I had hoped to write something at least every other day while I was gone, but between the jet lag, lack of working wifi, and the focus on living in the present, I haven’t kept up as well I had hoped. So here we go…
I arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday afternoon, a mere 38 hours after I left Tampa on Sunday morning. It was 2 p.m. when I landed, meaning it was 2 a.m. stateside, but somehow, with about three hours of sleep in two days, my body was too confused to be tired. The first priority upon landing was to locate a place to stay for the night. Most people would probably have lined something up before they got in, and those people would be smarter than me, because my head was in a cloud. Luckily I had a friend waiting who had gotten some sleep since arriving in Thailand. We tuk-tuk-ed it over toward Banglamphoo, a cute little backpackers paradise we had both read about. It is perfectly located, and I highly suggest using it as a home base while exploring Bangkok. It’s much quieter than the famous Khao San Road (only a few blocks away), but has all the hippie charms of a city teeming with backpackers.
I have decided there is a significant difference between backpackers and tourists. I know what you are thinking… “It’s the backpack!” and you are somewhat right, that does help one to distinguish… but it’s more than that. When you’re backpacking for months at a time your entire mindset changes. You expect that the shower head might fall off, leaving you with a hose, and it never occurs to you to call maintenance. You pack your own towels and plan to do laundry. You grab your guidebooks and sit outside in open-air cafes and bars, sharing beers and comparing notes with other backpackers, like veterans who have all survived (or are surviving) the same war. I like backpacking. I hate carrying a backpack… but I like backpacking.
Our main goal for the first day was to Follow the Sun (in a completely different way than my previous post). We are both experienced enough travelers to know that we had to fight the jet lag and push through-which we did. Eating noodles and seafood on the streets of Banglamphoo and taking in the light of a city that seems to glow by lantern light, we thought we might be good. However, despite our well-executed plan, we both woke up raring to go at 4 the next morning. Oh well, we will stick to the philosophy and eventually our bodies will acclimate.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.