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Crossing the Border to Laos: The Best Guesthouse in Huay Xai

After two months in Thailand, my visa was about to run out and it seemed time to pry myself away from the food stands in search of new experiences. With a few coconut milk rotee shoved in my pocket, I decided to tag along with my friend Jessica to the city of Luang Prabang in […]

Living in Chiang Mai: Did I Do it All Wrong?

It’s hard to talk about weeks of experiences without resorting to sweeping generalizations … so, I’m just going to go ahead and do it. Living in Chiang Mai for a month was both amazing and disappointing. According to The Internet, Chiang Mai is the holy grail of places to live in Asia, possessing that rare […]

Painting Classes in Chiang Mai: Noina’s Art Studio

While volunteering three times a week kept me fairly busy, I still managed to find myself with enough leisure time to rival a resident of Downton Abbey. Luckily for me, Chiang Mai is full of ways to help the idle expat while away the day. Walking around Chiang Mai’s old town, I saw a sign […]

Close Encounters at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai

I’m not sure how elephants get away with being so damn cute. They’re hairy, wrinkled, fat, covered in mud, and have an alien appendage for a nose. But somehow they managed to work the gentle giant/big ears angle and fall pretty high on the lovable wild animals people want to cuddle with scale. I also […]

Looking for an Apartment in Chiang Mai

Now that I was moving to a new city, it was finally time to begin my first apartment search in Thailand! I would be volunteering in Chiang Mai for the next month and needed to find a place to call home asap. Since most Thai apartment complexes don’t have websites — or at least not […]

Leaving the New Life Foundation

I’ve been here almost a month! Still not kidnapped and only one trip to the hospital! Success. Tomorrow, I leave the safe cocoon of the New Life Foundation to move to Chiang Mai. Beginning my trip at NLF was perfect. I got used to being alone on the other side of the world, without being […]

About Traveler by Design

My name is Ashley and I am the writer, designer, and photographer behind traveler by design. I love travel experiences that make me uncomfortable, photographing people, and telling stories with just the right blend of reflection and sarcasm :-)