My 40 day adventure in Thailand really changed me as a person. I got fresh perspectives on the world, and learned how different life is on the other side of the world. It filled me with a burning desire to experience more on this earth, and once I got home I knew that no matter what I did in my life, it would have to involve travelling. I learned about the simple joys in life. How a mere walk through a natural landscape can be more joyful than a week’s worth of material entertainment. How people with so much less than us can seem so much happier. How sitting around a fire on the beach, under a beautiful night sky, with a soft guitar tune in the background and amazing friends all around is all a person could ever ask for.
Coming back to Canada was difficult. A few of my friends, myself included experienced a bit of depression once back home. It was still quite cold in Canada, and there was such a strong feeling of lack and emptiness being back. Having the constant stimulation and adventure of somewhere new taken away so suddenly is a shock to the system. You find when you get home that everything is still the same. Seeing all my friends again and telling them stories of my trip was a lot of fun, but it was really hard to convey the feeling of Thailand and I couldn’t make them understand exactly what I experienced there. I found myself putting up my hammock in my basement, closing my eyes and playing the Thai Reggae music I knew to make myself feel better.
When you return from a trip like this you do feel as if you have changed. I wasn’t interested in watching TV or playing video games for a while, I couldn’t relate to the negative dramas my friends were talking about, and I still had a burning enthusiasm to do things which wasn’t present in the people around me. My lowest point was a few days after I had returned, I was at the bank on a chilly day when two people got out of their cars in front of me and started violently screaming at each other over a parking space dispute. I stared at them in disbelief for a while, as they fought longer and louder calling each other all sorts of things. I remembered a scene back in Thailand where I approached a group of Thai people playing hacky sack. Before I could even ask they invited me to play with them with big smiles, they joked with me and taught me cool moves. There was no need for negativity in the land of smiles. The screaming and anger before me was just too much for me to fathom, I went home and worked on my Thailand travel video for hours.
The thing I missed the most about Thailand was that every day was just so interesting. I remember a short 2 minute walk I took one day from a restaurant to my bungalow. Along the walk a huge hawk screeched and swooped down on the road in front of me and knocked someone’s bags out of this hand. We all stood and watched the hawk with awe as it screeched into the air. As I was walking some more thinking of how I had never seen anything like that an incredibly cute monkey who was riding in the basket of a bicycle lunged towards me and tried to grab my hand. I smiled and laughed as the owner apologized… It just felt as if back home nothing interesting ever happened. Thailand had such a freedom to it, at night if we were hungry and there was no food around we could offer a stranger a few dollars to take us to the nearest food stand to grab some barbeque chicken, and every interaction was full of smiles. Things weren’t as rigid or full of rules or confined as they were back home.
Looking back at my 40 day trip I realized I had seen what life should be like; simple, effortless and full of joy. I decided I would never return to my old 9-5 routine but instead I would find a way to create this kind of joyful life for myself. I decided my next job would be to teach English overseas, to keep the travels going!