Why Pai, Thailand feels like Home


A New Perspective

If you’ve been reading these blog posts you know I was lucky to be born in Norway. Norway was my first home. And then I moved to Orlando for 2 years and felt like the Florida city was my second home. Now backpacking across South East Asia we stumbled across a small town up in the mountains of Thailand called Pai, and this place have completely changed my perspective on what Home really means.

Through-out my short 25 year life I’ve felt the waves of it on both specters. What felt like Home to me when I was young was in my moms arms. We had our disputes, but it felt more comfortable there than it did with dad. Where we lived didn’t feel like Home, and neither did the huge house we bought in 2008. Therefore, the country of Norway and my mom became my first Home.

A Newer Perspective

In 2015 I moved to Orlando, Florida for the first time to work as a server in the Epcot restaurant Akerhus. In 2017 I moved back for a second one-year International Program. 1 month into my first year I started contemplating doing a second. (Fun fact: As I write this, I’ve been accepted to return in Jan / Feb 2020 for a third one-year program)

I loved it so much! Everything* about it was amazing! The people I got to meet from all over the world, I got to explore a new part of the planet I’ve never been in and I was making money while I did so. At the end of my second year I met my girlfriend, who is born in Sarasota, FL. Naturally, my second Home had now become even more qualified to its title.

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced moving far away from where you grew up for the first time and completely change your surroundings, but it’s one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had. For some reason, we get caught up in the collective aura of the place we’re in, even though our own energies don’t correlate with it. So when I had that realization in Orlando, it was like breathing out a sea whale of worries and breathing in a stream of relief and peace.

Therefore, Orlando became my second Home.

The Newest Perspective

Kayla and I moved to Norway after my second Disney program in Orlando. We came with the intention of getting Kayla a job so we could stay until Jan /Feb of 2020. Her work permit was rejected, and we had to take a quick decision on what to do. We spent approximately 6 hours debating and ended up backpacking across South East Asia.

We started of in Bali, and stayed at H-ostel in Kuta. There, we met Kelly and Jordan (@zenturers on instagram). They had spent 2 days in Pai, Thailand and said they regretted not extending their stay. Kayla and I had no plans after our stay in Bali, so we decided to take their recommendation and check it out.

A few weeks after we landed in Thailand. We spent 7 days in Chiang Mai and took a nauseating 760+ turns van ride up the Thai mountains to Pai. We spent 7 days at Canary Hostel, which was going to be our only 7 days in Pai.

I’m writing this as I am 4 days extended of my original stay, having 7 more days booked.

But that’s just the beginning. After Canary we moved to Pai Paradise Backpackers, and I can not describe how amazing this place is.

There are creatives working on their crafts everywhere (fire dancing, painting, slack lining, pool etc.), the scenery is stunning with the mountains in the horizon. I’ve never in my life been somewhere where I can express EXACTLY who I am. Here, I don’t feel judged, looked at or diminished. I feel strong, confident and f**king free!!!!

Seriously. We are in talks with the owner, and there’s a high chance we’re staying.


Self-Love, Depression, Happiness and ADHD



When I first started discovering Self-Love, in a time of extended depressions, I felt like an arrogant piece of s**t learning to talk highly of himself. “Why would I ever want to become a self-centered, disgusting human being?”

Learning to love myself was an extremely long process. I’m sure I’m not that different from the rest when I say that I speak down to myself (negatively loaded thoughts) in the subconsciousness. Punishing myself for things I say and do, things I didn’t say and do and for a whole ‘nother sequence of life events.

Even though I learned the principles of self-love when I was in deep emotional pain, it took many years to see the upsides.

A perceived break-through

I did as the self-help books told me and I started writing down every little thing that I’ve ever loved and enjoyed. Hobbies, teachers, friends, family, activities, books, games, movies, songs, artists, authors, travel destinations and so on.

Magically enough, my mood rose just by acting out this exercise. Not surprising, really. What else could happen when you remind yourself of all the things you love?

The minuscule endorphin rush stuck with me and I started doing more of the things I enjoyed doing.

My self-image was growing on healthy terms, I was smiling more often and I found myself enjoying life at a higher level. Things that once bothered me did not matter any longer, people I’d held grudges against were no longer important to me and I could finally hear the singing of the birds penetrating the non-stop stream of negative thinking.

The True Waves of Life 

A blissful existence lasted for a couple of months before I started seeing a decrease in my energy levels and mood. “Why can’t I just be happy all the time?”. Many years went by and I was still puzzled by this question. New questions arose in the process of uncovering the first; what do I have to do to be happy at all times?

Albert Einstein understood something very fundamental about the human brain when he said, ‘The most important thing is to never stop asking questions.” He understood that the mind is a problem solver. The mind attacks the answer to the questions processed in the brain. So when you ask a conscious question like “What do I have to do to be happy”, Einstein believed that the mind would subconsciously start looking for the answer. I am not surprised that he was absolutely right.

The actual break through

I failed at staying happy, my self-love journey took a self-doubting turn.

The fundamental understanding that sparked the ‘aha’ moment did not come until many years later. As I’ve lived with the ADHD brain for 25 years, only knowing about it for 10 months, the waves of life have been more like tide-waves of life. At one point last year I realized that my first question (why can I not be happy all the time?) goes against the laws of the universe. Everything has a cycle.

The subconscious mind was pondering to my last question (what do I have to do be happy at all times?) when the answer struck me;

It’s impossible. You can not be happy at all times. But you can ACCEPT this fact, however! The acceptance of reality is joy in itself, as the mind is not trying to change or wish for something “better”.

There, I was sitting… allowing the answer to a question I asked years ago to flow freely in my mind, playing with its possibilities.

I can’t be happy all the times, but I can always accept my reality and allow joy to channel through that. And that’s pretty f**king close to constant happiness.

Remember how all of this started; with a deep desire to love myself exactly the way I am.


I Quit Smoking (Like, 500 Times)

Woman Breaks Cigarette

I have only been smoking cigarettes for a few years, but never in my wildest dreams would I imagine it would be this difficult to stop.

Just like with most people, it started innocently. I would say “yes” to a cig when drinking with my friends every once in awhile. Next thing I knew, I was buying my own packs in the store – and planning my days around when I can smoke my next cigarette.

How did it go so wrong?


I Watched My Mother

Struggle for my entire childhood to quit smoking. After several attempts at quitting – only to give in again, we believed she had finally done it. Her quitting app had just celebrated her three month quit-aversary when we caught her in the garage smoking again. It was devestating, and I allowed myself to feel betrayed long after.

As a child, I didn’t understand why she wanted to keep doing that to herself. I couldn’t comprehend the severity of her addiction, and what it was doing to her internally. I just thought she didn’t love herself or the family enough to give up her nasty habit.


When I Got A Little Older

My disdain for her and her smoking faded slightly as she successfuly rid herself of her cigarette addiction. Hooray! Mom was on the road to a healthy body, we were saving a lot of money, and she wasn’t stressed anymore.

Somewhere along the road, my young adult mind became curious about why she didn’t want to give up her cigs in the first place? Did they taste that good? Were they that satisfying? Could I smoke them and stop easier than her?


It Wasn’t Until College

That I was hanging out with people who smoked. My high school was a smaller venue of wealthy kids, they mostly just did drugs. College is where I was introduced to big groups of people who were smoking and offering me cigs. I said no probably a million times before I ever said yes. The yes came from years of annoyance at my mother, curiostiy, and two vodka shots too much.

I remember walking into a convenient store one morning on a call with my friend who smoked regularly. My tobacco knowledge was surely lacking, so she talked me through what brands were good and cheap – and right there I bought my first packet of cigs. I felt a little embarassed, but at the same time, mature (Looking back now however, I know that was the least mature thing I could have done).

Here I Am Almost 4 Years Later

And I have quit like 500 times. My boyfriend read in a book somewhere, that everytime you win that conversation in your head, that battle of wanting to smoke, and chose not to, that is you quitting. I still give in sometimes. When I drink the cravings come back fierce. Plus, being under the influence quiets the part of my brain that knows I have”quit” and that “one more” isn’t going to help my cravings go away. I do however quit every single day when I think about having a cig and choose not to. No one will ever know how often I quit, as no one is inside my head but me. If people around me knew how much I actually quit, they would be so proud of me.

But for now, I have to be proud of myself.

I will keep quitting until I don’t have to anymore.


Written by – Kayla

Instagram – @kay_palms

To Medicate or Not to Medicate

That is the question!

I live with an ADHD partner who, up to this point, has chosen not to take medication for his condition. Not everyone makes that choice, which is perfectly okay! It is always important that an individual decides for themselves what course of treatment they would like to proceed with. Trying multiple treatment paths can also prove beneficial, to determine which one helps them to feel the best.

I go back and forth on if I believe that Felipe should try to manage his symptoms with standard ADHD meds like Adderall or Ritalin. What if that changes who he is as the person I know him as? He is a quirky goofball, full of life and energy. Only occasionally do I notice when his ADHD symptoms are expressed outwardly in a negative way, then causing something negative to occur. Sometimes I wonder if it might surpress the “real him”. Or, will it simply allow him to be “him” more easily? It is said tthat 35% of those who stop using their ADHD medications, do so because of the negative side affects.

Negative Symptoms of ADHD Meds-

  1. Decreased Appetite. (Which, if you knew Felipe, might be noted as good thing as he is very rarely not hungry).
  2. Sleep Problems.
  3. Weight Loss.
  4. Irritability, Anger. (Those are traits he already attributes to his ADHD thinking to feeling theory, something he would take medication to counteract).
  5. Flat Affect/Loss of Personality. (The main reason I love him so much is his incredibly outgoing, bubbly, and charming personality that may be enhanced by his ADHD. I don’t want to see him become flat).
  6. Fatigue.

Positive Affects of ADHD Meds-

I imagine they would help him manage his forgetfulness, and allow him to stay focused on the tasks  he starts. Hopefully, they would help him to start those tasks he has already procrastinated. Medicating for ADHD would likely allow him to hush the loud and continuous flow of thoughts in his mind, which I would be very happy for him to be able to achieve such a feat.’

I am torn as to if I believe which treatment path would simply make him feel the happiest, because that is all I want for him. Ultimately, it isn’t my decision.

The choice to medicate or not will always be up to him, and no matter what he decides I will support him in his choice! That is how I believe those of us who don’t live with the condition, should view others who do. Without stigma, without judgement, and without believing we can “fix” them with medication.

That said, lots of people have found tremendous success in Adderall and other ADHD medications. I also trust Felipe that if he finds he wants to try medicating, that he would choose stop if he found he didn’t like the negative symptoms that may show up.

Hopefully, we can continue to have honest conversations like this as a society, and be able to de-stigmatize ADHD and medicating for it even further.



Glorious ADHD Wordvomit


I don’t know what to write about today, so I’m allowing you in on my ADHD mind. Word vomit incoming.

I believe the ancient pyramids have answers to a lost human civilization.

  • Seriously. The pyramids were not built by slaves, all evidence points away from that. The blocks are so disgustingly big that they couldn’t have been carried or dragged. There’s a human civilization, that most likely were Egyptians, we know nothing about any longer. Why? It’s hard to say, but I’d like to blame the ego. Someone, at some point, destroyed the evidence of the existing of said civilization. Sad!

I believe George Bush played a huge role in how the 9/11 attacks were executed.

  • No conspiracy. Just the fact that the WWC was built with the highest caliber of steel (Donald Trump’s comment after the towers fell). The Aircraft that flew into the towers, a Boeing 767, had experienced contractors puzzled about how it’s weight could make the towers collapse. Interesting, right?

I believe God is within every human being, there’s no being that snapped his/her fingers to create Adam & Eve… duh.

  • God to me, is the space of being conscious about consciousness. It’s the stillness of the present moment, the only moment in which we live. Even though we are excited/stress/worried about the future, the future also happens in the present moment. Being in touch with said sense, knowing that Now is the only second I will ever experience, is God to me.

I believe religion has caused more wars than peace.

  • Moving on.

I believe relationships are very hard to build, but as humans, if we’re not building relationships, we’re looking for someone to do it with.

  • At least that’s reality for myself. If I hadn’t found a girlfriend like the one I have, I would be looking for one like her. Humans need love, not only self-love, but the kind of love that makes you feel like you matter. The warmth in the heart that makes you feel loved and cared for. Why do you think the night-life industry is so profitable?

I believe the human mind can easily be controlled by fear, our world leaders know that.

  • Moving on.

I believe life is eternal.

  • And the reason I do is because energy is eternal. Energy does not dissolve. Humans are, in their essence, created by energy. When a human dies, a whole world dies. But as the body decomposes, the energy lives on.

I believe it is possible to make a living doing ANY hobby.

  • Are you passionate about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, growing pumpkins, or shoelaces? If you’re truly passionate about it, you could make a living off of it. The internet accepts everything. Kids are making millions of dollars playing with slime on YouTube. Read that sentence again, understand you can do it to, go find what you love, start making videos about it. You’re welcome.

I believe humans are happier when they get to do what they enjoy doing.

  • That’s what we’re all trying to do, really. We’re trying to be happy. Even though you have a shit cubicle job and are being told what to do, you’re just trying to be happy. To pay your bills, afford the things you truly want to do and to put food in your body. But when you look at it, when you go to YouTube and you see people talking and doing the things they truly enjoy, they also seem happier, more energetic and motivated to wake up every morning. The world has changed, friends. There’s no need to do shit you don’t want to do anymore. We have the internet. Understand it. Do something about your own well-being. People cared for a freaking day after the pop legend Prince died. ONE DAY! No one is going to give a shit when you die. Go do what you love. This life was given to you for you to do what you love, not to obey instructions.

I believe you are accountable for how you react to any situation that happens in your life.

  • You can’t control what happens to you, you can control how you you react to it. Therefore, you are accountable for how you react to any situation. It’s easy to point fingers, to blame others for how you are feeling. But your feelings are YOUR feelings. No one is responsible for giving me any feelings, I am. My reaction to what happens to me is what gives me feelings, not what happens to me. A lesson I learned the hard way, and that has been hard to keep. We’re emotional beings. But we’re also in control. And that’s all that matters.

I believe kindness is the best gift you can give to anyone.

  • I’ve questioned how I kind show kindness at scale. My vision for the human experiment is that we’re all going to be One. We’ll all have a Planetary passport, allowing us to go to any country for any reason. We’ll all benefit from the resources of the planet that we share. So how do I start building that? By emitting kind energy. How do I do that at scale? Treat everyone with kindness, regardless of situation. Treat myself with kindness, regardless of situation. Smile to as many people you make eye-contact with as possible. I’m not there yet, but I’m sure as hell on the way.



Being Envious of ADHD

Thanks in large part to a global effort to de-stigmatize mental health, the public (At least, from what I have seen) has shifted it’s perception and understanding of mental disorders. Doctors, psychologists, and famous people with ADHD  have done their part in changing the face of disorders like ADD and ADHD.

As the Neuro-typical Parter…

With a boyfriend who has ADHD, I often watch his symptoms play out in his daily life. Sometimes I am curious, knowing that I will never understand him the way he does in his own brain, but curious as to whether or not I can  shed light on his ADHD traits that he might not yet be aware are so valuable?

He is Creative-

  • A trait I am rather envious of. Sure, I might be in the present moment, appreciating the world around me as we walk down the streets here in Bali. But he is actively coming up with new ideas. We are vloggers, so, most of our day consists of creating content. Would our videos, our instagram content, and our reach be as good, if it wasn’t for his ADHD traits causing him to always be on the hunt for new and clever ideas? I don’t think so. He is the one who pushes me hard in the field, as I struggle with feeling stuck or overcome with lack of creativity.

He Is An Excellent List Maker-

  • And I live off of his lists. If It wasn’t for him documenting, in detail, the tasks and responsibilities that must get done, I would let many of them slip through the cracks. Because he doesn’t  take any medication for his ADHD traits, he frequently scribbles lists to help him manage his symptoms. I simply go with the flow. Making lists feels constricting to me, like I am keeping myself in a box of all these tasks that I can’t be happy with until I finish. But for him, he loves the organization of the real world, as it helps the chaos inside his mind become a little more organized too. Thanks to his lists, I know when we must accomplish the tasks at hand. I know when we have something important to do that day.

Maybe I rely on his lists instead of making my own because I am lazy, or it feels unisteresting. Either way, I am envious of his organization (Which again, I know it is unusual for an ADHD person to be so organized but it helps him to not have to medicate).

I Wish I Didn’t Overthink All of My Decisions-

My boyfriend is the king of impulsive. Sometimes that can get him in a bit of trouble… but he is a good hearted person, so it mostly turns out to be either funny, or very rewarding. When it comes to where to eat for dinner, or should I post that post, or a million other decisions that adults have to make in a 24hr span… I struggle. I think so much about what the consequences of those decisions might be, whereas my boyfriend just goes with his gut. Right away. Almost every time! I am envious of his ability to just impulisvely make decisions.

If I could think that way, it would eliminate useless thinking and evaluation of the “Outcome”, as I never actually know what will happen. Neither does my boyfriend, which he understands well. His ADHD trait of impulsiveness works out in his favor most of the time, and I am trying to learn this skill myself!

Google “ADHD” traits, and nearly every article will explain them to you like they are bad symptoms. With a little word rearranging, one can see the plus sides and the helpful sides of these traits. One can learn how to flip the negative tone and make these “symptoms” be positive.

Of course there are traits that sometimes come with ADHD that may not be looked at favorably, but there are certain traits that I think make ADHD a superpower, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t even a little envious of those.

Written by,


Being Present in The Moment with ADHD

What is Presence?

Eckhart Tolle is a highly successful author. He has written many best sellers including The Power of Now. I have personally not read it, but I have read another one of his works; A New Earth. In the book he tells a story about a woman in her thirties that came to speak with him. She was carrying a ‘heavy backpack’ with much anger and sadness from traumatizing life events. He explains that her life had become how she saw it, through a filter of self-pity. She had come to the conclusion that her unhappiness originated in herself and she had now had enough.

He directed her attention to what she was feeling rather than pushing it away and resenting it. Reluctantly she did what he asked and tears were pouring down her eyes, her body was shaking. He said “At this moment, this is what you feel. There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to accept that this is what you feel right now?”

Angrily and impatient she said “No! I don’t want to accept this!”

He asked “Who is speaking? You, or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness? I am not asking you to do anything. All I’m asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don’t mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don’t you want to find out?”

He writes that the woman looked puzzled, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, Eckhart noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I’m still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.”

Eckhart says that that space comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. That the moment the woman stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed “The Unhappy Me”. Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence.

So how do we activate the dimension of presence in our own lives?

I’ve learned through reading this book that there are many aspects that needs to come in play for it to be possible, but one can start by simply breathing and noticing the breathe, almost like meditation. One complete, conscious breathe is enough! It becomes a practice, essentially, something one is either experienced in or not, like most other things in Life.

As I read the book I find it challenging to set out on a journey of activating presence in my every day life. There are so many thoughts that pass, uncontrollably (I don’t take medicine for it for those who wonder). Remembering to focus on what is happening right now is just another task I need to remember to act on.

So I’ve taken my breathe as an easy go-to activity. Every time I remember to, I take a conscious and deep breathe. Very often, before I’m done taking that one, conscious breathe, I’m already onto the next task, the next thing I need to do.

A 1000 mile walk starts with a single breathe

So I understood that I had to find a way. There’s almost no other thing on Earth I want more as the skill of being present. Imagine the Life I would live if I could constantly live in this very second, in the only moment that life happens, without ever thinking about past or future, just like Eckhart!

It’s going to be time consuming, meaning I won’t achieve it tomorrow, next month and not even in a year. I can’t burden myself with rushing to become more present, that would just be stupidly counter intuitive. I’m giving myself time and room to find peace with the noisy march of repetitive thoughts.

I want peace of mind, more frequent moments of silence and stillness in the brain. Only channeling my attention to what is happening right now!

Check back with me in 10 years, I might have accomplished it by then.