We arrived in Chiang Mai after 23 hours of travel- a bus, a ferry, the back of a pickup truck, and a minivan. We were exhausted, but the near future looked bright: we were heading to a much anticipated city. Chiang Mai is adored by people- we’ve heard nothing but the highest accolades from everyone who has visited here. With sugar plums dancing around our heads after a whimsical three weeks in Laos, we walked into town with highly optimistic outlooks and excitement over the most loved city in Thailand… But we can’t seem to make the same connection. Try as we might, the thrill of Laos is leaving us with a vacancy in our hearts. We’re experiencing a come-down, and the withdrawal symptoms are making it hard to appreciate the new place we’ve come to visit. Chiang Mai is busy, crowded with tourists, and significantly less friendly. The gardens lining the narrow streets, the cozy cafes, and the smiling people we’ve come to adore are nonexistent. Back in Thailand, the world feels harder, the world feels different.
I feel a need to crawl into bed and watch movies all day– hopefully tomorrow the headache will subside and I’ll find the ability to look at my surroundings with less judgement– less comparison. People love Chiang Mai and I hope to find out why.