Top 4 Concert Venues in Raleigh, North Carolina (and Within Driving Distance)

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If you happen to have caught any of the Good Vibes posts you should be well aware that I am a fan of a wide variety of music.  Prior to moving to Thailand I lived in Raleigh, North Carolina which is arguably the best city for live music throughout the entire state.  With more venues than any other city in North Carolina as well as being the home to unique music festivals such as Hopscotch Music Festival and World of Bluegrass, Raleigh has cemented itself as the go-to city for concerts in the state.  Now that I am back stateside I already have numerous shows to attend and many of them are actually in Raleigh.  Below you’ll find some of the best venues that make North Carolina’s capital city a truly special live music hub along with a couple of cheat concert halls that are within driving distance.

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Sawasdee : Saying Goodbye to Thailand

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As I sit here on my last day in Thailand staring at my packed bags I cannot help but let the memories of the past two years creep into my thoughts.  This adventure has reached its culmination but it has imbued a long lasting effect on my life.  Between the people I have met, the crystal blue waters that I have swam in, and the children that I have had the pleasure of teaching, my time in Thailand has been nothing but extraordinary.

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Khanom, Thailand : A Backpacker’s Respite

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A typical backpacker’s journey to the south of Thailand will take them to the party islands of Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Pha Ngan where free flow Sang Som buckets and neon-painted tourists reign supreme.  These islands are a tremendous experience in their own right but every now and then the wandering soul might require a bit of time away from the fire shows and non-stop EDM parties.  This is where the lovely beach town of Khanom comes in.  Commonly frequented by the expat teachers of Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat, this quiet oceanside community may slip by the standard traveler’s radar.  It features a stretch of nearly untouched sand that can provide a much needed rest on your Thailand holiday.

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Surviving Thailand : Motorbike Safety Tips

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Have you ever played a game of Frogger?  That is essentially the same game you are playing when driving a motorbike on the roads in Thailand.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Thailand has the second deadliest roadways in the entire world.  That is a great deal of pressure put on your shoulders while making your way to teach every morning.  It is not all doom and gloom though as I have gathered the skills to face these automobile challenges and bring you this article.  Rest assured as I have sat down with some of the best farang minds in Surat Thani to compile a multitude of suggestions to ensure your safety on the road as you seek to educate the youth in the Land of Smiles.

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8 Ways to Make Teaching in Thailand Easier

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It is the day before you start your job of instructing the future of Thailand.  All you can feel are nerves running through every inch of your body.  Sit back and let me calm you down a bit.  Teaching in “The Land of Smiles” is no simple job but there are many ways you can improve the work environment and create as relaxing of an atmosphere as is possible.  It may come as a surprise that many of these suggestions have absolutely no relation to teaching whatsoever.  Appearance and show are the name of the game when creating a great impression on the first day of school.

Having been through two first days of school I have garnered a few skills in setting a good precedent for the year to come.  Hopefully you find some of these useful as well.

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Spotlight Bangkok : The Jam Factory

IMG_20150926_165212I absolutely love being in the city but at the same time I crave fresh air.  This could be why three of the four Spotlight Bangkok posts have been about embracing the outdoors while still in metropolis.

Featured today is an amalgam of the previous posts as this must-do activity involves a unique restaurant, beautiful city views, and an independent market.  In fact it evens adds live music, a bookshop, a furniture showroom, and an art gallery to the lineup.  To be succinct, this place has it all.

The market itself is quite small but the sellers seem to be at the height of their game.  The product quality outshines even that of the ArtBox Market.  Custom leather boots and handbags, hand-sewn clothing, and even vinyl records can be discovered among the items on display.  The Jam Factory will also host a farmers’ market occasionally but you just need to keep an eye out for the dates.  The same could be said for all other events held at the facility.

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Spotlight Bangkok : ArtBox Market

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Markets are a must do for anyone making the trip to Thailand.  In Bangkok alone you can find the world’s largest open-air market at Chatuchak Weekend Market, the beautiful flower market at Pak Khlong Talat, as well as the water-based Talin Chan Floating Market.  A common theme among the markets is that many of the items available are marketed specifically for the Thai lifestyle.  They are a must see for any tourist but can become a bit stale after you visit one or two.  This is where ArtBox comes in; to throw you a curveball for your market journeys.  The hipster-est of all hipster markets.

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Spotlight Bangkok : Sunset Cruise on the Chao Phraya River

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The first Spotlight Bangkok post featured some of the finest food Bangkok has to offer so we are going to get a bit more adventurous with this post.

OK, let’s do some word association.  I will give you a word and I want you to say the first thing that comes to your mind.  The word is, “Bangkok”.

Reader:  “Khao San Road, ladyboys, Soi Cowboy, Chang beer, and buckets.”

Come on now.  Thailand’s not just about the party (though it offers plenty of opportunities for one).

Reader: “Temples?”

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