The Moth Oddities Wanderlust Collection was inspired by our four adventurous friends and featured travelers: Megan Cline, Anna Vaughan, Carolyn Monke, and Kimberly Stabenow. These ladies have embarked on life-changing travels and Moth Oddities is honored to be sharing their stories for the next two months on the blog. Follow @mothoddities on Instagram and check back every #wanderwednesday to see their stories unfold.
This week on the blog we are sharing the Wanderlust Story of our featured traveler, Megan Cline. We recently interviewed her on her journey through Southeast Asia. Megan let us in on some of the crazy experiences she's had so far, including learning how to basket weave, having her first solo art show and even being chased by a stray dog. Read on to learn more!
Tell us about your personal Wanderlust story
Megan: I am traveling to Thailand, Cambodia, and India, but so far the majority of my trip has been spent working on my career as an artist at the artist residency Ne'-Na Contemporary Artspace in Chiang Mai for the past 5 weeks. Before that started I was traveling for three weeks with my sister throughout Thailand, but now I'm on my own! My main way of planning things has been based around my visas, but besides that I just take things day by day.
Megan is pictured wearing the Blooming Midi Dress from the Wanderlust Collection. Shop all items HERE.
What is the most enlightening experience you have had during your travels?
Megan: At the beginning of my trip things would get overwhelming if the situation was really strange or made me feel uncomfortable. Then one day while out for casual stroll I was chased by a terrifying golden retriever. My fear took over and I instantly started to run, which you're never supposed to do, but then my brain went into survival mode and I contemplated my options and turned around quickly to face off the dog and he backed off. I felt really proud that I didn't let fear completely take over the situation and little by little since, I've been more confident in relying on myself to get by.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had during your travels?
Megan: The most rewarding experience I've had during my travels so far has been being able to participate in my artist residency. Not only have I been able to engage in incredible opportunities provided by the Ne'-Na such as basket weaving, attending a traditional Lanna wedding, and having my first solo show, but I also got a better idea of what it means just to live and develop a routine outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes my days were really simple and only involved basic tasks like grocery shopping, doing laundry, and working. These simple things gave me a better idea of the Thai culture, such as how they go about conducting business and taking care of others around them. I have also gained insight about how I work and what I want and don't want for my future practice.
Okay, here’s the impossible question: All time favorite travel destination?
Megan: While each experience has been special in it's own way, I'd say my favorite destination was Bua Tong Waterfall, which is about an hour north of Chiang Mai. The water has so much calcium carbonate in it that it has completely changed the formation and the texture of the rocks, so you can grip them and climb them with no problem. Not only was it a stunning place to visit, the experience made a silly reoccurring dream of mine come true, so it has personal importance as well.
Have you found ways to be frugal while traveling? If so, what tips do you have?
Megan: I have to be very frugal in order to stretch out my trip. If traveling somewhere I take the cheaper route, and if possible take the overnight bus or train because that means one less night at a hostel that I have to pay for. As for shopping, I have very limited space in my bag already so that has been my biggest way of preventing myself from going all out.
What would you recommend at your current Wanderlust location?
Megan: I've found the perfect coffee shop in Chiang Mai called Samanmitr House. It's run by my (new) friend Note, and you can tell how much care he puts into making drinks (My fave is his Thai tea latte), caring for the cafe, and meeting the people who visit. Chiang Mai is also great for going to the markets and trying all of the food. My favorite snack is the porridge pancakes with corn and green onion or coconut topped with sugar.
What’s in your Wanderlust travel bag? What are items that you wouldn’t travel without?
Megan: With the exception of a few items, my clothes are pretty simple, because I have to constantly wear things over and over. It's all about the accessories to add some flair to my wardrobe, which is why my Kitty Cat Earrings from the Wanderlust Collection are my favorite thing in my pack. It's also important to remember where you're traveling to dress according to their culture. A lot of places have adapted to western wear, but it's best to stay modest. When I'm unsure, I like to wear my linen pants that I bought at the markets here. They're even light enough for the really hot days!
What are you looking forward to?
Megan: I just finished my residency so I'm looking forward to being back on the road. There's always a little uncertainty of what each day will bring and I think that is really valuable lifestyle to have to adjust to.
Hope you enjoyed Megan's Wanderlust Story! Is anyone else as envious as I am? Excuse me while I go check my bank account and plan hypothetical Thai getaways in my head :)
Check back next week for highlights and travel advice from Carolyn's road trip around the U.S. and in the meantime, learn more about our Featured Travelers from the Wanderlust Intro blog post and stop over at the Shop to grab your favorite items for your next adventure!
XO - Yana, Moth Oddities