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).