Sawatdee Kaa from Southeast Asia

I know it’s been about forever since I last posted. I left on a jet plane, and then pretty much left you all hanging. Is anyone still there? Sorry, readers. But seeing as how I have perhaps the best excuse (I’ve been off on a whirlwind adventure in southeast Asia), I hope you’ll forgive me!

There’s much to update you about. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. Here’s what I can tell you: this trip has been everything I imagined and nothing I imagined all at the same time. I’ve been away from the U.S. for just about three and a half weeks. It seems a bit like I got here yesterday and a bit like I must’ve moved here, seeing as how I’ve never taken a trip this long.  Yet, I don’t feel like I have enough time. I’ve seen more places than I thought I would see. But also, I’ve missed places I wanted to see, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to squeeze them in.

I’ve surprised myself in that I’m not homesick at all. That’s unusual for me. In the past, when I’ve traveled, I always felt homesick in the first few days (at the very least, in the first week). Generally, I get over that feeling if I stay long enough, but it’s always been there at some point. This time, nothing. I’m not sure why. It’s not as if I’m ready to pack my bags and move to Thailand. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’m staying with a friend off and on in Bangkok, and when I get tired of traveling, I just go back. So although it’s not my home, it is someone’s home and maybe that feels home enough. Of course, that’s never done the trick before. Or perhaps it has to do with the fact that I’m not quite sure I feel at home in Vegas; thus, I don’t have much to miss. Except I do because I certainly miss my favorite people back home.  Can I pack you all up and take you with me next time?  Anyhow, I haven’t felt homesick. And this is a seriously good thing, seeing as how I’m here for a while.

So here’s the deal.  Although I haven’t posted since I left, I have been writing every day.  I’ve journaled about everything.  I have journal entries in my handwritten journal, in my online journal and in Word files.  I’ve pretty much taken advantage of whatever writing medium’s on hand.  I’ve got lots of material, and I’m excited about what I’m going to do with it.  One of the things I plan to do is walk you through the trip.  I had planned to do that from the beginning, but now I’m so far behind.  Likely, I’ll wait until the trip is over, then get to telling the stories.  Until then, I’ll probably just do updates like this one.

What else?  So I mentioned the trip has been everything I expected and nothing I expected.  For the most part, it’s been a blast.  I love not feeling rushed.  I sort of love not having a plan.  This is the first time I’ve allowed myself to show up at a place and just go with the flow.  I book a bus ticket (or a plane or a boat) and go when I feel like going.  If I don’t like a place, I leave.  If I love it, I stay longer.  If an unexpected opportunity comes my way, I take it (like visiting Kampot in Cambodia).  The cultures are incredibly different from my own but then much the same.  The people have been really sweet.  At the same time, I’ve been surprised to find that traveling alone can feel really lonely (go figure).  I can have the most amazing time doing something I adore and suddenly feel sad I don’t have someone to share it with.  Or worse, when something goes horribly wrong (like Ko Chang) and my best friend isn’t by my side to laugh at our misery.  Joy (and misery) is simply better when shared.  On the other hand, it’s pretty damn freeing not to have to check with anyone about what I want to do.  I do what I want, when I want, and I spend as much or as little as I want.  No need to compromise.

In many ways, the whole trip has been more emotional than I expected.  Many hours spent on buses has a way of doing that to a person; making you reflect on your life and your choices, I mean.  And we all know I don’t need any assistance in the overthinking and overanalyzing department.  Though, in some ways, all this time to reflect has been good.  I’ve made some big decisions since I’ve been out here.  Or, at least one.  I’ll share that with you in a later post.

All in all, I think I’ve had too much  time to myself and have gotten way to philosophical.  It’s probably good that I’ve fallen down a flight of stairs (or two).  Gives me something to laugh at.  You can’t take yourself too seriously while sliding on your ass down a flight of stairs, pack on back, with a group of strangers stairing at you wondering why they invited you to climb a mountain with them.  Yes.  That really did happen.

And so, I’ll leave you with that lovely image.  Heather, the klutz.  I’ve had more than one incident between myself and the ground.  And spiders.  And mosquitoes.  Even a snake.  Good stuff, I tell you.  Until next time, here’s to taking changes and following your bliss.

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