Reflecting on my approach to travel

So both Vietnam and Thailand have passed by in a bit of a blur.

Vietnam was officially my first time truly alone and working out a country. I started the trip by putting my confident face on and posing as the ultra confident (probably slightly irritating) traveller- screw it talk to everyone, meet people, get comfortable. It certainly worked. In hindsight cornering everyone in my dorm room with endless questioning was probably a bit much.

Anyway, confidence check, I then spent the first evening chatting to my hostel manager who basically planned me a trip from North to South. This is now how my life works- cut the overwhelming decision making/research process & ask others for recommendations- plan sorted done! It’s effortless. The only clincher is whether you trust that person’s judgments.

So vague plan set I then met some people and got swept up in their plans. This is certainly the sort of traveller I am. My journey has not been about going here, going there, doing that. I don’t even think I care too much about that. I’m not out here to sticker book where I’ve been inthe world and later be that one at the dinner table that’s been everywhere done everything. God I can’t stand that. For me this is a personal journey about self development & challenging myself & my pre-conceptions about what I ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ do and frankly that can happen anywhere. Alongside that I want to see how other people live their lives & learn about contrasting cultures & reflect upon ‘west being best’ a view I can certainly argue since beginning this journey.

I don’t like a fixed plan, if anything it puts the pressure on and I like to float a bit.That’s what I feel I’m doing out here at times- floating about.

In fact… I have to say I’ve relied on others a lot. Particularly the local individuals. In Thailand I needed to get to the airport that day to sleep overnight and get a plane at 6am the next day. I had a stinking hangover and despite being over 2 hours from the airport it hadn’t really dawned on me that I’d better sort some transport. 11am passed “I’d better book some transport” … 1pm passed “Hmm.. I should probably book some transport” at 2pm I finally tried to book a bus “sorry no transport today. Bus at 11am. Next bus tomorow morning” Oh shit. Fortunately a local suggested I get a bus to the bus station, a bus to the next bus station and then a bus to the airport. I’d be taking the long local route but at least I’d get there. So I sit at the bus stop and wait for the bus. Daydreaming as per. A local man sat next to me asks where I’m going “to the airport”; “you get bus?”; “yes I’m getting the bus”; “bus!”; “Yep”; He points “bus! you get bus!” and gestures running. Crap, turns out I’d missed the bus stop right in front of me! (I did make it to the airport several hours later, I also managed to get a decent amount of broken sleep at the airport).

Genuinely don’t know how I’d get anywhere if it weren’t for the people around me. So far, thankfully, its worked out OK.


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