Another month, another update on my nomadic journey.
The end of September marks the end of rainy season in Chiang Mai. Since a few weeks, the short downpours in the evening and occasional storms are getting less and less.
To be honest, I‘m a little bit sad, as I enjoyed walking around the city when it‘s cloudy and not so hot.
Now, the temperature is going up to 33-34°C, from previously around 30°C (trust me, it‘s a difference!) and the sudden influx of tourists is definitely noticeable. It is also getting harder for me to find free spots at my favorite coffee places, so I spent most of my time working from home.
Since the beginning of September, I opened my schedule for client work and luckily received a steady stream of work ever since.
As I already mentioned in my last travel report, I expected September to be another quiet month.
However, I don’t want to bore you with work updates. Here are the nuggets of the previous month:Chiang Mai Life
A weekend trip to Pai
Going to Pai was definitely the highlight of the month. Honestly, I never thought about visiting Pai because I heard from many people that it‘s a hippie town and people just go there to get stoned.
I‘m not a big fan of hippies and neither do I like to take funny substances, so I never had the urge to go to Pai. The thing that actually convinced me was the cheap bus ticket for 200 baht (~6€) … and my girlfriend who pressed me to get out of the city for a change instead of working all weekend:
In hindsight, I have to admit that it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
To be honest, in the end I really started to enjoy the chilled atmosphere and the creative vibes. Since we only had a weekend, we didn’t go outside the city to do all the touristy things.
In the past, I always felt the urge to check off the most touristy places because of FOMO. Everything that was recommended on tripadvisor or that I’ve seen on instagram. I felt the need to visit the same places and take the same photos for the sake of doing it.
I feel that I’m not alone and sense that we all travel with a slight scarcity mindset because we believe we will never come back to the same place. It’s a little bit sad because then, traveling just becomes a numbers game. How many countries have you visited? Did you take photos of every touristy spot available? Have you tried all the restaurants recommended by people on facebook?
Traveling becomes so much easier once we stop rushing from one experience to the other. But we need to change our mindset and travel with abundance. Life is not too short and we can always come back if we enjoy a place.
Having only one full day, we decided to be OK with just lying around and being lazy. So we walked around and explored what the small village had to offer.
Coffee places in Pai were super lovely and to my surprise, Pai has a lot of vegan places. Well, I take it back. With all the hippies in town, it’s not really surprising to be honest 😉
Besides hanging out at coffee places and stuffing our face with delicious vegan food, we had a lot of pool time as well. It was great to catch up with my reading list and just taking a slow approach on life in general.
So after all, it was a great experiences and I feel more positively tuned towards Pai. I will make it back at some point for sure.
The thing I really hated though, was the 3 hour long curvy bus ride up there. Anti nausea tablets are highly recommended. Are just take a plane. Pai has an airport! (expensive though)
Oh, one last thing I would like to share:
I really like how the thai population is getting more aware of the single use plastic problematic. People in Pai in particular seemed to have more awareness around the topic and to our surprise, we found this little neat setup at the entrance of the food festival: A banana leaf press station that produced sustainable food bowls.
It‘s such a brilliant idea that could reduce the amount of single used plastic at street festivals tremendously. I hope it will become more wide spread.
Visiting the dentists
After almost a year of traveling, I felt like it was finally time to take care of myself and visit a dentist. Since I‘m paying a decent amount for medical insurance every month, I thought I might as well make use of it.
In my entire life, I almost only had one dentist, so it was a huge challenge for me to overcome my fear of letting someone foreign looking into my mouth.
In Germany, all sorts of doctors have very high standards of hygiene and I was a bit scared about Asia.
Luckily, Thailand is ranked very highly internationally when it comes to medical treatment. I got some very good recommendations from friends and actually really enjoyed the process.
Here is my take away:
- Making an appoint is not a pain in the ass like in Germany. I messaged the clinic on facebook messenger and they asked me if I want to come the day after. Wtf? AT home, it would have taken me a few calls only to get someone on the phone and wait a few more weeks to get a free slot.
- The waiting time is very reasonable. I arrived, filled out some personal information and waited for not even 5min until it was my turn. Got on the chair, the doctor took a quick look, did some cleaning and filling. IN and OUT in less than 30min.
- Hygiene was totally acceptable
- Dentists speak good english
- very friendly service in general
Recommended dentists in Chiang Mai:
Dental 4U Chiang Mai
( this one I went to check for Invisalign bracelets. Turned out it cost the same as anywhere else in the world, since they All get the thing manufactured from one supplier: Align Technologies. What a great monopoly to have…)
Another thing I finally started was to form a mastermind group. Some friends of mine were back in town and I made some new friends, in particular a guy who also uses the same business model as me.
Together, we decided to have weekly meetups and talk about business and personal development related stuff. If you aren’t familiar with a concept of a mastermind group, which was popularized by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich, here are things that we discuss in our mastermind:
- What‘s the current state of business?
- Did we achieve our goals from last week? If not, what was the blocker?
- What are Goals for next week?
- What are skills we want to learn?
- What skills can we share with the team?
- Long term goals, short term goals
- What do we struggle with right now, can anyone help?
- General Life hacks
For me, it‘s great to finally have people, besides my girlfriend;), to talk business with. I have been in my own bubble for a long time and need someone to kick my butt.
Since everyone has a different business setup and skills, we can compliment each other and move forward more quickly.
I’m super excited. Since we just started the mastermind at the end of September, time will tell how effective it is.
Ok, let‘s continue with my online business.
Man, what a smooth segue.
September has been another great month. As I shared with you in my last report, August has been about coming up with new design ideas.
In one month, I created over 100 new designs for my POD business. The focus for September was to launch these products.
While I had around 90 products at beginning of August, my catalog now counts more than 230 products. I realized that I can repurpose the designs I already have and put them on different products. This reduces the workload immensely since I don‘t need to come up with completely new designs and research new niches.
This helps me to expand my product catalog more quickly, increase my exposure and offer my customers more choice.
Since the end of August, I also started to use advertising. Though, it helped me to get a few sales, I honestly lost money during the hole process.
Here are my stats for September: