What is it about some places that bring people together? It’s almost as if there is an energy that attracts like-minded folks to a particular place.
I cant help but wonder, “Is it the place, is it the people, or is it a beautiful combination of both?”
Nong Khai, Thailand took me by surprise. The reason could be described in two words, Mut Mee, A lovely garden guesthouse right by the Mekong River.
I had expected a quite time alone for a week to work on my blog and podcast. I got everything that I had hoped for except for the bit about being alone.
The people of the internet would have thought me a nutter if I had attempted to do an interview-style podcast with myself.
Sitting in the beautiful gardens across from the river, I found myself quickly swept away in interesting and stimulating conversations with the people around me.
I was also happy to find that my company was diverse and often wiser or smarter than myself in many subjects. I don’t mention this in order to stroke egos or to impress anyone, but as a reminder to myself to mix up my socializing often.
A great way to learn is by surrounding yourself with intelligent people and listening to them.
Mut Mee did something else that was fantastic for me.
It reminded me of the importance of gathering.
Like Meccas for pilgrimages, meeting points are important for human connection and passing of ideas and information.
I am reminded of the old use of the word, “salon.”
Good ol’ Wikipedia defines a salon as,
“A gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.”
So what was it about Mut Mee?
It was the people, it was the location, and it was the host and owner, Julian.
He not only created a beautiful environment on a riverbank to have people spend the night, he hosted his guests. He got involved in and struck up interesting conversation and made people feel welcome.
I apologize for turning this post into a guesthouse review, but something was done well here.
I encourage others to run businesses this way.
In a world where salons are now known for stimulating hair follicles instead of minds, and most social gatherings are to celebrate intoxication amongst music too loud to talk over, we could use more Mut Mees in the world.
Sharing political opinions, social concepts, groundbreaking theories and ideas are important for society. How are we to make any kind of positive change in the world without talking about it first?
Check out the website for Mut Mee at MutMee.com