I am sure you all know Keown from the excellent work she has already contributed to this blog. The majority of Keown’s work has been based around cross cultural relationships and she is known for her no-nonsense straight talking. You can view a lot of Keown’s cross cultural relationship material at the bottom of this post including the massively popular ” Relationships Between Thai Women And Foreign Men”.
However today Keown has come to talk about her mini breaks back in Thailand and how she intends on spending longer periods of time back in Thailand on a yearly basis. Today is a more chatty and calm Keown, but no less passionate. The great thing about Keown is she has passion running right the way through her and you will certainly get a feel from this interview about some of the things that drive her, especially her ideal day.
Although about Kuhn Keown’s mini breaks in Thailand the post is based on lifestyle design and the art of designing life the way you want to live it. As the late, great Jim Rohn said ” If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much”.
Note: The photos on this post just depict images of Thailand and specifically the North-East region.
Trevor: Can you tell us abit about yourself to those who don’t already know you on the blog please?
Keown: My name is Keown Wangwan I Originally came from Khon kaen in the Northeast of Thailand,but moved to England when I was 17 / 18 years of age and have beeen living in and around the London area of the UK ever since.During that time I started a family ran my own Thai Restaurant business, worked as a florist and now I work in the social care industry.
Before all of that I attended college and studied Arts and English, but I found it hard to continue after the loss of my mother and I dropped out.I must admit that I went off the rails a bit for a while and became very much a wild child attending every party going and reveling in my new-found freedom that I was not used to back home in Thailand.
Relationship wise, you could say that I got married way too young with my English boyfriend and the marriage lasted 5 years before we split. I had a Daughter with him and she is now 22 years old and will be Graduated from the University this year in Santa-Monica, California, America.I also have a Son from my second relationship and he’s 11 years old and living with his Father,as I am not with his Father anymore. Aside from the miserable English weather, life has been fun here as I have moved around the London area.
Trevor: How often do you get back to Thailand and how long do you stay?
Keown: I used to go back to Thailand and stay for longer periods of time than I do at present. I used to stay anywhere from 2 – 6 months. In those days I could suit myself a bit more, but now there are a few more responsibilities and commitments here in the UK.
Trevor: Which places do you spend most of your time whilst in Thailand?
Keown: For the past 3 – 4 visits I have spent the majority of my time in Khon Kaen (North – East) where I grew up. I don’t need a lot and am just happy to be around my family and spend quality time with them. That is heaven for me. I always use my little townhouse in the city of khon kaen as my base and would spend most of my time there with other members of my family. Quite often you will find me there for the whole of my stay.
Trevor: What do you do with your spare time when in Thailand and would this change if you stayed indefinitely or for longer periods of time?
Keown: I wish I had spare time. Usually as soon as I arrive I am off visiting my family and cousins all over the place and by late afternoon I go dancing in the park with lots of other people. This is great fun and I get good exercise everyday as well. When I am not in Khon Kaen I go to my other house in Roi-et to fix up and paint the place. There is always something that needs doing with the house as it is quite an old property. If I stayed for longer periods of time or indefinite I would combine healthy living with a small income by growing and selling my organic vegetables and fruits.
Trevor: How do you or would you fund your mini breaks in Thailand, what is or would be your main income source?
Keown:I am still living and working in UK at present. My work is very flexible and allows me to work the hours I choose. I can pretty much work like mad and save money for a while and then go back to Thailand and stay for as long as I like and as often as I like. My plan is to work here 6 months during the summers and then back in Thailand for 6 months during the UK winters.By then I would hope to have my small business back in Khon kaen also.
Trevor: What would a rough break down of your spending in Thailand be?
Keown: I certainly like working to a daily budget and split between main expenses (family) and social life with friends. For the main house hold expenses including food, utility bills etc, but excluding car expenses for 4 adults and 2 children is approximately 8500 baht a month. I can live very basic and don’t hanker for the material possessions in life. Give me a little hut in a small fishing village where I can catch and cook fresh fish there and that is heavenly. I live life pretty basically, so bring it on.
Trevor: Are there places in Thailand that you have not yet been to that you would still like to visit?
Keown: Yes there are a lot of places in Thailand that I have in mind to visit. What with leaving home so young and moving to the UK, I didn’t get to see much of Thailand at all. Now when I go back I am so happy to be with all the family that I make up for lost time with them and don’t need to go anywhere else. Certainly though eventually I want to spend more time visiting places in the North and South and other places in my own North-East region as well.
Trevor: Do you have any other travel goals left to fulfil aside from Thailand, places around the world that you would like to visit?
Keown: Yes definitely, especially around Asia. I want to visit all the places over the border like Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Kampuchea. I would also like to visit China, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines. The places I most want to go to are all Asian based, I am not interested in Europe or North America I like the exotic places.
Trevor: If you could find the time to do them and were offered 3 subjects or courses to learn, what would they be.
Keown: I would be interested to learn more about growing chemical free vegetables and fruits using the natural Environment.
Trevor: Where do you see yourself in 3 – 5 years time, what are your future goals
Keown: I have plans in place for the next 3-5 years. I plan to only be in England during the spring and summer time working. I like the 6 month split as then I can be in Thailand during the UK colder months. My plan as I said is to operate a small business in Thailand and hopefully if all goes to plan to then stop working in England altogether.
Trevor: Give us an outline of your ideal day and where would it be.
Keown: Kohn Kaen in the North-East of Thailand
To start with I will need to have my house in the village.
5am: My day would begin with a trip on my bicycle complete with basket to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and meat and of course not forgetting my Chinese doughnuts called Pa Tong Go. I would then return home and dip my Chinese doughnuts in to hot ovaltine along with lashings of my very favourite English tea. Afterwards I will get straight on with my cooking for the monks. I always cook and give to the monks early in the morning.
Trevor: Giving food to the monks between dawn and 7am is the communities way to support the monks. The monks study and practice the teachings of Buddha. Good food is offered by the community to the monks and at the same time the life lesson of giving and learning to let go is also achieved.
Keown: 8am: Off to play with my garden and vegetable allotment in the back yard. I can’t live without my garden as my garden is my passion.
Lunch Time: I will go to the temple before doing anything else and have lunch after the monks have eaten of course.
After lunch I will join with the village folk for a couple of hours to volunteer my services for any projects that are going on in the village and then return home to spend the rest of the afternoon earning a penny or two. I hand – make baskets and basic house – hold material using raw materials like bamboo and the like to sell in the village or to the trade.
Now on to the exciting time of the day and a few drinks with the villagers, before continuing the socialising with the family, good food and laughter. The old adage is certainly true for me that laughter is the best medicine. This would complete my ideal day in Thailand.
Trevor: Finally could you give me 3 words that play a major importance in your life?
Keown: Food, good health and romance.
For More Articles From Keown Wangwan- Check out this page and scroll
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