As you may have gathered from my lack of posts recently, the last 10 days or so have been rather hectic.
Since leaving Sri Lanka I’ve been travelling with James – one of my best mates from home – who I’ve not seen since February. No prizes for predicting it’s been a rather boozy affair. It’s also been a period of discovery too. Despite having met in Bangkok where I’ve spent more nights than I can even remember since February, we’ve checked out a few new places for me – Krabi and Phi Phi – as well as returning to Koh Phangan for my second full moon party and we’ll be spending the next few days on Koh Tao getting our open water certification.
It’s been the adventure of a lifetime so far, and we’re not even two weeks in to it. I’ve never laughed as hard in my life – I honestly feel like I’m doing a workout at times when we get started, as my stomach feels like I’ve done 200 crunches!
A lesson learnt
I think I’ve already learnt an important lesson about travelling in the 10 days we’ve spent together: it’s not where you are but who you’re with. I said the same about Vientiane when I was reunited with a mate from uni. Everyone I spoke to before and after our trip there said it was the most dull place they’d ever visited, yet we ended up staying five nights and having an absolute blast.
The same applies to Thailand. I think after our visit here I’ll be pretty much done with the country. It’s not that I don’t like it – far from it – I just feel like I’ve done it to death a little. I told myself in March that I’d never do another full moon party and, in all honesty, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one but it exceeded my expectations in every way. I’ve written before about how I don’t really rate Chiang Mai, yet I’ll be returning in a week or so as I know that no matter where we are, we’ll have a laugh.
Word of the day: compromise
Having travelled for seven months now, I feel there’s not a great deal that’s alien to me in terms of the backpacker lifestyle. There have been, however, a few things that I’ve had to adjust to in terms of no longer travelling on my own. I’ve harped on to anyone who will listen about how much I love solo travel. It’s a sense of freedom like no other. Wake up one morning and fancy leaving for the next town? Sure, why not? Want to rent a bike and discover the area? Go for it! There is literally nothing (apart from money!) holding you back.
When travelling with a friend, you have to learn to compromise. Barring a few weeks in Sri Lanka, I’ve been pretty much travelling solo the entire time since leaving home. I’m now being mega conscious to ensure that I don’t let my past experiences decide our itinerary for this trip – that wouldn’t be fair. The returns to Koh Phangan and Chiang Mai are a prime example of this. Had I been travelling on my own, there would be a close to 0% chance of me ever going back to either place but (despite the permanent hangovers we’re carrying) I’m really glad we have.
That was all a bit deep, wasn’t it? Who’d have thought our first 10 days of drunken antics would provide such a reflective post? There’ll be more tales of alcohol-fuelled adventures over the next few months…promise!