Home means different things to different people. In the most literal sense of the word, it's defined as the place where one was born or to be more specific—where one grew up. Others consider home as a roof over their heads while some would say home is family.
No matter how you describe it, they all have one thing in common—emotion, a feeling of warmth. That sense of belonging, of knowing, and remembering.
That was how I felt when I woke up that morning on a train to Chiang Mai. I spent the night reading a book before bed and committed to finishing at least one chapter. But the sound of the train and the gentle rocking was enough to send me to sleep.
This misty landscape dominated my window all morning, and it bore a resemblance to the mountains back home.
I stayed in a Beatles-inspired hostel ran by a young artist couple. They worked together as an independent photographer-stylist team outside the business.
Small coffee shops and street food scattered the neighborhood. I saw a couple of food trucks parked on the streets but didn't have the chance to taste them. It was too full stuffing my face with small bites I came across.
Chiang Mai is also known for its night markets. But come to think of it, all the places that I've visited in Thailand had their version of night markets.
There is a Buddhist temple in the mountains with an enthralling legend. Even though it's a popular tourist spot, I still wanted to see it for myself. Plus, it was in the mountains, and I love mountains.
In one of the rooms, we knelt in front of a monk so he could give us his blessings. I had no idea what he was chanting. Everyone in the room was clueless and had to be instructed by the temple staff of what to do next.
I remember a time when my family and I visited one of the Buddhist temples in Cebu. We sat in a room while a monk shared a story sort of like when a priest is doing a sermon. My siblings and I would pretend we understood what the monk was saying. And once it was over, we'd ask our dad to translate the whole thing for us. After the mass, there was a free vegetarian lunch, which I did not enjoy because I hated vegetables! Especially the ones that were made to look and taste like meat.
The day before I left Chiang Mai, I wandered upon a haven of hipster shops and small cafes. Think Park was obscurely behind a mall. I was bummed out that I stumbled upon it on my last day, but was also happy that I now had a reason to come back to this city.