An Eventful End to 2015
It seems like ages ago since I left you with my last update…you know…the traumatic end to our NZ road trip due to the hacking of ALL of our websites? It was a definitely a doozy, but so many things have happened since then that we can absolutely say we rang in the New Year on a high note.
After we returned to the States, and went back to living with the parents for 6 weeks, we decided it was time to make a big purchase: a vehicle. We were going to be home for long enough that we just couldn’t bare the thought of having to borrow a car every time we needed to go somewhere, even though our gracious mothers generously offered theirs up anytime we needed one. But we were tired of feeling like we were imposing and tired of feeling trapped. So after much debate (Jeep Wrangler vs a practical car)…we finally decided on a beautiful pearly white Nissan Maxima. Can you guess who won that debate? 😉
Admittedly, it felt pretty nice to actually own something again other than a suitcase and clothes. We finally felt a sense of freedom being at home and having our own transportation again. Things were starting to look up.
And then some bad news. As you know, we were planning to return to Chiang Mai just a few days after Christmas with my best friend, Whitney, and her fiancé, Robert. We already had a deposit on an apartment and flights booked. The only step left was to get a visa. We applied for a single entry tourist visa as we only planned to stay two months anyway. And then we received a call from the Thai Embassy in DC. They asked all kinds of questions about why we’ve been in Thailand so much and how much traveling could we be doing and what kind of work we do. They requested a letter that explained in detail our travel intentions while we were in Thailand which we promptly submitted to them. The next day they denied our visa. Shit.
My 30th birthday was approaching, and although I was super dreading the thought of 30, I was excited to actually be home for the first birthday in 3 years and surrounded by my family and close friends. My best friend was insistent on celebrating, only Charlie was being difficult. He didn’t seem to want anything to do with it and I couldn’t understand why he was trying to blow off my birthday! Little did we know, he had plans of his own and was trying to work around the plans we were making.
As we were walking through the Ocala Square before my birthday dinner, Charlie got down on one knee…
and I have no idea what he said after that! I just know I said YES 🙂
Much to my surprise, my parents were there to witness the whole thing (I thought they were away for the weekend) as well as a professional photographer who just happened to be in the square that night and captured this oh-so-perfect moment. Massive THANK YOU to Demilio Photography for these amazing photos I’ll cherish forever!!!
After hugs and tears and laughter and more photos, we celebrated at the restaurant with a bottle of champagne and even a visit from Mr. Claus himself. I can’t even begin to tell you how perfect that night was. I wanted to live in those moments forever.
A few days later, it was time to pull my head out of the clouds and away from the engagement photos that I couldn’t stop obsessing over. We had some major problems to solve after finding out our visa for Thailand was DENIED. Could we get our deposit back from the apartment? Change our flights? How much would this cost? Where would we go instead? Would we need a visa for there? On top of that, Whitney’s parents had already booked travel to visit Thailand and to meet up with us on their last few days and we were feeling terrible about that.
Much research and deliberation later, we decided to reroute our flights to Bali. We had planned on going to Bali after Thailand for two months anyway since neither of us had ever been and it seemed to be the best option. We wouldn’t have to deal with getting a visa before leaving (since we were down to the wire) and we could find a place to base ourselves when we got there. Fortunately, we got our deposit back from our apartment in Thailand and only lost a little bit on our flights. Bali was on the map for 2016 with a quick layover in Kuala Lumpur for New Years Eve.
Oh, but wait, its currently Jan 14 and I am writing this post from Chiang Mai…
Yep, that’s right. We are back in Thailand. Just another turn of events in our SE Asia adventures 😉 Stay tuned to see how we got here and why…