So last week I took a trip to southeast Asia. Over the span of nine days I somehow managed to rack up over 26 hours of flight time and nearly over 12 hours in airports, but I have never experienced something that changed my life so much. Sure I have traveled to plenty of places now, but this is different. Nine days in three foreign countries where English is the second language teaches you a lot about yourself and the culture you’re accustomed to. For the majority of the trip, I stayed in hostels with the person I was travelling with. Hostels are notoriously known for being cheap accommodation for students and backpackers, but what many people don’t know is that you always meet the most compelling people in hostels. You meet people who are young, usually in their early 20’s, who chose seeing the world and experiencing all it has to offer instead of going to school. You meet people from all over the world who have the most insane stories of their travels. If anything, I’ve learned how important it is to travel and get away from your comfort zone. I know I say this every time I make a post, but it is so immensely important to get away from where you’ve spent some portion of your life. There is so much more to see than just the same buildings of your hometown and your college town.
You will never figure out what you love if you continue going to the same places.
I would not have been able to do this trip without the amazing support from my parents, both financially and emotionally. My parents have given me the opportunity to travel the world and experience what they couldn’t have when they were growing up and for that I could not be more thankful. They have pushed me to do what makes me happy and that is truly all I could want in life.
Through this trip I was able to learn about the history, culture, laws, and environmental regulations that each country has. I was able to experience life in a developing country for a few days and talk to the locals. As well, I met the most interesting people I have ever met in my entire life. The most compelling place that we visited was the Ancient City in Bangkok, Thailand. The Ancient City takes up over 300 acres and is a look into Thailand’s storied past. The park is a collection of temples and monuments that were either reproduced or reassembled within the park from various parts of Thailand. If I ever end up back on this side of the world again, the Ancient City would be one of my first stops to spend a complete day at. While I was in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, we chose to go around and explore some of the temples for a day. We found our driver by walking into his family restaurant and eating lunch there while he told us about what Ubud had to offer. For a very cheap price of 30,000 rupiah, he took us around the city for nearly six hours and showed us the temples, rice fields, and told us all about his family. This is what travelling is all about – hearing people’s stories and experiencing life as a local.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting more about my trip, including what I packed, where we stayed, and other travel tips. In the meantime, I have just about six weeks left in Australia and will be continuing my biggest adventure yet.