One Words: Brave

I am planning a trip to Thailand and Australia (where I’ve already been) for next winter, around January or February, so I can escape the winter here, at least for a while. This is my long-term goal – to travel all winter, and to live it up in Vancouver in the summer – I love Vancouver summers, with the lovely tree lined beaches and the copious blueberries.

At first the idea of Thailand excited me – after a few months, though, the idea started to terrify me. I started focusing on all the possible BAD things – the way animals are treated and the types of things they eat (!), the possible diseases (and I do NOT want vaccines or medication), the HEAT, the language barrier, the long distances between all the places I want to go (of course my two specifics are in south and northern Thailand). At least I have a friend in Bangkok. Of course my family and boyfriend have told me other horrible things, too.

I have never traveled to a country that does not speak English, by myself. I have been to Brazil (my uncle lives there and speaks Portuguese), and I have been to France (also with my uncle, who speaks French), but otherwise everywhere I have been has been English speaking and not scary at all.

I decided to hype myself up about it today, and realize that going there is going to make me even more brave. I am a pretty ballsy person and not much scares me – in fact I eradicated my only phobia a couple of years ago (earthquakes) because of a quote I read about anxiety (damn I wish I had that quote) – basically it was akin to saying that when you are in a bad situation, your fight-or-flight will kick in and you just KNOW how to respond, which will be entirely different than you could ever picture – so worrying about it is kind of pointless.

This is not to say I don’t want to know any inherent dangers – my boyfriend and my parents are worried about me going there alone, but I am an obsessive researcher and by the time I go, I will be really well-read about the country. I even did this before I went to New Zealand and Australia – that was my first huge trip on my own.

Every time I have made a big decision, things have occurred that have made me braver, stronger, and more inclined to take on intimidating pursuits. I’ve also come away from all of those experiences a much smarter person.

Bravery is one of those kinds of things that flow – the more you do, the more brave you become, and the ballsier you get. I went from the kid afraid of the low diving board to being excited to jump off high rocks into a mountain creek. I went from being the most sensitive, scared child to being the most whip-snap defensive woman you can imagine (not that I am always like that, but I have the ability!)

So why do I want to go to Thailand?

It’s cheap (once you’re there). Tropical, ripe, local fruit to gorge on. Volunteering at an elephant sanctuary. Volunteering at an amazing dog shelter. To see my friend. To dance into the night. To lay in the sun. To swim in WARM waters. To relax. To heal. To get massages on a regular basis. To see beautiful sights. Bury myself in beach sands. To experience something completely foreign. To be taken out of my comfort zone. To challenge myself. To have something awesome to write about. To meet other people. So many reasons, and these are the things I must focus on, to keep a positive, excited attitude instead of getting sucked in my fears – my own and other people’s.

Australia I just want to go again because I want to see my amazing friend, in a new city where I have not been (Melbourne) and enjoy the country in a way I was not able to do the first time around.

Travel, I think, makes you a much braver person, a smarter person, and happier. At the end of life, I will be glad I went.

~~

One Words are a series of one-word prompts I felt compelled to do. This is the first.

Photo source: Unknown (found on tumblr).

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5 thoughts on “One Words: Brave

  1. I assure you, Thailand is an incredibly easy place to travel in and when you do come across snags in the plans you make they will be troubleshot easily, or at least they will make for excellent travel stories! In fact, I call the travel trail in SE Asia the “tourist conveyer belt”, and once you’re on, it’s hard to get off, and this can be quite frustrating.

    Thailand travel horror story: Deciding to take the day train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. 15 hours (was supposed to be 13, I believe) of hot hell with a one year old who at one point puked all over the aisle! But see? That’s really not so bad, and is funny in retrospect.

    Thailand travel bliss story: Deciding to shell out $100 CDN for a private sleeper on the night train (we went to CM twice from BK), sleeping in comfy snoozy bliss all the way from Bangkok to Chiang Mai overnight with room for two on each bunk!

      • Oh gosh, don’t worry about that. Everyone in the tourism industry speaks English, at least the basics. If they don’t it’s amazing how far you can get without using words, and I used to carry around a little translation book wherever I went with phrases and words in it in case of emergencies. SE Asia in general has very well travelled tourist trails (refer to my “conveyer belt” comment), if anything you’ll be trying to escape the English! More importantly you should be familiar with local customs and expected social graces, as insulting someone is going to get you into a lot more trouble than a lack of words. The easiest way to communicate is by smiling and being friendly, pretty sure you know how to do that! πŸ˜€

  2. My parents just came back from Thailand. They went to the elephant sanctuary and also a tiger sanctuary, had their pictures taken with both. They had an awesome time…I think you will too.

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