Happy New Year!

It’s not what you wish, it’s what you do.

This year we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai. It was a special day, not only because we were in Chiang Mai, but also because it was the first New Years Eve we spent as a family.  We had been in Chiang Mai for a few days before New Year’s Eve, so we were all settled in, had already made some friends, and had pointers on where to find the best New Years Eve events.

After a lazy day exploring the city, we all took naps to ensure we’d make it to midnight. We headed out for our evening adventures around 6pm.  We started with dinner at a street food market at One Nimman which allowed us to try several dishes — we ate our hearts out!  Then we headed down to the plaza where there was a live band playing. We sat and listened to music and danced for over an hour.  It took Nolan a few minutes to warm up to the crowd, but he was out on the dance floor, rallying up the kids before I knew it.  I love watching Nolan dance, he doesn’t have a care in the world and just loves to shake his little butt.

When Nolan was sufficiently sweating, we decided it was time to head over to the Old City. We knew we wanted to end up at The Phae Gate which is where everyone sets off the lanterns. It was a little over 2-miles, but we are used to walking by now and walking is a great way to see the city.  As we were walking to The Phae Gate, we could see lanterns all over the sky.  It was a breathtaking sight to behold.  When we arrived at the gate, there were vendors everywhere selling the lanterns, we purchased three and headed out into the busy plaza to find a place to set them off.   

The plaza was really crowded, but we did manage to find a little circle of space. I was surprised at the demographics of the people — I would say there were by far more tourists than Thai people. It was actually like one big party where everyone was friends.  People were helping each other light the lanterns, giving each other pointer, and just standing around watching them lift off into the sky. We lite one as a family, and we all made a wish for the new year.  Nolan wished for better listening ears – which I thought was very sweet.  I personally struggled with a wish for 2019.  

We stayed in the plaza till midnight. Enjoying the sights, the people, and the lanterns. It was extraordinary and stunning to see thousands of lanterns lifting off and being carried away by the breeze — each one holding a wish for 2019.

After thinking about my wish a bit more, I’ve come to the realization that wishing and hoping for dreams to come true is rather pointless — life is about what you “do,” not what you wish. Action is the key to making dreams come true, so go make it happen!

Happy New Year!

Check out more New Years Eve pictures @BrownATW.

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