I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable with the nomadic lifestyle; as I meet more and more travelers—gap year students, retirees, couples who’ve sold their homes and quit their jobs, families with young children—at this point, it’s actually starting to feel like staying put is what’s abnormal. This might be the longest period of time I go for alone, but I’ve started to realize that I need this, regularly, at least for a short amount of time. Maybe I’ll go for a month each year, or for six weeks, but there are so many places to see, I know it’ll take my whole lifetime to even make a dent.
From spending the majority of my time in HK holed up in my guesthouse alone without much human contact, I’ve definitely been savoring the islands of interaction with friends along the way more this past month. My best times have been spent joking about hipsters with John, battling feral monkeys with Wayne and Nicole, and shoveling shit and avoiding arachnids with Rachel. I also came to accept that traveling constantly doesn’t have to mean constantly doing things. I chill out at home, and can have off days here as well—even if home is a hotel room.
I learned quite a bit this month, of course: I learned to savor every single thing I put in my mouth. I learned to bargain well and with a smile, how to eat a crab, to give a Thai massage, to cook a mean red curry, to count and say hello and thanks in multiple languages, to rock climb (well, at least to start to), to tie a secure belay knot, to make banana balls, to mix cement, to stop traveler’s diarrhea dead in its tracks, and to understand the meaning of “Thai time.”
I also learned that it’s not how pretty your feet look, it’s how well they serve you to navigate tiny alleys and dusty hilltops. Even without toenails. This one’s for you, Rebecca:
Favorite place: Tonsai Bay, Thailand
Favorite experience: Being mommied by Pha Mai, the baby elephant
Favorite meal: Tie between spicy crab in Hong Kong and every meal I had at the Elephant Nature Park
Favorite saying: "Same same…but different.”
Favorite lodging: The homestay in the Karen village—at least in retrospect.