People – Thailand

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I am a very shy person.  Particularly when it comes to meeting new people.  I may not always come across as shy, but believe me I am! Sometimes there are those situations where you meet someone and immediately hit it off with them, but beyond this “once in a blue moon” scenario, I don’t open up very easily with others.  It was this reason that made me nervous going to Thailand.  Would I be able to enjoy myself if finding people to grab lunch with seemed like an impossible challenge?  Would I be walking around aimlessly in the festival of lights wishing I could talk to someone when I was too nervous to reach out to anyone else?  These are the kind of thoughts that passed through my big head.  Silly thoughts, but honest ones.

When it came to the moment, like any other nervous person, I hid away at the beginning.  I was tired and not as interested in meeting a many new people and sharing different experiences.  I was putting up a wall.  It wasn’t until I made it to the city of Chiang Mai that I started opening up.  I found a comfort level with others in the hostel I stayed at and ended up having a great time with them drinking and eating all kinds of delicious food.

Because of the vast difference in my experience between the two places I visited during the first week of this trip, I started to question myself.  Why is it so hard to get a conversation or some interaction started, but very easy to have a great time once I get to know some people?  I started to realize that most of the answer to this question lied within the first person to say something.  People enjoy being talked to.  It makes them feel special in a sense, especially when you have a group of travelers from around the world.  To have someone reach out and interact with you feels great!  We’ve all been there plenty of times.

So why can’t I or most other shy people get past this silly mental barrier of making first contact?  If we just say hi, that could be enough to break open a great new friendship, maybe more.  Saying a simple hello is after all, purportedly, the best pickup line to have.  So I invite you all to join me in an effort to say hello more.  I live in the suburbs of one of the largest cities in the world, and a hello on the streets of NYC is one of the rarest occurrences, but it doesn’t have to be.  Saying hello can be a powerful thing, just ask anyone who was greeted with a cheerful hello and tell me if they said their day was anything but brightened up.  Give it a shot, you won’t regret it 🙂

Thailand – Taking Chances

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So I began with some difficulty in finding the right way to tell the lessons and stories of Thailand, so I decided I won’t do it in this post. I’ll spread the love to a series of posts! That way we can all enjoy it over and over again! 😀 So without further ado, here is part one of Thailand.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  A wise man once said this and I strongly believe it.  When I made it up in my mind to travel to Thailand, I had many worried friends and family asking me if it was the best idea to go to a country half a world away without knowing the language or culture very well.  I’ll admit, it’s a good question.  I mean, it’s not every day that you just decide to up and go to Thailand.  But it’s a place I desperately wanted to see and I took a chance to take the trip.

And boy am I glad I did!  This gamble ended up being one of the most rewarding two weeks of my life and I can’t wait to do it again!  The sights, sounds, and smells of Thailand are now insatiable for me and I know that I’ll have to return.  Looking back on it now, the thought of questioning this trip seems so silly.  I could have missed out on one of the best experiences of my life because of fear.  It’s a common thing that we all face, but it can block us from reaching some of the best parts of our lives, and that’s why I’m telling you to take a chance.

I’m not saying you should book a ticket to Thailand right now.  Well, you should, but that’s not really the point.  The point is that taking chances can lead to some of the most exhilarating and satisfying chapters of your life if you have the courage to leap into them.

It all starts with small acts of taking a chance.  It may be talking to a cute guy/girl at the end of the bar, or taking a trip to a place you’ve never been to before, or learning a language you’ve always wanted to speak.  Taking chances and trying new things can open up the whole world to you and that’s where your life and really living your life meet.

As I traveled around Thailand for those two weeks learning to cook Thai food in Bangkok, lighting lanterns into the sky in Chiang Mai, riding motorbikes between waterfalls, canyons, and hot springs in Pai, living among elephants in Surin, and meeting amazing people all along the way, I realized that what I’ve just been mentioning couldn’t be more true.  Trying new things, although scary and sometimes overwhelming, can lead to the most amazing experiences of our lives.  And they can also remind us of our younger more innocent days when everything was new to us and every day was a new experience for us to conquer.

With that in mind I hope that you’ll conquer your own fears and take that new Spanish class, start a conversation with that cute guy or girl, or maybe, just maybe, you’ll even take a trip to Thailand and discover something incredible.

Cooking class

Cooking class

Loi Krathong - Chiang Mai

Loi Krathong – Chiang Mai

Lights, camera, lanterns!

Lights, camera, lanterns!

Motorbiking in the countryside

Motorbiking in the countryside

Elephants

Elephants

Elephants numero dos!

Elephants numero dos!

Mahout games

Mahout games

Building a swing

Building a swing