“You won’t make it a month …”
Those ominous words echo in my mind, 12 years after I took my first longer-than-a-vacation jaunt to Europe. People were actually rooting for my failure. My lack of ability to travel solo for any length of time.
They were right. I didn’t make it a month. But, not because I couldn’t travel that long, but because I was in a place in my life where I had no business traveling. I was escaping and using a month in Europe as that ditch plan. Needless to say, when the sole purpose of a trip is to run, it doesn’t work out well.
Since then, I’ve taken many trips solo. Actually, there isn’t a single flight I have booked in the past 12 years that wasn’t just built around Me, Myself & I and what I wanted to do.
It’s quite nice to travel the world with only myself to please.
Tonight, I am tucked into perhaps the most comfortable bed ever, at the hip and magnificent Sofitel So Bangkok (which has earned the title of My Favorite Hotel Ever), and am taking in the stunning view of the city’s twinkling skyline as I unwind. Far below me, I can hear the protestors over a PA system. But, Sofitel So has done a magnificent job of creating the perfect escape for me — from both political tension in the city, and the pre-travel anxieties which normally exist at the start of a long trip.
Tomorrow at this time, I will once again be traveling solo, this time to Europe for a month of exploration which commences in Prague (marking my third time to this gorgeous city). There is no running this time. There is no pain. For the first time in my life, I am actually in a fantastic headspace, a fantastic body space. I’ve given up the self-destructive behaviors, I’ve focused on becoming the best version of me I can be, and that best version of me includes travel and soaking up the beauty of far away places.
Sure, I live in a far away, exotic place. And, I love my life as an expat in Chiang Mai, but this girl is also a wanderer. A traveler. A person who needs to experience being just a tiny speck in a world filled with passion, variety, beauty, living. There is nothing more magical in my mind than waking up in a foreign place where the only way to communicate is through kindness and smiles and gestures and — perhaps — a few mis-pronounced words. There is nothing more invigorating than walking into a train station and seeing what city, what country, the next train departs to and deciding to hop on said train. There is nothing more humbling than crossing paths with complete strangers who turn into life-long friends just because a decision was made to go to that hostel, that coffee shop, that town …
For the next month, I will be living in Europe, breathing in Europe, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this special gift I am giving myself.
Stay up-to-date on all of my European adventures by following along on Twitter (#dtravelseurope), Instagram, Trover, G+ and Facebook. And, for a look at the health and wellness side of European travel, be sure to follow along at The Comfort Zone Project and on TCZP’s Facebook.