It was a week before the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s funeral when I arrived in Bangkok for a conference and I did not expect that my world would turn black for the next week.
“You’re bullshitting me!” I shouted when a fellow-backpacker told me he had gone swimming with humpback whales in Tonga.
What kind of friends do I make when I travel solo?
Good ones. Real ones. Beautiful ones.
In a quiet, dusty alleyway in Coptic Cairo, a toddler, barely 3, cries mercilessly as he was forced to get a tattoo.
“Can I take a photo with you?”
Her bright, young eyes, full of enthusiasm and wonder, looked into my jaded ones. I remember having eyes filled with sunshine like hers. Now they’re just tired and disenchanted; tired of travelling and disenchanted at the phlegm-spitting, queue-cutting, rude, and conflicting country that I am finally leaving.
“The wind blows from North to South!”
“The wind blows from North to South.”
Can you believe that after seven months since my return to you, people are still asking me why I came back? Just last week at breakfast an auntie asked me “Why don’t you continue working there? Malaysia economy and politic is so bad now, stay in New Zealand better.”
This was never meant to be a journey of self-discovery.
One of the sweetest parts about travelling is meeting the locals, having a chat with them, and learning about their lives.
Never forget the opportunities travelling can give you. Just look at all the opportunities that have led you to an epic adventure. You’ve…