My Birthday Wish in Chiang Mai, Thailand

This April I will be celebrating my 44th birthday.  For many personal reasons, I am feeling many emotions right now as I write this post.

I’ve mentioned before in previous posts that I was born in Burma and lived there until I was a teenager.  I still have  memories of festivals and festivities from my childhood.  I am happy to say that I’ve had the fortune to celebrate many of those holidays here in Chiang Mai in similar fashion.

My first return “home” was after 19 years of living away from Burma.  That was in 1999.  Incidentally, I was looking through our photos the other day and realized that I have no digital photos of my trip from that year.  They are all packed away somewhere in a scrapbook I’m sure (ha ha this was before digital age, at least for me!)  (Note to self: dig them up during our trip back to the US this summer!)

I remember that my first trip in 1999 was right after the Burmese New Year, ThinGyan,  very similar to Songkran in Thailand.  I was disappointed that I missed it, but elated at the same time that I was returning after all those years.

This year during ThinGyan or water festival, our original plan was to travel to Burma for a month to relive (sort of) my childhood with J and M.  However, due to our decision to return to the States early, we decided to stay here in Chiang Mai for the Buddhist New Year (Hindu origin).    Either way, I feel super fortunate to be here in Chiang Mai to enjoy this great tradition in person.  Additionally, we will be able to partake in the Buddhist ceremonies within the walls of ancient temples here.  How lucky a Buddhist am I?

Sooo– May I just say, thankfully, that my birthday wish has already come true.

On my birthday, everyday for that matter, I know that I will sleep through the night knowing when I wake up, my family will be beside me.  I know that I am blessed with choices. I know that I live a free life unimaginable to many human beings around the world.  I know deep down that having the opportunity to celebrate Thingyan here in Thailand is truly a blessing.   I certainly don’t take that lightly.

From all of us at the Got Passport Headquarters to yours:

May your New Year, Thingyan or Songkran, be filled with love and humbleness throughout the year.

Sawatdee Peee Mai from Chiang Mai , Thailand.

Until I return there later this year, I bow my head to Shwedagon Phaya from afar!

Message to M: “To know you have enough is to be rich” ~Tao Te Ching

We Say NO to Status Quo.

Live Green.  Live Small.  Give Large.  Take Little.

Take Notice.  Take Action.

  19 comments for “My Birthday Wish in Chiang Mai, Thailand

  1. April 4, 2011 at 00:09

    What a sweet, sweet post. It got me quite emotional, actually. Happy Birthday, Happy Buddhist New Year, and happy travels!!

  2. April 4, 2011 at 00:23

    Lovely post A. You’re an excellent role model and kudos for remaining cognizant of the things you have in life, while simultaneously being able to appreciate those who do not. I have no idea how you can possibly be turning 44 because you look 32 but if you say you’re 44 I believe you 😉 Safe travels these next few months. Will be thinking of you and the Got Passport family.

    • April 6, 2011 at 20:18

      @Maia – thanks for your comment. Yes, I really like that quote as well.

      @Jodi, Actually, hmm “appreciate” sounds quite nice. I do think though that I’ve learned to “tolerate” or dare I say “accept” those who do not. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words.

      @Michi thanks for stopping by and wishing me a happy birthday and a happy new year! So kind of you. 🙂

  3. April 4, 2011 at 00:35

    May you have the happiest of birthdays, Avril!

    And I really appreciate that you remind us here how important gratitude is — gratitude for the simple things that it’s so easy for many of us to overlook every day — and I love the quote from the Tao Te Ching at the end.

    best wishes and Sawatdee Peee Mai — ka!

  4. April 4, 2011 at 10:24

    I second what Jodi said. You look so young!! Hope you have a wonderful birthday this year 🙂

  5. Kyle
    April 5, 2011 at 20:03

    I’m late to the party, but Happy Birthday! Great post…it’s always a good thing to stop, take a breath, and be thankful for what we have.

  6. April 5, 2011 at 23:09

    Hope you have a great birthday! I’m happy I had the chance to spend time with the Gotpassport family during my time in Chiang Mai as well.

  7. April 5, 2011 at 23:12

    I am overjoyed that you got your birthday wish this year! I wish you more birthdays to come and I hope to spend more time with you and your family! *hugs*

    • April 6, 2011 at 11:29

      Thanks Cristine for your comment. Yes, definitely when we get back. But first another ladies’ night before we leave! 🙂

  8. April 6, 2011 at 12:36

    44 and you posted on April 4 – oh yea, I noticed that auspiciousness!

    It’s seemed like such a blessing for your family this year to find a new home in CM. Kudos to you for chasing those dreams and realizing them!! I’m so grateful to have spent time with all of you, learned from you, and found great opportunity from your generosity. Soak in the beauty in CM, and I hope you give back to yourself something wonderful for your birthday.

    All good things will happen in time as they are meant – I truly believe it. Sending lots of love!!!!

    • April 6, 2011 at 20:09

      Ha ha, Bessie.. thanks for the comment and the 4th was actually an accident. But looks like it worked out in my favor. See you in a few months.. this time I”m really really serious.. 🙂

  9. April 7, 2011 at 04:44

    Happy BIrthday!

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