Bangkok, Thailand

Feet first. I’ve done this before.

Ending my journey in Bangkok, Thailand.

I wish my Thailand, and my Southeast Asia, journey ended there. It would have been a nice little final note, a nice little end to this chapter of my trip.

It shows a lot of how this lifestyle works, of how I’ve grown, to sit back on one of the hardest travel days I’ve had and still be able to think “my life is pretty amazing right now.”

But I had five more days until my flight.

So I went back to Bangkok where I hardly did much of anything. I bought and read a guidebook. Did some shopping. Mailed another package home. Did laundry.

It was mostly just a time for housekeeping. (So much so that almost every photo I took was of my food.)

I did go out one night with a group from the hostel where I learned that drinking a Sangsom and m150 bucket and then a drink with tequila is pretty much a deadly combination that will have you not wanting to leave bed the entire next day.

Bangkok, Thailand.

I did go to a market with a Dutchman and some British girls, where we saw a cockfight and every sort of rodent you could imagine for sale.

Bangkok, Thailand.

I did meet for lunch with Jannell, someone I knew from online who is at the beginning of her round the world trip.

Bangkok, Thailand.

But other than that, my time there was rather quiet. Rather boring. Just a five day interlude where I waited in anticipation for what is to come next.

And, with that, my time in Southeast Asia is over. I can’t believe it was over four months ago that I boarded a flight from Istanbul to Singapore, when I arrived in Asia for the first time.

I was scared when I flew over, but Asia proved way easier to navigate than I ever imagined. And, even when things were hard, I powered through, I made it out in one piece.

While I will still be in Asia for the next three months, everything is about to change. India will be a whole new ballgame, one where the backpacker trail isn’t as mapped out. One that will certainly be hard and sometimes draining.

And after eight months mostly alone I soon will be deliberately traveling with someone. While I’ve been traveling with people here and there it was never a set thing. I was free to come and go as I pleased without having to offer an explanation. I could do my own thing without ever having to check in. But traveling with Jaime will be different, a little more of a commitment.

It’s something that frightens me. For most people traveling alone would be a test of how far they’ve come, but for me it will be traveling with someone. I am awesome at being by myself. I can do as I please and not have to worry about anything. But when I’m with someone I tend to take a backseat, let them lead, let them decide everything.

And I don’t want to fall into that.

I can tell you, though, that as I sit here waiting for my flight from Bangkok to New Delhi, I’m not as scared as I’d been waiting for every flight I’ve taken since July. I know what is to come will be hard. Confusing. But I also know I will power through. And that even on the hardest days it will still be amazing. And I’ll make it through in one piece.

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Ali
    March 8, 2012at3:38 pm

    Awesome Val 🙂 You and Jaime will have lots of fun and help each other through the confusion of India. With 3 months together, I’m sure he won’t even let you take a backseat all the time, sometimes he won’t want to make a decision. I know I’ve said this a million times, but I’m soooo looking forward to hearing about you guys traveling through India! I hope you’re having fun right now!

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