by the skin of my teeth

I mentioned awhile ago that I'm going to Thailand. Well, I leave for Bangkok tomorrow morning and I started this morning pretty much at square one.

This was a group trip and the original plan was to spend a few days in Bangkok, then move to a private villa in Phuket. As I began looking into how to spend my time, I realized that the villa isn't in Phuket, but in Nai Harn, a 25 minute drive from Phuket Town. By all accounts, it's one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, but it's only 1 km long, it's located in a mostly residential area, and the villa is a 10 minute walk from the beach. *yawn*

I should've looked into this sooner (um, like before I made a deposit), but I didn't. I'm sure Nai Harn is a lovely place if you love beaches. I don't, which is why I usually book my beach vacations at posh resorts with plenty of activities, and why I lust for trips to European capitols. As the trip got closer, my sense of dread grew, and this morning, I decided to opt out of the villa and start over.

There is collateral damage, and I'm sure you're probably thinking something along the lines of, "come on, Sage, you're going to Thailand in February, you live in Scandinavia, how bad can it be?" But Thailand isn't a trip you do once a year, and I'm not one to squander opportunity, so it's important to get this right.

This trip is going to be a total seat of my pants, skin of my teeth sort of adventure, but maybe it's better that way. I think a lot. Probably too much. So, this will be an exercise in letting go. Really, I leave in fewer than 12 hours, what choice do I have?

I'll be spending 8 days in Bangkok, followed by 3 in Patong Beach, and another 3 in Chiang Mai. It feels right.

I expect Bangkok to be sensory overload and I can't wait to check it out... the markets, the temples, the spas, the counterfeit goods, the traffic, the tuk-tuks, Khao San Road! My original Phuket ticket is non-refundable, so it would be a waste not to check out Patong Beach, at least for a few days. Chiang Mai is to the north and seems to be the object of universal traveler love, plus my boss told me that the best curry of her life was in Chiang Mai, so of course I have to go there!

That was a lot of Googling!!! What did we do before the internet?

In keeping with the recent panini theme, I'll leave you with a couple photos of my favorite panini place in Rome. It's near the Colosseum and it's mostly a bakery with a few grocery items, and a takeaway counter that sells panini, lasagna, cannelloni, etc. by weight. I ate here my first day in Rome (another breakfast!) and walked around for several hours trying to find it again on my last day in Rome.

I don't expect to be online again until Patong Beach, but I'm bringing my camera and will give you a taste of Thailand as soon as I can :)

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