Life Changing Decisions – Move to Bhutan

After a long time promising to get back at posting, I have officially a good excuse. I now live in The Happiest Country on Earth: The Kingdom of Bhutan!

I am now a teacher in the Kingdom of Bhutan, one of the most closed countries in the planet,
and I made it here through a series of personal turmoil. Over the last two and a bit years, my life changed quite a bit. I went from clinically depressed to finishing my Ph.D, moving back to Brazil, teaching for one year in one of the most prestigious schools in the American Continent,
giving that up, getting married and giving up a great job to move to the Land of the Thunder Dragon.


Why Bhutan? So many people have asked me this questions and I don’t really have a single answer. It is a combination of factors. Bhutan is one of the most difficult countries to enter in the world. Its culture is still so untouched, there is so much to explore… etc etc… but the main reason is: I prefer to regret having taken this opportunity than wonder about what could have been.


What the decision difficult to make? Well, not really! I had the will to throw myself at this opportunity and the support from my family and my then girlfriend. So much so that we got married in 12 days and she is here with me! Want better support than this?


Why give up a great job? It was not easy. I liked my previous job quite a lot! Loved the people I worked with and I felt bad having left the job. It is not easy to quit, is it? They were also very supportive. I really wanted the opportunity to work with underprivileged children in a country that is supporting its Education System with everything it has. It is inspiring to see how fast Education is progressing.


Is Bhutan changing your life? Another question that everyone asks me all the time. I am an avid traveller and think that our lives are changed at every moment, every day, by every experience, it does not matter how small it is. Coming to a highly spiritual country, still so ingrained in Buddhism does change one’s life, but not in the way that you’d think. It is another set of experience that will, in whatever way, have an impact in my life. How? I don’t know! I just want to absorb as much of the culture as I possibly can.


Next? I will be posting a series of more detailed posts about my experiences here. Keep yourself tuned! My first experience can be read at http://www.mochilaoadois.com.br/festival-paro-tshechu/.


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Grand Palace, Bangkok – Thailand

A must-see place in Bangkok!

Bangkok is not the most attractive city in the world, but you must stay at least a couple of days for a few reasons: Two of them being the nightlife and the other is to visit The Grand Palace! (Maybe that’s unfair, there is plenty to do in Bangkok!)

Travellers beware! On your way to this magnificent place, you will be stopped by many “tour guides”, claiming that the palace is closed for several reasons, and offer you trips to see a smiling Buddha or other things that don’t exist. Unless a trusted website says that the palace is closed, do not believe anyone in the street! Just ignore anyone who tries to offer you anything other than to point you towards the entrance to the palace!

Bangkok is a very hot place, but when visiting it, make sure that you are not wearing shorts. Your knees and calves must be covered at all times (don’t forget, it is a sacred place!) and normal t-shirt (no tank top or sleeveless t-shirts!). This will save you a lot of time at the entrance, they are quite strict about this!

Another rule of thumb: When entering temples to adore Buddha, sit with your feet pointing AWAY from Buddha. It is considered offensive to point your feet towards his image. One of my friends who was travelling with me almost got kicked out of Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) because of it!

An amazing place! Just don’t be fooled by con artists and get caught in cultural differences!

Luang Prabang to Thai Border – Speed Boat Style!

In order to go from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai, I decided to take the fast route… Speed-boat style! There are no road (up-to-date) linking that part of Laos to the Thai border. It was a gruelling experience, sitting down in a fetal position for about 7 hours… well, it was painful! It just made it worse going from a couple of hours after sunrise, through the midday sun into early/mid afternoon! Time was of the essence, so that was the most efficient way to get to Chiang Mai. I am not sure how much sunblock I used on my knees, but however much was not enough! Burnt knee skin… difficult to walk afterwards! Bit it was a great experience, on that really fast boat along the Mekong River, not many people can say they did that! Having a massage on arrival in Chiang Mai was not my wisest decision up to date! Trip not recommended for the fair skinned! Even though it is a difficult, it was worth the experience!

Angkor Wat – Cambodia

The first place that when I saw, I cried! It was always my dream to visit Angkor and it did not disappoint! A very intense day, starting before sunrise and finishing a few hours after sunset (Yeah, that long, but make sure you get there to see both!). This city, by population, competed with contemporary Paris and London, but was years ahead in many aspects, such as sanitation and agriculture. Angkor Wat is the most impressive structure of the entire complex… well, that’s the general opinion! Angkor Thom is much more impressione… in my opinion!

Erawan National Park – Thailand

After going elephant riding, I had some time to take a few pictures around the place. I came across this beautiful elephant, the oldest of the park. He was 73 years old and its carer about 78. They both grew up together and his carer started caring for him when he (the elephant) was 5 years old. It is a beautiful friendship story!