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Life outside the bucket

Going to school 6 hrs/day while I "vacation" in Chang Mai

sunny 75 °F

I've been practicing and studying hard these last 3 weeks. The Thai Massage School of Chang Mai is teaching me how to master using my hands, fingers, heels, elbows, arms, knees and feet to work on the energy, or Sen Sib, lines of the body. It's a full body workout for the masseur and the recipient!

WIth all that daily physical exertion, living life in Chang Mai has been a welcome change of pace. I have enjoyed waking up to an alarm and having a set schedule everyday. I even unpacked my trusty backpack and stored it out of sight under my bed. I'm not forced to wear dirty clothing that has been rolled up into a ball and jammed into the bottom of my bag. I've had the luxury of a cup of coffee and a hot shower every day. I've even snuck the afternoon power nap back into my life. Slowing down has made me a little homesick and anxious (in a good way) to return to NYC. I'm ready to jump back into over scheduled business mode! It's going to be difficult to prep myself mentally to hit the road with my overzealous, I don't need to eat or sleep, run around for 10hrs a day, sidekick, Micah. I'm going to have to put myself through a mini boot camp to get my brain and body back into shape so I can rejoin the whirlpool we call our Bucketbath. I'm also feeling a little anxiety over trekking through India and Nepal now that my big toenail has officially fallen off (remember that trek at Kawah Ijen, Indonesia?). Stay tuned for another Joanie breakdown video. It's an emotional masterpiece waiting to happen.

No sense in worrying over that now. I'm too busy geeking out over my studies at the moment. In addition to learning how to give relaxing 2 hr massages, I'm also learning how to treat chronic ailments, aches and pains such as: constipation, headaches, neck stiffness, menstrual cramps, anxiety and a long list of others. I had no idea Thai Massage had such healing properties. My roommate, and fellow NY'er, is also studying here with a master in Chang Mai. It's been fun to work on one another, exchange information, and swap "guess what I did at school today?" stories. We're also working on a new business venture once we get back to NYC. Sparkes Wellness meets Motivated Nutrition!

I can't wait to get home and share all of this new knowledge and test out my skills on each and every one of you! Chronic constipation anyone? I got this! Book your massage now!

$30/ 30min, $50/1hr, $75/1.5hrs

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I'm going to continue to enjoy my clean clothes, hot showers and afternoon naps as Micah sprints his way through Bangladesh over the next two weeks. (He's scheduled to fly out of Myanmar tomorrow.) I'm cheering him on. Perhaps he'll wear himself out and I'll be able to talk him into afternoon naps by the time we reunite!

Here are a few photos from my "vacation".

Sporting my Thai Massage scrubs

Sporting my Thai Massage scrubs

Wat in the old city of Chang Mai

Wat in the old city of Chang Mai

Thai Cooking class

Thai Cooking class

Elephant trek

Elephant trek

Sparkes Wellness and Motivated Nutrition

Sparkes Wellness and Motivated Nutrition

Posted by bucketbath 08:05 Archived in Thailand Tagged food indonesia travel india trekking thailand backpack new york bed house fun life school mai packing nyc neck bath relaxation hot dirt power chang thai nepal clean pictures energy breakdown showers bangladesh business massage rescue bucket exercise running clothing prep masterpiece wellness ijen nap study sen workout masseur healing whirlpool anxiety bootcamp mental jogging sprinting cheering geek heartaches stiffness cramps roommate sib masterthai Comments (6)

Downsizing for a Bucket Bath (Joanie)

From a duplex loft to a 30 L backpack

sunny 81 °F

Packed and ready to go

Packed and ready to go

====News Alert!====
Micah and I have both quit our jobs (in my case MANY jobs), the lease on the loft is up, and we are backpacking across southeast Asia for 7 1/2 months. In 1 week, we are going to be boarding a plane to Beijing and in April 2012, we are planning to fly home from New Delhi, India!

We've been planning this trip for months and it's hard to believe that soon we'll be jet setting across the ocean to explore a new continent. It doesn't feel like reality yet. What are we thinking? We are busy New Yorkers! I have a business and 4 other part time gigs. We have friends and a social life and an amazing loft to come home to at night. The entire world is a subway ride away. But as most NY'ers know,(NY artists anyway) living here is a love/hate relationship. I, personally, have been experiencing a little bit of "struggling artist" burn out and am ready to experience life at a different pace for awhile. I'm even more excited that Micah and I can do this together!

The thought of picking up and moving has been a little stressful, but downsizing has been less complicated than I thought. Luckily, I went through the experience of ridding myself of about 70% of my personal belongings during my last move less than a year ago. Most of my life is still in boxes and I haven't missed a majority of it. I'm ready to shed completely and start with a fresh slate. The biggest challenge has been figuring out exactly what I'll need to pack into my 30 L backpack and not carry more than absolutely necessary.

The whole concept of living out of a bag on my back reminds me of a turtle shell. Yes, it's nearly 8 months, but do I really need a full wardrobe, accessories and an armory of sudoku books? I'm beginning to realize that this turtle is probably only going to be concerned about being able to maintain an acceptable level of personal hygiene every day. Thus the name of our blog: Bucket Bath. That's code for exciting, unpredictable adventure...much like trying to bathe in a bucket!

I have agonized and revised shopping lists for months on what to pack in my "shell", without having to compromise too much fashion sense. I know, I'm showing my true girl colors right now, but I refuse to be the American traveler in the T-shirt, cargo pants, Chacos sandals and a bucket hat. Wait! I now own cargo pants and Chacos...but I'm NOT wearing a bucket hat! (The day I made the Chacos purchase in EMS was a very humbling experience.)

I'm happy to say, my packing is finished, and my trusty, new "home" is sitting in the corner ready to go. :) It's actually been ready to go for 3 weeks now. Girl Alert!-I even started putting outfit options together and cataloging photos so I have options to choose from while on the road. I'm amazed at how many combinations you can make out of 2 pairs of pants, a pair of leggings, a t-shirt, 2 tanks, a tunic, 2 dresses, and a long sleeved shirt! I have 25 combinations so far. Lucky magazine, eat your heart out! (Micah is slapping his forehead right now) Micah hasn't even started packing. It's ok. I'll graciously help him strategically choose outfits when the time comes. (Again with the forehead slap)

We're excited to go, but sad to leave all of our friends and family for the next few months. We're hoping to keep you connected to our lives as we document our "Bucket Baths" across southeast Asia - fully clothed, of course. Please keep us updated on your home adventures. We've started this blog to keep in touch. Please leave us comments. Send us emails. Send us an address and you may even get a postcard! Stay tuned for what I'm sure will be humorous video posts as well.

-Joanie

Posted by bucketbath 20:50 Archived in USA Tagged travel packing nyc beijing bath asia southeast bucket moving clothing Comments (5)

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