One of the absolute best things about travelling is the people you meet. Without a doubt you will meet people whom you will never ever forget and you may have only spent one night in their company.
Backpacking through Europe for three months I was really excited to get home and tell all my friends about my adventures. The only problem with this is while I had grown and learned, and met amazing people and seen unforgettable things...everyone at home had not. They had simply gone to work, the gym (maybe), and had regular scheduled days over and over again and done nothing extraordinary. And so while I wanted to share stories of my journey I also didn't want to come off as though I was bragging. So I only told a few stories...sat and listened while some friends shared about the new guy they were dating, or that job promotion, or how they'd be moving away for work. It was the hardest part of coming home by far. I couldn't understand them getting engaged so young and starting work right away, and they couldn't understand me galavanting across distant countries and spending all my money on a trip. This is what is so refreshing about meeting other travellers/backpackers, they get it! They completely understand! As I said I think in my very first post, backpacking will change your life. It changes the way you see things, the way you experience things and everything else. So after being home for almost a year after Europe I was all too excited to go on my next adventure and meet other backpackers.
Enter Day 1 of this LBW tour. The first questions I ask people are always where are you from? And have you done any other travelling before? They ask me the same and what am I doing after this tour? Next thing you know they are telling me where to go in Bali and what I should do/see while I'm there, and I'm telling them about my favourite hostel in Austria (Doug's Mountain Getaway) and how much I loved Germany. If I had told someone who hasn't backpacked about this they would have stuck to responding with the standard "oh that's nice" while you sit there doing your best to convince them that it was much much more than just "nice." But again, how could they understand? They weren't there.
Another amazing thing about the people you meet is getting to know them. It could be because you know deep down there is a very big chance you'll never see them again (as sad as it sounds it's true because let's face, it they live in another city/province/country that is a long ways away from you) but you are compelled to tell them things you may have never told anyone before.
Night before last me, and a new friend from this tour began talking about our previous athletic backgrounds and we got onto the topic of health and sports and nutrition. We're both obviously very passionate about all these things and you can tell because we talked about it for quite a while. Anyways I told her a secret of mine that no one knows, and it turns out she has the same secret. I guess it's technically not a secret anymore which makes me really happy right now. Her and I spoke again last night about a much deeper topic that again we both share experience with and I kid you not I literally started crying. I teared up, she teared up and we hugged. This girl I met a little over three weeks ago! I'll never forget it. Before going to bed she hugged me and said something like "you and I are having some really good chats" and it's so true. And so I challenge you, when was the last time you opened up to someone so much you actually cried? When was the last time you felt completely accepted by someone? If you can't think of anything well it's time you try it out.
The tour is still in Krabi and, as I said in my last post, we're staying at a lovely little homestay that is run by one of our tour guides. It's isolated and there is no wifi so everyone is spending a lot more time together which means lots of these life chats are happening. We're being fed three times a day here, there are cheap drinks, laundry, a pool and a bad ass tiki bar where we all hang out in the evenings talking and drinking. It's definitely one of my top picks for favourite places we've stayed. Tonight is our last night and then tomorrow we actually spend the night on a train to Kanchanaburi which is our next stop. There we get to spend time with tigers and elephants! Earlier today we learned about how rubber and palm oil is made, both of which are big industries here in Thailand. We also went and visited a really cool waterfall that we all swam under. Getting to it was challenging because we had to walk through the jungle which meant some stairs and pathways but also involved lots of water, mud, and rocks that you must climb over. I felt kinda like Jane from Tarzan except I'm not as cool as she is. It's funny because the homestay has more bugs/animals than previous places - there was a frog in my room the other night! We've also seem big spiders, a crab, a scorpion, and ants. But as our tour guide and owner of the homestay would say, "you're in the jungle now." I am enjoying it though, it's nice to be away from the city.
BOOK A THAILAND TOUR HERE!