One of the most wonderful aspects of my travels since I closed the door of my apartment 76 days ago and bid farewell to my "suited" life for a while has been the new friends I have made from all over the world. Occasionally people's eyes pop out when I say I am traveling by myself across south east Asia. I can see them thinking and some have said to me, but you must be so lonely? ....are you crazy? ... And parts of it On a motorbike? On the contrary, dear sir and madam, not only does it give me full and utter control over what I do, where I go and the like, it has also meant that I am not constrained by itineraries and time frames as can be evidenced by my extra three weeks in Phuket.
Now, in saying that, your life and experiences are what you make of them and you probably could be a lonely old fart if you wanted to, but I choose not to be like that so have engratiated myself on fellow travelers, staff at accommodation, shop keepers and locals alike. As a result I have made some great friends as I go along. For example, yesterday I received emails from fellow travellers Hubert and Bernadette from Austria who stayed here last week as well as travelers from Holland - Marc and Herlind who I met on the side of the road in a town in Malaysia who did what i did and packed up their lives and have been traveling only by local transport around the world. There was the lovely couple from England who made me laugh and gave me a great tip to cool down when I'm super overheated. There was the English chap here last week who like me was having a mini mid life crisis,and another lovely young couple who were doing the same as me except started in china and are working their way down the map instead of up.
Of course, the other advantage of traveling by oneself is the ability to strike up friendships with locals and I have struck up a number of friendships. And Of course, there are all my new Facebook friends :)
Usually, for someone to do something as crazy as taking an undetermined amount of time off work, pack up his life in to boxes and buy an air ticket and go and spend a decent portion of his life savings, there is usually an event that is the cause of this madness. For me, it was the break up of my long term relationship at the beginning of the year and it is time for me to let it go. Over the last three weeks i Think that I have done a pretty good job of dancing and drinking this away, and now it is time to move on in both the practical sense and in my heart too. I have grieved enough. God I'm melodramatic!
While here I have met someone sweet and kind who has done a lot to help me regain my sense of fun and laughter and joy of life. Leaving next week will not be so much fun and for the first time, I have a greater sense of sadness about leaving this port than I do of excitement for the next leg of the journey. In saying that, the epiphany on this trip is that I am in control of what paths I take. I do not regret a moment of my time here.
A few weeks ago I made a comment on here about whether you had thought about at what point you went from dancing in the rain fully clothed to not going out because you didn't have an umbrella. Well, the three weeks here have been about dancing in the rain again.
Oh my God! I just re read this post so far - it's abit serious. please feel free to move on if it's not your cup of tea :)
So anyway, on to more practical matters - I went and picked up my visa application yesterday that I need to take to Singapore with me and you wont believe it, but it's literally a book! - it must be 40 pages. See below.
Tomorrow I fly out to Singapore and Top is coming with me which is going to be heaps of fun. He will also be able to give me a hand at the embassy if required.
A couple of days ago an Australian couple arrived at the hotel and last night we took them out to dinner in Patong then for a drink as they were keen to experience a bit of the craziness that is night time Patong. We had a fantastic seafood meal. I'm thinking I should become one of those guys that takes tourists to places and gets a commission from the business owners. :)
I've actually got really slack about taking my camera anywhere as I just tend to have the motorbike key, a bit of cash and my smokes. It's all I really need in life I reckon :)
So, the next post will probably be on my return from Singapore. Please cross fingers for me that they approve the 90 day visa or else my plans will have to change yet again.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to follow my blog. Cheers, Nick.