I got back yesterday morning after a great weekend in Ireland. It was great catching up with all my friends. We went out in Bray on Friday and Sunday night and on the Saturday we stayed out in the city centre of Dublin.
I didn't take many pictures but my friends did. However, here is one from the Friday night I did manage to take. On the left is one of my best friends Andy, I'm in the middle, and on the right is my mate Dave from Manchester who I travelled through asia with for a few months and 8 months in Australia and New Zealand.
The other day I mentioned that I have a longer trip coming up and I'm sure you can tell by this posts title that this trip is to Thailand.
Around 2 weeks ago I decided to go to Thailand to train at a Muay Thai camp. It's something I've thought about since coming back from New Zealand 2 years ago and I just thought to myself, what's stopping you! So the next morning I called the Thai consulate and arranged an appointment on the Friday to get my passport stamped for a 2 month visa. When I get there I will have the option to extend it for a 3rd month by going to the immigration office.
I looked at dozens of Muay Thai camps all around Thailand and checked loads of reviews and feedback from people who trained at them before. The one I finally decided on is Rawai Muay Thai, which is based in the south of Phuket. One of the reasons I chose this camp was that the camp gets a lot of foreigners so outside of training I will meet a lot of new people and hopefully make some new friends too. Something which was important to me as although I have did a little Muay Thai before, I'm travelling myself over there and didn't want to be bored out of my head between training sessions i.e. I wanna have some fun too!
I'm really looking forward to the training, which should be about 6 hours a day : 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. And it will all be in the sunshine! It's been so cold in Scotland in the last month which is another reason to go somewhere hotter.
The cold weather has made training really hard for me because I have asthma (this is known as Exercise-induced Asthma). I train about 6 days a week and would consider myself one of the fittest at my Taekwondo school but the weather has made me really struggle, which has been incredibly frustrating. The first 40 mins of training are horrible and I find it hard to breathe but after that my breathing is ok and I start being more active.
I will be staying in a nice bungalow on the beach too. Here are some pics of where I will be staying :
The room boasts :
- King Size bed
- Cable TV + DVD player
- Kitchen / kettle / toaster / blender / microwave / fridge
- WiFi internet
- Electronic Safe
- Hot Shower
- Daily maid service + change of bed linen every week.
The wifi internet is obviously an essential feature. During the afternoon I will be able to check my emails and make sure my internet sites are ticking over ok. I may be tired in the afternoon so there's a chance I will go for an afternoon nap as I'll have to get up around 6am every day and be ready to train between 4pm-7pm later on. However, I should get at least 3 hours to make sure everything is ok. My main concern is my blog Blogging Tips and thankfully, I have a fantastic group of authors writing for me so I don't have to worry too much about it.
I've been pretty busy the last week or so getting things arranged but this has allowed me to see how many emails I get everyday and the amount of work I'll need to do over there.
I'm going to Belfast between 31st December and 2nd January as my brother is having a party and then I leave on 4th January 2009. Which means I have about 2 weeks to get everything organised, which isn't perfect seeing as it is over the festive period but I'm sure it will be ok.
One of my best friends (Andy, in the first picture) is having his 30th birthday in February and around 10 of our friends from England and Ireland are coming over for it so a big part of me wants to be back for that. However, my visa allows me to stay a little longer. I'll probably decide once I'm over there how long I stay.
I'll try and update this blog when I'm over there and show you some pictures from my training and my bungalow etc but it's difficult for me to know how often I will update the blog until I'm over there and I know how good the net connections are and how much free time I have :)
I fly from Glasgow to Dubai to Kuala Lumpar and then the next morning I fly to Phuket so I'll arrive at the camp on 6th January. I travel back from Bangkok to Glasgow via Dubai. This will allow me to catch up with a friend who lives in Bangkok (my friends big sister Lynn). And I'll probably be meeting up with my mate from Derby, Chris, who I haven't seen since New Zealand. All in all it should be a fantastic trip and I can't wait to get over there.
So the next two weeks for me will about saving money and keeping my fitness up. As I said, I consider myself pretty fit however I'm not currently training 6 hours a day so I'll have to improve my cardio and more importantly, I will have to let my body adjust to training in a hot humid country such as Thailand.
Speak to you soon :)