My Sanctuary

By Olivia Osburn 11 months ago
Categories Chiang Mai

6:00 AM the alarm goes off. But let’s be honest, I’ve already been up for an hour already. I pack my bag with all the essentials because I won’t be coming back to my room until the sun starts to set. I throw on whatever clothing is the least smelly and mud caked. And now it’s time to start my pre-hike.

Mimi’s homestay is located ten minutes downhill to base. Now that may not seem like it’s very far but when you have to trek up uneven, cracked roads on an 80 degree angle it can feel like eternity. As someone who was not accustomed to hiking up slopes and being at a higher elevation, this climb always leaves me breathless about five minutes into walking. On my first morning, this daunting ascent made me want to lie down on the side of the road and cry. Physically I was tired. Emotionally I was drained. Mentally I was exhausted.  All I could think about in that moment was what on Earth have you gotten yourself into, Olivia? How could I possible cope with everything here? The food, the language barrier, all the new people, and now this daunting walk.

I kept going, huffing and puffing as my legs trembled. And at the halfway point in my journey, after climbing the toughest slope, I found a tiny coffee shop.

It was here where I found my breath again. Here where I could drink a cup of coffee, clearing the foggy brain. Here where I could just sit for a moment overlooking the village nestled into the mountain side and take in the beauty of Huay Pakoot.  It was here that I found a place where I could be at peace in the middle of this crazy and challenging adventure. My sanctuary.