Coffee at Chiang Mai cafe

Some of life’s greatest pleasure are the simple pleasures. They don’t have to cost more than a few bucks and a desire to stop your hamster-wheel of life to soak in what money cannot buy. In Chiang Mai, Thailand, I relish in this gift as I take in some of Thailand’s greatest treasures: coffee and massages.

Truly, some of the best moments I enjoy while traveling involve sitting at a café in the middle of a foreign city and just soaking in all that is going on around me. In Chiang Mai, I hit the Bon Cafe –an eclectic fusion of American, French,Swiss and Thai coffees and food. The fortune on my coffee sugar packet read “trust your intuition and the universe will guide you.” So true, as I sit here quietly reflecting on my own life and the direction it is taking me.

Street scene in Chiang Mai

Entertaining me through my intermittent smiles from thought are  zooming motorbikes, mothers and children holding hands as they pick out produce at the local markets and a sort of rhythm to their language that I hear all around me. I try to appreciate this very moment in my world. I smile at the experience and the enlightenment that I feel by looking into another culture.

Thai massage

Few things can follow a great cup of coffee like a massage. Since I have stumbled on the place in this world from which the Thai Massage originated…..I must partake. Here, a 1-hour full-body massage costs about $6 (USD). I opted for the 1-hour foot massage that exercised lots of pressure points and I almost could not leave the chair.

After that massage, I felt all of my worries, anxiety, stress and aches completely disappear. The Asian people rely heavily in non-traditional techniques for healing –including massage. Seeing is believing as my masseuse pressed pressure points in my feet that target various organs and mental state. It was so fabulous!

I learned something as I thought about how those two experiences rose above many other things that I have done in Thailand. The reason is that between the sightseeing and photographing temples, I allowed myself a moment for me. I allowed myself to stop—and feel the sun as I sit near the equator; smell the lemongrass in the air and embrace time to just feel good. It is therapeutic and it took me traveling all the way to Thailand to figure that out. It is definitely one life lesson I will bring home with me.