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First Days in Chiang Mai, Thailand

              I stepped out of the small airport onto Chiang Mai’s soil. It was late September, the year of 2022. My family and I had finally made it to Thailand. When we had landed in Chiang Mai, our eyes were masked to the adventures of traveling. We walked in the ignorance of not knowing that every flight to another country would lead to a trail of unexpected undertakings, with which only God could carry us through. One could say our adventures started several days after we arrived, but I prefer to start when we touched down in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

              Smooth. One word to describe the first part of our adventure. We were picked up and escorted to our Airbnb, Mae Rim Grace, which we found to be gorgeous. With a beautiful view of the mountains, a large breakfast served every morning, and lovely greenery, it was truly a glimpse of what the Garden of Eden must have been like. But Mai Rim Grace never even hinted at the troubles that lay before us.

              But eventually we had to leave our little heaven. So we headed up towards the mountains. Mae Sa Valley was up next. We found an abode across the river lining the road. Although we found out that we were practically staying in a cabin and had to heft our fifty-pound suitcases up a slick mountain stairway, we were happy for a place to stay even if it didn’t appear as delightful as Mae Rim Grace. The scenery captivated us, as well as the huge swimming pool. We may have switched from living like kings to surviving in the mountains in a small cabin, but having fun was our mission, and it looked like we were accomplishing it. But the next night, we headed back to the city to grab some food, since we weren’t much for jungle foraging. Viva’s Pizza offered us a delightful meal. We sat outside, shielded by a fence, though we still could hear city cars bustling past. The sky was clear, and everything seemed perfect.  We began our journey back up to our “cabin”, and rain started to drizzle onto our car. As we continued up, the drizzle became a downpour. Reaching the place we stayed at, we found that the river had overflowed, making the passage across impossible. Our stuff and our cabin lay beyond the bulging river.

(Taken before)

              Forced to retreat back to the city, we eagerly searched for another place to rest for the night. We drove across the city to the lower lands to take shelter, but to our utter dismay, the roads to it were flooded. We were like Noah, but without an ark. With it being late and our group rather big, no place offered their services to us. We were desperate. With our energy gone and perseverance near to death, God heard our cries. We found a place to stay at Kokotel. My sleepy eyes and tired body discovered little fault with the accommodations, but it wasn’t the fanciest of places.  

Taken at Kokotel. I thought this was an amazing view of the mountains from the middle of the city.

              The next morning, we went to check on our bags, yet the river was as high as ever. The bridges were destroyed. We wouldn’t get our clothes for days. We had to find another place to stay and, thankfully, Papa’s Garden was opened to us. Although this place was much like a camping ground, we were content in just finding a place. Papa’s Garden entertained us with its unique playground and boating activities. This was a welcome reprieve.

After the storm.

              But we needed something permanent. God heard our prayers and provided an amazing house to live in. We were so glad to have a place called home. It meant our hotel troubles were over. It was wonderful.

              We learned that traveling isn’t always easy, but that God carries us through every moment, ones of disaster and ones of pleasantry. God was with us the whole time, protecting and providing. Finally, our eyes were opened to the fact that adventure definitely comes with traveling. Are you ready to travel?

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