Today is my birthday, but in reality it's just any other day. When I was younger I used to see my bday as a special occasion, and a reason to celebrate, but in hindsight, that was such a ridiculous and illogical mindset. We are all here, on this planet, in this moment, experiencing our own unique journey of life. NO ONE is going to experience life the way you are, and that is SO fucking cool, and so unbelievably special. We are all special and unique just because we are, and everyday is a celebration - a celebration of this fucking crazy epic confusing hilarious wonderful ride we call LIFE. And I am just so blessed to be experiencing this life with so many incredible loving souls. Thank you to everyone who made today, and everyday so flipping magical.
I had the most wonderful day today surrounded by the most wonderful people. So my day started at 5 am, and even though it was bloody early, today was the first day that I woke up feeling fresh and energized since being in Thailand, and that couldn't have come on a better day since I was planning on doing sameong loop today haha. This is the loop that I had my cycling crash on last year during the festival, and so I obviously never completed it. And because that crash taught me so much and has had such a profound influence on the trajectory of my life, it's always been quite special to me. So it was so fitting that I got to do it today. So after pumping my tires, packing the food I was taking on the ride, changing, and filling up my bottles. I hit the road to meet everyone! We met at the 7/11 on canal rode.
It was a big group of us, but after we got about 10 kms into the ride a few of the guys broke off and picked up the pace, so for most of the ride I was riding with Nicole, Erwan, Griff, and Chris. And man it was just incredible. First of all, I discovered that Nicole is the perfect riding partner, we are so equally matched it's not even funny, plus she's just an awesome person to chat to and ride with. Secondly the loop was just stunning, full of lush jungle vegetation, and so peaceful with the birds singing all around us. And THIRDLY, I got to see ELEPHANTS for the first time in my life. It was sad because they were elephants held in captivity used for elephant rides, but it was still surreal to be biking beside these mammoth magestic creatures while they walk along the road.
There were quite a few climbs in the loop, and it was flipping hot, so I definitely got my sweat on. Most of the roads that we were riding on were also so smooth and pristine, and descending down the climbs felt so free and incredible. After about 60 kms, we started riding on these back routes, and I found myself in the midst of this little village just south west of the city. It was so cool just riding through these, almost, alley way like roads with all the locals just on the side of the road watching and waving ahha. And after another hour of riding we were back in the city! So by that point, we had like 80 kms and 1400m of elevation, so just to round it up to a 100km ride and a 2000m elevation loop, we decided to go up doi suthep haha. But fuck it was HOT by that time of day, and it was seriously such a struggle to make it up. My ass hurt like a mofo, and my legs were slowly feeling more and more like jelly haha but eventually we made it up! Once at the top, I was just chatting to the thai ladies at the smoothie stalls. There's this one stall with just the most lovely people, they always give us free water, and after talking to them I discovered that one of them had gone vegan!! WOOT. Then after chilling up there for awhile, I headed back down and home, and at that point I immediately put on a rice cooker full of jasmine rice, and watched Bonny's latest vlog, and read my emails while waiting for it to cook. Then right as my rice finished, my mom called me to wish me a happy birthday, and so I spent the next hour just eating rice out of the rice cooker with sriracha and sugar (sounds weird but fuck its good), and catching up with my mom. I loved hearing all her stories, and getting updated on my brothers. I especially loved hearing about everything my little brother has been up to. He's just a fucking legend, killing it in school, volunteering, leadership, model UN, student government, and to be honest, he's just a solid chap. He's hilarious, kind, and has got a good heart (he'll go vegan eventually, I have faith). Then after that chat, I had a shower, got changed, and started making food for the potluck. And since broccoli is my LIFE, that's what I made ahah. I literally just steamed up some broccoli, but dw I also brought some super indulgent chocolate brownies from Taste of Heaven for everyone to try! So we left around 330 to bike over to Toni Anne's place, and after weaving in and out of some hectic traffic, we finally found there place. I entered there room to some sick tunes, and to Toni Anne preparing the most beautiful sushi rolls.
She also made Inari, and this other sushi with pickled plum... YUMMO. And over the next hour, all our friends slowly started trickling in until everyone was here! There must have been over 20 people there tonight, and it was just such a fun vibrant atmosphere. Nicole brought a HUGE bag of mangosteens, and we all just started snacking on them and some jackfruit while waiting for all the guests to arrive. And when everyone was here, and all the food was laid out, we started feasting. I had about 3 plates loaded with rice, chilli, corn bean soup, salsa, sushi, steamed corn, BROCCOLI, avocado, sweet potatoes, lentil veggie stir fry, glass noodle salad, curry, and more that I can't even remember.
I also finished off with some AMAZING durian that Erwan brought! I just floated around all night talking to everyone. I loved hearing Elisha's story of how she left OXFORD uni studying med, to just travel the world on her bike with her BF, they're both SUCH lovely wonderful kind souls. I also had a massive chat with Mary, Nicole and Chloe about tattoos. Then I talked to the guys for a bit about cycling (of course) haha and also made a fool of myself showing the girls my best attempts at different accents ahah. Then after chatting the night away for 4 hours, we got a group photo then said our farewells, and just as we were leaving, they all sang Happy Birthday and it was so incredibly kind and I appreciated it so much.
And I just can't show my appreciation to Toni Anne and Mike enough for hosting this amazing potluck. They did so much cleaning and work to prepare for it, and I just know how stressful it would have been to have so many people at their place, so I am just forever grateful to them for that.
Man I don't really have much to say besides, I just feel so utterly blessed, and so just completely and unapologetically Happy.
I just had the most beautiful day exploring new roads on my bike, laughing with friends, being in nature, skyping my mom, connecting with others, feasting at a potluck, smiling till my face hurt, and just living and loving with all my heart. These last 20 years on this planet have been pretty darn spectacular, and I just have this inkling, this feeling, this belief, that this year is going to be the best year yet.