The title says it all.
After spending a week with Sabina, I headed to Krabi. Staying on Ao Nang, I ventured around for a bit, trying to figure out what to do. I was really keen on trying out the rock climbing, which is famed in the Krabi area. I had to pass on deep water soloing, but it worked out. Another girl, who I’ll call K, chose to do rock climbing on Railay Beach as well so we went together. K is a supremely interesting individual who is a foreign diplomat for a European country. She actually works on the peace treaties and more. Most of my time with her I just listened to her talk about the refugee crisis, European politics, and Syria. She had so much to say and was so knowledgable.
We spent the entire day together on Railay after rock climbing. The rest of our day was unplanned so we decided to find the blue lagoon. This took much longer than expected, since getting there required actual climbing and rapeling down some very steep, semi-frightening, and muddy vertical drops. On that journey we met two British guys, who we then roamed around the rest of the island with. While we’re all looking for the Penis Cave (this is a real thing), we stumble onto a Korean TV show being filmed. Obviously, I’m now running around trying to get in the background. The four of us attempt to get onto the show and try to talk to the K-pop star, who I spot due to his bright and exciting hairstyle. Look out for us on episode 53 on what’s definitely an uber-popular hit show in Korea, “Where is My Friend’s Home.”
K and I were originally supposed to meet up with the two Brits later in the evening, but we were too tired and instead found the nearest food stand to grab a bite. While ordering delicious and cheap pad thai, two South African guys begin talking to us, R and J. We talk for a while, learning about Africa, violence in Johannesburg, and tips on safaris. K and I are both trying to figure out our next steps in our journey. I’m battling between going up north or spending more time on the beaches in Koh Lanta. Ultimately we learn that the guys are leaving the next morning for Bangkok— but they’re driving there. I don’t remember how we got to this point, but their suggestion was inevitable: “You two should join us on our road trip!”
This is probably one of those things you would never do back home. 30 minutes after meeting two random men and agreeing to go on a three day road trip with them in a foreign country? If I did this at home, everyone would call me crazy. But the rules are different when you’re traveling. K was the first to say yes. Hold on— Lady K, the diplomat and princess, said yes? Of course, this pushed me over the edge. I was in too.
In less than 12 hours we were in the car ready to go. What happened after is three days of adventure and connection: finding hot springs that were so painful to get into, climbing up a ridiculous number of steps to reach a golden buddha, deep conversation about the real reason we’re all single, and me discovering a deep passion for photography. Had I not said yes, I would have probably taken a long, lonely, and boring bus ride back to Bangkok in which I learned nothing. It’s not the craziest thing I could have done, like jumping off a cliff, but it was sort of thrilling to know I had made such a spontaneous decision. It proved to me that life is way better like this.
While working at Vertigo, my coworkers and I determined our Myers-Briggs personality types, and I got ENFP. For each personality type, we looked up their definition of personal hell. Mine was classified as “every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks.” It was—and still is— ridiculous how much that statement rang true. This seems hypocritical, because back home I kept a crazy intense color-coded google calendar that outlined every detail of my life, but mostly because I liked to see that my life was jam-packed full of activities. When I’m traveling though? It’s not possible, and it’s not fun.
Yes, we are creatures of habit, but life can get so… monotonous. A predictable life is a boring life.
Not feeling a place? Leave. Love a place so much it hurts to say goodbye? Stay another week. Curious about a new place you’ve never been to? Just go. Someone invites you to do something you would never really do? Get out of your comfort zone and say yes. See someone else eating alone? Go talk to them. Move in with someone two days after meeting them? Absolutely. Make an amazing friend on the bus who’s headed to another country, and then change your ticket halfway through to cross the border with them? Yep.
So here is my hippy traveler self telling you what I’ve always known, but am finally living. Embrace the unknown! Be curious! Say yes more. Book that ticket. Face your fears. Be flexible. Know that everything will always work out. You’ll make more friends, have amazing new experiences, have endless amounts of fun, and be much happier.
Besides, no matter how scheduled a person you are, travel has its own agenda, and it’s way better than anything you had originally planned.