We spent over two months in Chiang Mai Thailand at the end of 2018. I spent most of that time at cat cafes, eating mermaid donuts, and working on books. I edited a huge 19th century treatise on the Genius of Solitude I’ve been obsessed with since finishing my PhD thesis. We celebrated both Halloween and New Year’s… and also the local Lantern Festival (which took place around the same time as Thanksgiving. It’s about letting go of misfortune, turning hopeful thoughts towards next year. Epicurus wrote, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” And this is true: we should always be grateful for being where we are. But that doesn’t mean we should not ask for more, because to imagine, to dream of what is not, is the central gift of human genius. (I also spend some time working on a nonfiction book on creative confidence… which I will write eventually). Here’s a video I made during Lantern Festival and some pictures… we also spent a weekend in Pai, which is up near the Burmese border. Lots of happy shakes and fire dancing and jungle vibes. The other really interesting I did was a jungle survival trek: our guides caught and cooked our food. We slept on the ground in a homemade shelter. The others at bamboo worms (yuck) and when we packed up our sleeping bags we saw several large tarantulas under the leaves, probably using our body warmth (AAAH! – I hate spiders, but actually proximity to them made me slightly less terrified.