Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go’ this is my station. -Lisa St. Aubun de Teron
I ache for the days 8 weeks ago when I woke up everyday and focused on writing.
I ache to be able to effortlessly feel the energy I brought home from Thailand running through me without having to search deep within myself for it.
But it’s all just a reminder that nothing stays exactly the same, every day is a new step in this
journey of life, and you must continue to place your priorities at the top, while balancing all that comes with that.
I find myself some days thinking I have lost sight of what I felt to be so important 8 weeks ago, but that feeling is just a great reminder to remember to wake up everyday and focus my intention on balance.
I sit here and write of my last days in Thailand, and while collecting the inspiration behind it, I am fortunate enough to be able to go back and look through pictures and truly feel the excitement and energy behind each one.
Some travelers believe being completely disconnected is how they take it all in the best, but for myself, I wouldn’t have as much ‘after gains’ without the pictures to go along with the memories and experiences.
I woke up this morning, to a full screen of messages from my dear friend Cleo sent while I was sleeping and she was feeling inspired in Australia. A reminder that my Thailand trip would not have been half of what it was if I had not met Cleo. Meeting her is also a constant reminder of how much the universe works in the exact way it’s supposed to. Fate is a beautiful thing.
So this post will cover the lessons of those last days, and the importance of sharing it all with Cleo.
I was taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai, and had 15 minutes to kill before it started. I sat at a little table right outside of the cafe, and began chatting with this absolute beautiful soul. We shared such intimate and genuine conversation in those 15 minutes, and exchanged Facebook accounts to keep in touch and share travel recommendations with each other. Low and behold, that beautiful soul ended up joining me for my last 4 days in Railay, and will forever be a huge part of my life.
There is nothing like friends you meet while traveling. The vulnerability you share when meeting each other, leads to lifetime friendships with strangers. I am so fortunate to have a circle of people who have my back, in every corner of this earth.
I wasn’t sure how I’d do with sharing four days with another person. I had become so selfish with my time in Thailand, and absolutely flourished being alone. But boy, was I silly to even worry. Cleo and I shared the best time together. Getting lost in the jungle together, finding hidden caves while swimming in the ocean. Rock climbing and being absolutely terrified in that experience together. We shared such deep conversation about the importance of digging deep in yourself to find out who you truly wanted to be. She had put much more work in that area of her life than I had, so she made for such an inspiration to learn from.
I will forever say that Thailand created a space for me to open up to spiritual energy . The energy that flowed out of those rocks in Railay flowed right into my heart and opened me up. We met these three beautiful souls while swimming my second to last day, and ended up sharing lunch and exploring in the jungle with them. The conversation shared with them flowed so effortlessly with the spiritual awakening I had been experiencing my last days in Thailand. I thank the universe for putting these incredible people in my life at the appropriate time to allow me to be open to an area I had been so closed off to for many many years.
Being able to celebrate Halloween in Thailand was such a fun experience. It definitely showed me how western a Holiday it is, and allowed me to feel the discomfort of being the only person on the island dressed up. What a fun and uncomfortable experience; walking down the pathway dressed up with questionable eyes staring at me. oops! It was a full moon, Halloween, there was a chaotic fire show, and we had a paint party rave. It was such a wild night. An unforgettable Halloween.
I woke up that last day truly hungover from life. From three weeks of exploring, staying up too late, and waking up too early. My last day, I was fortunate enough to deal with such a frustrating day. And a travel lesson I hope you can learn from. It was legitimately one of the worst possible ways to end an absolute beautiful three weeks.
We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way. – Gloria Gaither
I had booked in advance my flight from the islands to Bangkok to fly home from Bangkok. Had I not booked in advance, I would have avoided this ENTIRE chaos. I took a longtail to Krabi, and was to take a 4 hour bus to Phuket Airport. Everyone encouraged me to stay one extra day in Railay and leave in the morning, being that my flight was in the evening. I arrived for my van to a cluster f&^k. I hungoverly waited for an hour for my van, to be shuffled to another location to wait another hour for another van, where the driver was SO mean and the van ride was TOO long with 15 people stuffed inside. I arrived at the airport
FINALLY and realized because I’m a western traveler and didn’t check and recheck my itinerary was correct, I had missed my flight. I thought 7:00 meant 7pm, but the rest of the world operates on a 24 hour clock and it was 7am not 7pm. I had to pay a penalty and buy a new ticket. So I sat in a van for almost 6 hours to come to an island to rebuy a ticket, when I could have just went to an airport 30 minutes from Railay. I was defeated. Take the lesson from me, do not book in advance! And remember 24 hour is a thing everywhere but America!!! My layover in China consisted of a lightjacket, and a 23 degree airport, legit. I was absolutely to the bone freezing to death. I lost my passport for about 25 minutes, and thought I’d be stuck in China forever. Just keep piling it up universe, NO BIGGIE.
But my careless butt found it.
I finally arrived in New York for a little layover at the bus station until I headed to Philadelphia. I was absolutely jet lagged, exhausted, and freezing. I carried my pack miles and finally ended up at an organic cafe! I was pretty excited to grab some declicious food and just chill. I set my pack down right beside me and went and paid for my food. I was eating and trying not to fall asleep, when out of the corner of my eye I realized my pack was gone. I could have died. I just spent three weeks in a third world country, without any security scares, and I get to New York and someone steals my pack?!
Long story short: the workers moved it and didn’t tell me. That’s cool. But all was fine, and I made it to Philadelphia safely and slept my life away.
I had written a page of intentions for the new year on Halloween and had to use a chunk of it for toilet paper on my chaotic voyage home. That’s what I was working with that day.
But that was just step one in building a strong ability to practice patience; a skill set I haven’t been able to sustain in the past.
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey. – Barbara Hoffma — such a good quote to live by. anything can happen to you while you’re traveling, but if you live in that fear you’ll miss the beauty in it all. the chaotic and the bliss times. just breathe and live.
Cheers to three weeks on not brushing my hair, sweating out Thai spices and smelling terrible, and experiencing humidity that made even cold water showers seem bearable. Thank you for cradling me Thailand, and for giving me a true rebirth. You are everything I’ve ever and will ever need in life. You changed every piece of my heart and soul. I can not wait until we meet again. Me with a different purpose, you as the same beautiful gentle place you are.
End note: Thank each and every one of you I met along the way- the faces that guided me when I was lost, the nameless strangers who walked and shared stories with me on their journey, the strangers that became lessons along the way, and the strangers who opened themselves to me and are now lifetime friends.