Random Thoughts While Traveling Around Southeast Asia

In my entire experience as a travel blogger, this is the first time that I am going to write an article in real time. Good thing it’s our free day here in Luang Prabang and I feel like I have enough English words in stock today to keep me going. It had been raining the entire morning but thank God the sun is up now. I have to warn you that this post contains purely random stuff about our trip so you may stop reading when you feel like what I’m saying no longer makes sense. Haha

It’s the 14th day of my ASEAN vacation (the 11th day of my travel buddies) and although the trip is tiring in general, it’s going great so far. We’re just getting a little bit confused by the day with all the currency exchanges and with which side we should look at when crossing the street because the road rules are entirely different among the countries we have visited.

Astonishing view of the tea plantation in Cameron Highlands

MY FIRSTS
This trip marks a lot of firsts: my first time to travel to five countries in one go; my first time to travel with a cousin on my father’s side; my first time to lose money and all my credit cards while on travel (which I hope would be the last); my first time to go from one country to another by land; probably my first major travel without a concrete plan in mind; and a lot more which I will just mention in my succeeding posts.

The iconic Petronas Towers on our last night in Kuala Lumpur

TRAVEL PERSPECTIVES
I also learned a lot of things from this trip, from the simple wearing of a longyi (a traditional Burmese costume) to the more complex concept of understanding that people from different parts of the world are very much different from each other and that we just have to respect whatever differences we have.

One of the images I captured in Ho Chi Minh moments before I realized that I lost all my money and cards

I have also stumbled upon a very difficult question that became more pronounced when I lost my travel funds in Ho Chi Minh: Why do I travel? My mom seconded when she called me up after telling her that somebody took my wallet. She asked me to discern what losing my money probably meant. I felt (just my opinion) that she was asking me whether traveling made any sense in my life. I understand her, though. I am not getting any younger and sooner or later I should be settling down but I still choose to spend my extra time and effort traveling. At my age I should be investing my money on things that would be useful in the future but I still choose to spend my meager salary to fund my travels.
So, has this trip made me realize to give up on frequent traveling and start reformatting my life? I still don’t know. And I’m not interested to know either. At this point, I am still more comfortable with short-term planning. But who knows if things might change in the near future.

People crossing the U Bein Bridge in Amarapura

Sometimes, I would like to look at traveling the way I imagine how others look at it. Wait, how do I imagine the way other people travel? It’s quite hard to explain it, but sometimes I feel that other people travel “shallowly.” I don’t mean anything negative here. By that I mean they travel to take a break from work, have fun, take selfies, and return to their daily lives like as if nothing happened. I actually envy those kinds of people because I don’t think they get any separation anxiety after a trip. In my case, I tend to get so attached to a place that my heart feels so heavy each time I have to leave. I also tend to overthink at times while traveling which makes me feel more down, and oftentimes, hinders me from enjoying the trip.

Shwe Leik Too, one of my favorite temples in Bagan

TRAVEL BLOGGING

I also realized that I cannot keep up with the “standards” of a typical travel blog. I must admit that I am not good at collecting travel information, compiling then posting them for the consumption of those who do research prior to a trip. I have attempted so many times to provide detailed travel resources about a place but failed in most cases. I realized that I don’t have to do such unless I really want good traffic in my site. At this point I just want to travel, enjoy each destination at my desired pace, forget about taking down information intentionally, but still be able to share my travel experiences with as much people as possible and as much as my memory can share. This blog will mainly serve as a treasure chest of my travel experiences and an album of my photographs. If the things I get to share help you in some way, that will also just be a bonus on my part.

My first time in Khao San Road; Paid 10 Baht to take a photo of these crunchy little creatures

I’ll stop at this point. The resort manager here in Maison Dalabua is calling us to make a room switch. I’ll be back soon. Mi van thidi (Have a nice day in Lao)!

Bird’s eye view of Vang Vieng

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4 Comments

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  1. Hi Emir, keep traveling…and blogging. I’m a fan and now hooked reading your travel memoirs? Follow your heart and in time, you will find true happiness.

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