Dear Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam
During our trip I have learned so much from you. Thank you for all the amazing adventures and magical moments! And yes, even those scary ones! If it weren’t for you, I would not see the world with open eyes. There are a few things that I need to thank you for. So here goes!
1. Thank you for the beauty
I always browse through travel magazines or find myself staring at beautiful pictures online, wishing I could jump into them. But we were there. We saw your beauty. We admired your islands, your oceans, your beaches, your cities and your people. We saw how your sky got painted in pink and orange colors from your sunrise. We tasted your fresh air and felt your sand between our toes. From the beautiful temples in Angkor to the stunning shorelines of Vietnam, you have showed us incredible scenery!
2. Thank you for the ocean
Thank you for letting us swim in the warm waters of Koh Chang and for the snorkeling at Mun Island. It was on a kayak that I faced my fears on the open ocean. When we tipped over, for a split second, I thought I was going to die! But as I drifted in the ocean and looked below me, I realized that you had to give us that little push. As we looked down, we saw your beautiful ocean floor. It was like a treasure chest waiting for us to find it.
3. Thank you for the scars
Do you remember? When I was on my bicycle in Siem Reap and a small little girl came from the opposite direction? I had to swerve out so that I don’t crash into her, but then I ended up falling anyway! I remember how my skin burned as I was scraping away the sand on my knees. I still have a scar on my foot from this fall. It is a daily reminder to have courage and live life! And even with every fall, we have to pick ourselves up again and keep moving.
4. Thank you for hooking us with some incredible people
From the two backpackers we met in Phnom Penh, that gave us a free guidebook, to the volunteers on Never Never Beach that inspired us. We have met some amazing people on this adventure. Some we only met briefly, like Peter and his wife in Saigon, and some were on the road with us a bit longer like Mr Chanh and Jeff. I know that we might never see them again, but I will never forget them. Each person crept into our hearts and inspired us in their own little way.
5. Thank you for teaching us to adapt
When you travel you need to adapt! You need to quickly learn that not every toilet is clean and you are lucky when you even get one! You need to be able to try new food, hop on a dodgy bus, trust a stranger, travel like a local, wear your smelly shirt for a few more days, do your laundry in your bathroom sink and know that you cannot control every situation.
6. Thank you for being our home away from home
Everywhere we went, we felt home. The local people made our journey an unforgettable one. Every smile warmed our hearts. We shared food, laughter, drinks, music and love. The children, staring at us with their big eyes, made us believe in life again. The old lady at the temples, that offered us her hammock to rest it, showed us how to communicate without using words. During our travels we realized yet AGAIN that we are all just people. People sharing this earth. We might not speak the same language, but all of us smile the same way.