Thailand. You hear stories of sweet people, beautiful beaches, amazing food. When Chris and I bought our plane tickets in February, I wanted to visit the country to seek spiritual growth and tranquility. So far, it has been a chaotic whirlwind of beauty, contrasted with hardship.
I am overjoyed and brimming with love and gratitude after Chris and my Buddhist wedding blessing on this trip (see later post). We have seen some of the most amazing topography. Been part of an international event on a remote island (the Full Moon Party). Eaten mind-blowing food cooked with care and love. Enjoyed the freedom of traveling with only a small backpack, and leaving the camera behind in an effort to process the present moment undistracted.
But along with this beauty, we have faced almost hourly adversities. I have been dealing with a mass of bug bites that make my skin scream every waking second (so bad, I had to go to a clinic), and no convenient, indoor place to get away from the culprits. Bugs on our food, bugs on our bodies. Then, there's feeling stranded in one of the dirtiest cities I've ever experienced. And a woman puking her guts out on a small van trip in the middle of the jungle. Spending the night on a beach after being nearly poisoned to death with alcohol. Sweating, chaffing; feeling hot and sticky and unnatractive. Sunburn. OK, bitching is over, I promise.
But today, I feel like things are changing. We somehow made our way by foot, bus and plane back to Bangkok from a city in the southern end of the country - the middle of nowhere, it felt like - and are about to go to Chiang Mai, where we plan to rest and trek and enjoy the area's many attractions. Now, we vow to seek peace in meditation, hikes and yoga, even do a cooking class. These are things we thought we'd be doing from the get-go (we thought we could do them anywhere in Thailand - but that's not the case). Our goal to go off the beaten path in search of adventure fruited mostly only tribulation (there's the "hulk" in me, trying to challenge myself to the max). So we are letting ourselves go back into society in order to ENJOY Thailand. So the rest of our trip starts NOW.