Keeping connections when you make big life changing decisions can be a challenge. We’ve consciously tried not to become too ‘evangelical’ about our decision to go volunteering overseas… as this life is certainly not for everyone.
Recently it was with great delight that we had the pleasure of hosting three of my Orange girlfriends (Melissa, Lisa and Cynthia) who made the trek to Myanmar to see us.
Having visitors also makes you look at your life through fresh eyes, go exploring new and old haunts and take time out to have a break from your new routines.
With only 21 hours in Yangon, I selected a few highlights for their introduction to Myanmar… which included a few crazy Grab taxi rides, sunset at the beautiful golden Shwedagon, cocktails at the gracious historic Strand Hotel and even squeezed in a pampering pedicure.
Our few days in Bagan provided an opportunity for them to visit my volunteering host organisation – Sanon training restaurant. They got to meet our gorgeous students and do a cooking class. The rest of the time we tasted a wide range of Myanmar foods, downed endless cocktails at various drinking and eating holes, viewed sunsets via tuk tuks, visited pagodas and temples, took a dawn balloon flight, shopped for local arts and crafts, nearly got marooned in the middle of the Irrawaddy river coming back from a sunset yoga session on a sandbank… it was a somewhat full itinerary.
We also managed an excursion to Yenangyaung for an overnight stay at the peaceful and inspirational Lei Thar Gone guest house a social enterprise supporting the Light of Love school. This was another opportunity to get beyond the tourist experience and see Myanmar village life up close on a morning motorbike safari.
Home via the majestic fairytale-like view of Mount Popa pagoda topped off our excursion outside Bagan.
Myanmar has much to offer and we look forward to our next guest Anita who arrives soon from London!