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Day in Photos: Amazing Kids Doing Adorable Things

This past Sunday afternoon, the foundation hosted children from the Agape Orphanage in Chiang Rai. This was the first time they had been on an organized outing in over a year, so we really wanted to make it special. Volunteers and residents donated money to buy supplies for decorating, activities, lunch, and taxis to bring […]

“Teaching” Kids English

On Mondays and Wednesdays, one of the New Life Foundation volunteers goes to teach English at the local school.  This past week, the usual teacher was away from the foundation, so they needed people to fill in. I thought that with my experience teaching dance, I would naturally be able to handle teaching English. I […]

The ice-cream bike and my village

As nearly every hour of my day is confined to the foundation’s grounds, an afternoon trip to our local village always feels like a major excursion.  Despite many repeated visits to the single street, it never ceases to entertain me. Furthest down the road is the market. Its inventory consists solely of chips, instant noodles, […]

The Day in Photos: New Life Foundation

After a week of volunteering, yoga, thinking about our problems, talking about our problems, and eating the weight of our problems in Thai food, on Saturdays we all get to do a little bit less of each. Well, except the eating Thai food part. In fact, this past weekend a vegetarian chef from Chiang Mai […]

Volunteering at the New Life Foundation in Thailand

Four miniature Buddhas vibrated on the dashboard as my cab made its way through the Chiang Rai country-side. The entire car was upholstered with a pattern of swirling gold and hot pink leaves, giving the impression it had been borrowed from Enlightened Barbie. Outside the glowing interior, we passed rice fields, markets, and farms. As […]

24 Hours in Bangkok: The Hospital Edition

Exactly one week after I’d left to volunteer in Chiang Rai, I was back in Bangkok. Only instead of being surrounded by drunk backpackers and food vendors, I was surrounded by three women in surgical gowns and an elderly Thai doctor. One woman walked over to me and smiled (well, I assumed she was smiling […]

24 Hours in Bangkok

I woke up on my first day in Bangkok before the sunrise. Jet lag and adrenaline had gotten the best of me for most of the night and I’d hardly slept. I grabbed my camera and peaked through my curtains to do some early morning people watching. No one seemed to mind the crazy lady […]

Arriving in Bangkok: A little more brave, a little less chicken

My heart is racing with excitement. I stand motionless in a sea of people. No one else seems awestruck by the lights, sounds, and smells that meld around me. But I am elated. I have finally arrived. The Bangkok International Airport Baggage Claim Area #7. Seriously. That’s how I felt when I got to the […]

The Bravest Little Chicken

“I’m not going to cry. Ok?” “Ok, baby.” “Seriously, when you drop me off, I’m not going to cry. I’m like super brave right now.” “You are totally super brave.” 23 minutes later, I’m outside the San Francisco International Airport bawling into Misha’s chest. Snot is all over my face and running into my mouth […]

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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 :-)