6 Things I learned in Thailand

September 6, 2011

I wake in a strange bed — alone. Outside, the view is beautiful. I can feel the air. I can taste the air. I can smell the air. I take a moment to be still. I feel the soft, warm breeze on my cheek. The air is thick and heavy. I taste the hot, strong coffee set before me on the brown thatched table. I smell…what is it? The sea. The smell: it makes me feel free.  Free and light, despite the heaviness of the humid air. This is my first morning in Koh Samui, Thailand.

koh samui thailand

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There is so much I want to share about my scent inspired journey in Thailand thanks to Ambi Pur.  I’ll share more come October. What I do want to tell you in this post is what I learned while I was away.

1. Being on your own

Recently, I travelled with Naomi from Seven Cherubs to a blogger event. In the course of our conversation, Naomi told me she goes away, on her own, for a weekend once a year (since she is not breastfeeding anymore).  This gives her time to think about her family unit, each one of the kids, her husband and step back for a moment and make  objective plans for the future. You know, I have never thought about doing this before. While my days were very full while I was in Thailand, I still had time on my own to be quiet and think. Think about where my kids were at and make some plans for the rest of the year.  Making time to step back for a day or two each year could be a wonderful tradition!

2. Change your perspective

Just before I left for Thailand, I was in a bit of a rut.  I felt like the kids were constantly misbehaving and I was being reactive.  I was so hoping they would not be a problem for their grandparents while I was gone.  I received this SMS:

Kel ur kids r such good kids. They r looking 4ward 2 cing u and lv u very much. 

Sometimes, I’m so overwelmed in the situation I’m in, I fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives. My kids are lovely gorgeous people, they are full on — yes, but very special.  I was glad to be reminded of that.

3. Be Yourself

I was delighted to be able to spend a few days with Eden from Edenland (the other blogger on the trip).  What strikes me about Eden, is she IS Eden. I don’t think it would matter if she was in the presence of the Queen, she would still be who she is (and I love that!). No pretenses. This is SUCH a refreshing thing. I think this is one of the reasons why Eden’s blog is so successful: she is real and relatable.  Be brave enough to be yourself.

{Eden makes you laugh}

Edenland

{Eden is Eden and I think she is gorgeous}

Eden Riley

4. Loving Adventure

I love adventure, learning new things and having new experiences. Going away confirmed this to me.  It also made me determined to share adventure with my children.  An exciting life doesn’t have to end when children come on the scene, it just changes. In fact, I’ve found so enjoyment sharing adventure with my kids. You can read more in this post: 15 Adventurous Things To Do With Kids.

adventure in thailand

5. The gift of being

Little sweet things, like celebrating many of the Love the Moment challenges, are so important.  They are simple, yet bring much sophistication to everyday life.  In a strange way, it’s the simple things that bring a complex richness to life.  I love finding ways to bring this very thing to my everyday.

On the first day I was in Thailand, I was able to concentrate on what I was feeling. For example, the feeling of sand under my feet. It was beautiful and now, I can recall the memory fondly.

feel the sand

The next day I focused on what I could see. And everywhere I looked, there was colour, shadow and movement. I took a moment to watch a graceful white flower float over the ripples of the blue water.

watching water

Feeling, being, loving, giving; it’s a gift — treasure it.

6. I always want to come home

I feel privileged to have this experience; I loved it!  I saw amazing places, did wonderful things and met inspiring people! However, do you know what I said to my daughter when I got home? I said, “I did amazing things over in Thailand but nothing compares with coming home to you.”  I want my kids to know that they are the absolute most amazing thing in my life. Going to Thailand helped me realise how much of a treasure my family is.

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I must say goodbye now.  I sip my soda water as I look out at the different shades of blue in the water before me.  The sound of the waves rhythmically kissing the sand is soothing. I think to myself: I may never be on these shores again. I may never see this exact view again. These are not a morbid thoughts, but are hopeful. I imprint the memory of what I see in my mind’s eye so I can recall it again. Tomorrow is always a mystery… 

Love the Moment

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Zoey @ Good GoogNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I love this post Kel! It looks like you had an awesome time and really soaked everything in. I know what you mean about not being able to see the forest for the trees. You can be so locked in everything-is-a-challenge mode that you don’t even see it. My mum was down for a visit for a few days last week and she was amazed at what good manners Riley has. I was too busy getting her to stop hitting me when she’s frustrated to notice! There’s a lot to be gained from taking a step back.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Thanks Zoey. That’s exactly it! Sometimes it helps to see things through other people’s eyes.

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VeronicaNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

It looks like you had so much fun. :-)

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Really an amazing experience Veronica…and I drank up every moment!

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Nikki @ stylingyouNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Kel, this Is such a beautiful post. It feels like we were there with you. X

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Oh good! I so wanted to share some of the joy I experienced xxx

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NeenNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Great Photography as always!
Love your reflective thoughts. Going away occasionally alone is a great idea.
So jealous of your Thailand trip! (hoping to go there for my honeymoon – we got engaged! )

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Thanks Neen! CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement!!! That’s exciting. You’ll love Thailand.

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Kandy ShepherdNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Lovely, evocative post, Kelly–and great photos. It was such a pleasure to meet you and share the very special trip to Koh Samui.
Kandy

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hi Kandy! I can’t wait to check out your books!

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PlanningQueenNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Beautiful post Kel and I am so happy for you having some time out. You are such a great, hard working mum.

Nic xx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Dear Nic. Thank you for such kind words xx

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Deb @ Home life simplifiedNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Wow i love this post – each of your points are ones I need to be reminded of. I especially loved lesson 5 – i get too caught up in the day to day and I don’t remember the last time I stopped and became aware of my senses (apart from a recent panic attack (?) where I could not breathe) and connected to the moment.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Hi Deb

I totally know where you are coming from. I too have suffered from terrible panic attacks (http://beafunmum.com/2011/06/depression-the-new-normal/) and recovering from that is when I really started to Love the Moment and live in the moment more…boy has it changed the way I live (in a wonderful way!) xx

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Deb @ Home life simplifiedNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I went and read that post and was so happy when the doctor talked to you nicely and supported you and you let them dam burst open. I am not longer on antidepressants but battle with the anxiety and depression during hard times. I use the skills I learned in recovery for PND but know it is still a battle at times. Big hugs to you. I have decided to write a post for RUOK day about my darkest days which I have only touched on so far on my blog. I still stand by the fact that as we talk more openly about this people will feel braver about seeking help.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I’m no longer on antipressants either but have had to learn skills to manage myself too…and I can look back and see it’s a good thing. I absolutely agree with you that talking about it is a really good thing…I can tell you that through that post, other people have been helped and recgonised it and done something about it. I look forward to the post Deb xx

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Kellie @ Three Li'l PrincessesNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Oh, what bliss! You transported me to a heavenly place through your beautiful words and gorgeous pictures. Thank you. Such a gorgeous post. xx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I so wanted to share some of the gorgeousness with you all; glad you enjoyed it xx

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SeraphimspNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I loved reading this post. Everything from your words, to these gorgeous photos made me smile. Beautiful.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

What a lovely comment! Thank you so much!

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Christie-Childhood 101No Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm

What a fabulous experience, I love your reflections – they really transport us to be right there with you x

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Hi Christie. I really was such a wonderful experience! I loved every single thing! Can’t wait to share some more soon. x

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edenlandNo Gravatar September 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Kelly, I was so glad to get to know you better. You gotcha self a throaty laugh there, when you let loose, you know? I showed my hubby your pic and he’s all, nii-iice. Fricken perve.

I can’t believe we were JUST THERE. What an amazing experience. I really cherish it, and will never stop marvelling at the fact we got there because we started blogs one day!

Thank you for your kind words and pics. I never see pics of myself taken without me knowing, such a treat. It’s interesting to see yourself how others see you.

Really hope to catch up with you again soon.

eden xox

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Ah Eden. Just because we started a blog…yes…Amazing! It was so special to spend a few days with you. You’re special. xo

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Janice - Learning 4 kidsNo Gravatar September 7, 2011 at 12:23 am

What a fabulous read! I enjoyed every word…….thank you for a beautiful insight! xx

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thanks for being here Janice. Looking forward to you guest posting on the blog sometimes soon!

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NicoleNo Gravatar September 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

Loved reading about your experience in Thailand Kell, and the photos are stunning. Can’t wait to hear more!
Nic.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Hey Nic. I’m so glad I took my “big” camera with me. Captured so many great moments!

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ChristieNo Gravatar September 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

Kelly that was such a beautiful, reflective post, and I’m so glad you got to go and you were able to see your own value and what a wonderful job you do.
I’m liking this idea of getting away on your own once a year. I have not had a break in…. I have not had a break. I wonder how inspired and creative I could be if I managed to get away once in a while.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I had never even though of it before. I wouldn’t do it very often (annually is probably just about right) but I too think it’s a wonderful. I was actually thinking aroud this time of year (Sep) would be perfect so I can do some shopping for Christmas!

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Naomi EllisNo Gravatar September 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm

This is such a lovely post Kelly and so glad you could get some time away. Thanks so much for the lovely mention and I love that you could get the chance to think. What a blessing! Look forward to more that you are going to share about this amazing trip. N x

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm

It was a blessing. Thanks Naomi x

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JanetNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

What a fabulous holiday you lucky girl!!! I have often thought that I would love to take a weekend retreat all by myself … the thought of sleeping, writing, thinking, praying, planning, reflecting, reviewing and just “being” really appeals to me. But I have never done it. I wonder why that is? Probably because it sounds/feels incredibly selfish. Yet imagine how it could recharge our batteries! You’ve inspired me to talk to hubby about it … see what he thinks …

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar September 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I know what you mean. I wouldn’t do it very often but a annual thing I actually think is a wonderful idea…and really, a great thing for the family in the long run. Let me know how you go ;)

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