I’m backkkkkk from the helluva two months travelling around Asia. I’ve met so many fabulous individuals and experienced unimaginable happiness doing the weirdest things with my best friend and another lady whom I can now call a great friend. We got to trek through the beautiful country that is Thailand and witness the magic I swear the place possesses. From swinging out of Tuk Tuks to swimming with glow-in-the-dark plankton, there isn’t much you can’t do in Thailand. This was my first time travelling with friends so I picked up some tips for a successful and always memorable trip.
1. Compromise, compromise, compromise
Woody Bar fire display in Koh Phi Phi
Problems will arise during your trip, no doubt about it but be patient and keep your cool. Your opinion might clash with those of your friends so be prepared to make some sacrifices if majority wins. Give everyone a chance to speak their piece and don’t jump in until they’ve finished. You want to solve problems, not win arguments all the time. Unfortunately in this time and age, the art of listening has been long lost but remember you have two ears and only one mouth so pay attention!
2. Keep an open mind
Tiger Kingdom with my lovelies
Having a chat with monkey #1
Travelling to another country will open your eyes to a new culture, interesting people, and unimaginable food. Try different things and take a risk for heaven’s sake! Ride the elephant in the jungle, get in a cage with the tigers, eat the fried scorpion and jump off that 30 ft cliff. When will you ever get the chance to try these things again??? I’m really lucky my girls were down for whatever, whenever. Complete soldiers!
3. Me time
Maya Bay sunsets are the most magical
As this trip progressed, I realized I needed to spend some time alone to recharge. Travelling with friends means sleeping together, eating together, commuting together, and basically tons of togetherness. It also means talking with strangers on a daily so it can become overwhelming fast. To get some time alone, I woke up early in the morning and explored the markets on my own surrounded by the bustling locals. It renewed my energy and gave me inner peace. As corny as that sounded, it allowed me to enjoy the company of my friends more.
4. No whine zone
I swear my tour guide was much happier than the picture shows
Not everything will go the way you want but it’s better to realize this sooner than later. While dragging your luggage in the crazy heat, legs aching and stomach growling, please do not complain about how much your life sucks. Your friends are in the same boat, baking under the same sun and probably hungrier. Complaints hardly improve any situation and only agitates the ears of others. So unless you’ve slept in a makeshift seat with the AC blasting into your face for an 18 hour bus ride, try to keep the complaints to a minimum. Stay positive and remember how lucky you are to be halfway across the world!
5. Be responsible
Our attempt at Phangan Wipe Out resulted in bumps and bruises
You’ll be out partying, you’ll be moving city to city by boat, plane or bus, and you’ll be handling large amounts of foreign cash. Always make sure your belongings are safe and watch out for your friends whenever possible. Be responsible and communicate with your travel companions! Just because mom isn’t staring over your shoulder, doesn’t mean you can run off with a stranger and leave your friends in panic mode. We didn’t have phones to use in Thailand so we made sure to always let the other know our whereabouts before separating. Vacations are supposed to be worry free so remember to minimize the amount of anxiety anyone needs to experience.
Trips away from home will teach you things about yourself you never knew, it will also make you realize how big this world actually is. Prepare yourself for mind blowing adventures and breathtaking landscapes and if your friends are with you, it makes it just that much sweeter. Asia is the perfect place for a broke grad student so if you ever get the chance, make your way to Thailand!
Lots of love,