It’s been a long and busy month and half, full of lots of adventure, so that it feels overwhelming to try and recap—mostly because time is flying by! It’s hard to believe that it’s already July. Time has been a strange thing lately. Less than a year ago I had just finished teaching and still had two more weeks in Znojmo. Now I’m about to start hunting for a second NYC apartment, have been at my job for 8 months and have already returned home from my first major adult vacation.
I’ll start there. For 2 weeks I made my first trip to Southeast Asia to visit two good friends in Thailand. It was a truly amazing trip and the perfect break from chaotic life in the big city. It felt so refreshing to just be blowing in the wind, exploring new things and places and really just trying to learn as much as possible from everyone that I met along the way. Thailand is a beautiful country with so many beautiful places to visit that 2 weeks was barely enough. Also the food is delicious (and SUPER cheap)!
I found myself on a beach called Ton Sai that required a boat to get to and felt like I was in another world. It was a small world with no time, no rules and no worries. Although I only spent 48 hours there, and 72 hours before had been in NYC, it felt like a dream to be so removed from the world. I slept in a bungalow with a cockroach, rock climbed and did acro-yoga on the beach. Most of all, it felt good to be physically dirty. Maybe that sounds crazy, but in NYC the only dirt you get on you is from car exhaust; the only scrapes or cuts you get are from…really nothing if you’re careful. After 48 hours on Ton Sai I had mosquito bites, scraped and bruised knees and dirt under my fingernails. It was awesome!
My motivation to go to Thailand was driven by visiting friends and so the people I met on my trip were really what made it so special. Although I did not meet many Thai people, I got my fill of the 20s backpacker lifestyle and loved connecting with people in so many different stages of life from all over the world. People always act shocked when I tell them I traveled by myself, but I never had to look too far to find other solo travelers who were always just as eager for a friend. To be honest, the places I went would not have been the same without each of the new faces I met along the way. It’s a weird thing with traveling too, you never know who you will meet or when you will see them again, but the connection you make and the needs you fill in each other are perfect in that moment in time. It’s a good lesson for the “real world” too. Plus you never know when you may find your way back together.
Beyond the new friends I made, it was the reconnection with old friends that was magical. Tori and Jen were two of my friends from my study abroad program in Prague. I had not seen Tori in 2 years and Jen for 3 since actually being in Prague when we met! As we sat on a UNESCO World Heritage Site from the 1350 for 2 hours talking about life, I felt lucky to have met and been able to “re-meet” two such awesome ladies. Even though a lot has happened since we last talked, the roots of our minds are still the same as when we all first discovered our love of traveling together.
By the end of my 2 weeks in Thailand, it felt like I had been there forever and NYC life felt both literally and mentally very far away. The transition back was full of jetlag and minor bits of culture shock, but it wasn’t too long before I had planned my next adventure. With taking only 1 hour of vacation time, I headed back down to Delaware for the music festival, Firefly. Even though, I had only had 2 weeks to recover from Thailand, I was happy to have this next rustic experience to look forward to. Ok, maybe sleeping in a tent surrounded by a million other tents and cars isn’t the most isolated or serene, but once again it felt great to be dirty and living for the moment. In this sense, the moments were comprised of music!
I haven’t been too into music lately. I realized that I really only listen to music when I run, drive or am alone in my apartment. Unfortunately, with my bad knees, city lifestyle and 2 roommates, I have not found too many of my usual opportunities to listen to music. However, Firefly was the perfect revival for my interest in new artists. Check out some of my new favorite songs:
Hozier, “Like Real People Do” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrleydRwWms
Milo Greene, “1957” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Mc8YRigmw
BØRNS, “Electric Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYr96YYEaZY