A Step in a New Direction

A Step in a New Direction

The smaller of the Buddha footprints on Phu Si Hill in Luang Prabang, Laos

Exciting news! I have decided to change my blog format and look. I have finally found a style I am comfortable with, and I think it will let me share my travel experiences in a more confident, amusing, and honest way. I was reading through my personal handwritten journals from the beginning of my trip and thought 1- I’m having so much fun, 2- I think I’m hilarious, and 3- why don’t I write my blog like this? So here it is, a fresh new look to chronicle my adventures. It will be more in the style of a journal and full of my ups and downs, joys and frustrations, good and bad decisions, and of course, the kind strangers and oddballs I meet.

Someone recently commented to me how easy it must be to do nothing but travel. Yes, it is. Mostly. I love it, but traveling for a long period of time has its good and bad days, just like everything else. For every old woman who wants to help me cross the street; smiling, waving child on the side of the road; walk through an ancient temple; swim in a turquoise sea; or a breathtaking view, there is also a tuk-tuk driver who treats me like a walking ATM; a hotel manager that insists he doesn’t have the room I booked online but would like to give me a “better” room for twice the price; disgusting toilets and flooded bathroom floors; six-hour bus rides that turn into twelve; and some pretty mundane hours doing nothing but waiting. How a person deals with the ups and downs will ultimately decide the overall enjoyment of the experience. I personally choose to laugh and shake my head, most days (I’m not perfect). A sense of humor and digging deep inside of myself for all the patience I can muster really does go a long, long way. It allows me to stay in a good frame of mind, so I can enjoy all of the moments, not just the picture-postcard ones. Sometimes it is the smallest thing that can make a great day. Like when another bus passenger insists on sharing their snacks with me or a hole in the wall restaurant with the best curry I’ve ever had in my life for less than two dollars or a hotel room with free toilet paper.

There are, however, some days when I feel like I am one train ride with a sweaty armpit in the face or urine soaked floor or the constant yell of “Tuk-tuk, lady? Tuk-tuk, lady? Tuk-tuk, lady!!” away from locking myself in an air-conditioned hotel room and curling into the fetal position for 24 hours with the English language channel on full blast. Luckily, that day has yet to come.

So now, instead of just pretty pictures and trying to force out descriptions of all the big events I felt like I had to write about (Halong Bay, Angkor Wat, etc.), which honestly wasn’t grooving for me, I will be sharing my daily joys, of which there are many, interesting characters, hellish bus rides, and the silly little things that amuse me.

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