Today my time in Chiang Mai came to an end. I'm actually at the BKK (Bangkok) airport right now waiting for my 00:15 flight to Helsinki and then to Warszawa and then to Wroclaw. I flew to BKK from CNX just a bit ago. This is my least favorite part of traveling. Transitions, yuck.

That said, I LOVE flying. I even love when there's turbulence. I don't know what it is. Something about being high in the sky like a bird with one eye. (WHAT?!)

But I only love flying when it's just 1 flight. 4 flights, with hours upon hours of layovers between them is not my cup of genmai cha tea (<-- so help me I love this tea). Flying Business Class helps a lot, but 34 hours of transition isn't very fun no matter how you slice it. (Can you slice transitions? Something to think about.)

Biggityback to the story at hand. I love Chiang Mai. If it wasn't for the pollution I would consider living there for longer than just 34 nights. :) I'm told right now (April/May) is the worst time to be there pollution-wise because of all the burning (rice crops) going on. Actually, a lot of people leave during these months and come back when the worst is over.

I'm heading out to see family that I haven't seen in 4 years! Somehow I bought about 423,974 gifts and managed to pack them in my tiny bags. I'm not much of a shopper, but I had two 5 year olds and a 13 year old to buy sweet shit for and who doesn't like getting something cool from a faraway land?

As I mentioned last week, I shut down HowToLiveAnywhere.com sales until June 8. I'm revamping and re-releasing and have lots of amazingly awesome good-looking extraordinary people involved. I'm looking forward to this and I hope you enjoy the process with me. I'm unsure exactly how to make it fun if you already purchased or don't ever plan on it (no worries, I still love you!), but I'll do my best to not bore you or inundate you with shitty sales messages. :) (That said, I probably will mention HTLA a lot.)

Contest Winners!!!

If you entered last week's Loksak contest, thanks! Lots of awesome travel tips and stories. Unfortunately, if you didn't follow the rules (travel tip/story must be 5 sentences or less) you were disqualified. :( (If you added additional non-tip commentary or whatever I let that slide.)

I'm a stickler for these kinds of rules.

Quick story, you may have heard how in their tour riders Van Halen would request a bowl of M&Ms with NO browns. It's not because they were assholes. It's because they knew if this odd request wasn't taken care of then the promoter wasn't paying attention to more important things.

Sometimes, like when entering a contest or jumping out of an airplane, paying attention to and following the rules is necessary.

I used Random.org to pick the winning comments. I videotaped the selection process just in case there is some legal controversy. :) But I'm not posting that video, because who wants to watch that?! (Plus uploading videos in Thailand has been near impossible. Although, as you'll see in a bit, I was able to upload 1 short one.)

Package #1 winner: Comment #19 by Yael

"Hi, I wish we had aLoksak bags when we went to 2-days trip in Nachal Yehudia (Israel). We knew we’re gonna walk in water, but didn’t think it’s going to be so deep… Well, wet bread is not so tasty…"

Package #2 winner: Comment #22 by Jeanie

"If you want to commit suicide upon returning from a vacation, your life is too stressful. Take Karol, Leo, Adam and Everett’s advice, simplify, and redesign your life to reflect what YOU want vs. social conditioning. Always take the opportunity to connect with fellow people-I helped a woman with MS in her wheelchair get on a luckily delayed flight back from Vegas, and damn, it felt good!"

Package #3 winner: Comment #60 by Joe

"My tip – NEVER NEVER NEVER book hotel for more than one night – you will always find better deal when you arrived. More – hotel restorants aren’t the best in terms of quality for your buck."

Congrats to you 3! And if you didn't win, thank you for entering! I don't know that I'll do contests often, but I enjoyed reading all the tips/stories.

(To the winners: You all should have received an e-mail from me by now. If not, contact me (KarolGajda AT Gmail DOT com). Make sure to include your mailing address.)

Onward with this week's sw-sw-sw-sw-sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet liiiiiiiinnnnnkkkkksssssss ...

Write Your Own Life: It's Easy To Leave Hollywood by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Great interview with a newlywed couple who were grinding it out in LA and decided to up and move to Mexico. Boom! More proof that anybody can break free if they want to.

Always Split Test by Brian Evans

I'm interviewing Brian for How To Live Anywhere (coming June 8th!) just as soon as we can get our schedules lined up. :) In this article he helps a homeless man double his money. You seriously just have to read this.

Dear part of me who thinks that if something good happens, something bad must follow… by Havi Brooks

I love Havi's writing, but just to warn you: if it's your first exposure to her you will have to dive in for a bit to really figure out what she's talking about. Metaphor Mouse runs rampant! :)

27 Tips For First-Time Traveler's To Thailand by Cody McKibben

Fitting, since I'm leaving Thailand today. :) If you're ever plan on visiting give this page a read/bookmark. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to meet up with Cody since when I was in Bangkok last time he was out exploring the country. Another time. :)

The Most Empowering Post You Will Ever Read by Henri Junttila

I'm a fan of ballsy titles. I'm also a fan of articles that deliver good shit. This one does.

SMYM Dance Contest - Participant #4 - Karol - by Jenny McCoy

Hmm, I wonder if it's me, or some other Karol? ;)

That's it for this week. Next week's SSS #006 will come to you live from Wroclaw, Poland!

Questions/comments/can I have this dance? You know what to do ...

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