:

      I know things could fall apart anytime, anywhere…but I do think we’re taking a bigger risk than many other places by trying to build a life in Southeast Asia. This past year it’s also been made incredibly obvious that even if I live and work in Thailand for years – heck, even if I were to get married to a Thai national and have a child – I will never receive any benefits, protection, rights or true integration. So why do it all then? There are certainly still plenty of pros, but the cons are starting to seem too concrete.

      • Dave says:

        The “why” you probably know already….because those benefits we lack are only really vital when it rains. And as SEA is almost always sunny – metaphorically and literally – you can live well 99% of the time without that safety net….but when it rains, it really pours!

        Even with full benefits, I’d imagine many first-generation immigrants even in established Western countries still feel like outsiders. I spent the second 20 years of my life living in England. Yet even as an English speaking, white anglo-saxon NZer with a British passport I still felt foreign and as if I would never fully fit in. The only saving grace is I was amongst hundreds of thousands of other immigrants in London, so far from alone. The lack of ever being fully connected with a place is universal I think.

        Fortunately Thailand is, for the most part, developing benefits for all. Or at least provides levels of support we can only dream about here in Cambodia.

  4. Diana Barton says:

    Hi Alana,
    Thank you for your honest post. I wonder how quickly social media platforms would fail if more of us were not only honest about our feelings, but followed through to cancel our ‘membership’.
    I have only been blogging for a 18 months, and I still really enjoy it, but am waiting for eye surgery, and while I wait, working on my computer is very difficult. But there is this social media treadmill. Facebook lost its luster for me sometime ago, and while I make no money on social media (I am retired and travel and blog for fun) there is this expectation to post and respond.
    What to do?
    I hope that whatever you choose to do, that you find more peace, satisfaction and fulfillment than you have right now. It’s a new year. Time to do something new.
    Regards,
    Diana

  5. Phil says:

    Sorry to hear about your dog! Poor little thing. I’m always scared to take my dogs out into the neighbourhood for the same reason.

    I’ve missed reading your stuff, but the way you explained it makes total sense. Wishing you better luck for 2018!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      The dog has been one of the hardest parts! She’s really doing fine (for the most part), but now I’m totally paranoid. It happened last September and a couple months ago I realized I had been scared for a year…that’s not where you want to live. Hope things are going for you 🙂

      • Mark Elliott says:

        Hey Alana – you may regain your peace of mind if you take some kind of proactive action like carrying a squirt gun or spray bottle filled with a mixture of ammonia or vinegar and water – the web has all kinds of info on safe dog repellents.
        I’ve never had an experience like yours with lingering emotional trauma but you will probably feel much less anxiety on your outings if you take action to regain a sense of control when you go out. It’s worth a try anyway to see if carrying a dog repellent helps reduce your stress and anxiety.
        Best wishes for a good 2018 and finding greater peace in dealing with the roller-coaster of life.

  6. veena says:

    I will admit I have missed reading your updates on here, but I completely understand. Sometimes you just need some time away to reflect on everything. I also very much feel you on falling out of love with a place — I lived in Bangalore for so many years and loved every single thing about it, but then I slowly caught myself not enjoying it any longer: we were simply growing in different directions. I eventually decided to leave and come back to Memphis, because that was the right decision for me, but I hope that you find yourself loving Chiang Mai once again. And I will look forward to reading more about your life there when you decide it’s the right time to write about it. Sending you good wishes for a great year ahead!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Thanks for reading and take the time to write a note. How was it readjusting to Memphis??

      • veena says:

        It was pretty easy for me, for a few reasons:
        – I went to undergrad here and know the city really well
        – my family had been here the whole time I was back-and-forth to India, so it continued to be my home base whenever I was back in the States
        – I still had a number of friends here, so it was easy to slide back into those routines
        – I was so over life in India by that point

        I think it was really the last one that helped me adjust the best. When I came to the States for grad school in 2011 I had a tough time because I was trying to figure out if I wanted to settle in India long-term or be back in the States and was just really confused about all of it. When I moved back in 2016 I had no doubts.

  7. Beverly J Weber says:

    I am sorry to hear about your year, your dog, all that yucky stuff. I am a 53-year-old widow, with serious plans to move to Chiang Mai in about three years to “retire”. I have elderly parents who likely will not be around beyond this year or next, so the three year delay in making the jump is intentional. I need to take care of all that “stuff” (emotional, financial, etc.) before heading overseas. I have truly enjoyed your blog (and others) as I can read through them to help me prepare for the move. This latest blog certainly points out challenges that a newbie would not be aware of or even think about, so thank you for your honesty.

    Again, I am sorry about your year and wish you all the best in 2018!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      You will love it over here! Truly I still do like it and there are a ton of perks – I’m not totally ready to leave yet – but naturally after being here so long I have plenty of negative experiences that have piled up as well. If you haven’t found it yet http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com has a lot of interesting information about retiring in Chiang Mai 🙂

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your year was so crappy! I hope that 2018 will be a lot better, full of tons of business success, fewer visa issues (those are really the worst), and relaxing travel plans. As for social media, I like it to an extent, and I do find that when I’m posting on Instagram and Facebook more regularly, I get more clients, so I’m trying to focus on that for 2018. Best wishes!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Visa issues are the worst no matter where you are! I know I need to keep up with social media to an extent…just trying to figure out where those boundaries are 😉

  9. Twin Jalanugraha says:

    Sad to hear about your dog, I have missed your updates.

  10. Sheri says:

    Alana,

    I’ve long followed your blog and am sorry your are in a rut. I hope something snaps you back and uplifts you to feel inspired again. I didn’t write much on my own blog last year. I feel similar about my creative pursuits, they don’t earn a living. I hate judging success on likes and followers of social media. I don’t care for facebook much either. I think I’d much rather have a good book to read these days! But I still love writing and photography so I’m keeping at it, even if much slower. I can hear the tired feeling in you and recognize it in my own voice. ‘Til you figure out your next step, hang out with your partner and friends. A good laugh with loved ones makes life’s low points better. Maybe finding a new passion, exercise routine or fun class could help too. 🙂 Chin up. You still rock and I still love your blog and photos.

  11. Nancy says:

    Sorry to hear about your dog, I would be scarred too. I gotta ask… What happened and how was she attacked?!? For context, I am a dog lover and dog owner and I am living in Chiang Mai. I have travelled throughout most of Asia and only in Chiang Mai have I been chased by a dog… TWICE! The dogs here are much more aggressive, and I am so scared of them.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      It was really odd, we were walking on my soi and there what looked like two little bulldogs (French bulldogs?) walking toward us. They stood out cause I had never seen them before and they weren’t typical Thai street dogs. I picked my dog up to walk past them (which is what I’ve always done and never had a dog come near us if I was carrying her) and they started sniffing at my feet then jumping up on me trying to get at her and I let go. Then they tore into her like she was a toy. I was yelling and trying to kick them then luckily some guy driving past on a motorbike got off started hitting them as well. There had been a couple young monks too who were trying to help but of course weren’t doing anything aggressive. It was just really weird and terrible – we were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

      • Nancy says:

        Holy smokes that is crazy, but I am not surprised. I’ve seen these bulldogs tore into shoes/dog beds/toys and rip them to shreds. I can’t believe they would attack your dog like that though! I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, and I hope your little one makes a full recovery!

        • Alana Morgan says:

          I don’t know if they thought she was a toy…? They didn’t seem like they were out to cause destruction…just got caught up in the moment and their energy fed off each other. I still hate them though…

  12. Charlie Evans says:

    Nice post. Just subscribed. Looking forward to reading more.

    I love Chiang Mai, and Thailand, looking forward to being back there later this year.

  13. Phil says:

    Being a blogger is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.

  14. Adam says:

    I just discovered your blog and find it quite informative I live in Thailand during the winters starting this year, so your insights are helpful

    I semi quit Facebook this year and it was the best thing. I unfollowed all my friends with the exception of family and a select few If I had not had an actual live conversation with a person within a year, I unfollowed. Now I just follow specific Groups ie Thailand Travel etc. If it turns political, I unfollow My overall attitude and mood improved greatly.

    Did you learn how to speak , read and write Thai. I am learning now. I can read pretty well, although I don’t often know what I’m reading and speaking is slowly coming along.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      I have taken private lessons off and on for years and can read/write (though spelling is a whole other thing…). I have a good foundation but have never been in a situation where I was constantly surrounded by Thai and hearing it used naturally consistently so I’m really embarrassed about how low my level is still. Good on you for learning…most people don’t even try at all!

  15. ed says:

    Just found your blog and it’s great. Almost nine years in Udorn now for me, and have gone through a lot of the same kinds of changes. I had to stop taking morning walks after being attacked three times by soi dogs; oh well, it got me into a regular gym, and that is much better for me anyway. Look forward to following your posts, if you get back to them.

  16. Naomi says:

    I feel the exact same way about social media and blogging in general! Being in the moment and experiencing it is so much better though I know it’s good for business and growth to do social media. Ugh.

  17. Adina says:

    It hurts my heart to hear it’s been a rough year Alana—although its great to read your writing. And falling out of love where you have loved seems new. Definitely agree with warm weather days and sunshine ☀️. I’m sorry about your puppy. Lofa was left out over night and I felt so awful. Thankfully we have great neighbors who she ran over to. I wish we stayed in touch more as always. And social media has its good—but I feel like sometimes getting lost without a phone for 2 weeks sounds majestic and charming. Almost romantic—like vintage. Timeless. Stillness. There’s something aboulike being present in nature that can seems to cure all the tech use. Either way, it’s a new year! 😊 many blessings.

    Ps… agree about the sunshine everyday—it beats the grey hands down. And there is something about being outdoors that offsets Social Media—but like you said it’s part of work now. —the ocean is my oasis now. Happy New Year old friend, wish we could see each other more.

  18. Danielle says:

    Hello there! I found your blog last year while planning a trip to Thailand and have loved your perspective on living abroad (I’m a Portland, Oregon native now living in Madrid).

    I’m so, so sorry to hear about your dog and all of the other struggles that have come along with this season. I appreciate your honesty about everything, and especially how at the same time it doesn’t mean you’re done with Chiang Mai. It’s a weird division I think a lot of “expats” face that people on the outside may not completely understand. It’s possible to be happy and unhappy in the same place. Life is life, no matter where you are.

    One last thing about social media. I take periodic breaks but especially with the current political climate, I’ve been much more proactive about my feed. I’m not shy about unfollowing and hiding stuff I don’t want to see. I’m on Instagram to see your beautiful travel pics and dog and my niece and to find out about great new Madrid restaurants. I surely don’t want to see ignorant memes and I’m not afraid to say so long to all that. Anyway, cheers to you and a new 2018!

  19. Jasbir Singh says:

    Hey Alana. Great post as always. Coming to Thailand again on 2nd Feb, my third visit, this time for a Marathon in Bangkok. Should I go to Phuket or Chiang Mai? Can you suggest some good cafes in Bangkok?

  20. Sandy says:

    Alana! You’re back in CM. Gosh, awful news about your doggy – glad to hear he’s recovering well. Sounds like it’s been a challenging time dealing with traumas and life events. It’s certainly harder when you’re living the expat life in Thailand. I can relate somewhat. Whilst I hold a deep affection for Chiang Mai, after six years (on and off) here, it’s lost that initial lustre. And, that’s probably down to my experiences, seeing it change and trying to do long-distance relationships. I hear you about writing for fun, when you’ve been writing for work. A surefire motivation killer. Thanks for your frank post – it hit home on a lot of points for me. One thing’s for sure, we are spoilt for coffee shops. I swear there’s a new one opening every week!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Chiang Mai definitely has lost a bit of its appeal for me…but there are still so many things I appreciate. Overall it’s just with most thing — the more you see and experience, the more likely you are to have some negative experiences in the mix unfortunately. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment… I’m responding from a new coffee shop right now 😉

  21. Hi Alana
    Thanks for posting this! I’m so sorry to hear about the rough patch over the past year. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to deal with death and trauma and things so far from home. And I hope your doggy is doing better too!

    I’m completely with you on social media. I love it somedays for connecting with like minded people and using it to work on my brand, but in general I honestly mostly hate it when it comes to personal life. I’m amazed by how much it has inundated our culture and friends are unwilling to reach out anymore and rely solely on social media. Definitely not connection to me and not how I want to spend my time. Constantly updating and showing off my travels to the world is not something I want to do, even though the majority seem to prefer it. It is a constant challenge for me with my blogging and social media for sure.

    I’m in Chiang Mai this week and do appreciate all of your posts to information on this place though. So thank you. I also completely understand how places lose the appeal after awhile. As I’m currently solo traveling, I’m extremely aware of how travel is very different than living somewhere.

    Best of luck with the new business!
    Carrie

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! I hope you enjoyed Chiang Mai – it’s still a wonderful place and I do love it…just not with the rose tinted glasses I used to have on 😉

  22. Rhena Clark says:

    This post hit so close to home for me. I have been living in Bangkok with my family for almost a year. Shifting from the career I had in the US to freelancing is so frustrating and there are so many moments of doubt.

    I’m right there with you on the social media thing. Facebook has become toxic and divisive and everyone’s “best lives” on display on Instagram can be demoralizing if you let it. Don’t even get me started on Twitter… I’ve really been using the channels to keep my professional skills fresh.

    So glad I found your blog!

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