• Travel

Bangkok Alone


I was just going through my dropbox clearing out old university work, when I came across this unpublished scribbling of thoughts. I wrote it years ago when I first started thinking about blogging but was too scared to make anything public.  

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The first time I set foot in Thialand I was 18 and travelling alone.

The airport I arrived into could not have been more different to the one that I had left. In Glasgow I had a crowd of my partially drunk friends and tearful family waving me off.  I walked alone up the spacious ramp with my pink jansport rucksack ready for my first ever adventure. It was like scene from a coming of age movie, on landing I felt like the credits had rolled and reality had encroached upon me.  I was in a crowded airport with no air-conditioning, no natural light and no queuing system. This was definitely not Great Britain!

After my two hour herd through security I hopped into a taxi, looking out of the open window I was completely awestruck at the lights, traffic, people and animals that seemed to take up every inch of space. There was also an extraordinary mix of smells, both amazing and foul combined. This was the first time that I realised I had actually done it, after talking about leaving for months, I was actually here, I had made it to Thailand.

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This feeling of elation continued  until my  little taxi with its well natured driver arrived at the New World City Hotel. I suddenly felt panicked I wanted to cling onto the seat and never get out of the safe familiar box. However I composed myself, stepped out of the car, paid the nice man and politely waved him adieu. As I watched him drive off anxiety hit once more, I was so desperate to scream for him to come back and that I had made a terrible mistake but instead I just stood there, completely still and alone.

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In a zombie like state I managed to check into my room, throw myself on the bed and cry myself to sleep.

In the morning my guide book told me that the hotel was in a perfect location for exploring the many delights that Bangkok had to offer. This was the first time I had really picked up a book or done any research regarding my trip though I had watched Leonardo Dicaprio in The Beach many times so felt pretty prepared for what the city had to offer.  I was going to be the Scottish girl version of Richard, it didn’t matter who I was before, I was now a backpacker ‘looking for something more beautiful and yes more dangerous’ than I was accustomed to in my normal life.

I had left my feelings of trepidation from the previous night behind me and I confidently strolled out of the hotel, this was a new brave me…

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That was until I reached the road at the end of the block. The traffic never seemed to stop, there was just a constant flow of bikes, tuk tuks, cars and people weaving around each other; I could not comprehend how anyone could cross such a busy road without the assistance of the green man or even a lolly pop person.  No amount of Chang beer could give me enough courage to go back and try and cross the road. I slinked back to the end of the street and remained trapped on the block that my hotel was located for the next two days.

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I was so frustrated my own fear was holding me back from the adventure that I dreamed of. I travelled alone so that I was forced to be grown up, I so desperately wanted to be a brave independent woman.

In reality I had lost the ability to cross the road by myself, was incapable of working out the time difference and had to call my mum in the UK to help me and had cried myself to sleep every night while clutching onto my favourite soft toy. I had never felt like more like a child. 

Luckily I had not been so stubborn as to book the whole trip alone.

I was joining a group tour with Imaginative Traveller from Bangkok to Singapore. Initially this was planned as a way of meeting new people but it had become my saviour, without it I may have drowned in a mixture of Thai beer and tears after spending a year wandering aimlessly around the block. 

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I am please to report that my tour companions fast became friends and I not only survived this trip but discovered that I thrived whilst travelling and it remains my number one passion.

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I always like to live in the now but this sentimental look back is exactly what I needed, I have been in a slump for a while now and this glimpse of the past proves that I can do anything I want to as long as I push past my own fear.

1 comment

  1. […] also had to phone my mum in the UK to find out the time in Thailand and could not cross the road in Bangkok for days so just hung out on the block my hotel was on […]

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