Trust the Locals

Travel is brutal. It pushes you to the very edge of your patience and then drags you back through the mud of homesickness and strange food. Throughout my travels this term I have been to the mountaintop and seen some of the most breath-taking sights I could ask for. I have met fantastic people and experienced an uncanny amount of awkward moments, most at my expense. But the unwritten rule to travel, at least here in Thailand, is to go with the flow.
Recently I traveled to a small village in the Isaan region of Thailand, the poorest region and the least visited by foreigners. To reach the village I relied on one local to personally drive me to the correct bus station, another to buy the right bus ticket, and a tuktuk driver to take me to the middle of nowhere. Once I wanted to leave the village I recognized that public transportation was far off and had a local drive me by motorcycle to the nearest bus station 30 minutes away.
This is the traveling spirit and what makes travel so brutal. Trusting complete strangers of a foreign tongue with your fate is both scary and exciting; however, it is the reality of the adventurer and the student abroad. At first it seems daunting to be in a strange land with little but the shirt on your back, but as you travel and have those awkward moments it becomes less like a chore and more like a journey. Every time I step into a taxi and struggle to get to even the closest market I can’t help but smile and know that it really doesn’t matter where I end up.
So I guess you could say traveling is a brutality but really I would say that traveling is an adventure in learning and patience.baanchiang2

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Filed under Doug in Thailand, South & Central Asia

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