Of course now is the time I feel closest to some friends we have made here. Of course now is the time that I am the most settled into what could be a routine. Of course now is the time that I am seeing all the best bits of living on a small tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It’s with a heavy heart that I headed out to a BBQ gathering last night because I knew it would be full of people I admire and have grown to appreciate. Some of whom will continue to have the life that they have chosen here on the island, once we have gone. I almost envy them for that. I envy them for knowing what they want and for relaxing into and committing to a life here in the Seychelles. Knowing that every effort to connect and collaborate within the community is a long term investment for them, their careers and their family.
Thailand will be a whole new life. A new school, new colleagues, new families, new culture, new traditions, new gossip, new environment, new food, new expectations… Many things I can plan for but just as many which i'll have to discover day by day. This time around I am resisting the urge to dream and plan and imagine what life will be like (not easy!). I'm just floating down stream to the next destination and trusting that whatever we will find will serve us in one way or another.
We’ve had a super initial contact with the team in Chiang Mai and can't quite believe we are moving to a country that we have both visited before and loved. Who would have guessed when we were out there travelling and climbing in our late 20's that we would come back as teachers with a little boy in tow! Oh life you've done it again :)!
So where is it that we are headed? Chiang Mai is the northern most province of the Kingdom of Thailand. Founded in 1296 when it became the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. It sits nestled in the the foothills of the Doi Inthanon mountain (2500m) and is the second biggest city in Thailand. About 130,000 people and probably just as many tourists so we are not imagining a quiet life off the grid as we may have hoped for in Praslin. But the city is known as the trekking capital of Thailand and is home to 300 temples in and around the city, so lots to explore. It’ll be touristy too, so think backpackers galore, bus tours and scooter rentals on every other street. Vendors selling cheap trinkets and live music bars offering two for one shots. Noodle huts, 5chf massages and night markets. The lot!
No more stepping out at night to watch the most spectacular night sky. No more quiet coconut harvests in our pjs first thing in the morning. No more feeling like Robinson Crusoe on crystal clear water beaches all to ourselves. No more internet cut offs which release you from the pressure to be connected 24/7. No more 40km speed limit. No more freedom to let Sky run off in any direction knowing full well he’ll be fine where ever he ends up.
Of course professionally, these experiences are invaluable and are pushing us to become better teachers and better role models ever day. We're learning from the schools we work in and the colleagues and students who inspire us. But we're are also building our family, defining our new traditions and moulding our family values. This rollercoaster is making us stronger and helping us fine tune who we are and what we want to represent. We’ll look back at all this when we’re old and grey and think, wow, those were great years. We dared to let it all go and try something new. We dared to listen to our hearts and follow our bliss.