And so the journey begins…


When I set off on this voyage I knew it would be transformational, but I had one primary goal in mind—to become more present and start living in the now.

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A recent discovery of Eckhart Tolle (if you haven’t read The Power of Now… it’s a total game changer) has initiated this shift in consciousness and turned the lowest point in my life into a contentment and wholeness I didn’t know was possible.

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Yesterday while floating 30,000 feet above the earth, catching the first glimpse of my new home, I’d never been more present in a single moment. Time stopped, my thoughts disappeared and I became one with the universe.

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I know this all might sound a bit out there, but once you’ve experienced this oneness, it can change you forever. I feel it in my bones. I’m a different person. This transition began a few months ago but right now, right here in this moment is exactly where I’m meant to be. Everything in the past has lead me here. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and pure joy and will do whatever I can to never wake up from this dream.

IMG_7520In Southeast Asia the air is thick and heavy with moisture, which you can sense right away as the plane windows fog upon touchdown. I’m one of the few that loves the humidity—I like to think of it as a warm, welcoming hug that greets your body when you step outside. It’s one of the things I loved most about Florida, and experiencing the same tropical air here is comforting.IMG_7584

After leaving for the airport Sunday afternoon and a six hour stopover in Manila, I finally touched down in Bangkok Tuesday afternoon.

IMG_7589Eager to begin my journey, I carefully navigated my way through customs and immigrations, traded my USD for baht, and made my way outside to hail a cab. The driver didn’t speak a word of English and didn’t seem to recognize the destination, but after five minutes of hand gestures we agreed upon a price (450 baht—that’s $13.40) and began our 40 minute journey to the hostel.

IMG_7336Once we exited the highway and made our way through the cramped and chaotic city streets, I was glued to the window, taking it all in. Street vendors and shops and businessmen and women in suits with umbrellas and tuk tuks and babies on motorbikes. It was just how I’d pictured it to be and I was anxious to explore it all up close.

IMG_7596After settling into my hostel with a much anticipated shower and change of clothing, I stepped outside into the sweltering heat to find a SIM card so I could make contact with the rest of the world. Immediately I was struck by the smells of the city, which I can only describe as an ever-changing concoction of deep fryers, stagnant water, eggs, sewage, cooked meat, fruit and sweat. The sounds and sights were just as random and foreign—my only reference point is San Francisco’s Chinatown which is significantly smaller and laid back compared to Bangkok.

IMG_7592After aimlessly wandering for an hour, ending up inside a 7/11, embassy and Muslim hotel (?) having no luck finding anyone who spoke English, I ended up inside a mall where a ladyboy finally directed me to a cell phone store. I still have no idea what my plan entails or how it all works (it’s all in Thai) so I guess I’l find out on my next billing statement…

With business matters out of the way, I took refuge in an air conditioned coffee shop to let the rest of the world know I was alive and well. Then it was back into the sun to continue my stroll around the city (thank goodness for Google maps!)

I’d been dreaming of the street food since my ticket was booked so I bartered for some fresh coconut water, fried bananas and fried balls of who knows what. It was delicious.

IMG_7595My body was aching after two days of travel and carrying a backpack weighing almost as much as I do, so I headed straight for the next Thai spa. An hour of bliss for $4 proved to be my best decision yet, and I headed back to my hostel to regroup before dinner.

IMG_7600I soon made friends with an Italian hostel mate who had just returned from Thailand’s southern islands and raved about the experience. I saw one photo and 20 minutes later had a flight and hostel booked there for the next day.

Hungry for more Thai food, we hopped on a couple motor taxis and headed downtown to Bangkok’s most famous pad thai as recommended by the locals. Bangkok driving is nothing like the US… that’s for sure. But I loved every second of it.

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And the pad thai… so so good.

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The night was young so we found a rooftop bar to enjoy the scenery then went for a stroll to check out the architecture (sadly I forgot my SD card and accidentally deleted the rooftop photo… so this is all I have):

IMG_7323We flagged down a tuk tuk and hitched a ride to Cowboy Roi, otherwise known as the red light district. Just to people watch… of course.

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After a few beers it was closing time, so we finally called it a night and headed back to the hostel for some much needed rest, which ended up being all of three hours before I had to wake up and catch up on work. But I haven’t slept more than a few hours at a time in nearly a week yet feel invigorated… there’s an internal energy source that I’ve been running on and it’s fueled the best two days of my life. I’m living in a state of pure bliss with no end in sight. I can’t even put it into words… so I have many photos to come. And videos. And I can’t wait to share them all.

I’m currently in a small island in southern Thailand called Koh Samui and think I’ll stay a while. I’ve found my paradise… physically, mentally, spiritually.Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 2.33.33 PMMore to come soon. In the meantime, you follow me on instagram for more frequent updates! Off to go make some memories…

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20 thoughts on “And so the journey begins…

  1. So glad you landed safely Jenna – it sounds fantastic – and oh so much more to come, this makes me truly happy for you. Happy for us that we get to see parts of your journey thru your eyes. So. cool.

  2. Jenna – I’ve been following your blog for a short time. I just returned from Thailand – Phuket and I agree the country is magical and powerful. So glad your first two days were amazing. Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures!

  3. The time has come and gone in my life to experience such a journey – and to be truthful, I’m not sure I ever would have had the courage to do so even when I was younger, single, and childless…but I am SO enjoying taking the (literal and metaphysical) journey vicariously through YOUR travels . Now every time I look at your cityscape prints hanging on my wall I wonder where in the world is Jenna Sue now? 🙂 Continued good wishes for safe travels – looking forward to the next installment!

  4. Jenna, your journey is so inspiring! I’m elated that you have decided to share your metamorphosis with us. I’m glued to your Instagram feed and blog! It’s just the inspiration I need right now! Stay safe and have fun!!! 🙂

  5. Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth, was life changing for me as well. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you do. I am so happy that you have found peace. You are a brave soul!

  6. Amazing! I have always wanted to run off and live in Phuket. what an incredible journey you have in front off you. It may not feel like it, but you are incredibly brave. Best wishes, I look forward to hearing more about your path & plans. Here’s to following your heart!

  7. You are helping so many people by chronicling your journey…super excited for you and look forward to keeping up with your posts.: )
    Enjoy every minute!
    Leah

  8. Jenna Sue – I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through this summer but your spirits seem high and I greatly admire you for that. I’m still wrapping my head around the 180 degree shift of your blog, but I think it is great! While I myself am not a DIYer, I very much enjoyed seeing your projects and love your style. I’m actually borrowing your kitchen color scheme (gray and white) for my upcoming kitchen remodel (which we are NOT doing ourselves.) That said, I look forward to reading about your Asian adventures. Best of luck!

  9. Thank you for sharing your incredible experiences. I’m sending up positive energy and love to you.

  10. So glad you are safe and sound and beginning your adventure! I’m so excited for you and so glad you are sharing with us. We all support you through this wonderful experience. Enjoy all of it!

  11. So glad you posted on your blog, so we could see a more in depth picture of what you’re experiencing. To be fully engaged in this new world and to be blissful on top of that is a beautiful thing. The book is a hint to what led you in this direction, and I hope you share what your mindset was and where you were spiritually that got you to the place you are now. It’s like I’m reading an exciting book and can’t wait for more details!

  12. Hi Jenna, sounds like a great first couple of days. I’ve been reading your blog for several months and admire your openness and boldness in sharing parts of your personal journey with us. Although I don’t know what you’ve been going through I can relate in regards to my own marital struggles and feel connected to you in that way (& through interest in design & we’re around the same age) :). I’m praying for you for healing and true freedom. This life is hard but thankfully we are never truly alone. Would like to share these verses that have helped transform my soul- Proverbs 3:5-6. Enjoy your amazing adventures!

  13. I have loved your blog and design style. Now you will be giving a different view of the world to many of us who will never get to see these things in person. I look forward to see a different view of the world thru your eyes. Thank you for sharing your life with your readers.

  14. What you’re doing is seriously awesome. And this just became my new favorite blog. Be safe on your journey my friend.

  15. Love reading about your new journey and wishing you safe travels. I can’t wait to hear an update on your adventures. But I am dying to know who’s taking care of your precious kitties!

  16. Oh, Thailand!! A wonderful ideal choice! It’s beautiful, affordable, people are friendly, food is excellent, I think you can be healthy there. It’s also clean, and the style sense there for those of us who love design – perfect. Thai people who serve tourists usually speak English but of course there’s so much more than just the tourist trail. If I could relocate, Thailand would be a top pick! Have a wonderful time exploring everything on all levels!

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