7 months. That’s what it took for my passion to dwindle, my energy to wear out and my body to demand I stop.
I would never complain about the amazing life of adventure that I’m leading. It fills me with joy to wake up each day with the prospect of new explorations ahead. But behind the blog posts, Instagram pictures and stories from these amazing places is the reality of a bag that’s never unpacked, a bed that’s barely been slept in and an exhausted girl who craves stability for more than a 3 day hostel booking!
The world is a big place and to explore it you face the fact that you will be spending sleepless nights on overnight buses and trains, you just start to become comfortable in a new town, learn the ropes, make friends at your hostel, then you must move on before you miss out on the next place on the list.
Before I knew it I wasn’t excited about travel anymore. I wasn’t enthusiastic about somewhere I’ve always wanted to be and I was left with a feeling of emptiness by something that I’ve always loved above all else!
It was time to stop.
I booked a flight out of Bali 2 weeks earlier than planned and flew back to somewhere I knew, somewhere I could call home, my happy place and where this whole crazy journey began ~ Thailand.
I spent 11 days – the longest I’ve stopped anywhere on this trip – in the mountains of Pai, North Thailand. It’s a haven of delicious food, nightly markets and friendly locals. Plus a great expat community.
I got an actual routine! Morning yoga, local smoothie bowls for breakfast, evening strolls at the market picking up anything with avocado on top and spending time with familiar faces.
And then it was back. The itch, the wanderlust, the world was calling.
… 11 DAYS?! I’m trying to have a break here!
Anyway, it only took a quick chat with a local who told us about a little tiny 3 day expedition that could be done up the Mekong River to Chiang Rai before we packed our bags and were on the move again.
We hopped on a morning bus to Mae Malai, a busy city on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. We waited at a small bus stop, snacking on some fruit from the market, until our bus rolled by. We were headed for Tha Ton, a rural mountain village on the border of Myanmar near the mouth of the Mekong where we could float down to Chiang Rai ~ our final destination.
After a night in an empty guest house we went to the boat station and paid 650 Thai baht for a private boat (plus one local who we collected on the way) to Chiang Rai.
We sailed down the Mekong for almost 3 hours and my heart was bursting with love for this planet. I felt like we were in the Amazon Rainforest, surrounded by nothing but pure, untouched nature. Banana farms and rice fields surrounded us for miles and despite the downpours of rain my smile didn’t falter.
After a couple of days running around the quirky city of Chiang Rai we caught the bus back to Chiang Mai and settled for another week of rest.
Now? I’m back travelling solo across my favourite continent in the World. Making my way to India for the next chapter of this unbelievable journey I’m on.
My travel partner filmed the whole adventure, check out his vlog here…