Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Allure of Homestays...and Chiang Mai

Today I saw a great Twitter post about 10 Tips For Doing a Homestay
( from @Gadling (


My husband and I have talked about various options for finding alternative places to stay while we're on our RTW adventure and the homestay has always been especially intriguing for me.  I would love to stay with someone who lives in and truly knows the place we are visiting.  Not only would we get to experience a location with all of the insider knowledge of a local, ideally we could get to know a great person or family and create a lasting relationship, which let's face it, is one of the ultimate perks of travel that sticks with you forever.homestay be better than a hostel?  How long does a typical homestay last?  How much do homestays cost? 

I can't emphasize enough that I want our RTW adventure to be so much more than just a long vacation.  I thrive off of new experiences and challenges, and absolutely love feeling like I have really "gotten to know" a place I visit.  There are few things more meaningful and lasting in my mind when I remember past trips. 

That doesn't mean we have to stay in one place for months.  While in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for only four days, we became a part of the small area of the city that we explored daily.  We found a comfort in the routines we encountered, whether it be seeing vendors unpacking their goods at the nearby market in the morning, the afternoon smiles we exchanged with our "neighbor" who freshened up our laundry, or the setting up of tables for the dinnertime rush at one of the vendors on the street.  We knew where we were going, while still pushing our limits and exploring further, we recognized faces and exchanged hellos while also being aware and open to new experiences.  Ultimately, we found a bit of comfort in experiencing something that is so commonplace and sometimes frustrating at home:  routine.

And so my love of Chiang Mai presents itself to you :)

Now, back to the subject of homestays.

Where do I begin?  Google "find homestays" and many websites present themselves, but which ones are reputable?  Where/when would a

So many questions...looks like more research on the horizon!

If you have any suggestions, please, please share in the comments or on my Twitter - @atwexplorer


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