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Life in Chiang Mai


People come, people go

By Heather Allan
One of the difficulties of being an expat anywhere in the world I suppose, are the friendships made and the friendships lost. Not everyone is committed to staying forever; indeed I may not although it seems more and more likely that I will unless I find some fabulous new place full of lovely people and generally great weather that suits me more. Any suggestions are always welcome as I do like changing things up a bit. I grew up in a village where nobody ever moved away, it seemed. Perhaps just childhood memories exaggerating things but it seemed to me so tedious and I vowed I would not be one of those people who lived in the house they grew up until the day they died.
So, off I went to see the world and eventually settled down in Chiang Mai after stopping at a few places along the way. Some seemed a better fit than others but Chiang Mai was the first place that felt like home. In the years I have lived here I have made some great friends and some not so great acquaintances. However, they have all been interesting! The hard part has been the departure of those really great friends either moving on to newer pastures or passing on to heavenly pastures. Those who have passed on are perhaps the hardest and the easiest to cope with, the loss, while painful is permanent. But those who move on to new places the loss lingers, you maintain contact but as your lives change you drift apart. You come to find that your friendship was perhaps more based on shared circumstances rather than on shared closeness. However, it is the true friends that move on and yet the friendship remains and even apart, you both take up where you left off the next time you meet. Those are the friendships that are built to last.
However, it is never really possible to tell what kind of friendship you have until it’s tested. However, I still have fond memories of those gone and hope they are enjoying their new lives in new places. Sometimes, thinking of old friends make my feet itch and I start wondering if it is time for a change. I am still looking for those greener pastures, I guess. When the right place and the right time strikes then I am sure I will know and I will seize the opportunity to make the change. But for now, Chiang Mai remains home and the place I want to be, warts and all.


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People come, people go