What do you do to relax? For me there’s nothing as soothing as spending time in water, especially the gorgeous pool at @marayaresort
in Chiang Mai!
I had a transformative conversation with Phra KK regarding methods of separating ourselves from suffering yet still contributing to society as a humanitarian. This is a challenge that I didn’t previously know that I had.
We learned that we’re both 29 and Phra KK told me he felt that we have a special bond, but he can’t explain why. After spending nearly two days together Phra KK told me that he can feel the compassion in my good heart and that he believes I’ve reached at least a small form of enlightenment and wisdom. That has to be the most beautiful, soulful thing anyone has ever said about me. I’m so grateful for this experience.
A food festival, walking ancient city walls and a #Croatian
wine tasting = a great day in #Dubrovnik
I attended the overnight Vipassana silent meditation retreat and introduction to Buddhism which is led by Phra KK who promised to help me “do good, avoid bad, and purify your mind.” He taught me about the teachings of The Buddha, the Buddhist way of life, Thai culture, and led us through 5 hours of daily meditation.
Phra KK was an orphan in Bangladesh and learned that he could ease his suffering by following the teachings of Buddha. When he was 13 he became a monk and has been studying and practicing Buddhism for the last 16 years. For the last few years, he’s been operating an orphanage for children in hopes to help their lives as so many helped his.
Although he’s been a practicing Buddhist monk for many years Phra KK never judged or had negative opinions towards my fellow participants that challenged his ideas and my own queries about extremist monks who lead aggressions towards Muslims in Myanmar. Through his example, Phra KK was teaching us that we’ll suffer less if we lead a life where we don’t judge others or have expectations about their behavior.
Wat Suan Dok is special to me as I often attend monk chats with Buddhist monks here. I cherish the experience and recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about Buddhism while visiting Chiang Mai. The monk chat is an immersive cultural experience where you’ll have the unique chance to discuss Buddhism with monks who are studying at the on-site Buddhist Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University as you help them practice English.
Saying goodbye to waterfalls for now but don’t worry I have more to share from Vietnam, Laos, and Costa Rica soon! 📷: @laughtraveleat
We trend through the dense jungle that envelops Doi Inthanon. Sam tried to get us to go for the full five-hour trek. It was mostly intermediate but there were several parts of the trek where we were walking along sheer drops where we could have pummeled into the forest with a single misstep. 📷: @laughtraveleat
I went on a 2-day trek around Doi Inthanon with @laughtraveleat
Along the way we came across many incredible waterfalls hidden deep in the rainforest like the Pa Dok Saew cascade.
The King and Queen pagodas are nestled near the top of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s tallest peak. The mountain was named in honor of King Inthawichayanon who dedicated much of his time as the ruler to preserving Thailand's nature. The king's ashes are buried elsewhere on the mountain but a beautiful brown pagoda was erected in his honor in these gardens in 1987. Across from his monument is a lavender structure for his queen which was built in 1992 in her favorite color, which just so happens to be my favorite color, too! The pagodas were built 5 years apart intentionally, to represent their difference in age, the queen was 5 years younger and her pagoda is also 5 meters shorter than the kings! Thanks @laughtraveleat
for these shots of me!
My day around the highlands of Doi Inthanon National Park with @venturewithimpact
started at the massive Mae Ya Waterfall. The gigantic natural waterfall cascades over tiered rocks and is just as wide as it is tall! 📷: @laughtraveleat
If cosiness had a smell, it would be Finnish cinnamon buns, freshly ground coffee beans, warm puffs of smoke in the dewy air and a soft ground full of orange autumn leaves.
I absolutely adore Chiang Mai but it was a breath of fresh air, literally, to have a little staycation in the hills at @panvimanspa.
Everything about @panvimanspa
was designed with relaxing and healing in mind. There are endless zen corners around the massive complex intended for self-reflection and meditation like the tranquil meditation cave. It’s the perfect place to look within and express gratitude towards Mother Nature. I was vibrating with energy both inside and out as I sat and appreciated the restorative feeling. 📷: @laughtraveleat
There’s an on-site organic vegetable farm at @panvimanspa
where they grow the majority of the produce served in their open-air Panorama restaurant with strictly eco-friendly and non-chemical practices. Their commitment to sustainability is also at the core of their staffing policies. Over 90% of the employees at Panviman Chiang Mai Resort live in the surrounding villages and are members of Thailand’s many diverse hilltribes.
Most times your dreams are merely an arm's length away. So don't be afraid to reach for them.
Taking in the breathtaking panoramic views of the agriculture terrain of the Mae Rim Valley from the @panvimanspa
the Hilltribe Terrace. The mountainous area has certainly earned the nickname of ‘heaven in the hills.’
The massive plush bed at @panvimanspa
is certainly fit for a queen. Do you drink your coffee in bed? It’s one of my many guilty pleasures.
Do you know how to drive a motorbike? 🛵 It’s the main method of transportation in many of the places I’ve been in Southeast Asia but I still haven’t really learned how to drive one. Someone made me feel like I wouldn’t be capable of it so I keep avoiding it. It’s a big goal of mine for 2019 to conquer the fear and learn once and for all–I miss the independence that having two wheels gives you! Plus, it’s a major money saver as taking taxis or local transport everywhere can quickly add up.
Here’s a bunch of corporate-y pictures of me looking happy, but I’m gonna let you in on a secret...I was dead tired and v irritated at most people surrounding me. Work travel burnout is real guys 😒😫😭, but I’ve learned some coping strategies:
-Go to bed early if at all possible. 😴
-Don’t keep your lap top in bed with you and close the blue screen at night.💻
-Indulge in fun facial masks at night. (Thanks for this tip, @brittanyrneish
-Exercise or at least walk around the hotel in your downtime.🏃🏻♀️
-Bring fuzzy slippers and a big hoodie to relax in.
-Take a day off when you get home to pamper yourself💅🏼, sleep in and do all of the normal things (i.e. grocery shop, clean, laundry, etc.)
If you travel for work, how do you avoid burnout?
P.S. Another rather hated tip...get the side salad 🥗 instead of the fries 🍟...
det är upp till mig att skapa det liv jag vill leva.
på vägen ska jag krossa normer och några jantelagar. det blir kul.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
When I was in high school, I bought a bracelet from @stampedexpressionsco
engraved with this quote. Ever since then it’s something I’ve always tried to live by
Whether it’s trying something new or asking a question, we should always be willing to get out of our shell. It may be uncomfortable, but remember It NEVER HURTS to ASK A QUESTION. So, if you want to travel or have a weekend getaway, don’t be afraid to ask your boss/parents/significant other, etc.
When you are willing to ask for a possibility, then the probability of it happening is automatically 50%. I work full time and I often get asked how I’m able to travel for long periods of time, well the secret is I just ask. Sometimes my boss does say no, but that doesn’t scare me from asking again in the future
Your life is your priority - live it the way you want to, not the way you’re supposed to. Live outside of your comfort zone!
📸 @shawnybhavs #shaication
has us ready for fall in New York City!
La Mexicana @ashleytscn
nos hace estar emocionadas por el otoño en la ciudad de Nueva York!
Use the hashtag #LatinasLoveTravel
and tag us to be featured!
Power from the sky, blessings from the earth. ✨
Have you ever had a Thai massage? The treatment at @panvimanspa
was the best in the world. Viman Spa has received the Thai Spa Excellence Quality Standard Approval and is regarded as the 4th best spa in Southeast Asia and 2nd best spa in Thailand.
The gorgeous open air spa is tucked away in the vast greenery of the resort in a quaint oasis surrounded by lush jungle and serene lakes. The open-air treatment rooms allow for a cool breeze to tickle your skin as talented technicians maneuver your body into ancient Thai massage postures that make your body feel so brand new. My masseuse was firm and sturdy in her touch and managed to relive my body from tension. 📷: @laughtraveleat
The caption of this photo should read: “Please don’t look too closely at my messy hotel room.” 🙏🏼
I’m still recovering from my association’s annual conference (aka six 12-hour days with too many logistics, tiny details and late nights filled with wine 🍷 and PowerPoints). One fun thing that I got to experience during this crazy work schedule was @trvlporter
👠👗👜. This service styles a wardrobe for your trip and sends it directly to your hotel. Once you’ve worn your pieces, you mail it back in their pre-paid packaging by dropping it off at the concierge desk.
I loved this red dress 💃🏻that they sent me and received a lot of compliments on it. Try it out on your next trip & let me know what you think! #sponsored
An hour outside of Chiang Mai is a serene oasis where travelers can escape to the mountains to a relaxing retreat that’ll allow them to soothe their worries, get in touch with nature, and deepen their meditation practice. @panvimanspa
is a luxurious hideaway that’s in harmony with nature and sustainability. 📷: @laughtraveleat
As I was receiving my Sak Yant blessing the quiet Sannak began to erupt with the chipper sounds of birds. I looked around and saw at least seven different species of birds–roosters, chickens, pigeons and many tiny birds that I couldn’t identify. Arjun Rung laughed audibly and told me that this was a sign that I was meant to carry this Sak Yant with me. The birds were celebrating and blessing my sacred ink. I’m a big believer in omens. Buddhist believe in the power of 7 spirits of birds and that they were each singing to me as I received a tattoo that honors them.
As a traveler, birds hold special significance to me. They represent freedom, migration, growth, and community. I even want to name my children after birds some day. Ever since I received the Sa Lik Ga yantra I keep catching bits of lyrics about birds and can’t help but smile. From Nina Simone’s Feeling Good where she sings “Birds flying high you know how I feel,” to the Carpenters Close To You with the lyrics, “why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?” I will cherish this memory forever and proudly honor my Sa Lik Ga. 📷: @laughtraveleat
As we spoke Arjun Rung began to sketch a customized Sa Lik Ga yantra of two birds and explained to me that he felt that the birds should face outwards as they’d represent success in a social business, such as being a journalist. He told me that it was important for the bird’s heads to be at the top of the design in order to help me reach my goals and make the path of my life bright. The curved prayer that Arjun Rung wrote for me to give me the strength of courage both physically and mentally, the bravery to let go of suffering in order to find true peace, and to never have to sacrifice love, happiness, or freedom for success. This deeply resonates with the path that I want to be on. 📷: @laughtraveleat
One of my favorite temples is the divine Wat Lok Moli, with a beautiful prayer hall in black an white intricately detailed glory! Behind the wat is one of the most intact chedis in Chiang Mai. This chedi is significant as it holds the remains of several Lanna kings. Swipe to see! 📷: @laughtraveleat
My beautifully hand-crafted and ethically produced Celeste dress from @poeme.clothing
is the perfect frock to wear for a temple hop!
The delightfully red and gold Wat Rajamontean is one of my favorite temples in Chiang Mai simply because it’s stunning.
Before you set off on a temple run around Chiang Mai there are a few things you should know. It’s respectful to wear modest clothing, some temples enforce a strict dress code of no shoulders or knees showing for both women and men. Wear slip off shoes so you can easily step inside Buddhist temples where shoes are not allowed. Don’t worry, no one is going to steal your sandals!
I’m still in shock that @bustle
wrote an article about me titled, ‘Lola Méndez lets you tour the world through her Instagram feed.’ If you found me through the article please comment below and introduce yourself! ✨
Wat Chedi Luang is guarded by elephants, most of which were renovated in the 90s, one of which is original from 1441.