Why getting lost is the best way to learn you are never really lost

So I left Siem Reap on February 27th at 2 in the morning for Bangkok (Thailand). Leaving Siem Reap was really weird. Straight up. It’s crazy how living in a place for such a short period of time can actually affect you so much. My month that I spent in Siem Reap I feel shaped me in so many ways. One of the most powerful ways it shaped me is that it helped me rediscover the power women have when we work together. I was blessed with the most incredible group of women to discover and teach me lessons that I will always be thankful for. We literally live in all corners of the world but I know that I’ll see each of them again when the time comes and it is right. 

This is my badass squad in our full glory!!! Look at how beautiful they are!!!

So, back to the road. I got a night bus from this random hostel because it was the cheapest one I could find and it lived up to it! Not in fact a night bus at all but actually like a glorified mini van which they called a mini bus. #thisisfine On the ‘mini bus’ I met the sweetest girl from Chile who was also travelling by herself. We became buddies really fast as we didn’t sleep at all through the night and were dropped off before the border with the instructions ‘walk through’. So we began walking-exhausted, hungry…a little hungover with literally no idea where we were heading. I lost my new found friend at the crazy hectic visa office and saw two guys that I recognized from the mini bus and we started chatting almost instantly. One of the guys was from Brazil and the other from the States. All equally lost and exhausted we bonded immediately. The American guy was fucking hilarious. He was the definition of a walking mess in the best way possible. Dressed with the friendliest smile ever and lacking shoes he told me about his travels. What began as him volunteering in Kenya and turned into a 7 month adventure ending with him working at a bar in Siem Reap.

Awesome.

People never cease to amaze me. There’s literally so much shit you can do with your life and ways to exist. At home we really put ourselves in boxes and say that it has to be a certain way but this is not the case-one thing I learn every day while I travel is that it all works out. Our bus company gave us red stickers to wear instead of a bus ticket which actually ended up being really effective as we crossed the border and were spotted within the first 5 minutes. This led to another ‘ mini bus ‘ .  About 4 more hours to go until Bangkok…but at this point we had passed the point of exhaustion and had arrived at this place where you don’t really feel tired anymore.

Cue me double fisting coffee.

 Amid all of the exhaustion and stress I still found time to actually create some space and do yoga on one of our breaks we took!! So that was actually pretty awesome.

Finally we arrived in Bangkok and I parted ways with these two guys who made my journey so much easier. I made the mistake of thinking I could navigate Bangkoks metro on 0 hours of sleep and 3 coffees – wrong – don’t attempt this ever – this is literally such a warning like please do not do this. I’m actually trying to get to Petchaburi and the train from Bangkok to Petchaburi that I wanted to get on was leaving an hour after I arrived. I think that this is a lot of time-Bangkok is a big city, it is not a lot of time. Little do I know there’s actually a neighborhood in Bangkok called Petchaburi… again #thisisfine. I end up on the subway heading to this neighbourhood and I’m like… omg, what am I doing, there is no way a metro is taking me to a different city. 20 minutes until my train leaves. I run outside and am a complete mess, this random guy on a motorcycle sees me and asks me…

1) Where are you going?

2) How quickly do you need to get there?

Still freaking out I say I need to be at the train station in 5 minutes. Off we went on the craziest ride of my life. We were weaving traffic in and out of construction zones with my massive backpack on my back-fucking crazy…fucking awesome. He drops me off at the station and I run in, still crazy. People note that I am crazy-this is becoming a recurring thing. They let me skip the line and I buy my train ticket. I run to my train and jump on…I don’t know why but I got this really big gut reason that something was wrong, very wrong. Starting to cry now I ask people where this train is going…it’s going North, I am supposed to be going South and my train is leaving in 2 minutes.

PRO TIP – DO NOT TRY AND PRONOUNCE ANYTHING IN A LANGUAGE YOU DON’T SPEAK.

In trying to buy a train ticket to Phetchaburi I bought a train ticket to to Prachin Buri…this is literally the exact opposite direction that I want to be going in. I jump off the train and am hysterical now. Instantly at least 20 people try and help me – this is not an over exaggeration. I mean, no one can speak a word of English, but they worked together as a team to find me my train which ended up being literally right beside the train I was on. I didn’t have a ticket to the train that I wanted to be on, but was quickly hurried on the train regardless. As soon as I step foot on the train, and I mean literally within 20 seconds it leaves the station. I’m told that the train is heading South by some really friendly tourists which makes me feel much better – I am probably in the right place?

Although I’m in the right place, riding a train without a ticket can be a really difficult thing. For the next four hours I had to change seats probably every 20 minutes. Every time I changed seats I was greeted by a new train guard-to which I communicated with by crying…every single time. I don’t think the guards knew what to do with me so they just let me be until someone came to claim their seat. As I was moved around seemingly endlessly I met great people. First a couple from Malaysia who continued to assure me it was fine and I would be okay, and fed me. Next an old British man named John who was really into birds and was visiting his son. Lastly a Southern Thailand man who ended up letting me have his seat-so incredibly kind.

About half way into the train ride I actually relaxed.

I realized that even if I was lost it would be okay to be lost and that being lost isn’t really a bad thing.

It’s okay to just be where you are.

Leaning, understanding and transforming. Every day.

I finally arrived in Phetchaburi to meet my friend. I was greeted by beautiful green hills, gorgeous temples and monkeys…monkeys everywhere. This place is not touristic and is so beautiful. The stress left my body as soon as I got off the train. As I got off the train I met a German guy who actually ended up staying at the same hostel as me, and he was so kind.

People are good. This is something I’m constantly learning while I travel.

With love,

Laura

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