I’m finally back in Thailand, and I’ve been in Bangkok for ten days now. While I miss my friends in Beijing, after two days in Bangkok I felt like I could finally breathe. Half of it was probably pure stress relief-I always find moving countries pretty stressful, and I hadn’t been sleeping before I left.
But a few days later, after I had caught up on some sleep and was walking around our little neighbourhood here in Bangkok, I realized that I was the most relaxed I had been in months.
The humidity, the smell of fried food cooking, the laughter of so many kids (it feels weird to see parents with more than one child after living in China), the easy smiles, the weather, maybe it was one of these things, or a combination of them all, but I felt like I was home.
I think living in China made me a less trusting of people, which is a little sad. For the first few days whenever Thai’s were smiling at me I found myself constantly checking over my shoulder to see what they were looking at. When people offered to help me find a taxi or show me where to go, I immediately wondered what they wanted from me, and found myself eyeing them warily.
Now I’m feeling like coming back to Thailand was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m here with my friend Izy who blogs at thewrongwayhome, and we’ve been relaxing and doing girl things like going to the mall. I’ve made one trip to a museum, and we’ll be going to the cultural centre in a few days, but for now we’re cementing our travel plans.
So where to next?
Welll……it looks like we’ll probably be heading to Myanmar (Burma) next Sunday! I’m super excited to finally visit this country, since it really is on the cusp of such huge development. It was once one of the most isolated countries in the world, and was boycotted by most tourists from 1990.
It seems to be a country of contrasts, with one of the worst corruption rates in the world, but it’s generally considered very safe for tourists and has a relatively low crime rate. Because it was a closed country for so long, globalisation is only just reaching the borders of Burma, and I’m excited to get somewhere more “off the beaten path” than anywhere else I’ve traveled to recently.
From Burma I’m hoping to head back to Chiang Mai, but I may have problems with my visa, since the Thai government is cracking down on those who do visa runs. I’m hoping to get a decent tourist visa in Yangoon, but if I can’t, I’m thinking about setting up in Ubud in Bali for a few months.
I’d rather head back to Chiang Mai though, since my mum may visit in January and I can take a quick trip to Vietnam with her before heading back to New Zealand for her 50th in February. There may even be a white Christmas somewhere special this year, although I’m not going to give too much away about that until everything is set in stone.
So I’m pretty excited about the next few months, and it suddenly feels like I have a world of possibilities at my fingertips again.