Sunday, May 22, 2016

Life's best teachers; lessons from the road

Like punks, blogs are not dead too.

I love my instagram, but nothing satisfies the craving to write, like a blog does. Now that I'm overwhelmed with my recent Bangkok and especially my Pattaya adventures, I feel like penning down some insights gained during this trip (before I forget them).


1)  No one cares how you get there 
No one really vividly describes how they end up in a picture perfect place, and no one seemed to ask either. The mass usually does not care, or bother to find out how you'd end up at your destination.

Which is distorted really, because one NEEDS to know how to get there. The best lessons learned are the ones within the journey itself. The dangerously close timeline of traveling from one city to another, the kind uncle Boon that helped navigate and bargain our way to a depressing floating market, strangers in a 3 persons bike ride, to walking 45 minutes under scorching hot sun because some guy duped you with directions, to taxi scams, and any of that hot mess of losing items and painfully going up and down the stairs in a train station - these are the things you do not see on someone's Instagram. Except for the heavily filtered photo on instagram.

^Uncle Boon that helped us.


Maybe the mass does not care, because the travelers or adventurers that share the photos never seem to paint the actual picture of the journey either. It's always the pretty destination in the end. Me included, and I'm changing it.

I'm changing the story telling of a holiday/ adventure! Not that I haven't, but my writings will continuously be an honest account of my travels and holidays.

Lesson 1: Always share the how you get to the destination. The best thing about the destination, is the journey.


2) Listen to your body 
This used to be my number one rule of thumb when holidaying. I used to preach this to my friends and family that whenever we're on holiday, I like to take it easy, and wake up when I feel I could.

Obviously, this isn't everyone's favorite tip.

Some of us like to follow schedules up to their nose so much that there is a sense of rigidity in the holiday. But then again, that's my opinion, we all have different styles and trip personas.

From my personal experience, I still prefer this rule. I always feel so rested everytime I wake up when it's time - as opposed to when I should. This doesn't usually go far off from the time I should wake up, sometimes only from 7.00am to 8.15am, but there are times they stretch beyond, like how I'm supposed to wake at 9.00am to 2.00pm when I was in Hong Kong after a whole night of debauchery in Macau.... (that's another story for another day).

Have you ever felt the need to go on holiday after a holiday? I really think that's because you force everything on to your body.

Lesson 2: Listen to your body. Like if you needed an ice cream for the millionth time. Which brings me to point #3.





2) If need be, f8ck the plans 
I asked my sister what are some of the best things she's learned from the trip and the first thing she said was - sometimes you'd have to forget about the plans. If you had known my sister, you'd be flabbergasted because my sister is an anxious freak. She lives on alarm clocks, at every turn of a plan she needs to follow by her alarm clock. I am not joking, she is adorable that way.

In Pattaya, we were supposed to catch a cooking class at 3pm and decided to leave to the class by walking there (supposedly 10 minutes walk) from our manicure place around 2.30pm. *Jessy's alarm bell rang once*

Plan was to take it easy with the walk.

Obviously, by 2.50pm and after numerous of alarm bells from Jessy's iPhone, we realised, we had no idea where we were and no one around us seem to have a clue either. From restaurateurs, to spa masseurs, to bike taxis, no one was convincing enough with their directions. Until one bike taxi pointed out the direction and asked us if he could bring us there, desperate, hot, and frustrated, we agreed.

But there's 2 of us? 
Yes, two of you. 
One Me. 

That my friend, is the simplest most exciting scene in my life. Me and my sister in a bike, BOTH OF US in ONE bike with a kind stranger that we tipped extra eventually, on the road of Pattaya is the adrenaline rush we never knew we wanted!! So unsafe without the helmets  and of course THREE is obviously a crowd!!, so un-jessica of my sister, but so awesome of an experience!!!

I'd like to follow plans, and stick by it sometimes, but nothing more exciting than trusting a complete stranger, local, on a bike ride, when you need to. Eventually we made it to our cooking class just in the nick of time, with bucket of sweats and 5x the heartbeat rush!



Lesson 3: Plans are great. But if it aint happening, figure something else and f8ck them


4) Luck, is best embraced
How do you describe walking into a club near your hostel on one random Thursday night for a dance, and chanced upon their Third Year Anniversary with unlimited free drinks featuring special DJs and celebrities we see cameras vow by, with dance shows other times we had to pay to see - sound like?

^Didn't realised this huge poster AFTER that night.

Sounds like luck to me!

We were so unsure about getting into this club at downtown Bangkok, Sukhumvit 10 near our hostel with some long dark alley, cover songs played from cd as background, wallpaper stick ons of leaves and trees, and 3 men guarding the entrance trying to convince us into buying two tickets (one at entrance a, and another at entrance b)...

Now that we're older, safer options are the better options. Now that we also don't enjoy loud music so much, we just wanted to check out a new place just to dance and have a good night. And since it was so near to our hostel, we just went on with it.

We enjoyed our first round of paid drinks, but were shared with the free ones by friendly locals around us, and a couple free more from the booths featured in their Third Year Anniversary. Man, that Ciroc vodka is DELICIOUS.

Lesson 4: When you're at the right time, at the right place, count your blessings.


5) Perspectives

With so much hearsay, but so little information about how exactly the city of Pattaya is, I was like a white canvas waiting to learn more about the city << I always do. Within a couple of minutes of touring the city - Beach street - with our FREE shuttle bus thanks to the hotel :) I knew exactly why mum didn't want to come....

I was so fascinated by the street life, and by the things I see from my car windows. I had so many questions running through my head; who, why, what. For the lack of better words, it was like human window shopping. 

After our disastrous attempt at Patpong - I told myself, I am not going to condone "this" anymore. Ladies bullying ladies, there were so much of that complexity that I couldn't comprehend.

Until I met our cooking class teachers :) An American who fell in love with "the best Thai cook" as he said it he's known - now living and running a business together, seeing how much love surrounds them within their business and their humble home, ascertains me that there are multiple facades to every place/ every person. One any wouldn't be able to know from Google Images..

A humble economy of depending from one another and the necessity of doing anything to survive.. Made me realised that world is a shared home after all, and that we must live together, whatever our choices may be.

Lesson 5: I learned that there's more to who someone is, or a place is than meets the eye. Sometimes, you find love in the most unassuming places - and who am I to judge a value of companionship. Learnings from the road put things into perspectives.



Can't wait to finally write all about this trip!




Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

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