November Update: Settling Down in Chiang Mai

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November has mostly been a month of settling down in our Chiang Mai apartment and getting some work done. Although we haven’t visited many of the tourist attractions we’ve been enjoying local life – buying fruit, vegetables and fresh rice noodles at the markets, whizzing around town on our moped, meeting up with friends at one of the many delicious vegetarian restaurants, and attending some local festivals.

The highlight was the Yee Peng Floating Lantern Festival when thousands of paper lanterns were released into the sky at once. The top photo shows us waiting to release our lantern. It was a magical night. A few weeks later the Yee Peng/Loy Krathong Festival of Light celebrations continued and Chiang Mai broke out in festivities all week long.  The town was decorated with glowing lanterns, parades took over the centre and the river was full of families and friends releasing banana leaf boats into the water and paper lanterns into the sky. As they float away so do the troubles of the person releasing them. There were also a lot of fireworks going off at all times of day and night.

We celebrated Simon’s birthday last week with lots of good eating, a motorbike trip up to the temple on Doi Suthep mountain, and a night of live music with friends.

A few days early our friends Dani and Jess the Globetrotter Girls treated Simon to a birthday cake. Sweet things make him happy…

birthday_cake

Never Ending Voyage Around The Web

Google + have added the option for company pages so we now have a Never Ending Voyage Page as well as my personal account. Come and join us there for travel stories and updates. We are still active on Facebook and Twitter too.

We were interviewed on Jet Set Citizen about the details behind our nomadic life – what made us decide to sell everything and travel, our travel expenses, how we earn a living and more.

If you are ever in Osaka, My Little Nomads have some recommendations on things to do with kids, including a day trip to Kyoto where there are plenty of attractions beyond temples.

We were featured in a number of Blog Carnivals this month. Our Kyoto paper lantern post was in the Gen Y Travel Blog carnival, Koh Mak was a recommended winter sun destination on Heading There, and our exploration of weird and wonderful food in Kyoto was part of the Carnival of Cities.

The Aussie on the Road chose our Photo Essay of the Yee Peng Floating Lantern Festival as one of his favourite posts of the week.

Nico on the Airtreks blog muses about minimalism and packing light and includes our packing list as a good example.

Work

November has been all about the work. As we explained in our Jet Set Citizen interview Simon’s perfectionism has made it difficult for us to cover all our travel expenses from web design work. He loves what he does and always spends far longer on the sites he creates than he is being paid for. Ultimately client work isn’t scalable so we need to develop some products to sell to increase our income streams.

The reason why we are staying in Chiang Mai for three months is so that Simon can work on developing his own WordPress framework and create Premium Themes to sell. His themes will be responsive using new technology so that a website automatically resizes to look great on any size device whether it’s a widescreen desktop or an iPhone or iPad. Our first theme should launch in Jaunary 2012 and will be aimed at travel bloggers, but we will likely branch out after that. It’s a lot of work to create a quality theme, but we hope it will pay off in the long run.

This means that apart from a few small jobs for travel bloggers helping with coding issues and setting up new sites, he has had to say no to a number of paid jobs, so that he can focus on this project. We have had to battle with the fear of running out of money and the fear of failure, but I think every entrepreneur has to go through this and we are now feeling excited about the future.

Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas? See our guide to the 50 Best Gifts for Travelers. They are ideal for travel lovers who want to pack light and include something for every budget.

How was your November? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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14 Comments

  1. Hi
    Just wanted to comment as I have just discovered your great website! My wife and I are currently saving to do as much World travel as possible (after 4 months of Australia and SE Asia) just like you guys… Your website is a great inspiration and place for good info – we are veggies too so it’s great to get good places to eat!
    Thanks!
    Adam n Tanja

    Reply

  2. Sounds like a busy month – there seems to be a travel blogger’s convention in Thailand at the moment, alot of bloggers I follow are there! Sounds like a great idea developing a theme- I wish you all the best. Have you ever built websites for hotels/ hostels in exchange for accommodation? It’s something my boyfriend was thinking of for when we travel… Stay safe on the moped – I’m very jealous 🙂

    Reply

    • It is a mini TBEX here!

      Building sites is exchange for accommodation definitely is an option, and could be good when you are starting out or if you can work quickly. Unfortunately Simon is a perfectionist and spends a lot of time building and designing his sites so it hasn’t worked out worth it for us. One time we did spend 3 weeks at a quite expensive hotel in Peru creating a site for their NGO, but Simon spent most of the time working so we didn’t have much time to explore.

      It really depends what they need done and how quickly you can do it. We have found places open to the idea though.

      Reply

  3. Glad to hear that you are settling down well in Chiang Mai, it’s such a nice place for staying a few months or more! Thou there are plenty of distractions to ummm distract you from doing the work you originally went there to do, trust me I know 😉

    Reply

    • The theme is a lot of work, but Simon is an awesome coder (and designer) so it should be great when it’s finally finished. Hope you make it to Chiang Mai one day!

      Reply

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