These last few months, I’ve been gearing up to train in Thailand for two weeks with the invitation from my Muay Thai teacher, Ajarn Chai Sirisute. It’s been just over 20 years of studying this art and it has changed my life in so many ways.
As I write this first article that will record my experiences, I think of my first born son. It was four years prior to him being born that I started training and in the next few weeks he will be turning 21. In a way, Muay Thai gave me a means back then to learn to live a healthy and strong lifestyle that I can pass on to him and my growing family. I knew that I had to teach him strength and perseverance. Today, I can now say with confidence, that I’ve succeeded. He teaches and runs his own program for kids at our school, has fought in several fights and told me just before I left that he couldn’t wait to see what I bring back to share with him. I couldn’t be more proud. Muay Thai has given our family a very deep connection that only those who practice can understand. For that, we are grateful. Khap khun mah khap!
Since I travel so often for martial arts related events, the next series of articles will have some gathered experiences to help anyone who is thinking of going to Thailand to train.
Going to Thailand from Norfolk, Virginia wasn’t my first choice to choose airfare since Washington DC is just a few hours away. There would most likely be a layover there anyway. I figure saving a couple hundred bucks would be worth it but having my wife drive me up then having to drive back down wasn’t something I wanted to make her do. So I got a train ticket with Amtrak. My other option was to take a bus from megabus.com but I wanted to have a booth all to myself since train seating is open.
Minimizing Carry On
Minimizing the amount of luggage to bring is a relief on my back and feet when in transit. I used to carry a backpack but that quickly became a hassle when trying to get things in and out from it flying in the plane, sitting on a bus or riding the train. I thought of the fanny pack but my wife refuses that I own one so I found this chest bag off of Amazon that suits my needs which I nicknamed the ”Travel Rig.” As a compliment to it, wearing light weight pants with a bunch of pockets would support any other items that might pop up to take. Check out these links.
- Chest Bag : fits an iPad, external battery, charging plugs, Podcast microphone and a small bag of snacks. I don’t have to place it in any overhead compartment as it is out of the way while in my seat.
- 5.11 Traverse 2.0 : plenty of pockets carry more personal items, an EDC and money. It’s super lightweight, breathes and is very comfortable.
Gear and Clothes
The objective was to not bring no more than one luggage to hold my clothes for 2 weeks and the training gear. I got this idea to try from Daniel Burke the last time I saw him, who teaches an exclusive Muay Thai group out in Oregon. So this is what I brought: a week’s worth of underwear, few pairs of socks, an extra pair of pants, two shirts and two shorts. I figure I’d buy clothes there to match the weather and blend in a little so to not look so touristy. I could give the clothes away upon return and fit whatever I’d like to keep in the space left. Fitting my shin guards, bag gloves, 16 oz and flip flops was super easy and took no cramming at all. Worked out really well so far. Let’s see how this goes.