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It is around 5:30pm on a Tuesday here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Bianca and I flew into town, from Bangkok, late last night. We were driven home by an amazingly kind Thai couple we met in the airport. They sell Amway and are practicing English. We sat together on the plane and talked and they offered to drive us to the guesthouse. We weren't sure if we could trust strangers in strange countries, but they were just plain old fantastic people.

I am sitting in the cafe portion of our guesthouse this evening now listening to techno beats and motorbikes wizzing by. Cockroaches travel by my feet and fellow backpackers consult their Lonely Planet guides while they drink their coca cola. I am beginning to feel more and more comfortable with this backpackers life, oddly enough. I never thought that I could be in a place like Thailand and actually start to like Thailand.The trick is, according to travellers I've met, is not to think about it too much - to just let things happen and don't analyse things, just do it. I'm starting to actually relax a lot more and I'm letting my guard down more and more. I'm just enjoying moments for what they are. I hope these qualities will carry on with me when I'm back home at the end of this.

I am, however, starting to understand the perpetual heartbreak particular to travellers. We have met amazing people so far in the only six days we have travelled and it has been heartbreaking having to say goodby to each and every one of them.

We said goodbye to Rej, a hilarious and fun girl from England who shares a birthday with me. She left her job in HR in London to travel through Asia by herself before attempting to start a new life for herself in Australia. We spent two days and nights travelling around Bangkok with her. She left for Sydney two days ago. I hated saying goodbye to her but I hope she's doing well and I admire her independence and strength.

We also met two great girls from Germany, Samantha and Franzi, who just finished training in the hospitality industry and want to start new lives in Australia as well. Australia must be some sort of mecca for travellers. They will be travelling all around Thailand for a month before going to Sydney. They were such wonderful and fun and strong girls, and I really admire them. They were fantastic, well travelled, and confident. It was great to spend time with them and explore the city together.

I also met Casper, a recently graduated journalism student from Holland who is travelling all around the world by himself. He has fantastic stories as well as amazing perspective and sensitivity. He talked me through some of my fears on my rough day in Bangkok (scroll down for that one) and reassured me that things will genuinely be alright if you just trust it and don't analyse things too much. I will change, I just have to let it happen and don't analyse it. We hope to meet up with him again here in Chiang Mai before he heads south. Hopefully we can also meet up when he visits Canada one day on his journey.

I met Seth on our last night in Bangkok. He came in to the guest house with a French man late at night. He's originally from Pennsylvania and has gone to school in the Carolinas and is travelling around Asia on his own after coming off of an exchange in Australia. We (Bianca, Franzi, Samantha, Seth and me) explored the sky train transit system in Bangkok together yesterday. It was a great way to see the city on our last day (and Seth's first day). I only wish that we could have spent more time with him - he studied fine art in school and has a charming personality that makes him easy to talk to and get along with.

I love these people. I wish that I could take all of them and shove them in my pocket for the rest of the trip (and life) but I know that they all have their own journeys to tend to. Missing all of them at once though feels like a dull ache. I didn't think that I could feel so attached to people in such little time. It's just that people have been amazing me so much on this trip. I know that we will meet other great people along the way. We are, after all, only six days into our journey with another nearly 50 days left. I can, thankfully, finally understand what other travellers have meant when they tell me that its the people they meet along the way that makes the trip most memorable and affecting. The people make the difference. It is absolutely true. This trip is makingme fall in love with people all over again.

I can only hope that I can pick up some of the good qualities of all of the fantastic people I am meeting along the way, and that they will remember me as well.

Date: 2009-07-08 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rasiya.livejournal.com
YAY!!! I'm so happy that you're starting to enjoy yourself more. It always takes a while to get your feet, but I really hope the rest of the trip continues like this for you, and that you find what you're looking for on it :D

Date: 2009-07-08 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lolamatopoeia.livejournal.com
Me too! So far, things are pretty freaking incredible.

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